First impressions matter. As hotel brands seek ways to differentiate themselves to create their own unique space in a competitive marketplace, design and interiors play an important role in improving the guest experience. In this Special Issue, FHW lists out the unique design elements of 10 leading hotels and restaurants in Western India
Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai
The very first Hard Rock Cafe is set inside an unused textile mill building in South Mumbai. The cafe was to dramatically house the trademark Hard Rock Memorabilia while fulfilling the need to respond to the 45-ft-high volume of the shed. Its design and styling sets it apart from other cafes in Mumbai. The design response was inspired primarily by the industrial nature of the site. The challenge was to infuse into this, the Hard Rock brand in new and innovative ways. The internal spaces are segregated into three important zones – café, bar and retail and are further split on various levels. The segregation of these zones was important as the café had to work equally well as an all-day family restaurant, as a high energy bar lounge and as a prime venue for live bands to perform.
The dining zone has been subtly separated from the bar areas by larger than life illuminated canvas graphics of rock stars that move vertically, setting a unique vibe of the place. Two dramatic double height walls clad in a sumptuous streaked purple velvet sport backlit niches of varying sizes house the precious memorabilia that Hard Rock is famous for. The rest of the walls have been rendered in an exposed waxed cement finish. Assorted gilded frames of varying sizes with autographed photos of rock stars, letters, gold albums and other memo decorate the other walls at the cafe.
One of the focal points in the design is the bar counter with a one-of-a-kind hydraulic stage over it. The stage can move up and down the vast volume during performances, giving bands the opportunity to interact with their audience from different levels. Inspiration was drawn from the common industrial lifts transporting heavy material in such mill spaces.
If these walls could talk, they would whisper legends of rock and roll heroes and guitar phenomenon. Adorned with set pieces from world-famous musicians like Elvis Presley, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, and Led Zeppelin, there’s a doorway to history waiting for you to discover at this place. As Mumbai is a world hub of cultures, music and film, Hard Rock offers a unique insightful experience through its decor and ambience. The interiors suit best for family outings and friends meet ups.
W Hotel, Goa
Marriott International’s W Hotels brand is globally known for iconic designs and contemporary luxury. The brand is popular for its vibrant lounges, modern guestrooms and innovative culinary offerings, making it a lifestyle brand. Each hotel and resort is uniquely inspired by its destination, mixing designs with local influences. W Hotel in Goa is one such property offering unique interiors and design elements. The hotel’s ‘Wonderful’ category of rooms combines the decor of the Portuguese heritage of Goa with splashes of bright Indian colours. The ‘Fabulous’ rooms are exquisite retreats with custom designed interiors and art work that overlook the lush gardens. The hotel’s ‘Marvelous’ suites offer contemporary design with hues of the Portuguese heritage, a wooden and terrazzo flooring and a panoramic view of the sunsets of Goa. W Hotel, Goa also features three categories of villas, each offering distinct experiences.
The Kitchen Table restaurant at the hotel showcases a glass-enclosed live kitchen; whereas outdoors it has floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal entrenching vistas. The air-conditioned dining room is filled with natural light, illuminating a white and natural wood backdrop punctuated by Moroccan-inspired wall hangings. Granite tables accommodate a range of seating arrangements.
W Goa’s pan-Asian restaurant – Spice Traders – reveals Portuguese architectural details and hundreds of dome-shaped copper lights perforated with intricate patterns inspired by Indian textiles. A red backdrop wall and the detailed decoration of the wooden staircase leading to the upper floor magnify the atmosphere. It also has a rooftop terrace with alfresco bar and lounge-style cabanas.
The Rock Pool Bar at the property is surrounded by neon-coloured furniture, including colourful chairs, cabanas, and a private dining space that occupies the resort’s highest point. WooBar, the resort’s epicentre of cocktail and party culture, is perched next to the reflection pond, overlooking Vagator Beach. The venue has eclectic decor that reinterprets Goan fishing heritage. Ropes form a ceiling, depicting a boat and fishing net. Bar stools, expansive reclined sofas, and armchairs feature innovative bases embedded with neon lighting supplementing Victorian glass chandeliers.
Another interesting highlight is the 370-square-metre Backyard that offers a unique two-level layout that places a gazebo on the upper tier and pop-up furniture on the lower tier to imitate an amphitheatre setting.
