Lyrics by Indrani Ghose
Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, the central state of India, was badly scarred by the Union Carbide Gas tragedy in December 1984 and most people relate the city with this incident. This has started to change and today the city has rebounded into a new avatar and is earning the reputation of the city of lakes and the greenest city in India.
A luxury lakefront property with state-of-the-art tribal art and modern amenities, the Taj Lakefront now caters to the city’s growing footfall. Nestled between a hill and Bhojtal, Upper Bhopal Lake, The Taj Lakefront, which opened in October 2021, is an ideal stopover location whether you are traveling for business or as tourists.
Less than a year after its launch, this IHCL property in the heart of central India won the award for the best high-end luxury hotel in South Asia in April 2022. The chain has always been known for its exemplary service, its carefully chosen location and impeccable facilities; The Taj Lakefront Bhopal is no different.
After a twenty-five minute journey from Raja Bhoj International Airport I arrived in its warm interior. Before entering, I stopped to feast on the view of Lake Superior – a sight sure to please the most discerning travelers!
It is said that the first impressions of a hotel begin in the lobby. Bright, walls adorned with large murals and metal tribal artwork, huge vases with flowers – the ambience left me in awe. The staff played their part well, welcoming with a bright smile, tika and tulsi mala (mark of sandalwood paste on the forehead and garland of holy basil seeds), a refreshing drink; it was just comforting. A quick check-in and I was shown to my room.
The hotel is quite large, with 152 rooms consisting of well-appointed rooms and suites. Waking up in my room was a special experience – the deluxe room had a king bed and spectacular views of the hills. The morning scene was hazy, reflecting the glory of the rising sun, if only I could stick around to watch a little longer, but I was here at work.
There are other luxurious rooms, including deluxe king and twin rooms with views of the hills or lakeside. The deluxe and executive suites feature state-of-the-art bathrooms, state-of-the-art fixtures, fittings and luxurious interiors that give a sublime glimpse of the bygone era. For guests looking to do it all and splurge, the hotel has the Presidential Suite with Private Balcony, the most extravagant suite to offer. It has all the elements that dreams are made of.
Food and drink
With four restaurants, you are assured of a good variety of local and international dishes.
Macan serves buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a favorite spot here by the window that overlooked the serene lake. House of Ming, as the name suggests, serves Chinese cuisine. It is interesting to note here that 50% of Indians consume Chinese food once every fortnight and around 80% once a month. It’s no wonder brand-name hotels dedicate an entire restaurant to Chinese cuisine.
Infinity, located next to the tenth floor rooftop pool, has a bar and is a great place to relax while feasting on the view of Lake Superior. The Emperor Lounge offers one of the most extravagant afternoon teas with a pastry generously laden with cream.
From March 9-18, 2022, the hotel hosted a ten-day tribal food festival. It was a gastronomic tribute to five tribes of Madhya Pradesh namely Gond, Baiga, Bharia, Kol and Korku. During the inauguration, the spacious Satpura Terrace of the Taj Lakefront Bhopal was used to welcome dignitaries and guests. Besides food, the hotel has hosted several cultural events performed by tribal artists.
If relaxing while exercising is more your bag, then head to the second floor which has an outdoor court that can tire you out, but rejuvenate you with a good game of tennis. Their fitness center is equipped with the latest cardio machines and strength-training equipment with trainers to help you.
The hotel has ample meeting spaces for large-scale events. It has the largest ballroom in the city called the Raj Mahal. The ornate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling in the huge lobby made me wonder how dreamy the place would be lit at night. The conference room space, Tapti, is equipped with modern technologies and the exceptional banquet planning services ensure that business events can be successfully hosted here. Vindhya, the outdoor lawn, seems well planned for weddings and festive events. Attended the inauguration of the Tribal Food Festival and Times Passion Trail by high state officials here.
The city has a lot to offer in terms of sights. You can consult the concierge for local recommendations.
Raja Bhoj Airport is located 17 km from Taj Lakefront Hotel. Rooms can be booked from INR 7300.
Address: Link Road No. 3, Prempura, Bhadbhada Chouraha, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, 462003, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Call: +91-755437 0000
All images courtesy of The Taj Lakefront
Indrani Ghose is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Bangalore, India. She writes about art, culture and cuisines related to travel destinations. His work has been published in Vice, Lonely Planet, Deccan Herald and his own blog: https://isharethese.com