Review: Aloft Hotels - The Grand Opening

Having been at the soft launch of the Aloft Hotel, I was looking forward to when their doors would be completely open as I was fairly impressed the first time around. And to meet those expectations, the Aloft Hotel had quite the memorable launch. I walked in a little late thanks to the Bengaluru traffic. The hotel was decked up in bright neon that I could see right from the road. At the entrance, they had placed some fabulous Mini-Coopers (I was secretly wishing that they were part of a lucky draw that I would win).

The reception area was a plethora of colours and was packed with people. Everyone’s gaze was directed in one direction to the mezzanine floor. On the floor, were ‘Different Strokes’ - a trio of water percussionists who had a pretty tight act. The primal tunes set by the drums were just the start required to an extensive evening of events that would ensure you wouldn't forget the Aloft Hotel any time soon.This was soon followed by a very funky laser show which showcased what the hotel was aspiring to be - a ‘business meets fun’ place where today’s business folks (and non-business folks like yours truly) can unwind at the end of a busy day of meetings and strategy sessions.

Different Strokes
Once the laser show was done, keeping in mind their association with MTV for the ‘Aloft Live’ series, Bengaluru band ‘One Nite Stand’ took to the stage. The band started off with the Kiss hit – I was made for loving you. One thing that seems to have improved from the last time is the acoustics of the place. There wasn't any reverb off the walls or the glass. One could hear the notes being played fairly well. I hope this continues, and the hotel is able to drive a lot of local talent and leverage MTV to make it a performing artist hub in that area. I still maintain that they need to have a slightly elevated stage for the band to play rather than just carpets.

One Nite Stand
Halfway through One Nite Stand’s set, there came the free-style dance performers who really wowed everyone. For someone with two-left feet (yours truly), their routine was simply mind-blowing. One of the most memorable acts of the evening was the contact juggler Ami Shroff who did some absolutely mind-blowing juggling with crystal spheres. I've always seen this sort of thing on the television. It was sheer joy to watch up close. Check her out here on FaceBook.

I moved on to the pool area of the hotel where they had some more exciting acts lined up for the evening. Playing at the far corner was the DJ with live percussion artist who were setting a perfect mood for a pool side party. Surprisingly, there were only a few people actually dancing and grooving to the beat. I guess Bengaluru’s ‘No dance’ policy has been ingrained into people’s minds. Ami did another super juggling act with glasses lit on fire. They also got some gymnasts in huge bubbles that walked on water.

Now to the part I normally specialize in – the food and beverages. Owing to the large crowd I really wasn't able to try out the range of cocktails that were being served. I did have a very odd-tasting cocktail of mango juice and whiskey. (If you did a double-take.... I don’t blame you). I soon decided not to be ambitious that evening and stuck to some fine white wine and a classic mojito. I didn’t get a chance to savour and taste all the cocktails. I hope the hotel will organize a separate session to allow me to judge and pass a fair verdict on what the bar offers.

The buffet was very impressive with over twenty varieties of dishes (that I counted) and ranged from the classic Ghosht Biriyani to an awesome Lamb Sheppard’s Pie. The food offered at a buffet is very different from the standard fare available to regular customers. But if what I ate that evening was anything to go by, the chefs are doing a good job. I look forward to trying out their fare at a more relaxed occasion.

The launch of the Aloft Hotel was definitely one of the more memorable things I have seen in a while. I eagerly look forward to seeing how they can promote musical acts. I also look forward to trying out the food and beverages at a later date. Kudos the folks at Aloft and best wishes. Keep up the awesomeness.

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