The Bar Stock Exchange
Largely popular for its unique concept of dynamic pricing for beverage offerings, The Bar Stock Exchange chain also features distinct interiors and design elements at its 10 outlets in Mumbai and one in Pune. One of its widely known outlets, The Bar Stock Exchange Lower Parel features aesthetic symmetry, geometric precision in a design that can be used as public or private. The outlet lends itself as easily to a corporate meeting as to a night or a pub crawl with friends. It is also the biggest TBSE outlet in India. With two floors and one mezzanine, this 7,000-square-feet pub is reminiscent of a secret Manhattan loft that is roomy and spacious.
With a new food and cocktail menu, this project houses a special deck for music events, DJ console, workshop cum co-op space and more.
TBSE Lower Parel is designed by Shabnam Gupta, principal designer, The Orange Lane (a design studio that undertakes multiple hospitality and residential projects). Elaborating further, Gupta says, “The idea was to create a green industrial haven with bursts of colour in the midst of the busy, corporate backdrop. Keeping in mind the vibe of the brand TBSE, the design was youthful and edgy with the kavlu wall installation and artwork wall. The blue and white herring bone pattern, cement tiles tied the space together along with yellow pockets of bright upholstery. The cement fabricated tunnel seating is the crowning glory adding to the adventurous and edgy feel to the space. A lot of vertically distributed greens gives the space its freshness and acts like a breather amidst the busy corporate vibe of Kamla Mills. The transparent pitched roof allows a lot of sunlight into the space adding to the green haven feel. The concept was to keep the youth magnet vibe intact, that predominately is a fun and amply vibrant space with a green house effect.”
Sofitel Mumbai BKC
The interiors of Sofitel Mumbai BKC reflect contemporary elegance and exquisite design, creating a symphony of style for its 302 rooms and suites. With 165 Luxury Rooms, 106 Club Millésime Rooms, eight Junior Suites, 22 Prestige Suites and one lavish Imperial Suite, the hotel offers a plethora of well-appointed accommodation choices. The contemporary avant-garde aesthetic represented through those hardwood floors, bold forms, sumptuous fabrics and the latest technology give a refreshing new look and feel to the property.
Guests get the chance to stay in luxury five star rooms where they can relax or work in inspired surrounds. The interiors of the luxury rooms are a blend of French elegance and Indian culture with hardwood timber flooring, large bathrooms with oversized tubs and separate showers. The Junior Suite offers elegant and spacious surroundings that blend the best of French flair with Indian inspiration. On the other hand, the Prestige Suite offers elegant and spacious surroundings with its distinct living and sleeping areas, creating an oasis of relaxation and luxury. This suite cocoons guests in its two spacious separate living and rest areas. The magnificent Imperial Suite stretches over 1,700 sq ft and cocoons guests in its luxurious living spaces once again showcasing a blend of French and Indian designing. The guest rooms and suites at Sofitel Mumbai BKC create a soothing retreat, in the heart of Mumbai.
Each dining space has been designed to offer a unique ambience, adding to the overall experience. The cutting edge lounge bar pays homage to the land of India. One can sip vintage gems from the unique wine tower while marvelling at the decor of the place. The third floor pool has been designed for a more casual affair so one can enjoy refreshed atmosphere. The Jyran restaurant is an intimate space with a contemporary style. A piece of art and the inspiration behind the name, the metal elephant sculpture is the show stopper above pool. The all-day dining cafe Pondicherry Cafe offers an interactive boutique dining experience with an authentic market feel, reminiscent of an Indo-French blend of tastes and textures, serving buffet and a-la-carte selections. Classic and yet contemporary, Tuskers restaurant is an exciting and mysterious backdrop for the sense-awakening vegetarian menu. Artisan has been beautifully designed to embrace the treasure trove of house crafted chocolate offerings. It surely transports one into an enchanting place from the heart of Mumbai.
As a Mumbai based luxury hotel it reflects modern character of the city.
Taj Santacruz, Mumbai
This luxurious Taj property is nestled amidst the best of what this city offers in the location. The architectural design has fused the best aspects of palatial and art deco design, both of which are recurrent themes in Mumbai. The styles have been played with so aesthetically that they are neither understated nor overplayed. This sort of harmony manifests itself in every aspect of life in Mumbai. The interiors showcase an interesting blend of tradition and modern designs.
