Luxury Hotels

INDIA – 14

Chennai is, indeed, such a draw for cricket-lovers that the city is currently  hosting the England Over-65 team and their ladies. No, she did not go to MCC to see them run between one set of stumps and the other but obviously with a rare two nights in one hotel Girlahead could not stay ‘home alone’. She was invited by her good friend Vivek Reddy, an entrepreneur in many fields, to an immersive Van Gogh show, a 360° experience co-produced by Exhibition Hub and Fever. Now showing simultaneously in numerous locations worldwide, the show has been seen by over five million since it started life in 2017.

In Chennai it is showing in a tent in the carpark of Express Avenue Mall. First room was static. The Magritte-moment, above, was taken there.  Waiting for Godot. Waiting for something. Hey ho, into the next room, a spider’s jumble of ceiling-hung fairy lights falling almost to the floor. Fight your way through. Finally, to the main room, double storey, showing continuous-change of blow-ups of Van Goghs, cut-out and juxtaposed and intertwined so that sometimes a ship rears up and up as waves simultaneously move horizontally. Instant switch to sunflowers, then three different portraits of the bushy-bearded postman whom Vincent claimed was his only real friend (you learn about his tragic life before arriving in this room).

CNN says this is one of the 12 best immersive experiences worldwide. In Chennai there were six sequences in 35 minutes, which was probably the most most could take without veering into headache territory. See a taster, below.

And then there were meals in Chennai. Post-Van Gogh was delightful vegetarian in Kapila Dasa, in the Mall itself. Earlier in Girlahead’s say there had been another memorable spicy lunch at Southern Spice back at Taj Coromandel, and an historic show at Taj Connemara, which goes back to 1854. The entertainment in its Raintree restaurant, also 1854, was classic Bharatnatyam, with limbs, including hands, moving to right angles. The hotel seems more akin to a commission headquarters than a hostelry – no wonder the sexagenarian cricketers, who were staying there, all seemed to be having such a good time.

Girlahead just hopes they also made time for a Van Gogh immersion.