Friday, October 21, 2011

Home Away from Home

I am a hard core loyalist! Be it my favorite barber, tailor, grocery store, travel agent, medical shop or any one providing any form of service; I tend to be loyal to the one who gives me consistently good service. I have even been a loyal husband to my wife for the last 40 years!!!

When it comes to Hotels, I am fiercely loyal to specific hotels in each city. These hotels are like “Home-away-from-home” for me! I am sure many modern day executives, travelling almost 15 days a month on work would have their own preferred hotels, where they feel at home! Of course this is completely different from the several `Chinna Veedus` that many of our politicians boast and also unlike the proverbial wives sailors are supposed to have in every Port that their ship calls on!


When I go to Mumbai on official work, I love to stay in Hotel Hilltop at Worli. A nondescrepit, unimpressive looking building; it appears more like an apartment complex. Started in the early Sixties, Hilltop became famous for “The Hell”; the first Discotheque in the country. At some stage it went into the hands of the Underworld and became notorious for its shady activities. It also got embroiled in a court case and was closed down for a number of years.

After a change in management, Hilltop is a mid-level business hotel today; very popular among pharmaceutical and other companies for conducting regular monthly/quarterly residential sales conferences. It has neither restaurant nor an attached bar. The buffet breakfast, lunch or even dinner is served in one corner of the lobby of the Hotel. The rooms; some with a sea view, are well appointed with all the modern facilities that a three star hotel offers. The room service is excellent and the staff is very cordial.

I have always felt like a special guest because of the friendly approach of the staff at the reception desk! Even when the hotel is full, I have managed to get a room allotted to me at short notice as I am a regular customer. In fact the roof top room (meant for the Manager) was allotted to me for a day on one occasion!

The icing on the cake, of course, is the beautiful Worli Sea-Face, which is just 2 minutes walk from the hotel. Being somewhat health conscious, I am addicted to my morning walks. It is a great pleasure walking on the footpath; running along the parapet wall separating the Arabian sea and the road.

Any day, my first choice of a hotel in Mumbai will always be Hotel Hilltop!

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When it comes to Coimbatore it has always been Hotel City Tower, on Sengupta Street located bang opposite the old landmark; Hotel Alankar. City Towers is a nine storied hotel with decent rooms and basic amenities to satisfy a business executive travelling on a budget. I have been patronizing this hotel from the time it started its operations in the early eighties.

There is an interesting story about the origin of this hotel. The owner of the hotel, a Kerala Muslim who had made his millions doing business in the middle East was on a visit to Coimbatore on work. He went to the most popular Hotel Alankar; at that time for accommodation. One look at the shabbily attired visitor, the reception desk refused to give him a room because he looked like a guy who could not afford the hotel.

He came out of the hotel in a huff and vowed that one day he will build a classy hotel bang opposite Hotel Alankar and give the Alankar management a run for their money. He realized his dream within five years of that episode. Hotel City Tower with the first ever roof top restaurant in Coimbatore and with 95 well appointed rooms opened for public in 1983. It also has a banquet hall, meeting rooms and two restaurants. The one located on the Roof top has a panoramic view of the Coimbatore City. Being a staunch Muslim the owner refused to have a `Bar` in the Hotel. Even today, customers who are thirsty for the glass that cheers have to walk across to Hotel Alankar or next door to Hotel Heritage Inn.

Like the Hilltop, the staff at City Tower is equally friendly. In the early days the owner himself would stand near the entrance and welcome the guests!

Incidentally, Alankar went downhill after the opening of City Tower and had to undergo a complete makeover to survive the competition from City Tower!

I remember, I was one of City Tower`s first customers on the day of their inauguration and I have continued to be a loyal customer since then getting a special discount and treatment even today!

City Tower is certainly a “home away from home” ….in Coimbatore!


In Delhi I like the accommodation at India International Centre. Apart from the beautiful ambience, good food and decent rooms at reasonable rates, the place comes attached with my favorite Lodhi Gardens! What a lovely place to go for a morning walk surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna!

A meeting place for the intellectuals, it can be seen teeming with the who`s-who of Delhi in the evenings! You are likely to bump into some of them at the restaurant. It could be an ex-Prime Minister or just a minister, or well known names from the world of Art and Culture or even some famous “Babus” who run the Government. Of course, if you are the type who does not want to have anything to do with such people, there are enough restaurants nearby, where you can spend a quiet or a noisy evening with your friends!

Undoubtedly a good accommodation after a hard day`s work to relax and recharge; “A home away from home” is a must for anyone travelling frequently on work!

The author can contacted on 98403 92082 or email:

1 comment:

  1. It's really great to spend holiday vacation with this such kind of accommodation.

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