HYD ANDS

CHUMKI BHARAD­WAJ DIS­COV­ERS THE CHARM OF A POST- MOD­ERN HO­TEL THAT SITS COM­FORT­ABLY AMID OLD WORLD HY­DER­ABAD

India Today - - LEISURE -

Maybe it’s be­cause he’s Bhutanese that he ex­udes an in­fec­tious Zen charm that al­most se­duces you to sur­ren­der. Or is it just that I find my­self ap­pre­ci­at­ing the Bud­dhist con­cept of be­ing aware of your one­ness with the world and ev­ery­thing in it. Ei­ther way, as Sonam Zangpo’s heal­ing hands get to work on my tired soles, my soul takes a va­ca­tion from the dis­trac­tions and il­lu­sory con­flicts of the ma­te­rial world. The re­sul­tant bliss lulls me into be­liev­ing that I am tucked away in a Bud­dhist monastery savour­ing sal­va­tion, while I am ac­tu­ally sim­ply veg­e­tat­ing on a spa bed in a city ho­tel in glo­ri­ous Hy­der­abad.

Much of my masseuse friend’s fresh en­ergy, vi­brance and easy, yet ef­fi­cient work style, mim­ics the Park Hy­att’s ar­chi­tec­tural and or­gan­i­sa­tional ver­nac­u­lar. The mod­ern, and spank­ing new, eight- story ho­tel, sits calmly amid the mid­morn­ing chaos of Hy­der­abad’s Ban­jara Hills. Clad in nat­u­ral Madu­rai gran­ite from South In­dia, the clean and mod­ern lines of the façade com­ple­ment the shim­mer of the abun­dant nat­u­ral light bounc­ing off ex­pan­sive glass.

It’s se­cured like a fortress, and has a re­mark­ably short drive­way for a ho­tel of this stature. It’s only when you en­ter that you get a sense of space and tamed gran­deur. The atrium is dra­matic, with wide open spa­ces, hemmed by tall col­umns, short plants and a sparkling wa­ter fea­ture in the cen- tre with an is­land patis­serie. The piece de ré­sis­tance how­ever is a gi­ant 35- foot tall white, ab­stract John Port­man sculp­ture. As with most ab­stract art, it is open to con­jec­ture, mak­ing it a con­tem­pla­tive cor­ner for the rest­ful eye and rest­less brain.

The ho­tel has quite a few firsts to its credit. It is the first Park Hy­att prop­erty in In­dia to fea­ture Hy­att’s in­no­va­tive res­i­den­tial- style meet­ing con­cept. Let’s not for­get it is a busi­ness ho­tel. But, it tries its ut­most, and quite suc­cess­fully too, to avoid look­ing of­fi­cious with­out com­pro­mis­ing on ef­fi­ciency. And the de­sign con­cept fol­lows this seam­less phi­los­o­phy. The meet­ing fa­cil­i­ties are de­signed to re­flect the en­ter­tain­ment ar­eas in pri­vate homes. This unique con­cept trans­lates into a pil-

lar- less ball­room that can be di­vided into three dif­fer­ent spa­ces, a pre- func­tion area, and seven meet­ing rooms, each equipped with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, high- speed in­ter­net ac­cess and au­dio­vi­sual sys­tems ca­pa­ble of be­ing chore­ographed into small cor­dons ac­cord­ing to the size of the event and num­ber of peo­ple with a quiet pri­vacy and home- like am­bi­ence.

It is also the first ho­tel in Hy­der­abad to of­fer 42 fully ser­viced lux­ury apart­ments, The Res­i­dence, with five- star fa­cil­i­ties and ameni­ties, in­clud­ing a com­pli­men­tary fruit bas­ket that boasts fare seen mostly in ex­otic farm­ers’ mar­kets abroad or at best on an en­gag­ing food show on tele­vi­sion.

The re­main­ing 185 gue­strooms and 24 Suites, lo­cated on the first six floors ( the 42 ser­vice apart­ments are parked on the up­per­most floors which also houses a ter­race gar­den to re­lieve the eye of the con­crete load) are sized com­fort­ably with a de­sign aes­thetic that’s more sooth­ing than stun­ning. Each room of­fers an espresso ma­chine as well as an iPod dock for the per­nick­ety among us. While the fa­cil­i­ties qual­ify, the lay­out is a tad quirky es­pe­cially the bathing and van­ity ar­eas, which are split on ei­ther side of the cor­ri­dor mak­ing it a lit­tle in­con­ve­nient and much too voyeuris­tic. Af­ter all, this ain’t the Caribbean.

Away from the funky chan­de­liers and the dark woods, the heart of this ho­tel is the hearth. Or more tra­di­tion­ally, the Ital­ian res­tau­rant— Tre- foni ( lit­er­ally means three ovens). Much like a fam­ily kitchen, the ovens are the fo­cal point of the res­tau­rant and re­spon­si­ble for churn­ing out the in­cred­i­bly al­lur­ing am­bi­ent aro­mas of freshly baked bread.

The menu fea­tures nearly a dozen an­tipasti op­tions such as Parmi­giana di me­lan­zane ( Egg­plant, moz­zarella, sun- dried tomato puree), in­salata tiep­ida di polipo ( Lig­urian oc­to­pus, steamed pota­toes, black olives, cherry to­ma­toes and pesto), petto d’oca af­fu­mi­cato ( Smoked duck breast with caramelised pear), carpac­cio di manzo alla piemon­tese ( cured sliced ten­der­loin, mush­rooms, parme­san, arugula, ex­tra vir­gin olive oil) and an as­sort­ment of Ar­ti­san meats and cheeses.

Our meal be­gan with a glass of pros­ecco and ended on a happy note of grappa. Be­tween nu­mer­ous cour­ses ir­ri­gated by dif­fer­ent Ital­ian wines, most of the de­tails of the meal are fuzzy ex­cept that it was in­cred­i­ble, in­ge­nious and whole­some. Since our visit, the ho­tel has also opened it’s sec­ond spe­cial­ity res­tau­rant, Ori­en­tal Bar & Kitchen, that boasts South- East Asian cui­sine and sin­gle malts.

Fan­tas­tic food and fine al­co­hol, now there’s the al­chemic magic that trans­forms straight­for­ward great­ness into for­mu­laic leg­endary; here’s defin­ing my ul­ti­mate Zen mo­ment.

THE GLASS AND STONE FA­CADE OF THE HO­TEL BLINKS IN THE TWI­LIGHT SHADE

A COU­PLE’S SPA THER­APY ROOM ( ABOVE); THE BATH­ROOM AT THE DAY­LIGHT SUITE IN

THE HO­TEL BOASTS A FAN­TAS­TIC 360 DE­GREE VIEW ( BE­LOW)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.