“Slow down. Your exhalation should be twice as long as your inhalation”, Prasadji tells me in my 6am one to one yoga class. Feeling energised and refreshed, as if I had gained an extra two hours of sleep, I book my next session and make my way to the swimming pool. I look up from the water and admire the lush green canopy of trees that surround the clear blue waters.
With enough calories burnt, I head for my prearranged private breakfast under the famed rain tree in Bangalore. Under the majestic foliage of the 164-year-old rain tree, Abhishek – the butler for the morning takes me through a virtual heritage walk of the oldest serving hotel in India. “You see ma’am it was Mrs Bronson who started a boarding house with ten beds in 1887. It was then the Spencer’s who bought the property in 1912. And in 1984 the Taj Group bought the property. Ma’am did you know Amitabh Bachchan stayed here for a month whilst he was shooting Coolie.”
As I work my way through the rava dosa with beetroot chutney, Abhijit – the head chef approaches me with fresh grape fruit juice and insists I try his signature white yolk oven baked vegetable omelette. Facing the elegant 1905 heritage building, I truly feel like I am indulging in the pleasures of the British Raj. It feels like time has stopped. Excited to fit it all in, Abhishek continues to take me through the beautiful colonial features within the 20 acres of this green sanctuary. As I head off for the day I am amazed. The Taj has maintained the old world charm and colonial architecture of this stunning property and brought to it what it does best: incredible service and mouth watering culinary delights.
On return from a busy day in Bangalore, I return to the quiet, green oasis. At 9pm I am ushered to the gardens of the Masala Club restaurant. Too tired to choose, I choose the vegetarian tasting menu. Within minutes the stress of the day is lifted by the smell of the flowers, the freshness in the air and the warmth of the lemongrass rasam that starts off the ten course-tasting menu. In front of me I admire the 125-year-old tamarind tree and savour the taste of the fresh tamarind sorbet that breaks up my meal.
I finish the day practising Prasadji’s postures that he guarantees will make me sleep well, in the comfort of my elegant room in the heritage block. The Taj West End Bangalore is one of the best hotel’s I have stayed at in India. At an affordable price, it promises so much more than the luxuries and comforts of every Taj property. A charming and historic property within 20 acres of lush greenery in the heart of any city is a luxury.
The Taj West End, Race Course Road, Bangalore – 560 001, India +918066605660
(Photos courtesy of Taj West End Bangalore)