Our Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt landed at Chennai’s international airport a few minutes prior to midnight. Our flight the following morning to Kochi was at 6:15am. We needed sleep, we needed it near the airport and, after having been traveling for more than 20 hours by that point, we wanted a good bed. The only regret I have about our stay at the Radisson Blu GRT at the Chennai airport is that we only had 4.5 hours there.
That we even had that much time was somewhat amazing. We cleared immigration in minutes and with no checked bags we were outside at the curb in a flash. The mass of people standing at the barricade, awaiting incoming passengers is always an enjoyable scene for me. Still, I’m quite glad that we had arranged in advance with the hotel to have their complementary shuttle service collect us at the airport. A uniformed agent was standing inside the arrivals barricade and escorted us to the area where the drivers were waiting.
Rather than a shared van service the shuttle is a private car. Cold water available once inside and, much to my surprise, check-in service as well. The driver presented us with our room keys, chits for drinks and breakfast during the stay and a welcome letter from the GM – including his mobile number – as we headed up the highway to the hotel. We still had to stop by the front desk to have our passports copied per federal law, but taking care of the details while in the car definitely saved time. Approximately 35 minutes after we had landed we were in our room.
The room was quite nicely appointed. A comfy bed, nice work area and a chair to lounge in. Typical, but all quite comfortable, too. Plus a plate of fruit awaiting us.
There was an LCD TV that I’m guessing had many channels of satellite service available but we were only interested in a shower and sleeping.
Speaking of a shower, the bathroom was similarly nice. Nothing over the top, to be sure, but it had both a rain shower overhead and a hand-held shower in the tub.
Oh, and slippers bed-side.
Also during the check-in process the gentleman working the counter pulled out an embossed card for Carlson Club, the loyalty program associated with the hotel chain. I was able to provide him with my number as I already had one but this was the first time ever that I had seen the real card handed to a guest upon enrollment while at the property. He had even started to explain the program details to me before I realized what was going on and provided him with my number instead. I was impressed.
Alas, 4:30am came all too soon and we were up, packed and back in the lobby shortly thereafter. It was a quick ride back to the airport and we were off again. We didn’t get to use the breakfast or drink chits. We also missed out on the free 15 minute foot massages at the spa in the basement. And we didn’t get to try the kebab restaurant (really a shish restaurant, but that’s a whole different rant…) that is supposedly quite good. We did, however, get a pretty good night’s sleep and thoroughly enjoyed the service at the property. As it is located near the airport it is not particularly convenient for actually being in town. But should it be an airport property you need, this is near the top of my list. I paid about $130/night including taxes via hotels.com for the room. Between the prompt and excellent shuttle service and the comfy bed it was definitely worth that rate that night. With the other bits that we didn’t get to try it would likely be a tremendous value.
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