I have always loved bikes! Started riding my dad’s 1966 Ideal Jawa when I was in school and graduated to super bikes in the US. When I moved back to India in 2007, I brought back with me my favorite bike the 2000 model 1000c Yamaha R1. But riding in Bangalore required me to adapt a bit so decided to pick up the trusted Royal Enfield 500cc (Bullet). I am a passionate biker and use it to commute to work on most days!
I am comfortable riding a motorcycle and attending a formal business meeting in a suit, attend a wedding in my ‘kurta pyjama’ or take my kids on the bike running errands in my shorts! However, I realized that it is really a problem in Bangalore to go to a ‘five star hotel’ if you are on a motorcycle. Last weekend it was raining and I was going to ITC Windsor Manor (Sheraton) for a meeting. I was on my motorcycle and rode up to the gate. The security guard would not let me into the hotel and asked to me find parking on the street. The previous day I drove my car to the same hotel for a meeting, the security guard saluted me and the valet guy was glad to go park my car. 24 hours later, I am on a motorcycle and things are completely different. So I decided to validate the ‘parking policies’ of ‘five star’ hotels that boast of ‘world class service’!
I went to the Leela Palace (6 Star Hotel), here I was not allowed through the main gate and I was told that I had to use an alternative entrance around the corner and park in the basement. The ‘Lalit Ashok, had a separate entrance for motorcycles and had to walk a distance before I got to the lobby. The Royal Orchid , same here—You have to find a parking spot for motorcycles that is tucked away in the back of the hotel (but if you come in a Mercedes/BMW, they will be glad to display it proudly in front).
I do have a fundamental problem with the ‘code of ethics’ for treating the customer who walks into these hotels. I pay the same amount irrespective if I come in a car or a motorcycle, but why subject the person on a two-wheeler differently from the one who came in the car? I don’t think I get a discount on the hotel tab, if I come on a two-wheeler — therefore I have to be subjected to parking on the street or obscure location! I understand that life is not EQUAL! But I expect more out of so called ‘five star’ /luxury hotels, Not to Judge People by their Mode of Transportation! …. I Love my Motorcyle, this is who I AM!!!