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Hotels go all out to recreate Mohali magic

Last updated on: March 30, 2011 09:32 IST

Hotels go all out to recreate Mohali magic

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BS Reporters in New Delhi

This Cricket World Cup looks unique in that everyone seems to think that it has only one semi-final. As New Zealand on Tuesday lost to Sri Lanka's superior talent, the general discussion was mostly about plans for the India-Pakistan match in Mohali.

Offices have changed timings to make sure the employees don't miss Wednesday's action and a number of theatres -- starved of film releases since the world cup began -- plan to screen the match.

SRS in New Delhi has invited its employees and associates to come with family and friends to watch the match.

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Image: Waqar Younis.
Photographs: Getty Images
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But it is at the eating joints that the offers become truly meaty. Nearly every self-respecting restaurant and club -- be it the Oberoi in New Delhi or Leela Kempenski in Mumbai -- has made special arrangements, which generally revolve around a giant screen.

You would expect Mumbai's Manchester United Cafe Bar to swear by soccer.

That it does, but without ignoring cricket.

On Wednesday, it is offering packages that include unlimited alcohol, soft drinks and starters for the duration of the match.

In New Delhi, The Lalit has converted its Crystal Ball Room into something resembling a stadium, where it can seat 600.

Sheraton, which is offering unlimited liquor for the duration of the match for Rs 2,000, is strong on atmospherics.

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"We have cheerleaders, tattoo artistes, Vuvuzelas," said Rishi Raj Singh, the food and beverage manager.

The bar at The Claridges has been calling for advance bookings.

Its special offerings on Wednesday are -- no surprises here -- the Googly beer package, the Century package, and Runner's Up and Winner's packages.

These include unlimited drinks, but are valid for only an inning.

Taj Vivanta has gone a step further and levied a minimum charge of Rs 1,000, just in case you want to watch the entire match nursing a single cup of coffee.

"We want to secure our cheque money," said Rajinder Kumar, the general manager. The hotel is paying special attention to room service for those who want to stay in.

Bengaluru's Kyra Theatre Bar and Restaurant is living up to its name. It has set up a 28x16 metre screen, which, it claims, is the biggest of them all.

You can watch the match on it for Rs 1,800, which will also get you starters, main course and unlimited drinks.

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Image: Indian cricket team.
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
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The happy hours have been extended from three to eight. The seating has been increased from 200 to 225, which the manager hopes to fill 'in no time'.

The Irish pub at ITC Windsor will show the match live and serve unlimited beer for Rs  695, unlimited wine for Rs  1,500 and unlimited beverages for Rs  1,750.

Even the old clubs of Kolkata -- Saturday, Bengal and Calcutta Cricket and Football Club -- have been stirred into action.

Their lawns and bars will have giant screens.

The Park Hotel, perhaps believing that men will come anyway, is offering women free drinks.

For men, there is an all-included menu for Rs 800.

The Hyatt Regency may not be tracking the games very closely.

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Image: Pakistan cricket team.
Photographs: Getty Images
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Two of its special drinks are Hayden's Power (Mathew Hayden retired from international cricket a while ago) and Gayle's Punch (Chris Gayle was the tournament's flop show as West Indies cut a sorry figure in the quarters).

The bar will have world cup theme songs for music.
The bartenders will be dressed in team jerseys. There is also a mock world cup trophy.

Not to be outdone, Munna Maharaj, a popular local joint, is offering platters named Dhoni's Running Between the Wickets, Budget Pathan, Sizzling Sreesanth, and an Amritsari platter named after Yuvraj Singh.

Hyderabad's Taj Banjara, owned by Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts, is offering unlimited beer for Rs 1,500, tax included, for the duration of the match.

For an innings, the charge is Rs 800.

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"The quarter final against Australia was very crowded and we expect 200 per cent more for the semi-final. Couples as well as groups of up to 30 people are booking suites to big lounges," said general manager Jaikant Shroff.

Chennai's Zero Degree Pub in Quality Hotel Sabari Classic in Old Mahabalipuram Road, which is home to thousands of young information technology and call centre professionals, has introduced a package for Rs 1,500 per person, which includes unlimited Indian liquor and snacks.

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Taj Connemara Vivanta, which expects footfalls to treble on Wednesday, is offering a special package for Rs 1,950 for alcohol, buffet, tea, coffee and soft drinks.

Chandigarh, the epicentre, cannot be expected to be untouched.

Amid iron-clad security, its citizens have found room for humour.

Hotel Mount view, a five-star managed by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation, has a special menu of mocktails named Dazzling Yorker, LBW, Captain's Cooler, Googli and Whipping Cover Drive.

The snacks include Chicken Short Leg, Fish Third Umpire and Prawns Short Leg. There is also a Chicken Caught and Bowled.

It would be hoping that chicken does not get replaced by names of Indian cricketers when the match finally begins.


Image: Taj Connemara Vivanta.

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