A shower of fragrant rose petals floats down on me as I enter Grand Mercure Bengaluru at Gopalan Mall, while the familiar fragrance of Mysore sandalwood and vetiver gently caress my senses, almost instantly easing any tiredness I have been feeling. Faint notes of Nadaswaram music drift serenely in the background. This traditional form of music is an integral part of auspicious occasions in Karnataka, I later learn. It’s evident that bringing Karnataka’s rich heritage to life is an essential part of the hotel’s ethos, and that experience begins right at the grand entrance.
Accor’s sixth property in the city, the plush hotel is located on Swamy Vivekananda Road, and houses 212 well-equipped rooms and suites. The entire space is accentuated by magnificent Hoysala architecture and artwork; think single-stone carved sculpture, gold-washed pillars, vintage trunks, intricate-woodwork mirrors, and an art gallery right in the lobby; works by local artists’ find a prominent place here. At the time of my visit, the gallery is exhibiting K Hiremath’s watercolour paintings in which the bustling ghats of Banaras have been brought to life on tiny canvases. A nearby souvenir shop allows guests to pick up knickknacks that are characteristic of Karnataka.
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