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At your service

“Views don’t make a hotel," says Nitesh Shetty, whose Nitesh Estates Ltd has built and will manage India’s first Ritz-Carlton on Bangalore’s Residency Road in the heart of the central business district. Shetty is defending the not-so-great view of the hotel that is flanked partially by grimy residential localities and partially by the ubiquitous glass façade of office buildings. “But look at the service, the art, the food, the location. It is perfect," he says. The 500,000 sq. ft property that stands on a 3 acre, L-shaped plot does have the benefit of excellent accessibility. With 277 rooms, seven food and beverage options, and a spa, the hotel will open on 31 October. Mint Lounge got a sneak peek.

The most striking features of the hotel are the dramatic lights and the artworks that are placed everywhere. In the walkway to the entrance is a sculpture of Pablo Picasso commissioned by Robert St Croix. This is right by the patisserie, Ganache, which will be managed by the pastry chef who until recently managed the bake space at The Ritz-Carlton London. In all, the hotel has 1,240 art pieces, including large murals, paintings, sculptures and tapestry. The most visible artists are Paresh Maity, Satish Gupta, Sujata Bajaj, Revati Sharma Singh, and Bose Krishnamachari. “All the works were commissioned and the artists were given a good idea of what the space was like before they created works exclusively for the hotel," says Shetty.

The external façade of the hotel is made from limestone imported from Jerusalem. “We have used a variety of stone that we have brought in from across the world," says Shetty.

The spa area, designed and managed by ESPA, is designed in onyx and mother of pearl. Spa treatments begin at 3,500 for a “lift and firm eye treatment" and 5,000 for a facial and can go up to 17,000 for a 5-hour spa suite package.

The main lobby of the hotel is located on the third floor with dramatic artworks by Satish Gupta in the reception area. Autumn Forest, a large painting of a tree with leaves falling against a copper-leaf background is positioned across from Dreams/Upon Dreams/Falling, which has been painted and sculpted on three niches.

This floor also houses The Market, an all-day dining restaurant, The Ritz Carlton Bar, The Lobby Lounge and one of the three entrances to their dim-sum and Chinese restaurant, The Lantern.

At The Lantern, the signature restaurant of the property that can be accessed through levels one, two and three, Jaipur blue pottery shares space with cloth-covered walls that resemble bales of colourful fabric. On its three levels, the restaurant has a bar, private dining spaces and an al Fresco dining area.

The use of jali work, synonymous with the palaces of Rajasthan, is visible across the property. “We wanted to make it look international, but there has to be an intrinsic Indian-ness about it right?" says Shetty. While the jali on the outside has been carved on stone and metal, the same concept is used indoors in the lift lobbies, the swimming pool area, the sliding doors in the rooms and in the Indian restaurants where they have been carved in wood. UK-based Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo have worked on a large part of the hotel design.

Shetty puts the cost of the project that has taken four years and eight months to complete at 750 crore. Lighting for the property has been designed by Babu Shankar of California-based Integrated Lighting Design. Our favourites are the floral lights in the Ballroom and the terracotta lights near the swimming pool area.

Riwaz, the Indian restaurant that serves kebabs and bread and even has a wine and whiskey room, is on the fourth floor. Inspired by the success of Aer, the rooftop bar at the Four Seasons hotel in Mumbai, is Bang, a bar on the 15th floor. “We did consider a larger pool on the rooftop, since the pool on the fifth floor is rather small, but we decided to take advantage of the weather in Bangalore and give the city an open-air bar instead," says Shetty.

Room reservations at the Ritz-Carlton Bangalore begin on 31 October; room tariffs start from 13,200 plus taxes for the base category room and include complimentary breakfast.

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