Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > India
Reload this Page >

Help with first trip to Bangalore

Help with first trip to Bangalore

Old Jan 6, 10, 9:17 am
  #1  
DG
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Programs: AA Gold; NWA Silver
Posts: 80
Help with first trip to Bangalore

Hi all,

I have to make a quick trip to Bangalore for work. I have never been there, and would love some advice. I am of Indian origin (but never lived there) so language is probably not going to be a problem. I am going there in the middle of a family vacation, so time is very important - I am only there for a day and a half, maybe two days.

My client does a department to arrange business trips, but since this is an add-on to my personal trip, they cannot help with these arrangements, and have just asked me to bill them.

In any case, the client site is in Hebbal. I am flying in reaching BLR at 8 am.

- How long will it take to get from the airport to Hebbal? I would like to be able to schedule some meetings that day. Should I play it safe and just schedule them for after 1 pm?

- What should I do for ground transportation? Should I arrange for a car and driver (from where, and how much would it be?), or should I just get a pre-paid cab from the airport, and deal with in-city travel using cabs? In my estimates, I had budgeted about $50 a day for transport, which I thought would give me a lot of wriggle room, but it sounds like Bangalore is much more expensive than Kolkata (no big surprise there!)

- What would be a good hotel near the client site? I have a "decent" budget, but again, I would rather be close to the client site than sit in traffic just to be able to stay at a nice place. But I would love to stay at either the Leela or Oberoi... are they too far? Any good hotels near Hebbal?

- Any advice on female work clothes? This is a non-IT chem lab environment, so business suits would probably be overkill, but again, should I play it safe? (Its normally business suits in the US office)

- I am still debating on if my 1-yr old comes with me or stays "home" with grandma (Spouse is definitely thinking of coming). Do you think hotels can arrange babysitting? Should I trust that service, or just play it safe and leave her home?

- Recommendations for restaurants with good food will be great. We are not interested in "happening" places, just quiet upscale places with good non-European food.

All help and suggestions are deeply appreciated!
DG
DG is offline  
Old Jan 6, 10, 11:27 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Santa Clara CA USA
Programs: CX SL, SQ SL
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by DG View Post
- How long will it take to get from the airport to Hebbal? I would like to be able to schedule some meetings that day. Should I play it safe and just schedule them for after 1 pm?
35-40 minutes. Hebbal is on the way to the central business district from the airport.
- What should I do for ground transportation? Should I arrange for a car and driver (from where, and how much would it be?), or should I just get a pre-paid cab from the airport, and deal with in-city travel using cabs? In my estimates, I had budgeted about $50 a day for transport, which I thought would give me a lot of wriggle room, but it sounds like Bangalore is much more expensive than Kolkata (no big surprise there!)
Just use Meru or Easycabs. They both serve out of the 'Airport Taxi' line outside departures. Just step out of the building, walk past the glass-walled cluster of ATMs, ignore the handful of touts and stand at the queue marked 'Airport Taxi'; it's no different from the cab service at Changi. Their numbers are marked on the cars, and you can book them from the city as well, either by phone or online.

Airport to Hebbal one way will be about Rs.350 (about $7) I think.
- What would be a good hotel near the client site? I have a "decent" budget, but again, I would rather be close to the client site than sit in traffic just to be able to stay at a nice place. But I would love to stay at either the Leela or Oberoi... are they too far? Any good hotels near Hebbal?
On the high end, probably Taj West End or the Lalit Ashok, which are closer to city centre than airport, and not as far from Hebbal as the others.
- Any advice on female work clothes? This is a non-IT chem lab environment, so business suits would probably be overkill, but again, should I play it safe? (Its normally business suits in the US office)
Sorry I'm male, but I suppose salwars or a pantsuit would be fine.
BlrGuy is offline  
Old Jan 7, 10, 11:07 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: MAA
Programs: BA bronze, Marriott silver
Posts: 2,798
both salwar kameez and pantsuits should be fine - the norm is usually salwar kameez. usual dress codes say "nothing lowcut, no jeans, etc" - so based on that wear whatever you want. salwar kameez is the indian equivalent of 'business casuals' out here, with saris for "formal occasions" (or maybe, more expensive salwars)
hserus is offline  
Old Jan 10, 10, 5:33 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: New York
Programs: UA 1K, HH Silver, *Wood Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 274
Originally Posted by DG View Post
Hi all,

- What should I do for ground transportation? Should I arrange for a car and driver (from where, and how much would it be?), or should I just get a pre-paid cab from the airport, and deal with in-city travel using cabs? In my estimates, I had budgeted about $50 a day for transport, which I thought would give me a lot of wriggle room, but it sounds like Bangalore is much more expensive than Kolkata (no big surprise there!)
Hi DG,

I have been to Bangalore a few times on business; you're lucky you are in Hebbal - I have to go all the way to Electronic City! I'll answer only the questions I can help with.

Personally I would get one car/driver for the whole day, it's just easier than coordinating with multiple different drivers, and not that expensive. Personally I hate dealing with the airports and much prefer having someone waiting for me with a card with my name on it. You could try my travel agent, Vinod Goswami/Babita Tours, [email protected] to arrange that. Not sure what the rates are these days.

Originally Posted by DG View Post

- Any advice on female work clothes? This is a non-IT chem lab environment, so business suits would probably be overkill, but again, should I play it safe? (Its normally business suits in the US office)
I usually wear business suits unless it's very hot, then I will wear something like a loose short sleeved linen top with slacks and sandals. If you are into traditional dress, a salwar suit would be perfectly appropriate but I am American and although I do own one, I would look a little ridiculous in the workplace in it!

Originally Posted by DG View Post
- I am still debating on if my 1-yr old comes with me or stays "home" with grandma (Spouse is definitely thinking of coming). Do you think hotels can arrange babysitting? Should I trust that service, or just play it safe and leave her home?
That will depend on the hotel - if it's a very nice one, contact the concierge ahead of time and make sure they can arrange trustworthy babysitting. Also check reviews of the hotel on Tripadvisor.com to see if anyone mentions the babysitting service.

Originally Posted by DG View Post
- Recommendations for restaurants with good food will be great. We are not interested in "happening" places, just quiet upscale places with good non-European food.

All help and suggestions are deeply appreciated!
DG
I really like UB City's restaurants, especially Shiro (pan-Asian) and Toscana (Italian). It's not TOO far from where you are in Hebbal. There's also Tandoor (I know, boring name, but my colleagues rave about it) not too far from UB City. And one I have been wanting to go to is MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room) which is a bit further out for you.

Truly
Truly is offline  
Old Jan 10, 10, 11:59 pm
  #5  
DG
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Programs: AA Gold; NWA Silver
Posts: 80
Thanks for the help everyone! That helps my planning a lot!

OK, one last question.

Like I said, I am looking for a hotel option that would not be too onerous traffic-wise. Now I know better than to trust a google map estimate on travel time in India, but - just how far off is the google map estimate from Hebbal to the Leela of about 30 mins?

The closest good hotel seems to be the Lalit Ashok, but my previous experience of Ashok hotels have not been the best... Everything else, including the Sheraton, the Taj WE and the Oberoi look to be about the same distance away (from google maps), of about 15-20 kms.

Since spouse is coming (and am interrupting my personal vacation) I want to be in a good hotel... is the Lalit my only do-able option? How long will this distance take if I am in one of the other hotels?

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by DG; Jan 11, 10 at 12:01 am Reason: kms not miles
DG is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread