Friday, November 6, 2015

An enchanting vacation on a floating hotel.

In And Around Floatel with Us – A Music Video:
During our recent holiday trip to Kolkata, we stayed at two popular hotels of the City, Floatel and Fairlawn.  Floatel Hotel is a floating hotel on River Ganges / Ganga / Hooghly. It is located in the heart of the City, at the erstwhile and ancient 9/10 Calcutta Jetty, on Strand Street, just in front of State Bank of India, Headquarters.  It is almost halfway between Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) and Vidyasagar Setu; as you can see in the attached pictures and video. The hotel claims to be the only 4-Star Floating Hotel in Asia! The stay was extremely enjoyable and unique. The room and overall ambience of the hotel and the food at the restaurant called - The Bridge, was quite satisfactory.
Being amidst such a mighty river, watching the river flow in either direction during low and high tides, raising the height of our hotel gradually with the tide by about twenty feet was a thrilling experience. Seeing so many Ships, Ferries, Boats and night-time illuminated Cruises crisscrossing between the banks and the two popular bridges over Hooghly, and watching Sunset across the River on the opposite horizon that is Howrah side was marvelous. From the side by Jetty - The Shipping Corporation of India Jetty we also enjoyed to and fro ferry journeys to Howrah.
According to the hotel, Floatel is the only 4- Star Floating Hotel in Asia and the 5th in the entire World, after the one in Prague, Moscow, Amsterdam and Vienna. Floatel Hotel was built in Singapore at Selco Shipyard and was towed to 9/10 Calcutta Jetty and anchored there in 2004 and the hotel commenced operating from November 2006. The hotel has 49 rooms and suites, 9 banqueting areas, a full-fledged health Club with Sauna and Jacuzzi, a 24x7 Multi Cuisine Restaurant called “The Bridge” and the banqueting area are on the 3rd level at a height of 85 feet above the water offering a wonderful view all around.
9/10 Calcutta Jetty is a historical place. The Hotel staff had the following to say about the place: Long before, this Jetty used to be known as “Judges Ghat” because the Supreme Court of India of that time and present Calcutta High Court is situated on the opposite side. During British rule, Judges came by Ships from England and disembarked at “Judges Ghat” for their three month assignments. One wing of the then Supreme Court was used as Judges Residences. There was a lawn of Supreme Court on which the present Headquarters of The State Bank of India has come up. Judges disembarked from the Ships here and just walked across to the Supreme Court of India. And as most of you know, the Supreme Court was shifted to Delhi in the year 1911, when the Capital of India was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.
I strongly recommend the Floatel Hotel to Kolkata tourists, for the feel of living on a ship and a mighty river, and for the spectacular view it offers of the River scenario and the two important bridges across the river.  























































































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