Mystery Shopping at Aloft, Chennai

After having done a round of food tasting for an upcoming restaurant, I headed out to Aloft, a long drive away to what I call ‘that part of the city’, near the Sholinganalur junction on OMR. I normally do not write about my mystery-shopping missions as I am usually looking at things with a very ‘critique’ point of view, but this time onwards I thought why not!!!

So as I landed at Aloft and the valet drivers looked at me strangely. Maybe they were surprised that someone was coming to stay with them or maybe something else was going on in their minds, but it was weird. I checked to see if something was wrong with me and I could not find anything. We opened the backdoor of our car and carried our bags ourselves and already I was starting to think that this is going to be a bad bad experience, but the minute I walked into the door, things changed dramatically! The front office manager greeted us, immediately called for someone to take the luggage and then checked our reservation! We were given a short intro about Aloft and I could not help but like the lobby! It was funky and definitely aimed at the young corporate crowd! The sofas were chic, the bar was right on the lobby and a good one at that, and there was a pool table and some board games to play! So far, so good!

We were escorted to the room which was the best part of the stay. At Rs 4400 a night (goes down to Rs 3000 during off season), this was a steal. Nice big bedroom, a study with a very thoughtful GUESTLINK with which you can connect almost anything to the large flat screen TV,  another table with a refrigerator below it and short eats on top along with the usual kettle. The toilet was nicely separated with an almost walk in wardrobe. If there was a tub in the bathroom, I would have holidayed here once in a few months! Very thoughtfully done.

The hotel is meant to be system oriented and so there are very staff I noticed. If you want something quick to grab and go on your way out, they have a small counter on the ground floor with sandwiches and short eats, all packed and ready for take away!

Having come from a very heavy round of lunch at the other place, we did not eat at all, but just lazed around, played a few rounds of pool, then watched a couple play pool, played OTHELLO for a bit and then took a nice refreshing dip in the swimming pool. The pool is set in the first floor in a nice setting and is open till 10 pm, so we stayed in the pool till 10! We had two options for dinner – the buffet at their dot.yumm restaurant or a-la-carte at Estia, the Mediterranean restaurant.  The blog being what it is, I will put up a separate post of the restaurant, which by the way, was really good!

After a heavy lunch and dinner the previous day, we settled for a light breakfast at the breakfast buffet! They had  the usual cereals, milk, egg, a live dosa and egg counter, idly and a whole lot of Indian foods,  and a decent variety of conti stuff! My co guests were an equal mix of  Indians and Expats and clearly the buffet has been designed to keep both groups happy! The spa here is certainly not the best spa in the world, but is perfect for what they aim to be, to help young business people unwind! So while the range of services is not great, the body massage with the body pack priced at Rs 1999 was well worth the money. The therapist Thomas knew exactly what to do and was very effective with the massage and is something that you might enjoy if you are here with some time to kill! After the spa experience, we had a short snack and left and it almost felt like a holiday weekend! Though this is a business hotel, if you want to spend a relaxing weekend without burning a hole in your pocket, this might not be a bad choice! Obviously if you on OMR what I am saying makes no sense, but someone like me who stays about 50 km away, it did not seem like a bad idea!

Its a four star hotel and I would rate the experience 4/5, so I kinda agree with the rating!

Aloft is located on OMR road, just ahead of the Sholinganalur Junction. Look out for the dinner post in a day or two! You can get more details here 

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