ITC Grand Bharat- Responsible Luxury
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Away from the hustle-bustle of city life, is this plush property which is set amidst the verdant greens of the ancient Aravalli hills, just 45 kilometers from New Delhi.
This humongous retreat spells grandeur and splendor in all its forms, thereby taking the concept of INCREDIBLE INDIA to the next level!
Conceived as the next step in luxurious Indian hospitality, ITC Grand Bharat is truly a gem of a place with an all-around grand vibe symbolizing the concept of 'Bharatvarsha' which encompasses the true essence of India! Calling it Regal, Grand, Enormous, Full of heritage would be an understatement.
India is a land of unity in diversity where people from varied cultures, races, religions, and languages live together. There's so much to see and learn from its history and innumerable places, that it would take a lifetime and it still won't be enough, but if you are short on time and still want to taste the true richness & diversity of Indian culture, heritage and, of course, the authentic Indian cuisines, then consider staying at ITC Grand Bharat, for it brings the true beauty of India under one roof, in the best way possible!
No wonder why we fell in love with this retreat in a New York Minute :)
Architecture to Take You Back in Time
A picture of majesty, the architecture of ITC Grand Bharat will give the emperors of today a taste of what their counterparts enjoyed in bygone times. Sounds insane, right?
Here's a visual illustration-
1) The Stepped Well of Adalaj
The elevations at ITC Grand Bharat, the capitals on columns over the pavilions and the detailing of the columns all pay homage to the Adalaj Stepped Well in Gujrat.
(The stepped well of Adalaj) (The coloumns at ITC Grand Bharat)
2) The Nagara Style Temples of Orissa
The central dome over the atrium at ITC Grand Bharat, as well as the domes over the other pavilions, have been inspired by the rich temple forms of Orissan Architecture. Additionally, the main entrance to the hotel block has been inspired by the famous ‘Torana’ (Arched gateway) of the Muktesvara Deula of Bhubhaneshwar, Odisha.
(The rich temple forms of Orissa) (The domes at ITC Grand Bharat)
3) The Royal Palace of Baroda
The palace, also known as Laxmi Vilas Palace, is a prime example of the Indo-Saracenic school of architecture.
Prominent examples of Indo-Saracenic Architecture include the Central Secretariat (New Delhi), ITC Maratha (Mumbai), the Gateway of India (Mumbai), Victoria Memorial (Kolkata) and the Mysore Palace.
(Parapet - The Royal palace of Baroda) (Parapet details used at ITC Grand Bharat)
4) The Ghats of Varanasi
The famous ghats are embankments in the form of stone steps along the bank of the Ganga where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. For Hindus, the ghats are locations on "the divine cosmic road", indicative of "its manifest transcendental dimension". Varanasi has at least 84 ghats.
You will see their visual influence at The Yamuna at ITC Grand Bharat.
Every evening, prayer is said by the priest, post which you can make a wish and float little diyas into the waters of Yamuna.
(The Ghats of Varanasi) (The Yamuna, ITC Grand Bharat)
5) Sangam- The Lobby
Sangam – The Lobby at ITC Grand Bharat is symbolic of the meeting of three historic rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, which respectively signify power, wealth and knowledge. The lobby’s highlight is the painted Tree of Life, surrounded by eight pillars. The eight pillars signify the four stages of life as indicated in the Vedas – each pillar symbolic of the beginning and end of a stage. The Tree of Life is an expression of the Indian Philosophy of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ – the world is a family.
6) The Four Presidential Villas
The four Presidential Villas have been inspired by four great dynasties of India’s glorious past – The Mauryas, The Marathas, The Mughals, and The Cholas.
Food & Beverages
The ‘Well-Being’ kitchens have reinterpreted Indian, Asian and European cuisines and refashioned the dining experiences to a whole new level.
‘Swasthya Cuisine' was crafted by ITC Grand Bharat, and here's how it helps to attain a complete sense of physical, mental and spiritual well-being-
In our earliest diet philosophies, the food people ate was controlled by season, time of day, and their own disposition. Swasthya Cuisine invokes these time-honored principles of responsible eating through an ideal combination of foods and fluids that have been selected to enhance both internal and external well-being.
Promoting physical and emotional well-being through food is an Indian tradition as old as civilization itself. It stems from the thought that a person who is at ease physically and mentally has the highest proclivity to developing spiritually.
As stewards of the environment and our nutrition, they bring you fresh, farm-to-table food that has been prepared to address both nutritional requirements and the need for satisfaction. The result is an enjoyable mélange of modern and revived flavor that protects your wellness; restores and energizes; calms the mind and uplifts the mood; enhances memory and slows down the effects of aging!
The retreat's chef also accommodates people who are vegan or can’t eat dairy, gluten. etc.
The various dining options include 'The Aravali Pavilion', 'The India Room', 'The Peacock Bar', and 'Apas Promenade'.
