“Where
is the place? How much further? Are we headed to Bangalore?” were some of the questions
in my mind the 1st time we drove down to Aloft Hotel in OMR. It took
us more than an hour, beating the evening traffic to reach the place. And today, it took me about 45mins to reach the place. I had been invited to spend half a day at Aloft Hotels and that it all began as soon as I walked in and was met by
Chef Ashok who spent a good few hours talking to me about the place and giving
me a tour of the property as well.  Aloft is part of the Starwood hotels group, SG as they are commonly known. This is the only property in Chennai, situated in OMR, near the Sholinganalur Signal and they cater largely to the IT and Expat community.


At
first glance, the place looks neat and chic, no over the top frills or fancy
fixtures. The lobby is funky, with colourful seating square light fittings and
a play area of sorts on the right side. There is the “remix” lounge with a pool table, beyond which are
a row of computers where one can check their mails or surf the net in the area called “stay connected”. Going further
you find their Banquet hall, typically used by Corporates for seminars and
conferences.

Now,
if you were to head back to the lobby and go the other direction, you will spot
a small area where there are a few ready to eat snacks and fruits along with a
microwave- people who visit and those who stay here can use this service- kind
of a quick grab and eat/drink on the go kind of concept. Very good one if you
ask me. Instead of relying on room service or wondering if there would be
anything to nibble on during those odd hours, you can walk down to the lobby,
pick up what you need, pay and enjoy.



The lobby
 The bikes/scooters across the floors

The grab & go counter



And
if you look on your right, ta da, that is where the W XYZ Bar is located- loved the simple clean look of the place.
Comfortable seating and simple menu. They also have a DJ playing here regularly!

Walking
further down the corridor is where the 2 restaurants are located. The interesting
thing about this is that both restaurants shall one space- Dot yum and Estia
are the two restaurants. Dot yum is where you find the buffet and a la carte
meals [Indian/oriental/Italian cuisine] while Estia offers Lebanese dishes.
There is a small seating area as soon as you enter that can accommodate about
30-40 pax and offers excl Lebanese cuisine. While the main kitchen/dining area close
at 3, the other kitchen works round the clock [catering to room service
requests], and they have one section catering to those who come in for a bite
to eat- sandwiches, and pizzas [which is the most popular] along with beverages.



one of the corridors and a room facing the pool

The special fittings in the 2 rooms for specially abled guests.



The
food here deserves a separate post, before that let us look at what else the
hotel offers.  There is yet another
banquet hall around the corner. Instead of getting off at the lobby, you drive
further down about 10 yards and that is where the banquet hall is located. It
can accommodate about 200 people comfortably and if more, then the buffet is
placed outside the area. Infact, my 1st visit to the Hotel was for a
wedding reception held in this very hall.

And
for those who are looking for an option to stay, this hotel has 129 rooms,
across 3 categories- the Single room, double occupancy and the suites. Tariff
starts at 8k and goes upto 15k.  Few
rooms have the lovely view of the swimming pool “Splash” outside. I quite loved the way
the pool is located- you walk out on the 1st floor to a separate area
where above a few steps is where the pool is located, below that a small casual
seating area and then on the other side is the Spa & Fitness zone. A fully
equipped gym “re:charge
 with a trainer is what awaits the guests. I loved the murals and
colours on the walls, oh and how can I forget to mention the Vespa, and other
vintage bikes across every corridor.



Top image- The corridor to the swimming pool, the spa and fitness center and 
below- the casual seating area below the swimming pool



In total, there are 3 floors with rooms across
the floors- and they sure looked inviting. A big cozy bed, simple décor, and a
neat bathroom, the suit has a large spacious living room.  A special mention to the Hotel for creating 2
rooms that is for the specially abled- the beds are lower and the bathroom has
extra handles and fittings that work for them. Kudos to the hotel for this~!!

Overall,
I was quite impressed with the hotel and irrespective of the other Hotels in
this area, felt this one should be getting better mileage considering their
services and competitive prices.



Address:
Aloft Hotel
102, Rajiv Gandhi Salai,Sholinganallur,
Chennai -600119
Ph- 044 4592 5500