Radisson Blu Amritsar: Missing the Punjab culture

A modern building near the international airport

radisson blu amritsar lobbyA place with all modern amenities, conveniently located near the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar, Radisson Blu Hotel attracts many travellers. With an inventory of 186 rooms, it is spread across four acres. There are four kinds of rooms and the Presidential suite has been the preferred stay for many eminent personalities such as Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, spiritual guru Baba Ramdev, Congressman Amarinder Singh. Even the Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Parkash Singh Badal has visited the hotel for special occasions.

It is famous among the local residents as a place to host weddings and events as it has a pillarless banquet hall and lots of green spaces. The hotel offers free wi-fi, a bar, a spa, an outdoor pool, a fitness centre. There are two dine-in spaces–Tavolo Mondo and Wall of Asia. The hotel has special rooms for the challenged, including well equipped bathroom, two magical eyes and even the room number in Braille. There are different rooms for the smokers.

park innNext to it is the sister property Park Inn which has the signature red, blue, green floors. This will cater to the mid-market segment. And there is a chair to take the challenged ones up with the help of a special lever put on the hand railing of the staircase at the entrance. There is a presidential suite here too, a swimming pool, a bar and a dine-in space. Those interested in holding events and weddings can use the banqueting spaces at Radisson Blu next door.

Guests are offered a free shuttle for the Golden Temple.

What’s missing

The legendary culture of Punjab! Having lived in Ludhiana for almost eight years through the most difficult times of the state, when the Blue Star operation had happened and there were communal problems between Hindus and Sikhs, as a Hindu I have experienced the generosity of this most amazing culture. I have seen the warmth of this state.

While Radisson Blu Amristar is a modern building with modern facilities, there is not even one motif of the native state either in its décor or attitude. Most hotels in different states spread the state’s traditional motifs skillfully across the properties, even abroad. Here no phulkari work or paintings related to the agricultural belt find their way in. While the outside area is all lush green agriculture belt, inside the décor is cut and dried sticks. Not even on one cushion or in a single area do you find the smiling Sikh!

radisson blu amritsar lobby1The only word of Punjabi  I heard was sasriyakal by the tall Sikh guard at the entrance.

The training: Arguing with a guest on the porch of the hotel with a guest to settle a mini-bar bill is something I saw for the first time in a five-star property.

spa roomA spa room without curtains was also a first time.

Most hotels take pride in beautiful surroundings and fragrances. Some good examples of hotels with good flower decoration are The Imperial, Delhi; Hotel Shiraz Clarks, Agra; The Oberoi, Delhi and it could go on. But not even one flower finds its way into Radisson Blu Amritsar.

You might get a comfortable stay here, but you will miss the ‘Áthithi Devo Bhavo’ of Incredible India and the warmth and lushness of this land of milk and honey called Punjab.

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