Newly refurbished Polo Floatel makes for a perfect joint to have an idyllic outing with friends

If you like soaking up some sun or enjoying the balmy evening breeze, the sun deck is the best area to plonk in and have a quiet meal

author_img Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  14th January 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  14th January 2022 12:00 AM

Polo Floatel

When Floatel, the only floating hotel in the city, anchored itself on the banks of the Hooghly in 2007, it offered a panoramic view of the riverfront that no other property could boast of. With time, the barge changed hands and reopened its doors as Polo Floatel. 

Having deep and distinct memories of many an event in the hotel, we were eagerly looking forward to seeing the refurbished space and we're mighty happy with what Deval Tibrewalla, CEO, Hotel Polo Towers Group, has done to it -- retaining and preserving every bit of its heritage and memorabilia while giving it a whole new vibrant yet vintage makeover. 

And a lot of credit for the same goes to his wife, Srishti Tibrewalla, who has artistically overhauled the sprawling structure, turning it into a whole new experience aboard. "There were so many paintings, memorabilia and priceless antiques that we have restored and hung on the walls by the staircase, lobby and corridors. There are so many more paintings on their way to be restored by my mom, who is also an amateur artist," she says while showing us around.

Kolkata Biryani

We love how they have used the old and discarded luggage bags and suitcases to create the reception desk facade, instantly gearing us up for a journey to a faraway destination. As we trudged along the gangway -- lit with cane shades and colourful ceramic birds perched on the side railing --  to board the stationary barge, we got a whiff of the unadulterated slice of nature that awaited us amidst the bustling city. 

The burst of sunshine and interplay of colourful upholstery in the brightly done multicuisine diner The Bridge - Bistro Bar, elevated our spirits without stealing the calm. But if you like soaking up some sun or enjoying the balmy evening breeze, the sun deck is the best area to plonk in and have a quiet meal.

The menu too has been carefully curated and a few continental and North East entrees left a strong flavourful impact on us. If you are a 'porkaholic', do try their Thai rendition of the succulent meat with a pot of steamed jasmine rice. The perfectly simmered and sumptuous massaman curry will really impress you with its mild spicy notes. 

Pork Massaman Curry with Jasmine Rice

You can also settle for their equally delectable smoky Kolkata biryani with some usual suspects for siders. We loved the way they presented the very popular and traditional Prawn Cocktail garnished with soft-boiled eggs, lettuce, celery and a sprinkling of lemon. We relished every bit of the juicy, poached baby shrimps doused in the creamy cocktail sauce. 

If you plan to visit at odd hours, then the light and crispy Mezze platter replete with crunchy falafel fritters, mini pitas, baba ganoush and beetroot hummus can be a healthy choice. Otherwise, just loll over some cheesy Naga Chilli cheese toast or the ever-loved Bekti Fried Fish wedges.

Prawn Cocktail

From the dessert section, Nutella Banoffee Pie deserves a special mention for its well-crafted layers of fresh cream while the sweet and sour Poached Plums is a match made in heaven for the calorie-conscious millennials, perennially in search for a healthy yet Instagrammable sweet nothing on their plates. 

For those who want to have a relaxing staycation or an intimate party, the nattily done-up cosy rooms with extended decks offer the best view of the river and the skyline. Compass, their open deck area with a capacity of about 200, is also a great option for party peeps. Once the pandemic slides, the hotel plans to launch hour-long family boat trips besides interesting exhibitions and other fun-filled activities for kids.

Pocket pinch for two: Rs 2500+