Part 1 – Overview and Activities
The Golden Palms Hotel and Spa is a premier luxury 5 star hotel and resort off the busy Tumkur Highway barely 25 km from the heart of Bangalore city.
As one turns off from the main road, the landscape gradually turns more rustic and a bare 3 kms later one comes upon this resort that has created lush greenery in its midst, making it an ideal place for a staycation for the dwellers of this city or a vacation for ‘out of towners’ who want to unwind in the comforts of its various amenities.
This is the story of my visit to the Golden Palms. Live vicariously through my experience, as I take you through its rolling lawns, long corridors, paradisaical gardens and lavishly appointed rooms.
About Golden Palms –
Golden Palms was initially launched in 2001 by the Bollywood actor Sanjay Khan. His wife Zarine played a big role in designing its posh interiors, most of which remain untouched till date. It was sold a few years later and is currently run by the new management.
The 700 coconut trees and several other ornamental palms that flourish on the land, give it its name, with its sunsets adding the touch of Gold in the flaming skies behind the palms.
Spread over 14 acres of gentle gradient, this resort slopes right from the grand entrance to all the way down to the swimming pool and restaurant, several meters away.
The vast expanse however, is thankfully styled in a comprehensible design and there is a simplicity and cleanness about the composition that makes it easy to find one’s way around. This is a relief for people like me who are directionally challenged and tend to get lost even in the smallest of spaces 😀
A map of the place also gives one an initial idea of the lay of the land with its water body surrounded by greenery that is further circumvented by the buildings.
The architecture is mainly European in style with interruptions of Moroccan and even Asian in some aspects of the decor. One is greeted at the grand entrance by a large fountain depicting a chariot borne Apollo the Greek sun god, rising out of the sea, announced by his trumpeting Heralds. Within a few feet into the lobby however, one traverses to the East of the earth, to be greeted by a large statue of a Balinese goddess.
Deeper inside the premises is another fountain, this time lorded over by Neptune the Roman god of the sea and there are many more such fountains and statues dotting the lawns through the property.
One is welcomed on arrival with a tikka (a traditional red dot on the forehead) and a refreshing drink.
For really special people (read yours truly :-D) this would be the extremely sweet tender coconut water straight off their palms.
The 17 year old resort still retains all its old charm despite time to time renovations that are an on going process and which aim to refurbish without detracting from its original character.
Despite showing its age in a few places, it nevertheless does not detract from bestowing every comfort on its guests.
The sprawling gardens are a visual delight with over 74,000 plants as they claim. Apart from the signature palms that make their presence felt everywhere (with warnings attached to beware of falling coconuts), there are many varieties of flowers that add splashes of bright color to the surroundings.
There are also several fruit trees that include avocado, orange, chikoo, carambola, guava, lime, mango and jackfruit. In the respective seasons, these trees bear fruit of the highest quality.
‘Reliable witnesses’ say that their mangoes and jackfruits are the sweetest ever in the land 😀
Excess fruit is generously gifted to the staff and the guests who are lucky enough to be staying with them at those times. Unfortunately I was there in the wrong season and hence my quest for the produce was quite Fruitless 😀
The coconuts are used in their kitchens and ensure fresh chutneys and coconut milk, which is quite a luxury nowadays.
The 150 rooms styled along the architecture of Moorish-Spanish casitas, are located in a total of 11 blocks amidst lush greenery.
They are divided into 3 categories with 132 deluxe rooms, 16 deluxe suites and 2 presidential suites.
All the rooms have been smartly designed to overlook the gardens and/or the pool, with access to expansive balconies and sit outs. One can spend an unrestrained amount of time just sitting in the comfortable seats and gazing out at the birds, butterflies, waterfalls and flowers.
Early mornings lure out several types of birds that flit about, entertaining with their birdsong. Unfortunately they were too quick for my camera and I had to make to with merely gazing at them as they played hide and seek amongst the foliage.
The room blocks are named after various flowers and we have the Tulip, Geranium, Ixora, Heleconia, Camelia etc. My room was in the Carnation which I remembered as Caro’nation since it sort of matched my name 😀
The deluxe rooms are situated in rows on the ground and first floor and are located off long corridors with appealing old fashioned flooring and an old world charm.
However, they have all the usual modern amenities like TV, fridge, Ironing table, Iron (but of course :-D), safe, shower cubicle and even a bathrobe !!! The beds are large and comfortable but the AC tends to get a tad noisy.
What I found really endearing was that they had painstakingly embedded the tiny red flowers of the Ixora into all the bath linen including the bath and face towels, the bathrobe and even the floor mat … quite a laborious Ixorcise !!!
The 16 deluxe suites are located in 4 blocks of 4 suites each, 2 on the ground floor and two on the first. In addition to the usual amenities, these suites also have a spacious and elegant living room, a luxurious bedroom and 2 bathrooms one of which has a bath tub and of course the dainty red Ixora blossoms, inexorably find their way in here too 😀
The 2 Presidential suites are situated near the pool and restaurant and are lavishness redefined. They are named after Tipu Sultan and Dewan Purnaiya, from the TV serial The Sword of Tipu Sultan, directed by Sanjay Khan. Dewan Purnaiya was the Dewan of Mysore, who served under Tipu Sultan.
A sizeable living room, 2 large bedrooms and 2 large bathrooms complete with Jacuzzi and bath tub, make up each suite. The rooms are embellished with ornate furniture and plush furnishings in royal colors of deep red and purple.
The suites have access to large sit outs and a private garden of sorts and are quite the ultimate in luxury.
