On my recent trip to Shimla, I choose Taj Chandigarh as my preferred hotel in Chandigarh, where me and my family enjoyed a wonderful time. The warm hospitality and special attention we received from the hotel created some of the best memories.
Ideally located near the city’s major attractions, the 5-star Taj Chandigarh offers an atmospheric setting and a luxury experience. With contemporary interiors, luxurious rooms and suites, some with pool views are commendable.
Taj Chandigarh enjoys an excellent location, at the very center of Chandigarh’s entertainment district. It provides easy access to the city’s finest shopping, dining and cultural venues and is a short walk from many major tourist attractions.
The warmest welcome by the team with overhead chanderi spread, tikka on the forehead took away the tiredness of the 4 hour long drive from Shimla.
The mind-boggling first impressions of the hotel are quickly established as you ascend the few steps towards the open-sided reception pavilion, which offers a great view of the hotel and its myriad of majestic lounge. From here, you’ll also be struck by the hotel’s massive size. A U-shaped complex of pavilions that embraces the central reception area and a water pond that catches the eye from the lounge area.
The hotel is housed in an elegant building, keeping up with creative design concepts, that revolves around a soaring white atrium and floating catwalk, which lead to the cream-and-gold-colored lobby. The spatial layout and furniture design, the ceiling decorations have all been carefully chosen to add luxury and finesse to the hotel.
Featuring crystal doors, intricate ceilings, the entrance hall overlooks the light filled Café 17, all day dining restaurant and the Indian restaurant Dera. The rooms and suites at Taj Chandigarh are spread across the hotel. On the second level of the hotel is a family pool, spa, a well-equipped gym, a multi-cuisine all day restaurant, an Indian theme restaurant called Dera, a Chinese restaurant called Black Lotus, a business center, a spacious banquet for weddings and conferences and a lawn for private functions.
Our premium room, located on the 4th floor had a beautiful pool view. Sumptuous fabrics of exquisite velvet and a rich palette of brown and gold create a sophisticated and vibrant living space.
There was a large TV, mini fridge and a tea/coffee station uniquely created in a standalone unit. A coffee table, really comfortable armchair facing. The wow factor came from the large expansive views of the pool and an adjoining lawn next to it.
The highlight in the room a grand welcome note by the General Manager placed on the table, our family photo, delicious welcome treats like traditional desserts from Punjab that swept us off our feet.
Our super comfortable huge bed, with leaves adorned on it warmed our hearts. A nice spacious wooden wardrobe with a good storage was perfect to keep our things safe. The room was actually very comfortable, especially the bed and the soft bed linen – a specialty of the Taj brand.
Off the bedroom was the bathroom – a really decent size. It was quite dated, with a walk-in shower, a single wash hand basin and a WC. Luxury toileries only added to the luxury elements.
The Spa and pool
Conceived as a sophisticated urban oasis, The Spa at Taj Chandigarh is a luxurious wellness sanctuary located on the first floor. The spa features luxury couples’ spa suites, complete with individual spa vitality pools for traditional massages. Next that, there is an expansive outdoor swimming pool, as well as a fully serviced state-of-the-art fitness center that complement the hotel’s lifestyle facilities. Surrounded by cushioned loungers, and wicker chairs, the ambiance and views are particular great in the late afternoon.
Café 17 – all day dining
Culinary talent and exquisite design converge in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Café 17. Set against a dramatic white backdrop, the Restaurant is the hotel’s all-day dining venue. Serving Indian and continental cuisine in a casual setting, Café 17 is a venue with a unique design.
The spacious roomy furniture, overlooking the gushing water body is one of the hotel’s most spectacular architectural features. Café 17’s menu focuses on local cuisine based on natural ingredients cooked with respect and inspiration.
A scrumptious four course meal curated by the executive chef delighted our taste buds. The succulent amuse bouche, paired with soup was satiating, while the Greek salad with crunchy vegetables drizzled with herbs, seasonings and oil accentuated the taste buds even further. We also loved the traditional Indian dishes that included lentils, vegetables and hot breads. The continental dish comprised of fish with lemon butter sauce – perfect in taste and presentation.
The breakfast buffet is displayed around the open kitchen and bursts with Indian and continental dishes, complemented by a full à la carte selection. The buffet is truly spectacular with tons of fresh fruit, cheese, cold meats, yoghurts, freshly-baked breads, and an assortment of cakes and pastries. Sunday brunches are mostly packed with live music and an enormous variety of dishes.
Atmospherically lit with a choice of indoor and outdoor seating, the Bar offers an extensive list of cocktails and mocktails including much-loved classics including Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Margarita or Whiskey Sour. We loved the mocktails curated for us by the very efficient bartender.
Black Lotus – authentic Asian fare
The Black Lotus features a spectacular Asian fare pool and offers guests the possibility of enjoying cocktails and sophisticated Asian dishes with live music. The clean and minimalist lines of dark granite, crimson walls and wooden floors contrast sharply with the subtle yet intricate art work, turning the hotel’s look into a fest for the eyes. Here we indulged into the Chef’s culinary fare.
Dera – Authentic Indian flavors
The sleek decor at Dera is enriched by traditional Punjabi elements, such as vaulted ceilings with sections of bamboo and lattice paneling. The Indian spatiality restaurant has authentic dishes like makki ki roti and saag, freshly made and screaming of flavors. We loved the flavors, taste and presentation so diligently prepared by the executive chef.
The hotel ensured our stay was comfortable and to pay homage and create a lingering memory, we were presented with goodies and boxes of Indian sweets to take with us.
The service and overall hospitality is top-notch and extremely efficient, as you would expect from one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands. The Taj Group will go out of their way to please you and make your stay comfortable.