Entry to the hotel.

It is difficult to get someone to agree to come to reach this hotel from the airport without feeling ripped off. It is about 1 km from the airport which should get you there in the bare minimum. Taking Uber/Ola doesn’t make sense because airport charges for them are high. Airport taxis charge a bomb for just about getting anywhere. They start with minimum Rs 200. Itc Maratha doesn’t provide free pickup/drop and pickup. It feels like you have to feel ripped off before you reach the hotel.

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The hotel is in proximity to multiple hotels such as J.W Marriott, Hyatt Regency, Holiday Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, The Lalit and few others.

As you ride into a hotel, it feels decent size hotel with no decoration to make it stand apart.

Why are you in this hotel in this city?

My brother and I had some work in the city. Mumbai has been a city where I used to live for a while before I became traveler again. I have a lot of memories of Maratha including attending a wedding of one of my closest friend and last time I stayed here; it was for my cousin’s wedding. The only thing I didn’t like about them last time was that they didn’t offer complimentary WiFi. This time around it was easier as I am SPG Gold Member. This would have been an aspirational property for me just last year. However, because of dual bonus, I decided to stay here. I was charged Rs. 19693 ($292.41) for two nights which quite a reach for me.

I value one Star point at Rs 3.32.
Check-in Bonus for Gold Member = 250
Points for Stay = 772
More points offer (3x if you stay one weekend night) = 1544
Members Exclusive bonus = 4000
SPG 50% Elite bonus = 386
Total Points Received = 6952
Total values in currency = Rs 23080.86 ($342.75)

What I gained = Rs 3387.64

That is the only way I could justify this stay. I am not even counting Credit Card points I would be making because they are negligible for me. Living in India has one of the challenges – We don’t have a lot of great credit cards which can give us insane upside on spends. We do get a great sign up bonus like I had for my birthday which I used for my stay in Taj Lake Palace.

I would also be getting additional 5000 points for staying in SPG properties 15 times and using Amex to do the spends. I am not sure if I will reach that or not but looks like I am on the way.

Now the thing with ITC properties is that they have their own membership program. ITC Maratha is Luxury Collection property affiliation for SPG guests. You don’t get the best return for your money as Starwood guest. It is recommended that you stay with one of the native property of SPG like Westin or St. Regis in this city. You would get way more benefits.

They don’t provide much to SPG Gold members except one free drink in the evening in the lounge. I was hoping they provided some snacks too, but they don’t. You don’t get upgraded room; you get enhanced a room in the same category that you booked in. You don’t get any special amenity like chocolates, wine or anything as such as you would get in original Starwood branded property. But I believe this is only for this property. I got great special amenity from ITC Windsor Bangalore. I guess ITC Sheraton New Delhi is the exception where you get entire lounge access plus coffee/tea.

Anyways, I was here to do some branding work. More in store for you guys.

Check in

As I entered the hotel, there is big hall and the reception is on the left. The Lobby doesn’t have much sitting area. They don’t have enough seats in the lobby for people to seat. So whenever I was holding a meeting, I would use conference/lounge room at the end of the hotel.

I went for check in and provided all my details. There was some confusion and person who was my check in called duty manager for the help. I thought I would be upgraded to better room. Duty manager confirmed that she could only provide enhanced room and no upgrades. I was surprised as SPG Terms and Conditions say I get the best room that is not a SUITE room. There were many rooms which were better than my room available at the property. At least they gave me the largest room in my category or made me think so.

I was told that I have access to fast internet. I doubt I got the fastest speed internet at this hotel.

Journey to the room

After you finish checking in, there is enclosed area right behind lobby between coffee shop and shops on both sides. My room was located on 14th Floor though I believe it was 4th floor. As elevator started from floor 11 upwards. I guess it was due to 4 digits numbering of the room and hence to avoid the confusion for the guests.
As you get out of the elevator, there is some wonderful seating space available. It is ideal for people coming in large groups like weddings. They can sit together and socialize.

My room required taking a left from the elevator and then another left to the room. There is the great view of the hotel as you step out of the elevator.

Room

The room I got was of decent size. As I entered the room, there was a short hallway. On the right was washroom and after washroom was a place where they had some mini-bar snacks and water. On the left side was a luggage storage area and cupboard. Little ahead you can see TV area and on the same rack – working table.

I forgot to take a picture of the TV and the table. The table was a wooden table adjacent to TV. There was comfortable roller chair.

There was this chair with an ottoman present. I wouldn’t call it a most comfortable chair. I am sure most guests use it for other purposes than seating.

The bed I found it rather small. It didn’t felt like a queen size bed rather than King. It was comfortable to sleep in. But if it were little larger, it would have been much better.


The view is practically a view of hotel’s own dome and courtyard. Not something I would ask.

Washroom

I love the washroom here. They had a separate bath tub and separate shower area. I felt excited that finally, I am in ITC hotel with separate Bathtub and shower cabin.