Conference halls and banquet facilities –
They have an impressive number of well equipped conference halls and outdoor venues, where they host private parties, corporate events, conferences and even social gatherings like luxury weddings.
They have 12 halls which is a very large number and I must say that it Dozen get bigger than this !!! 😀
All the venues are named after precious stones like Coral, Amethyst, Turquoise etc and these indoor and outdoor spaces can accommodate groups right from 10 to a 1000 guests.
Long corridors run alongside the halls, restaurants and rooms and each corridor has its own individuality, decor and color scheme.
Restaurants and Bars –
The property houses four restaurants and 2 bars.
The 24 hour coffee shop Cafe Solaire, the poolside Badshah, the Italian Sorrento and the Chinese Hidden Dragon, along with the Studio bar and Aqua bar, ensure a range of food and drink to please almost every palate.
More details on this in part 2.
Sports and games –
There is a dedicated sports block for various games and sports.
The list of outdoor games include Tennis, Badminton, Cricket, Football and Water Volley Ball.
And the indoor games available are Squash, Table Tennis, Billiards, Snooker, Chess and Carom.
There is a separate indoor and outdoor play area for children too.
The staff also arranges for tailor made activities like treasure hunt, tug of war, cricket matches, zorbing etc.
Swimming pool –
The lagoon pool is one of the star attractions of the resort and with a length of 130 meters, it is said to be one of the largest pools in the country. It is divided into 3 sections of 5 ft, 3 ft and 2 ft depth, the last one specially for small children. Games like water volley ball and water throwball can be organized.
There is also a circular island 30 ft in diameter, connected by a little bridge and this can be used as a venue for small parties or intimate dinners. This was also where Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne Khan had their wedding and is a popular spot for photo ops.
Of course some of us have to pose alone, pretending to wait for our Hrithiks to come and get us 😀 (hrithiculous as that sounds)
Shopping arcade –
There is a shopping center which is currently occupied only by the Kashmir Valley Arts Emporia.
Jogging track –
An 800 meter track that runs along the perimeter of the property, provides a facility to walk or jog off the calories that their restaurants generously pile on us. The track is clearly marked in large font right at the entrance to the resort and one cannot pretend not to have seen it 😀 There also are helpful 100 meter markings along the track.
Spa and gym –
Golden Palms boasts of an enormous gym and spa facility that spans an admirable 75,000 sq ft. Like the swimming pool, this again is among one of the largest in the country with their own in house, well trained and professional staff. This is also a favorite destination for spa tourism and medical tourism with its range of traditional health, beauty and relaxation treatments.
There is a large steam and sauna room, several massage chambers including one for couples, a salon for beauty treatments including manicures, pedicures and facials, luxurious milk baths and much more.
Both International and Indian style massages are provided and some of them are the Thai, Balinese, Swedish, Kerala ayurvedic, hot stone massage and foot reflexology. The several massage rooms can accommodate nearly 16 guests at a time.
Consultation with doctors and tailor made treatments are available.
There are exclusive spa packages for those who wish to avail of them.
I was the beneficiary of a very skillfully performed foot reflexology and massage by the well trained Sunitha.
Phone and internet connectivity –
Being pretty much within city limits, phone and internet connectivity is as good as it can get. WiFi is provided and speeds are satisfactory.
Visitor profile –
The resort has something for everyone and is suitable for family holidays, corporate team building, day outs, luxury weddings, private parties and almost every leisure activity that one can think of.
Social and environmental commitment –
Employment of local labor and frequent visits to food to nearby orphanages with food and clothing are some of the ways that they respect their social responsibility.
Where ever possible they also help victims of natural and other calamities. In the wake of the recent floods in Coorg, the staff has personally visited families of those affected at Madikeri and have helped them out financially.
Their consciousness towards the environment begins right from their garden, with the several plants and trees that they grow and nurture.
A gentle exhortation in the form of a notice in the washroom, urges guests to be mindful of water usage and the air conditioning is set to auto off as soon as the balcony doors open, as a power saving technique.
Best time to visit –
Bangalore has always been known for its salubrious climate and it is only in the recent few years that temperatures have risen unduly during the months of March and April. However, it still remains one of the better cities in terms of weather and hence anytime of the year is a good time to visit.
In any case, the resort with its green environs and temperature impervious rooms, does provide an atmosphere that is independent of the weather conditions.
Getting there –
Bangalore is well connected by air, rail and road to most of the country. It is also linked to several international destinations by
The resort is a mere 30 km from the city center (MG Road), 40 km from the airport, 25 km from the main City Railway station and Bus stand and 12 km from the smaller Yeshwantpur railway station.
It is also a mere 6 km from the BIEC (Bangalore International Exhibition Center – mentioning this since it houses many guests who visit BIEC).
My journey by cab, took 50 minutes from my place in central Bangalore, which was quicker than some of my commutes within Bangalore itself 😀
Since the resort caters to a multitude of interests, it offers several options that guests can avail of. They have attractive deals for Day out, Corporate, Wedding, Private parties, Spa and Honeymoon packages. Their website will give more details on this.
They also have attractive annual membership plans that entail guests to a host of benefits and discounts.
Booking and Contact –
The Golden Palms Hotel and Spa is located at –
Address – Golden Palms Avenue, Off Tumkur Road, Bangalore – 562123, Karnataka, India
Email for general enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org
For Bookings connect with the Sales office at – +91 9513533888
Please Note – This is a collaboration, based on the invitation of Golden Palms Hotel and Spa and I thank them for hosting me with their signature hospitality.
The narrative is based on the inputs that I received from various sources as well as my own experiences.
Sep 12th-14th, 2018