Here's everything you need to know about the newly opened JW Marriott at Nandi Hills
An account of our staycation at the luxury resort
The further north you drive — past the traffic and chaos of Hebbal, RT Nagar, Yelahanka and other crowded neighbourhoods along National Highway 44 — the more you feel that you are embarking on a holiday. It could be something to do with the location of the airport, which is on the same highway, or the green expanses that replace the skyscrapers and apartment buildings as you inch farther away from the heart of the city. No matter the reason, the anticipation of relaxing and doing nothing for a few days and the endless possibilities that await you are feelings that can be counted among the few things one lives for. So when we found ourselves on a long but pleasant drive to one of the latest luxury hotels to open their doors in the city earlier this year, we resolved to enjoy every minute of it.
Hemmed in by the Nandi hills on one side and set in the vicinity of farmland and vineyards, JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa is the place to go for understated luxury and a weekend break that will truly soothe your soul.
When we arrived, we instantly fell in love with the gorgeous lobby area. Sitting on a couch by the floor-to-ceiling windows, we sipped on our chilled flute of something fruity as we took in the views of the golf-course’s water hazard and fairway adjacent to the lobby, and the hills beyond. The reception desk in itself is an interesting feature as it pays homage to local craft. Forming a stunning backdrop to the front desk, the portion of the wall directly behind it is covered in bidri work — the 500-year-old inlaying and engraving craftform native to Bidar, Karnataka. After a smooth check-in, we were escorted to our room, which is a 30-second golf-cart ride from the main building, which houses all the restaurants, apart from the lobby. The Signature Room was our home for two nights, and as with the lobby, the stunning view was the high-light of this room too. While we were tempted to dig into the inviting cheese board placed by our bedside, it was time to immerse ourselves in something creative — a painting class — so we made our way to the ground floor to get our hands dirty.
The session was helmed by a cheerful and charmingly distrait instructor who let us in on some of the basic techniques and tricks of acrylic painting as we mixed varying shades of blue, white and brown to form the image of waves crashing against a beach. Having finished our painting, we walked to the poolside where the stalls for the afternoon tea were being set up. We nibbled on some traditional Karnataka snacks such as, chakli, and piping hot filter coffee while sitting on the manicured lawns with the hills standing tall in the distance.
The strong coffee and the clean air were immensely invigorating, so we decided to take the long route back to our room on foot, instead of hailing one of the carts.
Flavours of India
We had one hour to kill before dinner, so we spent the time checking on e-mails and doing some light reading on the balcony. Then, we rode to the hotel’s Indian restaurant, Aaleeshan. The marble flooring, pendulum lights, the high ceilings and jaali work framing the tall windows are sure to make you feel like you’ve just entered the abode of a modern Indian maharaja! And as expected, the views from this floor are so breathtaking, for a minute it felt as if we were in a remote hill station, and not at a resort 20 minutes from the airport. We settled down at a table in the al fresco area, lit only by the moon and some candles. A glass of chilled white wine was quickly served to us as we waited for the food to arrive. An array of fragrant and flavoursome kebabs were brought in quick succession, followed by some breads and curries and the all-time favourite Lucknowi biryani, before we were served some traditional Indian desserts. To say the meal was excessive, indulgent and delicious would be an understatement, and we enjoyed every bite. When we reached our room after that elaborate dinner, we headed straight to bed and fell asleep almost instantly.
Our second day at the hotel began at The Aviary, where a decadent breakfast buffet had us spoilt for choice. Covering everything from Chinese and Japanese to Italian, South Indian and North Indian cuisines, apart from a broad and sinful pastry and dessert counter, this breakfast was definitely another highlight of our stay. We finished the meal with a cup of coffee, following which we were off on a tour of the hotel. The other restaurants one can choose to dine at are East, which serves Japanese, Korean and Cantonese cuisines, Truffle & Co (their deli), Vista (coffee shop) and Flamingo Pool Bar (a swim-up bar that sits in the middle of their lagoon pool). The hotel also boasts a large recreation room with games like foosball and air hockey, a fitness centre with all the equipment you’d expect from a state-of-the-art facility including steam and sauna rooms, three swimming pools (an outdoor lap pool and a whirlpool in addition to the lagoon pool), a beautifully located spa whose treatment rooms are separate standalone structures surrounded by a shallow water body. And, the spa was where we ended our tour as we were scheduled for a treatment. We opted for the Balinese massage, and spent the next hour in pure bliss as the essential oils and the therapist did their job.
While we were treated to a sumptuous Asian-themed lunch earlier in the day, we had worked it off with the tour of the hotel so after the relaxing treatment, we were looking forward to dinner. As we visited when most of the other restaurants were yet to open, we were back at The Aviary to sample their dinner buffet. On offer was a line-up of Indian curries, pizza, pasta and European delicacies. We tucked into some Kerala-style seafood with rice, and some lamb biryani and called it a night. There’s nothing like a long soak in a tub of warm water and bath salts after a tiring day, and so that’s what we did before heading to bed.
When we woke up the next day, we enjoyed a quick breakfast and made our way back to the city, feeling energised, calm and ready for the week ahead.
Spread across 22 acres in a location that promises to be an oasis of calm, and also boasting an enormous convention centre just a few metres away from the hotel, this resort is a must on your list of luxurious weekend breaks from Bengaluru.
Rooms start at Rs.23,000++. At Nandi Hills Road, Devanahalli
The writer visited the property on invitation from the hotel.