By Sanjay Pinto


Can 3 be equal to 7? With the right attitude, that altitude is within reach. Despite being classified as a 3-star hotel, Zibe Salem by GRT Hotels made me feel like a 7-star guest during my 3- night stay with the family for an event at the Steel City. As a discerning customer, I’ve never felt compelled to write a review in a column before. An exception for the warmth and hospitality of the staff captained by Manager R.Venkatesan and mentored by the ebullient CEO of the GRT Group of Hotels Vikram Cotah is in order.

A necessary caveat is that, nurtured by strict NDTV principles in my previous avatar, I never accept any freebies or discounts. Truth be told, I only asked if a delayed check-out was permissible and they willingly acceded but no request was made for a review. Effusive as it may come across, this piece is from the heart, not complimentary stuff.

With the blessing of a divine neighbour in the form of the Infant Jesus Cathedral, we drove in only to be welcomed by the affable hotel team leaders. What followed was a lesson in customization. From the room layout to dietary preferences, the staff went out of their way to pamper us. When I made a request for lunch to be delivered at the venue of our event, we were bowled over by the sight of a bag with all the ordered items, not in the usual boxes or silver foil, but neatly labelled in new Tupperware containers, quite like a special home cooked meal.

What strikes you as you enter the hotel are the colourful motifs on the walls inside the rooms and along the corridors that present a fresh aura. The cleanliness is too conspicuous to be missed. The elevator arrives quickly, unlike some places where they take forever to land on your floor.

Competing with the speed of the lift is the Room Service F&B team that brings your food within 15 to 20 minutes. It appears that there is no culture of tips here as the waiters do not wait for that crisp note to be stuffed into their palms. The formality of getting the food bills signed with every order was dispensed with. On verification, while checking out, all the bills were intact and accurate. The Menu lists calories and the quantity for every dish with even an enumeration of possible allergens. There were new items in the breakfast buffet spread every day, another welcome feature.

Will I stay here again? Of course. And when I do, I’d like to see the hotel having its own fleet of cars for its guests, a spa and a daily lunch and dinner buffet.

Meanwhile, the good vibe lingers on. 

(Sanjay Pinto is an Advocate practising at the Madras High Court, Legal Columnist, Arbitrator, Author of 4 Books & Former Resident Editor of NDTV 24×7) 



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