The Aravali Pavilion-
The Aravali Pavilion at ITC Grand Bharat is the retreat’s charming bistro and three-meal period restaurant. The warm interiors with its murals and cork floors are home to unique culinary concepts such as ‘Swasthya’ cuisine; eating for health and taste along with ITC Hotels’ Signature Mornings, ‘Best of Pavilion’, ‘The Express Wok’ and ‘Local Love’.
The India Room-
The India Room showcases ‘Creative European Classics’, albeit in modern renderings, in a setting that resonates with the pomp and pageantry of that era. The restaurant celebrates the continent’s engagement with India, from the earliest times a context that gave rise to the country’s modern name.
The plush interiors in a royal blue and gold theme feature magnificent chandeliers set against silk and French windows that open into the Sunset Boulevard, offering an option to dine al fresco. The cuisine, which is creative renditions of French, Greek, Roman, Dutch and British classics is complemented by the ritualistic service and relives the erstwhile charm of ceremonial fine dining.
The Peacock Bar-
Inspired by the national bird of India, Peacock Bar is an ideal place to unwind and indulge in the retreat’s extensive wine and malt library, complemented by Molecular Mixology inspired Classic Cocktails. The theatrics of the mixologist blend with the gentle jazz strains, abetting the energy of the bar. The unique service design that is intended to delight and surprise with dramatic culminations at the table. Embodying its name is the piece de résistance of the bar; a stained glass, peacock motif, inspired by the fables of India.
The Apas Promenade at ITC Grand Bharat underscores ITC Hotels’ Responsible Luxury ethos with an emphasis on a ‘Farm to Plate’ approach, ensuring the luxury of savoring fresh, seasonal and local produce.
Apas Promenade epitomizes the ‘unhurried luxury’ philosophy of the retreat and is a celebration of the Terra Madre community’s ‘Slow Food Movement’ (Clean, Good & Fair). The restaurant showcases local Mewati barbeques, which forms part of the ‘Food of the Aravalis’.
The indigenous cooking techniques used for the Mewati barbecues used include-
‘Shola’ or an open charcoal grill.
‘Tawa’ which is an Indian hot plate.
‘Degchi’, a vessel used for slow cooking.
What Makes ITC Grand Bharat So Special?
1) Personal Touch
I can go on and on about how well equipped the suite was with high-quality bath and beauty products, a sampling of local treats like snacks and other goodies, a bottle of wine, ample drawer & closet space, a safe, puffy hangers, free bottled water, robes and slippers, and an iPod dock, but do you really know what gives ITC Grand Bharat an edge over all the other retreats and hotels we have ever stayed at?
It's the little details they take into account and by adding noteworthy personal touches to make their guests feel special!
We felt welcomed the moment we handed our keys to the parking valet who wore a warm smile as a part of his uniform. This feeling grew 10x when we checked into our room. From seeing our photos being put on display to spotting personalized name cushions to reading plenty of handwritten notes, riddles, jokes. Everything was done so thoughtfully that we instantly felt at home.
For one thing, it truly reflects the efforts they put in and shows how much they value their guests and want to invest in them!
2) You Won't Ever Feel the Need to Step out of the Retreat
ITC Grand Bharat offers a variety of outdoor and indoor activities to spice up your experience at the retreat. Whether you are a child or an adult, ITC Grand Bharat will have you covered with a plethora of options adding an element of fun that you might be looking for! Here's a list of activities that you might want to indulge in-
The golf course at ITC Grand Bharat comprises of an 18-hole Signature Championship Course, a 9-hole Signature Canyon Course, as well as The Club House and Sports Complex that offers non-golfing sports and recreational activities. The Classic Golf & Country Club is exclusively a members-only Club, open for their guests also.
The hillocks and knolls of the Aravalis lend themselves ideally to creating enticing fairways, cunning greens, and engaging waterways, which are enough to quicken any serious golfer's heart. Both professional and high handicappers can discover the joys and challenges of golf right here.
Created by Landbase India following the design by Nicklaus Design, the golf course has transformed with prodigious care and skill over the years from a barren, sandy plain to one of India’s best courses.
For the first time in the history of golf course construction, 100% organic material was used to induce nutrients to the arid, sandy soil. Today, the lush greenery you see all around is due to organic matter like neem cake, leaf mold, and farmyard manure!
The Club House
Beckoning the golfers across the course, enticing them to finish their game and give their feet a well-deserved rest, is The Club House, exclusively for members and their guests.
The club’s quality service, leisure, relaxation, and recreational facilities include a pro shop
& a functional area called - The Albatross
Located on the ground floor, this exclusive bar serves up the finest spirits from across the globe, along with many a tale of prowess and achievement.
A unique restaurant and bar, The Sandpit serves ‘The Club of Clubs’ a selection of the most popular recipes from clubs across the length and breadth of the country and a range of premium beverages.
Recreation Indoor Activities at ITC Grand Bharat
Discover a showcase of the cultural, political and natural history of the region with feature exhibits of local artifacts and collector’s items. Indulge in live cultural performances at the large open-air, Greek-style amphitheater with Dr. Navina Jafa, the acclaimed cultural historian.
