Saturday, July 5, 2014

India (5) ITC Grand Central

We arrived at the hotel in good time. As we took the turn it to the premises, we were surprised by the guards who opened the boot (trunk) of the car and wanted to search the cubby (glove compartment).
"What are they looking for?" we asked Santosh.
"Bomb," he simply replied.

We just kept quiet (!) and made our way to the next lot of security checks before entering the actual building. We were greeted by warm smiles and the lovely Indian greeting of, "Namaste".

There are two things that hit you when you enter the ITC Grand Central. The first is the gorgeous scent of whatever spray it is they use. The second is the lovely flower arrangement in the middle of the foyer. I'm not kidding, but the ambiance of the hotel - even just the ground floor - can easily make you forget that you've been traveling for the past 12 hours.

Special mention must be made of Amit at the front desk who helped us with a warm smile & did everything for us with ease.

And then...I just happened to ask if somebody was able to help me purchase talk time and data for my phone. I didn't expect anything to materialize from my request, because I knew that stores were closed. But when Prashant, from the Concierge Desk said that he would help me by buying it online, I was struck by his willingness to help. Sure, we were guests at the hotel, but he knew me for literally 2 minutes.

"Going the extra mile..." I thought to myself. I work in an environment where my students are MY guests and I often get requests that are way over and beyond my call of duty. If I am able to, I am more than willing to help.

My mum was slowly losing steam and needed to get to bed. Our room was very comfortable with a great bed and pillows. What was very special was the little sprays they give to spray on the pillow before sleeping. The bathroom was also good, but I warned by mother to please be careful when taking the shower. It was in a bathtub and was quite high to climb into.
I think I was still on a high and it took some time before I eventually drifted off into slumber. Our first night in Mumbai!

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