Lucknow’s Vivanta by Taj launched as a Taj Mahal hotel in 1995 and has quickly become a sought after property in the Uttar Pradesh capital for high-profile events and government conferences. The brand name was changed to Vivanta by Taj, that is promoted as the “upper upscale” brand of The Indian Hotels Company Limited, a subsidiary of the TATA Group. This group architecture exercise took place in 2010, and 19 of the group’s properties were shifted into the Vivanta category.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Situated by the banks of the Gomti River, Vivanta by Taj emulates the aesthetics of old-world Lucknow in true Taj fashion. The property from the outside is striking and resembles a royal mansion of a bygone era with its large dome and white-walled exterior. The lobby’s grandeur is overwhelming. A sense of balance and symmetry can be observed in the hotel’s tasteful design language. Its patterned marble flooring along with white pillars and a large antique globe in the centre below the concave dome add to the warmth of the reception’s cream-shaded interiors. The other side of the hotel opens up to a turquoise fountain and a pool surrounded by palm trees on a marble flooring, exuding subtle opulence.
WHERE IS IT?
The property is situated on the banks of the Gomti River. It is 20km from Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport and 8km from the railway station. Hazratganj, Lucknow’s business hub is about a 20-minute drive.
The room categories are Superior Charm room (27 sqm), Deluxe Delight – Garden View room (27 sqm), Deluxe Delight Pool View room (27 sqm), Premium Indulgence rooms (29 sqm), Deluxe Allure suite (45 sqm) and Premium Temptation suite (57 sqm). The white and brown shades of my Superior Charm room were quite welcoming. Traditional carvings on the drawers, mahogany furniture, (chikan) embroidery on the lamp-shades and monochromatic paintings of Old Lucknow exuded the opulence of Awadhi Lucknow. A 32-inch LCD television, wifi access (premium at a charge), tea/coffee making machine (TATA tea and coffee sachets), an electronic safe, Forest Essential amenities, a pillow-pick menu and complimentary water-bottles were provided. The central air-conditioning seemed to have an issue, which was quickly resolved by the attentive staff.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
If you’re too faint-hearted to venture into the alleys of the Old City for a taste of Lucknow’s traditional food, head to Oudhyana for a luxurious take on this fascinating cuisine. Latitude caters to more diverse palates with its pan-Indian and international menu. Its bar, SAQI is known to house a collection of fine wine and premium liquor from around the world.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
They have conference rooms across 510 sqm namely The Crystal Room (which can be divided into three rooms), Medley and Harmony are available along with Cosmos (682 sqm) and Celsius lawns (1,073 sqm) that can accommodate about 1,200 people for a cocktail dinner. The hotel also offers business services such as laptops and printers on hire, video-conferencing facilities, photocopying and a boardroom for 12.
Leisure facilities at Vivanta by Taj include a beauty salon, fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor games room. Spa treatments and express massages are offered at the fitness centre itself.
Premium luxury intermingled with an old-world charm — a discerning travel experience.
PRICE: Prices for a mid-week stay in December started from ₹7,500 per night for a Superior Charm room
CONTACT: Vivanta by Taj, Vipin Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226010; tel 0522 671 1000; vivantabytaj.com