I was recently invited by Ranjit Batra-President Hospitality, Panchshil Realty to stay at the brand new Ritz-Carlton Pune which has been very much in the news currently in India owing to it’s grandeur and luxurious design. Situated in the heart of Pune’s captivating downtown and across from the prestigious Poona Golf Club, the hotel is ideally located for travelers seeking to take in the sights and unique experiences of this dynamic metropolis. With a storied history of nearly 1600 years, Pune is commonly referred to as the Oxford of the East and is considered the epicenter of academia in the country. It’s carefully designed gardens, grand architecture and renowned museums, in addition to a diverse culinary scene and emerging start-up community, have increasingly made it a destination for regional and international travelers alike. As I entered this gorgeous hotel which symbolizes luxury with a capital L, I was spellbound by the beauty and grandeur of this gorgeous property and also pleased to be welcomed at the entrance by Sachin Didolkar, Director of Sales and Marketing-The Ritz-Carlton Pune. Small details such as design motifs inspired by Indian silhouettes and classic chandeliers gracefully create an ambience that is very classy and yet subtle. For someone like me who endorses fashion through various events, it was exciting to visit The Wedding Studio located on the 1st floor of the hotel with elegant galleries that look out into the hotel’s lobby.
“We are extremely pleased to debut The Ritz-Carlton Pune in this city. This will be our 2nd ‘Ritz Carlton’ branded opening in the country after Bengaluru” said Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President, South Asia at Marriott International. “The ‘Ritz Carlton’ experience of service and hospitality is truly exceptional, and we are excited to bring this to Pune. This hotel promises to epitomise luxury for affluent travellers and international tourists seeking enriching experiences, and this opening reflects our continued commitment to provide a true ‘luxury’ offering to guests with discerning and evolved tastes.
Rooms and suites:
I was put up in a uniquely designed suite on the 15th floor of the hotel and it felt really good to see personalized welcome amenities created by the team. The hotel features 198 elegantly appointed guestrooms and 35 plush suites. The spacious and stylishly designed wardrobe closet really caught my attention as I always carry a lot of clothes when I travel and need space to put up all my garments. During my stay I also visited the signature Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, an urban sanctuary on the 18th floor that features picturesque views of the golf course, private check-in, a dedicated Club Concierge, and a variety of culinary presentations throughout the day along with healthy fruit and vegetable drinks.
“We are delighted to bring the legendary service of The Ritz-Carlton to Pune, a city that blends the majesty of the past with the pulse of the present, and a promise of the future,” said Vineet Mishra, General Manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Pune. “By creating a unique sense of place while also celebrating the vibrant cultural legacy of the destination, The Ritz-Carlton, Pune will offer guests and visitors from India and around the world a truly authentic experience.”
While at the hotel I dined at most of the food and beverage outlets starting with Three Kitchens and Bar for lunch where Chef Vineet Pathak presented delicious burrata, kachori chaat, avocado toast, daal makhani and Yakhnee pulao. Executive Chef Mayur Tiwari leads an efficient and enthusiastic kitchen team in the hotel. The modern Japanese restaurant Ukiyo features a long sushi counter and robata grill where I interacted with the Japanese Chef while trying his signature preparations. The Ritz-Carlton Tea Lounge brings the time-honored custom of afternoon tea to the city and while I was a guest at the hotel, I attended an event where various types of tea such as Lapsang Souchong and Mango Oolong were served with bites from the Charlie. I noticed a beautiful pianist playing at The Tea Lounge during the afternoons and evenings, her presence adds charm to this beautiful venue. The double chocolate muffins and vegetable puffs served at The Tea Lounge are drool worthy and make a great combination with the exciting varieties of tea served here. Aasmana, a rooftop lounge serving Indian cuisine, captivates with 180-degree views of the golf course and inventive adaptations from the royal kitchens of India. The selection of music matches the ethereal ambience of Aasmana and so do the cocktails created by expert bartender Rohan Rege.
“We are delighted to bring the legendary service of The Ritz-Carlton to Pune, a city that blends the splendor of the past with the pulse of the present, and the promise of the future,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “Through locally inspired design, culinary offerings and programming, The Ritz-Carlton, Pune will create an experience that is authentic to the city, facilitating a deeper connection between our guests and the destination.”
The 25,000 sq. ft. wellness floor includes a Fitness Studio and Yoga Deck, allowing guests to maintain their wellness routines even while traveling. The Ritz-Carlton Spa with its 8 treatment rooms and Express Pods combines bespoke services, custom facials and unique treatments steeped in Ayurveda traditions and chakra energy inviting guests to indulge in relaxation while they immerse themselves in discovery of the local culture. I experienced the signature Ritz-Carlton massage on day one and on day two I went for a scrub and a wrap. The therapists at the Spa are so efficient that I dozed off during the massage and felt really relaxed and rejuvenated.
The hotel also boasts 35,000 square feet of elegantly designed banquet facilities which are suited to gatherings of all kinds, from business meetings to social affairs. With access to a beautiful outdoor foyer and deck area, the ballrooms are perfect for intimate gatherings and romantic weddings.
A stay at the brand new Ritz-Carlton Pune is like enjoying a staycation in the lap of luxury. I enjoyed my interactions with Rubani Marwah Singh, Siddhi Ganatra and Guneet Virk during my stay. Whether it is a business trip or a vacation, this hotel has lots to keep one busy and happy. The gorgeous hotel is a delight for instagrammers and photographers and while at the property, I managed to capture a lot of beautiful images with the help of a friendly and charming lady named Moi who is part of the hotel’s front office team!