A steely, soulless mall rarely excites us, but when it holds within it a hotel and a historic romp, we are compelled to check in, valise in tow. Ask for us at the reception.
Upstairs at the VR Bengaluru mall, we’re standing in one of 52 rooms of The Waverly, a hotel so new, it hasn’t been unwrapped yet. This present, will be gifted to Bangalore in the future, with reservations opening in December this year, and rooms in January 2016.
We’re Not In Kansas Anymore
We are led down a red-brick path, shaded by bamboo on either-side, into an elevator area with checkered marble floors and ceiling fans straight out of an old coffee plantation home. Up the elevator to the third floor reception with printed wallpaper of English summer flowers, we get permission to poke our heads through some of the rooms.
Most of them, spacious, have large windows that afford views of the burgeoning city. Though the walls are still Colgate-white – the hotel is a work in progress – we hope the English roses will find themselves in the rooms too. On the roof top, an azure swimming pool awaits, as well as a health club and sky bar that we’re told will have a 25ft by 12ft television. “We will pack three floors of the hotel with a ton of restaurants and even plug-and-play offices. Once you check in, you might never want to leave,” our guide from The Waverly snickers.
We are led down a red-brick path, shaded by bamboo on either-side, into an elevator area with checkered marble floors and ceiling fans straight out of an old coffee plantation home.
On our way out, during talk of “Victorian influences” and “modern amenities”, we also hear whispers of their true inspiration: “the original Waverly in Whitefield.” Our ears now pricked up, our valise picked up, we get an address and go over to this original Waverly hotel that inspired its new namesake.
Here we found John Hamilton’s Waverly Inn (which opened in 1882), now a gentleman called Vivian D’Souza’s home. It’s deliciously decrepit, and if these walls could speak, epic gossip could be corroborated. “It is said that Winston Churchill was having an affair with the inn-keeper’s daughter Rose Hamilton, because he used to visit this place so often,” says D’souza, whose father purchased this hotel as a home in 1978.
Apparently, history geeks come to gawk at D’souza’s home because of the Churchill story, and are disappointed to learn that they don’t host guests anymore.
Well, there’s always that new Waverly on the other side of Whitefield that will open soon. Here’s to your secret love affair in 2016.
Getting there The Waverly, third to sixth Floor, VR Bengaluru mall, Whitefield Main Road, Mahadevapura, opens early next year.
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