There’s something about heritage properties that is always so charming. So, when Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden Palace & Hotel Royal Orchid, Metropole in Mysore, both turn 100 years old, Namita Gupta decided it was time to check out what makes them a destination of choice for many discerning travellers.
Have you ever fancied staying in a heritage property that has been restored with modern day amenities? Both Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden & Spa, Mysore and Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore, owned by Chander K Baljee, CMD, Royal Orchid Hotels, come with a legacy of their own, steeped in ancient history. No wonder they have had August personalities of the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, N.R Narayana Murthy, actors Mohan Lal, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Chiyaan Vikram, Yash, Priyanka Chopra, Rajinikanth, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, theoretical physicist Rajesh Gopakumar, Neutrino Nobel winner Art Arthur B. McDonald, American theoretical physicist David Jonathan Gross, Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard John Roberts, historian and author William Dalrymple, American stage and film actor Ronald Rand, model and wellness advocate Sonia Jones, inventor Sam Pitroda, Indian billionaire Dr BR Shetty, former ISRO Chairman NR Rao, former ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair, Indian television producer director Siddhartha Basu, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India Nirmala Seetharaman, Robin Uthappa, Brazilian actor Fernanda Lima, Vice President of Mauritius Barlen Vyapoory, b Chief Engineer of Mysore M. Visvesvaraya, besides a host of other bigwigs, grace these hotels with regular visits and have cherished the grandeur hospitality of these heritage properties.
Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden & Spa – A property where the Mysore Maharaja stayed is now a property that you can stay at too. The Royal Orchid group hotels have their own deep history and narrative woven into the heart of the city. Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden & Spa is also known for its unmatched and stunning views of the gardens at the KRS Dam. Visited by over two million tourists every year, the Brindavan Gardens, adjoining the Krishnarajasagara Dam, built across the river Kaveri, is maintained by Cauvery Niravari Nigama, Cauvery Irrigation Corporation, by the Government of Karnataka. The hotel was initially built as an inspection house for the engineers and architects of the dam. It has 24 select rooms that exude charm and grandeur of the Maharajas era. The hotel is frequented by celebrities, bird watchers, kitty party, corporate outings and those desiring solitude and privacy and several Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi movies, TV serials, wedding and pre-wedding shoots have been shot here, including Linga, KGF, besides many others.
Imagine a room where the royal kings have stayed in, with the forest area at the back and the famed Brindavan Gardens in front. The best part is that you have free access to the lush green lawns of the gardens for your morning walk or jog, in the lawns, where the royalty have walked and so many hit movies have been shot. Garden Cafe – the hotel’s courtyard-style coffee shop and Elephant Bar – both offer balcony-views of Brindavan Gardens. The hotel’s multi-cuisine restaurant – C.Ks offers a boutique dining experience. The inhouse Spring Shine Spa offers blissful massage therapies and is perfect for those times when you want to pamper yourself. You can also go for a swim in the pool engulfed in greens, play at the pool table, enjoy some karaoke or PlayStation. It also boasts of state-of-the-art restaurants that resonate the royalty that the properties stand for. No Indians were allowed inside the property, before Independence. After independence, when the government took over the property it was open for guests. The staircase, floor tiles and the ground floor have been retained as Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden & Spa is a four-hour drive from Bangalore and close to the Venugopalaswamy temple, but the best part about this heritage property is that it has private access to the Brindavan Gardens.
Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore – A heritage luxury hotel celebrating its 100th year in 2020, the Royal Orchid Mysore offers the finest ‘stay and dine’ heritage experience in Mysore. The hotel was originally built by the architects of Wadiyar dynasty as a guest house for the Maharaja’s elite British guests; however some structures in this property are a part of the Dorman Long & Co. Ltd. Construction projects, run by popular British architects Sir Arthur Dorman and Sir Albert de Lande Long, who also contributed in making the Sydney Harbour bridge, Tyne Bridge and Newport Lifting Bridge. Every corner in this hotel is adorned with antiques and memorabilia of the royal past. This legacy property has 30 grand suites and luxurious rooms with private balconies, exuding glamour and nostalgia. No wonder it is the numero uno choice amongst tourists seeking luxury accommodation and warm Indian hospitality in the heart of the historic city of Mysore.
You’ll fall in love with the open-air courtyard barbeque restaurant- Shikari, the vintage bar – Skand’el, and – the city’s most popular restaurant, Tiger Trail, known for its tagline ‘The Last Word in Indian Food’. The hotel also has a ‘play zone’ for kids and three boutique styled banquet spaces for corporate events and celebrations, manicured gardens, a gym, and a swimming pool. The General Manager of the property, Suman Nanaiah is always around to take care of each of her guest’s needs and can also help you organise heritage tours, bird watching or wildlife tours or even take a fun tonga ride around the palatial Mysore palace, that you’ll cherish forever. A four-hour drive from Bangalore, the hotel is located close to Mysore Palace and is a 20-minute drive from Brindavan Gardens. You can explore Srirangapatana, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Somanathapura Temple, Chamundi Hills and wildlife parks of Karnataka at close proximity.
The Bangalore-based Royal Orchid Hotels recently renewed its contract to manage Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden & Spa that was earlier called Hotel Krishna Raja Sagar (Hotel KRS), managing the ‘Jungle Lodges and Resorts’, a government of Karnataka undertaking and also manage Royal Orchid Metropole, that was first built as a royal residence in the 1920s to accommodate the British guests of the Maharaja of Mysore.