The noise of site visitors alongside Strand Highway, one in all Kolkata’s busiest thoroughfares, fell away as I crossed the Round Railway line and entered the white washed portals of the land-based reception of the floating lodge, which lay docked past, on the Hooghly River.
Initially opened in 2007, most likely the primary floating lodge in India, the Floatel had caught individuals’s fancy. However then owing to varied causes, it was shut down. Now, acquired by Resort Polo Towers Group, a flagship lodge model from north-eastern India, the lodge has received a radical makeover. Rechristened Polo Floatel, it’s now an upscale full-service lodge, together with an all-day multi-cuisine restaurant, The Bridge – Bistro Bar.
The reception finished up in marine blue and with numerous delivery paraphernalia led to a jetty which related with the floating lodge. Tucked between the landmark Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) and the Second Hooghly Bridge (Vidyasagar Setu), the lodge supplied a panoramic view of the Hooghly River and the alternative banks. However what was heartening to notice throughout a fast tour of the ship was that, in contrast to its predecessor, it had a sense of airiness.
There are a complete of 58 luxuriously appointed cabins, divided into Strand View Cabins, River View Cabins, River View Suite with Balcony, Strand View Suite with Balcony, Strand View Heritage Suite with Deck, and River View Heritage Suite with Deck. The cabins characteristic eclectic décor components with specifically sourced maps and souvenirs reflecting the outdated Calcutta of the erstwhile colonial interval. Rooms include options equivalent to wardrobes, tv, wi-fi entry, in-room eating, and so on. Room charges are upwards of Rs 4,500.
Protecting the company purchasers and social gatherings (marriage ceremony, birthday events, and so on.) in thoughts, Polo Floatel provides a spread of banquet areas, well-equipped with fashionable facilities, spacious seating preparations, a devoted occasion planning staff and revolutionary menu choices. Banqueting and conferencing areas have unbiased entry and breakaway rooms. In addition to, there are lawns and open decks with beautiful views of the river. In actual fact, Polo Floatel is a photographers’ delight – from critical ones to Instagram followers.
Polo Floatel has used its location to its benefit to supply its friends some particular providers (on separate fee foundation), together with boat rides and heritage walks. Every now and then, additionally they host musical programmes, together with rendition of people songs by rural artists. From Anchorage Boat Experience Deck, you may go away for an unique cruise on the river, with a particular picnic hamper. The lodge is situated close to the Kolkata’s central enterprise district (Benoy Badal Dinesh Bagh or Dalhousie Sq.), an space well-known for its heritage constructions, and an early morning guided stroll will present you why Calcutta was known as the ‘metropolis of palaces’ within the yesteryears. In case you are keen on museums, with particular permission it’s possible you’ll pay a go to to the Maritime Archives and Heritage Centre maintained by the Kolkata Port Belief.
In response to Deval Tibrewalla, CEO, Resort Polo Towers Group. “We’re re-launching the enduring Floatel to change into the definitive tackle for model seekers. The all new re-imagined Polo Floatel preserves its maritime legacy and a way of enjoyable while offering the Polo Towers Expertise that we’re identified for.”
The tour of the ship concluded with a luxurious lunch at The Bridge – Bistro Bar on the higher deck. Relying in your temper and the time of the day, it’s possible you’ll quiet down on the bar or on the nicely laid out coated eating space or the open air lounge space. The afternoon being sizzling, we determined to go for the coated eating space. The curated menu gave the impression to be primarily based on three pillars – the Resort Polo Towers Group’s wealthy North East heritage, outdated Calcutta favourites and the chef’s fashionable tackle consolation meals.
We began off with Naga Chilli Cheese Toast, with our host warning us to go straightforward because the chilli is understood for its pungency. However fortunately, the cheddar cheese had partly taken off the warmth. Subsequent we dug right into a Mediterranean Mezze Platter (falafel fritters, mini pita, baba ghanoush, beetroot hummus, tzatziki, marinated olives and fattoush salad) which was refreshing after the spicy toast. Subsequent we selected the Boathouse Bistro Fish Fry (fabricated from air fried breaded bhetki fish fillet, served with fries and chilli mustard sauce). Skinny crust handmade pizza loaded with veggies, and spaghetti pasta in tomato chilli basil sauce opened the mains. However I waved them away to pattern the Kolkata Mutton Biryani served with a facet of raita. The mutton was succulent and the potato melt-in-the mouth however the biryani was a tad on the sweeter facet. The Pork in Massaman Curry with Jasmine Rice was additionally fairly successful. A meal for 2 could be upwards of Rs 2500 (with alcohol).
By the point we have been over with the meal, the solar had slipped down the horizon, giving us the right excuse to maneuver outdoor for our dessert and occasional. As we dug into the yummy Nutella Banofee Pie, we watched the life on the river unfold beneath. Small fishing boats and gradual transferring cargo boats floated by. The common ferry boats have been extra frequent and sailed away speedily. A few of us scanned the river to see if we may catch a glimpse of the uncommon Gangetic Dolphin, one of many 4 species of river dolphins discovered on this planet. However we weren’t fortunate although the employees engaged on board mentioned they’ve seen the animal sometimes.