This was the second hotel stay of my recent trip to Hyderabad (following my visit to Taj Deccan).
Unfortunately, given the timing of my visit (March 2020), I was faced with the same coronavirus state restrictions.
Booking ITC Kohenur
I booked my stay just three days before travel via hotels.com. The rate for one night was around INR 9,500 (USD 125), for a club room with breakfast included.
Getting to ITC Kohenur
ITC Kohenur, a five-star luxury hotel, is located in Madhapur, a busy corporate area home to business parks and the large Inorbit mall. The hotel is situated right across the road from the mall, which is not difficult to locate thanks to its iconic design.
I arrived at ITC Kohenur from Banjara Hills, which took around 20 minutes by Uber. It is a 30 minute drive from Hyderabad airport.
About ITC Kohenur
The hotel is large, and newly built (around two years old), with 274 rooms, including nine uniquely designed suites and 27 serviced residences.
There are two blocks or wings of the hotel - the first being ITC 1, where the suites are located, also known as the Fabelle block because of the bakery located in the wing. The other is called towers or chandelier block, because of the chandelier near the entrance of this block.
ITC Kohenur arrival, check in and lobby
I arrived at 2pm and, unlike many hotels I have been to where you are received at the car and given a hand with the luggage, I was ignored by the doormen, which was kind of cold.
After managing through security at the main door (I mention this because it was a task having to handle all my baggage by myself, putting it on the belt and receiving it at the other end), my body temperature was checked (the reason being covid-19) before I stepped inside the hotel.
Check-in was simple, though as I wasn’t carrying any credit cards with me I was asked to give a refundable cash deposit of INR 3500. The receptionist was kind enough to allow me a late check out (at 5pm the following day).
I was escorted to my room - and carried my baggage myself while I was at it!
ITC Kohenur room
My stay was organised just a few days before my arrival in Hyderabad and the hotel was only 10 percent occupied due to covid-19 scare, as stated by the floor manager.
My room no was 1714, a club room with business lounge access, located at the end of the corridor and opposite an emergency exit.
At 527-sq-feet (49-sq-metre), the room was comfortably large and there was good enough furniture with nice lighting. It featured a queen bed, plus a cupboard next to the door consisting of a mini bar, a coffee machine combo and some chips and cookies.
Next to the mini bar was a large mirror with a mini stool so you could apply make up comfortably or even use it to take off your shoes. Next to that was another cupboard with a mini safe inside as well as a lot of storage space.
The desk was fairly big and had enough sockets on the table side for all my devices. The wifi speed was fast throughout the hotel, though it wasn't free. Internet charges are INR 299 for 24 hours.
The room had a large window with a lake view (the hotel also has rooms with balconies).
The room was fully automated - there was an iPad to control everything, including the door lock.
The bathroom was spacious and featured a medium sized bath, a shower room, toilet area and a walk in wardrobe.
The toiletries were from Essenza di Wills.
As part of an eco-friendly initiative from ITC, comb, toothbrush and shaving kits are only available on request.
I did have an issue with the bathtub, as debris would fall from the walls into the water.
I was welcomed to the bed by a sleeping kit.
Overall, I was very happy with the room and it gave a feeling of luxury. The bed and the pillows were exactly how I would have liked it. There was plenty of seating space so you won’t have any issues if you have a couple of your friends drop by to meet you.
Eating and drinking at ITC Kohenur
Although there are plenty of options to eat and drink at ITC Kohenur, I couldn’t have the luxury of trying all of them because some were shut due to the covid-19 scare.
Golconda Pavilion is ITC’s 24-hour restaurant located in the lobby, offering Indian and international cuisine, and I stopped by for lunch.
I was served complimentary bread with ginger chutney after I placed the order. My bolognese was served with crusty bread, and the pasta was al dante, just the way it should be. The serving was good enough for one person and the staff was friendly as well.
I chose to visit Yi Jing for dinner, ITC Kohenur's Chinese specialty restaurant. I only arrived at 11pm as the bolognese kept me full the entire day! Vinay at the front of the restaurant was nice enough to bring the menu to me while he showed me to the waiting area, which was comfortable.
