Sunday, October 28, 2012

A justification to my caption

“Wooohooo!! There is an indiblogger meet being arranged this weekend.” The moment I heard it from a blogger friend, I rushed to register for the meet. The moment I went to the ‘Meet’ tab of my jaw dropped to ground and my eye lids spread enough to roll down my eye balls. It was at the all new ITC Grand Chola.

My history link up with the ITS Grand Chola:
I had gone to a small hotel in Adyar with my family. On my way back home the digestive system of mine started working faster than my brain and I fell asleep in the car. Few minutes of dreaming about not-important-to-mention-here stuffs, my dad shook me waking me up.
‘Have we reached home?’ asked I.
‘Look there. This is the new 5 star hotel that was opened last week- ITC Grand Chola.’ He pointed at a splendidly designed and hugely built palace. Something similar to Mysore palace, the only other building I had seen of this size.
 ‘Wow.’ I was amazed and thought that I should step in sometime.

Back to my registration day:
Just like every other stupid, cunning sister like me, I yelled out my sister’s name. Before she came into the room I had googled for the images of ‘ITC Grand Chola’ and kept the laptop all set to make her jealous.
‘What’s wrong with you?’ she asked agitatedly.
‘Look at this. I am going to be here, this Saturday.’ I pulled my collar up in pride.
‘What? Why? Why only you?’ she asked admiring at the top view of the hotel which showcases the grandness and the roof-top pools.

‘Indiblogger meet.’ I was all geared up to meet my Indiblogger friends, my blogging family.
‘I am not a blogger but I really want to be at Chola sometime. I’m so jealous of you.’ The laptop screen was closed in disappointment and she left the room.

On the day of meet:
As usual I started early from my place to reach there well ahead of time. We cracked jokes saying that we were the first few to come to the ITC GRAND CHOLA in a share auto.

Unfortunately I got hit very hardly in my elbow when I got down from the auto and my elbow started bleeding, it was a deep cut. I didn’t mind that much but looked at it worriedly. The security of ITC Grand Chola walked up to me and requested me in a very pleasing way to go for first aid. He needn’t have done that but he did it showcasing the friendliness of the staffs of ITC Grand Chola. I felt at home right at the gate.

 Eyes started rolling from left to right and from top to bottom, not wanting to miss even a small portion of the hotel’s exterior. What I liked from the outside of the hotel was the temple-touch, palace grandness and the colour combination which enhances the beauty and elegance of the palace.

The meet was arranged at the Rajendra hall, which was in the second floor. On our way up, we were too tempted to click pictures in the relaxing areas of the hotel. The hotel has a number of relaxing corners facilitated with carefully chosen and comfortable couches. This is one speciality of the ITC Grand Chola, there is a lot of space for anyone to fit in and feel comfortable.

We finally reached a big door that opened up into the indiblogger meeting hall. Being an all time early-bird, I was the first person to register for the meet with Vid and Sahi. Once registered we went around the floor. The chandeliers sprained our necks as it pulled up every head like a magnet and glued our eyes to it.
                Finally we were back at the hall and the wifi was enabled on our hand-helds. We were greeted with the first drink of the day and I chose guava juice for the start. We settled down in different tables still united with the tag ‘Indibloggers’ and the passion for blogging. Every table had delicious cookies and the tech cookies in the form of an Ipad. Every table had a charging facility underneath.

 The meet begun with Anoop from the Indiblogger team telling us that this was the first time that a hotel was hosting a bloggers meet. The GM of ITC Grand Chola, Philippe, welcomed all of us to the hotel. He said that we would make 1200 more friends apart from the bloggers inside the hall, he had referred to the 1200 staffs working at the hotel. We realized what he said was true by the end of the day after experiencing the friendliness of the hotel staffs. Just as an example of how the hotel makes us feel the personal touch and how it is a south Indian cultural exhibition  Philippe ended his talk with ‘Nanri’ and when we cheered him for that he thanked us more with ‘Romba Nanri’. That says how much the hotel smells of Chola’s culture and traditions everywhere.

The event progressed with an accelerating ’60 Sec’ of fame when bloggers spoke about their blogs. Once that was done we headed to the most awaited high tea. The mention-demanding, mouth watering dish of all were the bondas and green chutney. A wide range of coffees and teas attracted the hot beverage addicts. A variety of sweets, cup cakes, cookies, chocolates made all of us forget the diet charts or watch our calories.

Clicked by Kalyan

Later we were divided into groups of ten and assigned a guide each to take us around the hotel. Before we started the tour, expedition inside the period-city built inside the city of Chennai. We named our team Poonam Pandya.