Have a go at snooker and billiards at the cue-sports area or a game of post-dinner cards in the card room.
Recreation Outdoor Activities at ITC Grand Bharat
The various outdoor activities include- Segways, Zorbing, Cycles, Nature Walks, Picnic, Squash, Tennis, Croquet, etc.
The Royal Spa & Well-being- Relax. Re-balance. Rejuvenate. Re-energize
The Royal Spa is part of the ‘Unhurried Luxury’ experience at ITC Grand Bharat. Set in the verdant 1.2 sq.km estates of the retreat, the spa is housed on a dedicated floor of the main palace and covers an expanse of 3251 sq.m with 9 treatment suites, including a couples’ suite.
A sanctuary for holistic well-being which takes you through a soothing journey of the mind, body & spirit, it endeavors to provide luxury spa experiences through traditional indigenous therapies, ancient Ayurveda practices and international healing forms of well-being.
These specially crafted Ila treatments use ancient Yogic techniques and energy work to return the receiver to a blissful state of harmony and balance. Each therapist has been carefully trained to channel the healing flow of energy.
ITC Hotels was the first to introduce the concept of Hamam in India with Kaya Kalp. A traditional Persian influenced Hamam bathing treatment, designed to deeply exfoliate the skin leaving it soft and radiant. The treatment begins with a continuous flow of warm and cool water from a copper bowl over the body. This is followed by a traditional skin smoother scrub and natural soapy massage.
Yoga is a set of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that aim to transform body and mind.
The origins of Yoga date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions.
Based on the ancient principles of Ashtang yoga, sessions comprise of Bahiranga Yoga (external) and Antarang Yoga (internal).
The Yoga instructor also facilitates different forms of meditation such as Chidakasha Dharana (self-inquiry using the power of visualization), Hridyakasha Dharana heart-centered meditation or concentration on the space within the heart) and Trataka (flame meditation) to name a few.
THE VITALITY POOL
The Vitality Pool overlooks the spacious outdoor space of the spa, with abundant natural light streaming in during the day. It can be used for pre-treatment or post-treatment relaxation with the warm temperature of the pool and therapeutic water pressure enabling guests to reduce stress, ease muscle pain and improve circulation.
SALON DI WILLS
ITC Hotels’ signature salon at ITC Grand Bharat is equipped to cater to beauty essentials and indulgences for ladies and gentlemen. Salon di Wills features an array of hair, skin and nail care treatments.
THE SPA CAFE
The Spa Cafe features an assortment of fresh juices, health blends, herbal teas healthy sandwiches and salads that complete the wellness experience at the spa.
3) Responsible Luxury Initiatives
'Responsible Luxury' is the effective combination of luxury and responsible practices (enriching society and the environment) so that the luxury experiences delivered at ITC Hotels do not in any way burden the environment or the society around us.
‘ŚūnyAqua’ (pronounced Shunya (Zero) Aqua), a path-breaking initiative under the ‘Responsible Luxury’ umbrella includes water, infused with indigenous ‘good for you’ herbs. ŚūnyAqua, zero-mile water crafted with a sophisticated in-house Water Purification System includes Ultrafiltration through sand, carbon, iron, and fluoride, Reverse Osmosis (RO System), Chemical Disinfection, Deionization and UV disinfection that removes the contaminants. The treated water passes through an Ozonator and subsequently a PH correction meter, to stabilize the PH where the infusion of the herb essence takes place and the final pure treated water is sealed after due quality check processes. Researched, perfected and curated with beneficial essential oils extracted from herbs,
ONE BITE WONDER
One Bite Wonders are unique, small tastings of ‘Caringly sourced; mindfully prepared’ snacks that can be enjoyed with cocktails without having to manipulate large sizes of unwieldy and hard to manage snacks.
Showcasing super foods of forgotten & traditional grains, Swasthya Cuisine Invokes the time-honored principle of promoting physical and emotional well-being through food, Swasthya Cuisine brings to its guests an ideal combination that has been selected to enhance both internal and external well-being.
Pavilion Pure aims to present juice blends from in-season local ingredients in healthful combines, including homegrown wheat grass, sprouts of horse gram, fenugreek, pumpkin seed, flax seed, mustard seed, etc. Often times their chefs nurture their own kitchen gardens with great pride finding its way into the cold-pressed Pavilion Pure offerings.
Radiation harmonizers, a set of chip-based equipment, are a patented specialized technology that nullifies the harmful effects of both Geopathic and Man made radiations. Not only have they been extensively installed in all their hotels, but they have also been fitted to the phones & i Pads used by the employees too, thereby providing both the employees and guests with a safer environment!
We can rave about ITC Grand Bharat for hours, and it still won't be enough! That is the kind of impact this majestic property has on you! Our stay at this luxury retreat was nothing but undeniably therapeutic. You have to experience it to know what we are talking about. Like we said before, if you truly want to taste the rich heritage and culture of India, along with its varied flora and fauna, under one roof, then ITC Grand Bharat has to be your jam! Also, don't forget to share your experience with us- we'd love to hear from you!
Until next post