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Visiting Kolkata and need to stay near the airport? Up until recently, the options weren't very appealing and predominantly consisted of the row of rather unremarkable hotels lining congested V.I.P. Road. There are a few outstanding ones, mentioned below, but most are avoidable unless you're on a really strict budget and don't mind roughing it. The new City Center II urban development in New Town's Rajarhat, southwest of the airport, has fortunately brought many new hotels to the area. These include international brands such as Marriott, Novotel, Holiday Inn, and Wyndham. They're excellent value for money as well, especially when discounts are offered. This guide to Kolkata airport hotels will help you choose the best place to stay.
Luxury: Swissotel Kolkata Neotia Vista
The closest luxury hotel to Kolkata airport, the Swissôtel Kolkata opened in mid 2010 and is about 15 minutes from the airport in Rajarhat. The hotel is attached to a large shopping mall and cinema complex, so staying near the airport doesn't have to be boring! It's a striking property with 147 rooms and suites, two restaurants, two bars, spa, fitness center, business center, ballroom, and outdoor swimming pool. If you feel like indulging, some suites have private terraces with an outdoor Jacuzzi or plunge pool. Double rooms are priced from around 7,000 rupees per night. However, it can be possible to pick up a room for only 5,000 rupees per night. Breakfast is additional. Do note that this is a non-smoking hotel.
The Westin by Marriott is the most luxurious and highly rated hotel in the Rajarhat area. It's about 20 minutes from the airport but it's an exceptional property with world-class facilities and service. The hotel has 304 rooms and suites -- they're among the largest in Kolkata and provide stunning cityscape views from the upper floors. The hotel's 3132 bar, on the 31st and 32nd floors, is the highest rooftop bar in the city. There are also three restaurants (multi-cuisine, Asian, and Indian), a fitness studio, swimming pool, and wellness spa. Expect to pay around 10,000 rupees per night upwards for a double room.
Upscale: Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport
The Holiday Inn launched just down the road from the Swissôtel Kolkata in early 2017 and quickly became popular. This 137-room hotel focuses on both business and leisure travelers. Facilities include a business center, fitness center, small rooftop swimming pool, restaurant, lounge bar and patisserie. A banquet space and more rooms are being added. Rates start from about 5,500 rupees per night, although cheaper deals are common. Breakfast is extra. Children aged under 12 eat and stay for free.
The opening of the Holiday Inn Express adjacent to Kolkata airport in mid 2019 means there's now a hotel within walking distance of the terminal. (It's a 10 minute walk. Alternatively, a paid shuttle service is provided). The family-oriented 125-room property is set on four acres of landscaped grounds, making it ideal for those who want to get some light exercise and fresh air during their transit stay. There's also a children's playground, fitness center, lounge bar and cafe, multi-cuisine restaurant, guest self-laundry facilities, and free wireless Internet. Rates start from around 3,500 rupees per night with tax and breakfast included. Day use of rooms is possible.
Boutique: Pipal Tree Hotel
Pipal Tree is a contemporary, compact new boutique hotel in the same area as the Swissôtel Kolkata and the Holiday Inn. It has 34 rooms and great service. Facilities include a distinctive global cuisine restaurant headed by a chef from leading luxury hotels, a bakery and cafe, a lounge bar with dramatic views, fitness center, games room, and travel desk. Rooms come with something you won't usually find -- electronic foot massage machines, perfect for relaxing after a long flight! There's free wireless Internet too. Expect to pay 3,000-5,000 rupees per night for a double room. Children aged under nine stay free.
Mid Range: Ethnotel
Comfortable and clean Ethnotel is a decent mid-range hotel 5-10 minutes north of Kolkata airport, on Jessore Road. It has a 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurant, lounge bar, and 40 rooms. The only drawbacks are that some rooms face the main road and traffic noise can be disturbing at night, and standard rooms are on the smaller side. The front-facing rooms on the upper floors have great views of the airport though! Rates start from about 3,000 rupees per night for a standard double room.
Mid Range: Hotel O2 Oxygen
In the other direction, south on V.I.P. Road, Hotel O2 Oxygen is barely five minutes away from the airport. The hotel has two distinct buildings situated next to each other -- O2 Oxygen and O2 VIP -- which can be confusing. O2 VIP is a newly built structure, whereas O2 Oxygen is in the process of being refurbished (only a handful of non-renovated rooms remain). In total, there are over 100 rooms. The combined facilities include two restaurants, lounge bar, 24-hour coffee shop, and pub. Rates start from around 3,600 rupees per night, including breakfast.
Celesta is the most popular choice for a mid-range stay on V.I.P. Road, around 10 minutes south of Kolkata airport. This new hotel opened in 2014. It has 40 rooms, a conference center and banquet facilities, restaurant, cafe, rooftop lounge bar, and free wireless Internet. Expect to pay 4,500 rupees per night upwards for a double room, although it's frequently possible to get a deal for around 3,000 rupees per night.
Budget: Airport City Hotel
A bit further out from Ethnotel on Jessore Road, the Airport City Hotel is a fair value for what it offers if you get a discounted rate through an online booking engine. Facilities include a restaurant and 24-hour room service, bar, gymnasium, shallow rooftop swimming pool (with limited opening times), and wireless Internet. There are 55 spacious rooms with good beds. Aim to pay no more than around 3,000 rupees per night for a double, including breakfast. Otherwise, you may find other nearby hotels provide more bang for your buck.