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Built by the former Maharaja of Mysore in 1920 for his British guests, Royal Orchid Metropole is a conveniently placed heritage hotel saturated with Mysore culture and colonial influences. It quietly stands on the Cauvery River looking out across the stunning Brindavan Gardens.
Royal Orchid has just 30 guest rooms, all generously appointed and complete with period furniture. The Heritage rooms are that bit more spacious and next up the ranks in the accommodation choice are the Maharaja rooms, hidden among the hotel's colonial pillars, arches and intricate detail.
The Royal Orchid has three dining options available, each offering something different for the taste buds: for something sweet, High Tea is the ideal place to lounge with a good read in a cosy atmosphere; for a sample of local meats, carnivorous foodies should head straight to gourmet barbeque restaurant, Shikari; and if it's authentic regional flavours you're craving, the Tiger Trail specialises in dishes from tiger reserves across the country. After dinner you'll be ready for your obligatory G&T at the hotel bar, Scandel.
The hotel's facilities include a fitness centre and swimming pool as well as Ayurvedic spa for massages and yoga lessons. However, if you do want to venture out, you're already in the heart of a bustling city which offers something for everyone. Culture vultures will be thrilled to know that the Royal Orchid is only minutes from the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery whilst kids will be buzzing in the knowledge that the Mysore Zoo is nearby. Shopaholics will be glad to discover that the city is also famous for its high quality silk production whilst vista seekers should plan a visit to the Chamundi Hills. The hotel is only a short distance from the main sight on anyone's Mysore bucket list: the Palace; a quirky architectural combination of Hindu, Muslim, Raiput and Gothic influences.
Whilst hotels in Mysore aren't the highest quality, the Metropole is certainly the best of the bunch.
Frances, Original Traveller