My first visit with Nirmal and Pushker two years ago to the Trident, a luxury Udaipur hotel, was a fond memory. No, we did not get a room. We had piña coladas and a lot of laughs in the bar. Udaipur, like most Indian cities, doesn’t have a bar/nightclub culture. If you want alcohol, you go to a hotel bar because stand alone bars don’t exist. Liquor licenses are exhorbitant, all the more reason why only hotels have them. At any rate, the drinks were good, even if the service was a little slow. And you can’t find piña coladas just anywhere in Udaipur. In fact, a decent cocktail isn’t easy to find at all. So we decided we should go there again just for cocktails. It’s too expensive for dinner.
The evening didn’t start out well. The Trident is on a gated property, and we were at first refused admittance by the guards. We were told the hotel and restaurant were full because of a wedding, which made no sense because we said we were there for drinks only. Nirmal called in a favor from a friend, and we were finally let in. Nirmal peeked into the restaurant, and it was nearly empty.
Service was intolerably and ridiculously snail-like. What they served up as a piña colada was tasty but didn’t look or taste anything like the previous time, when they were so good. All the cocktails seemed really wimpy and watered down. Appetizers were good, but the drinks and appetizers cost more than the entire meal had at Raj Bagh. All considered, with the bullshit refusal of entry, lousy service and ridiculously high cost, we decided never to return.