The luxury rooms are chic and artistic, offering the best city views. The luxury tranquility rooms are designed to give you an interrupted sleep with complete peace and quietness. On the other hand, The Taj Club tranquility rooms offer a soothing combination of luxury and serenity. There is ample personal space which can accommodate both work and leisure. In the Junior Suites, spectacular views meet aesthetic sophistication and spacious design. There is substantial space in the Luxury Suites that are embellished with notable artwork and ornate furnishings. If you are looking for lavish comfort that resonates in the perfect harmony of design, the Grand Luxury Suite is the room to book. The Presidential Suite, besides giving a paranomic runway view, is aesthetically designed to embrace comfort.
The restaurants reflect a contemporary yet modern design. Each restaurant has been designed to give a unique outlook best suited for its theme. From the lounge bar, the cafe to all-day dining restaurants, the aesthetics of designs remain subtle yet outgoing. Each element in these restaurants has been carefully picked to match the theme of the place.
The Grand Ballrooms have been designed to suit city’s events and meetings need. Over the time, the property has become symbolic of all that is Mumbai. It will permanently etch this city as a treasured memory.
The Light House Cafe, Mumbai
The Light House Cafe in Mumbai’s Khar area, like the name suggets, is a house of lights. The cafe is an amalgamation of cultures which is reflective in its multi-cuisine menu. Drawing influences from modern Indian, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Vietnamese, American, Continental, Thai, British, African, Spanish, South American and Australian cuisines, the food and bar menu has been curated within the kitchen, without any outsourcing.
Deriving the idea of inspiration and thought that is drawn from a light-bulb, the interior space is disconnected by the use of different lighting in each area giving the space, a raw and rustic ambience. The space is divided into the entrance, the bar area, the break-out area and the sofa seating.
At the entrance, visitors are greeted with a display of 200 light-bulbs at the ceiling. The installation can be chased into 32 different variants. The entrance area offers comfort seating comprising of an area demarcated for live performances, with a backdrop of art work containing hanging lamps.
The bar is 20-feet-long, with a counter built by a four-inch wooden plank. The bar has 30 suspended filament bulbs illuminating the jar that they are contained in. The bar offerings majorly focus on the exclusive range of shots and cocktails beyond the pocket-friendly priced menu. The break-out area is designed with high tables, benches and hanging lanterns meant as an informal space for people to socialise and connect. The sofa seating offers an elevated, lounge experience encouraging community bonding which is disconnected from the rest of the space.
Svenska Design Hotel, Mumbai
A lifestyle designer brand from Sweden with chic styling based on Scandinavian design philosophy of clean lines and minimalist interiors, the Svenksa Hotels are defining a new level of personalised hospitality. The Swedish influences are beautifully captured in the architectural design, through clean lines in interiors. It is known to be a brand that represents a unique class and style.
The property offers three different categories of spacious and trendy rooms with high-end fittings and fixtures. All rooms are designed as environment friendly and are non-smoking, with designated smoking areas in the hotel.
Its main attraction is Miro, the Mediterranean restaurant, which serves a selection of tapas, paellas, wood fired grills and pinchos. The Miro Lounge enables guests to unwind over a drink while the Mesa Deli offers a wide array of flavoured and herbal teas to choose from. The restaurants and lounges have been designed with a sleek and edgy look. The design suits the city, fits perfectly in the limited space and yet stands out through its edgy feel.
Being a lifestyle European designer hotel brand, Svenska goes beyond just accommodation, bringing you the best of fine arts, including fashion, music, theatre, movies, dance, art, sculpture and photography. With the Svenska signature service catering to your every wish, we promise you a unique and memorable luxury experience.
The Grand Bhagwati, Surat
The Grand Bhagwati in Surat is a sophisticated urban retreat that offers a luxurious space for both business and leisure needs. The classy rooms have funky decorative touches, making it a unique new place for travellers. Located at the S G Road, the property reflects grandeur and elegance which immediately leaves an impression on the visitor. The hotel is divided into four floors with dedicated spaces for the ballroom, patio etc. Small detailed designs across every corner of the hotel show the effort put in styling the place.
The property is known for its tasteful interiors offering 170 deluxe rooms, superior rooms, executive rooms, executive suites and a presidential suite. The rooms are ranging from a stylish deluxe room to luxury suites decorated with a perfect blend of new trends giving a customised look. The use of colours like silver, black, rustic goldens adds a modernised feel to each room. Reflecting the comfort and flexibility of a guest, the deluxe room have modern decor to suit a new outlook. The suite offers elegance matched with luxury in such a way that is comfortable yet enjoyable. There are also differently-abled-friendly rooms specially designed to cater the needs of specially-abled people. The optimal use of space and details in funiture makes it comfortable for use.
