Something new in the old

Something new in the old
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First Published: Fri, Apr 29 2011. 08 34 PM IST

Colour coding: The all-glass and steel lobby of The Oberoi, Gurgaon, has splashes of deep reds. Photo: Divya Babu/Mint
Colour coding: The all-glass and steel lobby of The Oberoi, Gurgaon, has splashes of deep reds. Photo: Divya Babu/Mint
Updated: Fri, Apr 29 2011. 08 34 PM IST
The last Oberoi hotel built from scratch in an Indian metro or suburban city was The Oberoi, Bangalore, in 1992. Two decades later, the group has chosen Gurgaon to open its latest 202-room property spread over 7 acres, right next to its existing hotel The Trident.
While The Trident, in many ways, evokes the old world charm with its domes and chhatri facade, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, is a minimalist building in sandstone colour with add-on angular structures made with gleaming glass and glinting steel. All of this is set in a bed of vibrant green foliage which the hotel staff refers to as “a cultivated forest” (really, it’s just a patch of shrubs and creepers spread over 2 acres).
Colour coding: The all-glass and steel lobby of The Oberoi, Gurgaon, has splashes of deep reds. Photo: Divya Babu/Mint
In many ways, this property is vastly different from the elegant, subdued, muted in beiges and white style of The Oberoi, New Delhi. Sure, the floors are pure white, but it’s the bold strokes of solid colours, such as the cobalt blue tiles in the water bodies, bright red carpets and giant rose installations in the lobby, and striking yellow sofas on teak-wood decks in the water, that enhance the minimalist design even more.
When you drive up to the porch at the fifth-floor level (it may be better to call this an arrival deck, keeping in mind the ultra contemporary feel of the place), the “forest” belt that you pass through lures you into feeling that you are moving far out of the concrete jungle that is Gurgaon. Will this foliage survive the harsh summers? Only time will tell.
The yet-to-open retail arcade (13 outlets in all, scheduled to go live in August) is a change from the in-hotel shopping experience. The all-glass and steel cubes, or “jewel boxes” as they are referred to, are a replica of the lobby structure and sit out in front of the hotel at the base of the drive-in and around the central water body. This space is disconnected from the main body of the hotel and can be approached without setting foot in the lobby. It will house brands such as Burberry, an art gallery by Nature Morte and, of course, The Oberoi Patisserie and Delicatessen.
At 620 sq. ft, the Deluxe room is all about the luxury of space. More than half the rooms overlook the water bodies and it’s quite relaxing to see splashes of bright blue water in the middle of brick-and-mortar Gurgaon. There is no overwhelming art or artefacts in the rooms…just a mute coffee-coloured zardozi-panelled wall to add a touch of Indian-ness to this otherwise austere space.
Though the suite (there are two such spaces) with the private plunge pool is really large, it is a little bewildering that the pool overlooks a mud cliff and a busy road. Would anyone really want to see trucks and scooters whizz past and honk away while they splash around?
While this Oberoi too will have a Belvedere Club (membership will open in June), there is no private dining space for members as The Oberoi, New Delhi, has.
Amaranta, the Indian seafood restaurant, is a departure from the signature eateries of The Oberoi. At most, it perhaps resembles Samundar at The Oberoi, Chennai—in spirit. The hotel claims that all seafood served here will be fresh catch of the day delivered daily to the restaurant from Kochi and Chennai.
The other eatery, threesixtyone°, is an all-day dining space with an oven for freshly baked bread running around the clock and five live kitchens serving Japanese (sushi and teppanyaki), Chinese, Italian and Indian cuisines.
The rack rate for the Deluxe room is Rs 30,000 per night. However, the current best available rate, which is also an introductory offer (till August) is Rs 16,000; this includes breakfast and airport pick-up in a BMW 7-Series car.
seema.c@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Apr 29 2011. 08 34 PM IST
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