I was first served Chinese tea and musk melon shot as amuse-bouche.
Vinay suggested I try stir fried jasmine rice with soy sauce and burnt garlic and gung bao chicken with cashew nuts and dry chilli, and I chose to go ahead with his suggestions. The food was delicious and Vinay made sure I felt comfortable throughout.
The garnish was made of beetroot juice with flour, and it was edible (though I didn’t try).
A heavy breakfast the next day made sure that I wasn’t feeling hungry until later in the day, which meant that I couldn’t get to try a different restaurant as they had already closed for lunch.
As a result, on day two I got a chance to try the Indian preparation at Golconda Pavilion. I went for haleem - a stew composed of meat, lentils and pounded wheat made into a thick paste, which is a Hyderabadi speciality.
The server said it will take approximately 20 minutes to get prepared, and it was worth the wait. I could smell it from far and the aroma of burnt onion had my mouth watering. It had a nice creamy texture with a good feel of ‘desi ghee’.
One portion of haleem is enough for two, so I had the remaining packed and carried it back to my room.
The Peacock Bar in the lobby is where you head for drinks, unfortunately during my time there it was closed.
The design on the roof resembled a peacock feather, and the overall decor of the place looked very elegant.
I was happy with the food and service I received at these restaurants, other than the above mentioned there is Dum Pukht Begum’s restaurant - a “truly regal” Indian restaurant, Ottimo - an Italian restaurant and Skypoint - a luxury bar overlooking the skyline of Hyderabad.
Breakfast at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad
The breakfast buffet is served at Golconda Pavilion between 6.30am and 10.30am. The buffet spread was huge and had plenty of options to choose from.
The croissants, muffins and donuts counter was the closest to the main entrance.
There were breakfast cereals, dry fruits and different kinds of honey.
I asked for bitter gourd juice at the juicery counter, and it was very well prepared.
There was a special section for “western signature” dishes.
At the live dosa counter, I opted for mysore masala dosa - a regional speciality.
There’s a “Start afresh” menu at the table, and I chose to order buckwheat and jaggery pancakes, which were just average.
Apart from being wrongly served smoked salmon (which was immediately corrected), the breakfast buffet was very good. Don’t miss it!
Lounges at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad
There are two lounges at ITC Kohenur, which are located at the lobby level. During my stay here, they were both not providing service but I could take a look inside.
Upper Crust is the business lounge in the hotel. When you opt for a room with lounge access, this is the lounge you will get access to. Since the lounge was closed, the hotel offered to give me food and drinks in my room.
There are private meeting rooms one level down from the lounge, but it was off limits during this time.
The other lounge is the Connections lounge, this is smaller than Upper Crust, though I wasn’t sure what it was for, or who got access to it.
There is also a smoking room at ITC Kohenur, which is located next to Upper Crest.
Niloufer suite, ITC Kohenur
During my stay I was able to check out a suite - room 3610 in the ITC 1 wing.
The living area and study area were divided by a study table, which was divided from the bedroom by a curtain.
The toilet was accessible from the room on one side and from the walk in wardrobe on the other, which was connected to the study area.
The balcony was overlooking the lake, but I didn’t have access to it as it was locked.
ITC Kohenur swimming pool, gym and spa
As mentioned above, some of the facilities in the hotel were closed due to covid-19, including the gymnasium and swimming pool.
Below are a few pictures of what I managed to get.
ITC hotels are well known for their spas, and ITC Kohenur lives up to the reputation with the multi-floored Kaya Kalp spa. I didn’t use their services, though I was able to take a look from the inside.
I found this ITC property to justify its listing as a luxury collection hotel. I found the staff warm and friendly, and I would definitely like to return to use the facilities like the swimming pool, gym and Peacock Bar, which I wasn’t able to use during my stay there.
The eco friendly initiative by ITC particularly impressed me. They have a water purifying plant installed, and there’s also beautifully done vertical gardening at the entrance which goes all the way to the top of the wing where the banquets are located.
The food was also very good.
Have you been to ITC Kohenur? How was your experience?