4 / 5

May 11, 2018

Want to feel like Lord of the Manor? Head to this whiskey and cigar bar inside Chennai’s palatial ITC Grand Chola Hotel.

Deep inside the palatial ITC Grand Chola hotel is this high-ceilinged enclave where locals and business travelers retreat to smoke some of the world’s finest cigars and sip Cognacs and rare single malts and blended Scotches to their heart’s content. The name “cheroot,” now used to mean a non-tapering, generally inexpensive cigar, derives originally from a Tamil word meaning “rolled,” so it’s an appropriate homage. Enjoy The Glenlivet 25-year or Chivas Regal 25-year, or a range of aged and vintage labels while luxuriating in leather wingbacks underneath a massive arched ceiling evoking the inside of a whisky cask. A backbar of lighted asymmetrical shelving displays the bar’s selections in high style, while extra-rare expressions are showcased like museum pieces on another wall. Not up for cigars? No problem: most of the space is designated non-smoking, and a large wine list, along with beer and cocktails, ensures options for those who avoid whisky. Munch on complimentary mixed nuts or enjoy small bites inspired by Indian street foods. A welcoming, attentive staff and light ambient music complete the feeling you’ve stepped into your own private (modern) Downton Abbey.