“Long time we went on a holiday papa “, my son was shouting and clearly, he was getting the silent support from my wife. Now, I couldn’t go out on a vacation, primarily for my kid’s school and my work ….. And at this age, with social media all around, it was a bit difficult for me to go for a staycation without my wife (hardly have the courage really). So, the best way out was to enjoy a family staycation at Kolkata and a good deal was there from Altair Boutique Hotel, Sector V. This is the newest addition to the range of small boutique hotels in the city of joy. The hotel is at 19th and 20th floor of the Ecocenter Ambuja Neotia building, opposite to the sprawling Wipro campus. So, off we went.
Reaching the hotel
It was a short 20 min drive from our place. In fact, I go very frequently to Sector V for my business related work and the place is pretty known to me. So, once you reach the building, to reach the hotel, you need to get in and park your car on the 2nd level. A call when we were getting in and by the time our car reached, the porter was ready with a smile to pick up the luggage. The check-in was smooth and absolutely no hassle. We had 2 rooms booked, one with a king-sized bed for us and another with a twin bed for my mother.
While my interest point was to take my long needed rest, junior’s agenda was to get into the swimming pool. The agenda for the first day was to take rest and enjoy the property. In other words, to take rest. Altair has got one restaurant which serves a nice value-for-money lunch buffet. the buffet is priced at 750/- per head and it has got a pretty decent spread. The sitting is pretty comfortable in the AC section and outside, as I said, has got a breathtaking view.
And food oh food …
Now I have a few preferences. In any restaurant, even if there is a buffet, I prefer to have the individual dishes from the a-la-carte menu. And it was not different here. Our order was paneer Tikka, Anda Pao (yes, I am an egg freak) and Prawn meuniere. Also, chef Sumit Kedia suggested going for the dhaba platter and their in-house specialty Bailey’s flavored Chicken Reshmi Tikka. The presentation is damn good, for all the dishes.
The fish finger was something different from whatever we’re generally used to have. Here, instead of the usual breadcrumb, it was coated with the filo sheets (yes, the smooth sheets used in Baklava making) and that somehow made up for the Basa fish. The marination was simple and good. Now let me be honest, few people love Basa and few don’t. Sadly, I fall under the second category.
Bailey’s flavored chicken tikka was really soft- probably the soft meat from the drumstick was used. the liquor flavor was balanced finely so that a non-alcoholic person may also like it. The dhaba platter was an interesting combo. It had 3 pcs of tandoori roti, butter chicken (or rather murgh makhni) and anda bhurjee (the indian version of scrambled egg with onion and green chillies). Some papad and salad were also present. The murgh makhni was superb. After a long time, I’ve tasted a proper kasoori methi flavored makhni gravy and it was really praise-worthy. Dessert was Monte Carlo. Now for who have not experienced this dessert, it’s a layered cream-based dessert. and very conveniently, it was presented in small a la carte portions- which is okay for 1-2 persons.
The watery experience
After a heavy lunch, the time had come for our afternoon siesta. Now, on the 20th floor, there was their heated infinity swimming pool and the jacuzzi (off course heated). And my monkey prince was too happy to jump in it. Of course, I was there inside with him to lend him some moral support. And both of us were happy that evening.
Capella in Altair has got a decent breakfast spread. I mean it’s not a spread consisting of some 40 items, but a decent one. There was a live egg counter (with the eggs beautifully painted) and paranthas (multiple options were there) were getting prepared hot on order. Some idli, vada, and Pongal for the guests with a southern preference and fruits and other cereals. But frankly, if I get a good cheese omelet (and the chef did just that- mushroom and cheese omelet, slightly underdone), my breakfast is mostly made. Idli was there for my son and Aloo parantha for wifey and mother. Paranthas were small in size (slightly bigger than palm-sized but well stuffed) and we used the butter cubes happily on them.
But if there is a gorgeous terrace outside, everybody would want to go and enjoy their coffee there, and we were no exception.
And the day out
On a holiday trip, everyone is supposed to go out and we were no exception. But the problem is, my mother doesn’t like to go out and rather tend to take rest in the rooms. But then again, grandkids can do wonders. So, after around 30 min of the senior-junior fight and us enjoying the show, we left for a day trip in the nearby Eco-Park golf Arena. Now for a mango person like me, golf is not something which I can enjoy every day. One needs to be privileged enough to have a membership in certain clubs to enjoy it. But luckily, my good friend Mr. Neil Law has broken the myth. Eco Park Golf Arena is open-to-all Golf Course with best of the facilities(even the infrastructure for a night golf).
Frankly, I am not someone with expertise on Golf and won’t be able to comment on the sports. But all I can say is, The Eco Park golf Arena is a fantastic place for day-out with family and/or friends. For 500/-, one can have a training/practice session of golf with one lunch platter. The lunch platter is a perfect dish for the carnivores. It has got Sausage, Meat Loaf, Bacon and 2 eggs sunny side up. On request, they’ve substituted the sunny side up for some lovely momos (super thin coating and a good stuffing) and split one portion into two, for us. The products are sourced from The Arthur’s Food Company. Now let me tell you Arthur’s Food is a Bangalore based company which specializes in high quality processed meat products. The casing is super thin and edible and they have a varied menu. The items can be checked here. Overall, it was a great day out for us.
Dinner was simple for us. During the lunch, I was hugely impressed by their Tandoori Chilly chicken. Now please don’t go bonkers. It’s a dry chilly chicken (made in the road-side style) made with Chicken Tikka. And if we forget authenticity (but when was Chilly chicken an authentic dish ? ), the taste was superb. My son, as usual, went for his dose of Pizza and I must way, Capella in Altair did a pretty decent job with the meat thin-Crust pepperoni Pizza.
IIt was a 2N3D stay and the vacation was over. Overall, it was a great experience and I am definitely impressed by the hospitality of the team of Altair Kolkata. Will I come back again? The answer is yes.
So, tell me, have you ever taken a break in your own city? Let’s hear it.