The hospitality sector in India has grown by leaps and bounds. What started as a mere vocation to be ‘hospitable and warm’ has today led to redefinitions like revolutionary, inventive and responsible luxury. With the recent revival of the Taj Palace Hotel, Mumbai’s most prized possession, designers have been conferred upon an additional enthusiasm to build with élan and confidence. Here are a few hotels in the country’s financial capital which also happens to be the biggest hub of entertainment in India.
‘The Courtyard – by Marriott’, Andheri
This business hotel by famed P G Patki Architects, Mumbai stands tall on the busy Andheri Kurla Road. Devoid of unnecessary clutter the serene exterior swathe in glass and texture paint is bestowed with magnanimity of space experienced right from the driveway, to the entrance lobby, and the large landscape podium along the swimming pool deck. Privacy is modestly kept intact through screened approaches and foliage. Space flows out easily as is visible in the indoor banquets extending out to small patios finished with open grass joint tiles. The ‘floating tower’ effect over the banquets corroborates the hotel’s identity as its shares its front driveway with an office building. The swimming pool on the rear side with the grid glazing (using low E and double glazing) makes for a fascinating view.
Hotel Radisson, Kanjumarg
This upcoming five star hotel by architect Hafeez Contractor, Mumbai on a tight site of 103,501 sq ft is all set to become a landmark – owing to its strategic location on the route leading to the new international airport in Navi Mumbai which at present misses a ‘good quality hotel’ and a ‘skyline’. The flyover that crosses the block has onlookers gaping at the four giant columns that have already come up with the hotel envisaged to be completed in another two years. The services and public spaces cover the basement, lower and ground level while rooms start from the first level (the tower block) enabling spectacular views of the nearby Powai and Vihar lakes. The public area (the elliptical form) in glass and steel is a freestanding element and the whole massing has been concocted to give a feel that it is jutting out from the vertical tower block, though in reality the sole common aspect linking them are the passenger and service elevators. The tower block has a huge atrium with one entire glass wall facing north. The hotel has 336 keys and a total of 30 floors.
Exotic Hotel - ITC Fortune Group, Navi Mumbai
ZZ Architects, Mumbai who have recently completed this business hotel have infused sophistication with their intricate design details augmented with a warm colour palette and natural surfaces like wood and stone. They were involved in designing all the common areas (including the reception, lobbies, waiting areas, Nakshatra restaurant, coffee shop and the bar). A mercury shaped chandelier successfully exposes the verticality and expanse of the double height lobby. The focus categorically stays on the space with a symmetrically aligned onyx staircase with a reception tucked in the corner and a waiting area nearby. The staircase being cleverly mirrored gives a flowing and sweeping effect. The wooden boxes punctured with fibre optic lights (replicating a star lit sky) in the cafeteria establish the effect of lighting in such spaces.
Holiday Inn, Saki Naka
Clean simple lines rooted in the site context are the hallmark of this hotel on 3.30 lakhs sq ft. A lush landscape surrounds the hotel bequeathing it its privacy from the surrounding residential buildings. The hotel, being a business hotel warrants a sense of tranquillity which is achieved by ample of interactive spaces for business and leisure. P G Patki Architects have implemented green aspects like energy efficient low E and D.G.U. glazed glass, styling of the outer surface to cut down energy consumption and reusing of treated sewage water. The refined exteriors follow the uniform grid pattern of glazing. Through seven floors with 230 rooms and the state-of-the-art facilities, the choice of sophisticated colours in the interiors too calls for applause. An imposing staircase in the reception emerges from a water body connecting the two public levels. The infinity pool deck takes on beautiful shades of blue and green, thanks to the lush plantation.
Keys Hotel at the Domestic Terminal of the CSIA Airport
The Mumbai international airport is soon going to have an eight storey hotel partially sitting on top of its terminal building. The biggest predicament for its designer, architect Hafeez Contractor was to construct the hotel over the airport terminal operational area. On a built up area of 4,00,000sqft, the notable feature of the hotel is its atrium covered with ETFE air pillow (being light and giving the impression of glass) lit with LED, on the first floor in the tea lounge. A luxury spa, business centre, direct entry for guests to airport terminal departure hall and an enchanting view of the airside are highlights of the design. While the ground floor will cover the reception, all the services (including hotel operation offices) and public spaces would cover the mezzanine floor, with the private areas starting from the first floor. A huge design challenge considering the partial overlapping of the airport’s activities with the hotel, the phase 2 though has got approval, is awaiting the commissioning and completion of the ATC to commence its work.
AB’S Service Hotel, Bandra
Catering for largely an international client base, this soon-to-be-finished boutique service hotel by ZZ Architects springs up from the renovation of an existing property with ‘comfort’ as the key word. Each floor with its unique design styling and rooms with living spaces, kitchens and bedroom boast of a contemporary and chic design. Covering 22,000 sq ft on 7 floors, the planning is consummate of inviting guests to linger on. The top floor rooms, reserved exclusively for the owner’s family have more freedom in terms of form, shape and design concepts with furniture in free flowing forms and merging into the walls sans corners. Interesting architectural features like profiled ceilings, curvy forms, and inbuilt accessories complement the all white monotone colour which further gets emphasized with multi coloured LED lights.
Bengaluru based architect Apurva Bose Duttais an architectural journalist, composing articles for various national and international architectural and interior publications. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or reached at www.apurvabose.com
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