There is this thing we do. We blog. And that brought us together at the Indiblogger meet, courtesy and ITC Grand Chola. It turned out to be the best way to spend a Saturday evening, full of fun, prizes and friends.

Kolam on marble

The Chola Entrance… We entered through the main entrance of the hotel, named Chola, which was decoratedwith the kolams Cholan style. The blogger meet was held at the Rajaraja ballroom, which when expanded, would easily accomodate around 3000 people. We registered at the hall and went about getting a hang of the place. Mind you, it is huge that you might get lost! 😛

One min to Famedom… There was signing in, getting a WiFi connection, getting introduced to new faces, and a perfect start to the meet with “hur” (that is the english version of actor Santhanam’s vetri kuri). Our table won Experience certificate worth Rs 500/- each for being the best cheering table!

We were able to get to know the fellow bloggers during the ’60 seconds of fame’, which is an indiblogger regular feature. The projector will display the details of the person speaking, clock their time, and also intimate the next speaker. I came to know that we had an awesome mix of foodies, techies, fasion designers, photographers, media people and students of all ages.

The dessert spread…

Gourmet High Tea…  As Anoop rightly announced, it was almost a lunch, not just tea. I know someone who had 3 cups of tea, a coffee, followed by 3 different juices!! The spread consisted of yummy stuff from vazhaipoo vadai and bondas  to meringues, dried-asparagus dish, and a myriad of other desserts.

In the course of eating we were planning the storyline for our team, which was to be tweeted for the contest.

Treats for tweets… We were divided into groups of 10 and given a guide and a route to visit. Our team was named the GRAND CHOLAS, and I ended up learning to tweet in order to stay up in the competition. The theme we had was – the royalty from the Chola dynasty were descending to visit a hotel that is their name sake; we ended being totally satisfied at the hotel living up to our expectations! Let me describe the tour to you…

Self-playing pianos & echo-contained lounges… We had an amazing guide, Meghna, who was very informative and patient enough with our delays and boisterous selves. There was the Lotus Lounge which has a circular seating and an area within which will echo and also contain the sound in that circle. This design was used by the Cholas to regulate the accoustics during speeches, in the absence of mordern technology.

Another special feature was the Baby Piano at the Madras Pavillion, which played by itself. All we needed to do was, sit and pose for pics 😉 All the way, there were Chozan-inspired antique cabinets, statues and carvings.

Ipad controlled suites… We visited a room that was above basic level, a tower room. Room 3301, though small, was modern with sliding doors on bathrooms, I-pad to control every possible operation in the room, except, probably the flush 😛 It had a cool security camera feature to look who is outside, and unlock the door.

From restaurants to bars… There were 2 bars – the Tranque and the Cheroot, the former planned to be a fully ladies one (would have been the first sort in Chennai is it?) but ended up a bar like anyother. We were offered free mocktails here!

The guide said there were 10 restaurants operational then, and the rest were planned to be open soon. I loved the detailing that has gone into the restaurants, right from cutting boards, to stained glass plates, to the seating arrangements (refer pics above), to the huge whisky bottles and aesthetic beer taps.

Tanjore hi tech conf room… Though there are 4 other conference rooms by name Kaveri, this was class. It had video – conferencing facilities, hanging mikes which picks the voice of the speaker, cameras from above you that captures document on your table and projects the same (saves the need to distribute copies)

Return gifts… Literally, they were coupons (gifts) that will help us ‘return’ to the hotel. I got lucky with a dinner pass for 2 at Ottima Cucina Italiana restaurant at the hotel. Be back soon, ITC!

Some more pictures from the meet below.

statue of a villager off to work…
“Chef, say cheese” 😀
scintillating view of the Grand Chola from the pool side
the Tanjore hi tech board room

Until next,

-Vid 🙂