We had bloggers who blogged about movies, tech-bloggers, food-bloggers, fashion-bloggers, story writers, temple blogger and who not. Though we had varied interest we were tied with the passion for blogging and that brought us all together at the Sangam lobby.

Tour around the palace, temple, hotel, heritage site, landmark, future’s history place, chennai’s pride begun. The hotel had 6 swimming pools and an amazing gym. The aroma when we entered the spa hall mesmerized us that we thought we should visit them again just for the spa.

The luxurious room we were taken to had a comfortable cot. The ipad inside every room enables us to switch channels, control personalized movies, take control over the music, lighting, curtains, bathroom doors, order food and what not. The ipad also has a feature to access the guest camera and see who is at our door steps. The room we were taken to had a glass window which showed the beautiful Metro rail track. Once the Metro rail starts operating in Chennai the view would be perfect from there. My dream life- watching TV, sitting on the bed and controlling everything else without moving from the place- the life my mom calls LAZY was a possibility there.

The work table is set at a corner along with a comfortable  chair which promises to keep you back pain free even after hours of work on it. There was a threat in the room for females in our team- the weighting machine. We cleverly avoided stepping on it but tried the other luxuries of the room.  The 3d paintings and other painting on the walls were eye catchy. The entire ITC Grand chola is decorated with antiques that gives a feel that we have stepped into a palace maintained for centuries together, fresh and clean, for tourists.
There are interactive kiosk here and there to guide us through the building, because it’s very huge that we lose our ways quite often. The pillars are fitted with RFID sensors to make our stay there personalized. The architecture is based on the Chola temple architecture; it even has 4 entrances.
The hotel has a total of 10 food and beverage destinations, including the Peshawri, which serves cuisine from the Northwest Frontier, and The Royal Vega, a vegetarian restaurant. Others include Madras Pavilion, Cafe Mercara, Nutmeg, Cheroot Lounge, Pan Asian, Modo Mio, The Pub and Tranquebar. The fun pub is soon to be opened.

We had to tweet making a story as a team with all the tweets put together. We decided on a theme that Poonam and pandya meet at ITC grand chola. Pandya falls in love with Poonam but Poonam falls in love with Chola (the hotel). As time passed and we stepped around the hotel we lost the story to the beauty of the palace and twisted, turned and moulded the story with guy2, girl2, villain snatching the heroin from hero and heroine liking the guide, so on and so forth. We won the best team tweet award. Ever blogger there was given a treat. I got a lunch pass for two at Pesgawri. I have also got a gift certificate to get an assorted box of sweets from Nutmeg. Yum, Yum... 

Back home:
I took my family on a virtual tour around the palace, told them the facilities and made them feel jealous. Finally when my sister couldn’t take anymore of my excited talk, I pulled out the lunch for two gift pass and gave it to her.
She is now all geared up to step into the ITC Grand Chola.

They are giving away treats for tweets for tweets with the hash tag #TweetsforTreats. Check it out guys. 

Most Loved: 
ITC Grand Chola is very active on social networking sites which makes the hotel a trendy place for social networking crowd. We feel close to the hotel and stay aware of the offers. 

My suggestions to ITC Grand Chola's IT team:
- Try out for a mobile phone app which will tell about the offers, deals, enables user to book for rooms or tables easily. 
-Obvious suggestion: Conduct such meets frequently. 

My personal TimeMark:
I had printed Visiting cards to my blog just for the event. I went around, met bloggers, made new friends and  gave them all my visiting card. Thanks to my dear daddy for making my wish, that I made the previous day morning, possible the very night. Love you dad.

Gratitude to Indiblogger

We enjoy being at the indiblogger meet, always. We love the Indiblogger team. You guys are doing a great job. Thank you for inviting us for the great event yesterday (28.10.12). 

11 Scribbles:

  1. Great post GB mam, Well narrated
    it was pleasure meeting you all again at the Meet. .!

    1. Thanks for the comment :) Hate u for the MAM, lol..
      Pleasure meeting u too :)

  2. ha ha... getting lost was the best part!..;)

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  4. Hi Ganga - Please change 'dead daddy ' to 'dear daddy'.

    Well written :)

    1. thanks :) Change made.. how a single letter has changed the entire meaning... gotto watch my typos here on... :-o

  5. The error is in the penultimate paragraph.

  6. Ganga, missed the meet and all of you but enjoyed reading the write-up on every blog that I've visited.

    Joy always,

    1. We missed u too Susan... ITC Grand Chola was amazing... u sud ve joined us... :)

  7. Luxery hotel with nice services, food, staffs, we enjoy the environment of the hotel.....


Thank You for taking pains, commenting :)


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