Sundeep Bhutoria

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Wow Taj Bengal !

8 August, 2014, Jaipur: I landed in Jaipur in the morning and checked in at the ITC Rajputana. Today and tomorrow, in all, I shall be involved in five events or get-togethers in my various capacity. 
At the Ladies Study Group event
Also, there is an oath taking ceremony at 4 pm today at the Rajasthan Raj Bhawan for Shri Ram Naik, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, who will take additional charge as the Governor of Rajasthan as well. 
I spent lot of time in hotels around the world and day before yesterday, during the rapid question and answer round at the Ladies' Study Group event at the ITC Sonar, Kolkata, Ratan Tata was asked - Which is your favourite hotel?
He kept quiet for a moment and then said, “It is unfair for me to answer this question as The Taj has never allowed me to stay in any other group property. However, as far as the different hotels of the Taj Group were concerned, I say The Taj Bengal is my favourite.”
The audience (pic) broke into rapturous applause at Mr Tata's compliment to a hotel based in our city.
I myself have been a regular at The Taj Bengal since its inception. Being a member of The Chambers, I do use it frequently, but my personal use of Taj Group of hotels was much higher in other cities than Kolkata. In fact, for years, Taj was my home in Jaipur.
Since the last three or four years almost 99 per cent of my events, functions and parties etc., in Kolkata have all been held in Taj Bengal. Earlier, there was a time when, for a number of years, ITC Sonar was home to my events and parties. That is from my smallest one-table dinner to the biggest parties and events took place there. I remember one event of mine some five years ago had a footfall of nearly 6000 and was held at the hotel's the then Sunderbans banquet. At that time Ranveer Bhandari was the general manager.
During the past three or four years, there have been instances when I had events in Taj Bengal and few of the guests happened to reach ITC Sonar thinking that since I was the host it had to be the ITC Hotel. Roopa Ganguly was one of them who once, based on such presumption, landed up at the ITC Sonar for a The Bengal event which was actually being held at The Taj.
Now the situation has reversed. I haven't hosted any function or party at the ITC Sonar, except one for Amit Choudhuri and another Agra Chaat event, in the last four years.
I think Mr Ratan Tata’s compliment is well deserved by Taj Bengal. I myself vouch for the food and the high quality of personalised services, something which has consistently moved up the curve in this property. On the other hand, now in Jaipur, ITC Rajputana has been my home for the last three years.
For the last four months I have been observing that the quality of service at the ITC Sonar in Kolkata has improved a lot and so has the quality of food. I am glad that this is creating a healthy competition in the city. 
In fact, it will be interesting to watch the Taj Group as a veteran like Rajesh Sarna has become the chief executive officer (CEO) of Taj Hotels especially at a time when The Taj is incurring a oss in their international properties, USA in particular.
I did meet Mr Sarna at a social get-together and I have deep respect for his talents, his minor observations and eye for the details as far as hotels are concerned, something which the Hyatt has evidently gained from. 
ess bee

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