The open spaces like lobbies and restaurants also showcase a well play of design. The use of steel-edged sitting and silver centre pieces matched with textured carpets gives it an eccentric look. Along with the modern amenities, the hotel also has one of the most spacious and elegantly designed banqueting facilities in the region. All halls are located at reminiscent locations and claim versatile areas of sophisticated design. The hotel event space offers a warm and inviting atmosphere influenced by the hotel’s modern decor.
Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa
One of the top five-star luxury resorts in Goa, Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa is set within 45 acres of landscaped gardens with waterways and lagoons. The resort showcases Indo-Portuguese style guestroom and suites, combining elegance with distinctive regional character. The resort houses 250 Pousada-style guest rooms including 12 suites, each offering a spa-inspired bathing experience and scenic views.
Casa Sarita is one of the best restaurants in Goa offering Goan cuisine. Located in the Village Square, the interior of Casa Sarita is inspired by a colonial house, crafted with monochrome mosaic flooring and complemented by opulent chandeliers and ornate windows with mother-of-pearl shells. The restaurant is reminiscent of a bygone era, offering guests an experience that reflects the blend of Indian and Portuguese culture and influence. The venue also features an interactive show kitchen decorated with an array of home-made pickles and spices.
The interior of Masala, a chic Indian restaurant at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, draws inspiration from its country of origin. The cabana, designed as a Maharaja low-seating dining space, gives guests a regal and exclusive Indian experience, while colourfully designed wooden cupboards are set around the restaurant.
Da Luigi is another F&B venue offering a neighbourhood-style Italian trattoria located in the heart of the Village Square. The restaurant has indoor seating with quaint French doors, as well as courtyard seating offering a unique view over the pool and the lush green gardens. Whereas, the Village Cafe is a restaurant is reminiscent of a casual street side cafe, with simple yet elegant interiors.
Palms is a beachside specialty restaurant, an ideal space for guests to enjoy the sea view while they dine under the open sky. Set with multi-elevated deck-spheres, the decor is rustic and minimalist while capturing the essence of the tropical surroundings and the view of the shores of Arossim beach. Some of the other F&B venues with distinct interiors and design include Praia de luz, a lounge and pub with casual interior; The Poolside Bar, overlooking the swimming pool and manicured lawns, offering a rustic setting with casual seating; the Wine Room, reflecting a traditional colonial style interior; and the cabanas, built like deluxe beach shacks with wooden flooring and a thatched roof.
Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa also offers flexible indoor and outdoor function spaces, for weddings and corporate events.
JW Marriott Juhu
Perched on the beach and offering a view of the Arabian Sea, the JW Marriott in Mumbai is redefining luxury in the western region. The spacious and impeccably designed property is a host of boutique amenities best suited for both business as well as leisure travellers. The elegant rooms with marbled bathrooms give refreshing new outlook to the property. Versatile outdoor spaces offer one of the best locations for events in Mumbai with some landscape beach views. JW Marriott retains its universal standard of offering luxurious and outgoing spaces for its guests. It its truly a grand property with immaculate interiors and direct access to Juhu Beach, one of the many reasons people love this property. The design emanates an exquisiteness that gives the property a premium tag bringing in more Bollywood celebrities.
Each of the restaurants are unique to their inspirations and designing. Dashanzi draws its inspiration from the vibrant art district in Beijing and features progressive, contemporary Asian cuisine coupled with handcrafted cocktails. The stylish restaurant is visited by many for a nice dinner on a busy day. Similarly, The Bombay Baking Company has been designed to offer a deli space with some delicious homemade breads in a pleasing ambiance. The Lotus cafe is once again a contemporary place for simple dining. The designing has been kept minimalist with a touch of modernism. The Italian restaurant Mezzo Mezzo is a chic restaurant which best suits its international cuisine offerings. While the dishes are inspired by the countryside, the interiors have been designed to suit an international style. The open space of Reflections are best to gaze at the lotus pond or Arabian Sea while enjoying chef’s special dishes. Saffron on the other hand brings you closer to home to the Indian culture and intricate designing.
All of the rooms boast sleek decor and plus beds with feather bed mattresses and crisp duvets. The elegant marble bathrooms include lighted makeup mirrors. The hotel suites are the epitome of luxury and offer amenities including executive lounge access.