I like the towel basket

In my room, there was one small basin with retro fittings. The marble op makes it feel very luxurious. ITC aims towards providing you old luxury feeling. They are old school low tech fittings.

The bath tub is cute and luxurious.

The shower cabin was the reason I got excited at this property. They didn’t have a rain shower. However, the fact that there was a cabin was important to me. Water temperature and pressure were amazing. I definitely enjoyed taking a bath here.

There was weight machine in the washroom, but it didn’t work.

Toiletries

As standard in ITC properties – toiletries are provided by their own Brand DI Wills. I would leave it up to beauty specialist on the usefulness of the product. They have bath gel, and shampoo in one bottle and conditioner is a separate bottle. Maybe beauty experts can comment if that is optimal or not. I definitely love the smell.

Internet Speed

I really wasn’t connected to the internet on this visit. However, the amount of net I used, all felt smooth. It wasn’t the fastest of the connections I have used in a hotel. It made me doubt that when they say I get fast internet, I am getting the best speeds the hotel can offer. For basic use internet just felt fine.

Food and Beverages

As with all luxury ITC hotels, they have opened Chocolatier brand Fabelle to compete with Royce chocolate. They are probably doing it at the right time as Indian audience is getting used to International variety of chocolates and definitely don’t want to cling onto Cadbury, Nestle or Amul. Being Chocolate connoisseur myself, I definitely admired an amount of variations they had for dark chocolates. I would definitely recommend people trying Madagascar Café and some desserts they offer.

I wish they allow you to sample all the chocolates. The great part is they make the chocolate right in front of you.

Breakfast

Being Luxury Collection – The breakfast definitely feels like an infinite menu. If there is something that you feel is not present on the menu, you can ask the chef, and they normally try to help you out.

I love the way they label everything. It wasn’t as good as presentation as they have at ITC Windsor Bangalore. However, it was definitely great. There are all these signs which say properties of all the food and why you should try them. It wasn’t present for all the items. They also had side menu for the items that were not on display.

I definitely commend the spread and creativity here. I hope they can improve the presentation, though. There is no view from the restaurant that you can sit by like a pool or something like ITC Sheraton New Delhi or ITC Windsor Bangalore.

For the rest – I would let pictures do the talking as usual

Fitness Center

The Fitness Center is on the 11th floor or 1st floor according to me. There is swimming pool area outside. It definitely wasn’t weathered for swimming that day, though. The Fitness center is of decent size, but I found ceiling too low. I wasn’t able to stretch much without hitting the ceiling couple of times. I am not even that tall.

The swimming pool is decent. It didn’t feel clean to me, and hence I decided not to take a dive in it. The pool looks beautiful, though.

Trade mills are definitely modern here. Trade mills have all sort of custom workouts and military fitness which is standard in 5-star hotels. They were usual with TV connected to it and one circuit that shows the arrow that you are running around it.

Cycles also had similar features. There was a good collection of dumbbells but not enough space to workout.

The Hotel had an attendant who would provide you towel if needed.

Service

I believe the overall staff was caring. They didn’t interact with me much outside the reception area. If I asked for any help, they would definitely provide it. However, they kept it a bare minimum. A lot of them were new I felt. If I asked them a question, they didn’t have the answers. But if you asked them to do something for you, they definitely would do it. Coffee Shop (Buffet) area staff was fantastic.

Bottom line

Being one of the aspirational and high priced property, I definitely didn’t feel it was my lucky day here that I am staying at this property. I came in with high expectations for the price I was paying. However, It felt like a regular 5-star hotel. That is neither a good thing or bad thing. I guess it is just overpriced property which can afford to be pricey because it’s Mumbai. I didn’t feel I was in an ultra-luxury hotel where it would be once in a lifetime thing. I believe I stayed at the price which was almost low for this hotel. I believe they were just following their duty. I would definitely recommend people to stay here if they need to stay near the airport. However, to save up and stay here. However, I definitely don’t recommend this as aspirational property. This is probably one of those properties where using points is a smart idea when it’s difficult to get a room at a decent price.

I would definitely come here for Fabelle chocolates and dessert.

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Cody is a travel consultant and full-time traveler from India. He holds a deep background in Network and Network Security. Something that enabled him to develop the hacker mindset. He uses his hacker mindset to travel Luxuriously and to stay in suites in 5-star hotels and resorts and fly business or first class at very economical prices by applying various travel hacks to enrich his and his client's life. He helps people maximizing their travel portfolio. He believes that your current travel should reward your future travels. Cody initially traveled as a backpacker and stayed in modest locations and over the period has improved his life by using all his travel hacks to stay in top-end luxury locations across the world. Cody has traveled over 60 countries in last 5 years. Cody is a blogger, motivator, storyteller, travel consultant and a life coach. He has been featured in multiple publications such as Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar, magazines such as Men’s Health. He was invited to inspire people on a platform such as TEDx. He has trained over 100s of people achieve their lifestyle goals.

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