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Wah Wah Taj!
Three weeks ago, I'd ranted about the problems I had with Taj's booking system. I dashed off a more formal version of my rant in an email to Taj Residency's and Taj Kuteeram's customer care email addresses listed on the Taj Hotels website. The response was impressive.
A couple of days later, I got a call from the head(?) of the Taj Residency sales department, who had been cc-ed in the email I mentioned above, offering us a complimentary dinner at Taj Residency. Now this was totally unexpected and it reaffirmed my faith in Taj Hotels' customer focus. We enjoyed our complimentary dinner at Taj Residency last Thursday and left for Taj Kuteeram on Friday afternoon.
This was the first time I'd driven that kind of distance (in my current driving vocabulary, anything of the order of 50 km qualifies as 'distance'). I managed not to get lost on the way, enjoying Krithi's and Jaagruthi's constant chattering and singing from the back of the car. The road from Dasarahalli to Taj Kuteeram was bad, but didn't really suffer in comparison to Lal Bahadur Shastri Nagar. So it was quite a familiar looking dirt-track.
We found ourselves upgraded to a suite cottage from the standard cottage we'd booked. The room was nice and spacious. There were basically only two types of materials we saw in the room - stone & wood. We'd taken along the DVD player to keep Jaagruthi happy by playing her favourite rhymes and stories VCDs frequently. We didn't see too much TV. There was a limited selection of channels (no TEN Sports, so I had to follow the fourth one-dayer scores on 'Headlines Today' or 'Aaj Tak'!), but then again, the idea was never to go to a resort to watch television!
The resort was beautiful. There was a flock of geese (I hope they were geese and not ducks, since that is what we told Jaagruthi!) swimming, preening themselves. But there was one goose (or whatever) which kept to itself, aloof from the rest of the gaggle - swimming when the rest were preening, preening when the rest were swimming! I have no idea why it was such a loner.
There's not much to do at Taj Kuteeram except just relax and enjoy time slipping by. The gardens are well maintained and while there is scope to play badminton & volleyball, there was no such activity going on between Friday and Sunday. The food was also quite good, except for the fact that we got stuck with vendekkai/bhindi/lady's finger during just about every meal. It either popped up in the form of bhindi fry or bhindi do pyaaza or as part of salad or as a side dish. At this point in time, we're officially sick and tired of vendekkai! Jaagruthi didn't really have much of a choice in terms of the food she ate. She also became tired of drinking juice and eating chapaati after some time.
Protima Gauri's dream dance village, Nrityagram, is right 'next-door' to the Kuteeram. We reckoned it'd be interesting. Unfortunately, all the students were away for their summer vacations and there was almost zero activity going on. In addition, there were no signboards indicating what we could hope to see in that part of Nrityagram. So basically we were lost and clueless about what we were doing there. The interesting bit is the corporate sponsorship for some of the gurukuls, Raymond's for Odissi, BPL for Mohini Aattam etc. - a nice blend of commercialization and classical dance, eh?!
We returned to Bangalore on Sunday afternoon, well refreshed after our stay there. I don't think we could have stayed there for any longer, especially given there's absolutely nothing else to see. There were some folks talking about going to Hessarghatta lake etc., but we weren't really interested in doing something of that nature.
Overall, I really think this was a good value for money break. It was very impressive and I'd highly recommend it to those around Bangalore who want to take a break for a couple of days or so, don't want to go too far away and yet not burn their pockets. Try to ensure you get the two day Rs. 8000 all-inclusive package. It's a much better deal than spending Rs. 3000 (incl breakfast) on your accomodation and then forking out money for lunch, dinner and tax!
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