The Park Mumbai eschews the trappings of the starry suburb to embrace the best of the neighbourhood
THE Park Mumbai has a very distinctive strong design vocabulary that’s both minimal and indulgent
From the top level of THE Park Mumbai, the sweeping view is of the golden sands of Juhu beach, the glittering fashion and lifestyle stores of Juhu Tara Road and a quaint old bungalow, one of the few left on this stretch. However, the view within is likely to be as beguiling as the one outside — once it is complete, the rooftop terrace lounge will hold a sunken bar and a pool, set to the backdrop of one of Mumbai’s best sea views.
“There is no rooftop lounge or party place around here,” says director – operations Rahul Makhija. “It will be one our strongest properties for attracting non-guests or locals.” The eye barely skims the traffic on the busy Juhu Tara Road before moving to the golden beach sand, where guests of THE Park can go for a morning walk or a yoga session, armed with a beach kit thoughtfully provided by the hotel. As we walk out of the lounge and explore the suites on the top level, which will be separated by a door that can be accessed by guests of the hotel with a key, he says, “The regular room size we offer at the hotel is about 309 sq.ft, unlike other hotels in the city, where they average at 250 to 270sq.ft.” As I look down from the window of one of the suites, I see a flourishing Peepul tree that forms a leitmotif for the hotel. “We use some of the Peepul leaves to leave little goodnight notes or chants for guests during turndown time on checkout,” says Makhija.
Here's what director – operations, Rahul Makhija of The Park Hotel Mumbai had to say:
THE Park Mumbai has a very distinctive strong design vocabulary that’s both minimal and indulgent — while it eschews any extra ornamentation or flounce in the name of luxury, it is sumptuous enough because of the use of materials, fun furniture pieces and plush furnishings. The stylish new iteration of the boutique luxury hotel chain largely combines a sophisticated colour palette of blacks, greys, gold and white, and yet shimmers like a jewel under the bespoke lights that wash its various spaces and its furniture in a warm glow.
Across the hotel, there is very clever use of colour — in the works of art that pepper the walls, infusing the corner and blank walls with both character and an artistic flair, and in the flamboyant fuchsia and orange coloured windows that break the stark Sanjay Puri-designed charcoal-grey building. The lobby is a stunning medley of statement-making, sinuous modern light fixtures, some livening corners that hold lounge seating.
At one end of the lobby is what looks like a shimmering curtain that shelters an elegant private dining area of Meshi, the pan-Asian restaurant. The lobby seamlessly segues into the restaurant and with very few walls breaking the flow, affords a feeling of spaciousness. The restaurant, a melange of greys and blacks punctuated by burnt orange, is open for breakfast and then morphs into an Asia inspired all-day diner as the day progresses.
On the lower level is also The Walt, a dramatic whiskey bar with a vertiginous ceiling, plush seating and a statement chandelier. Interestingly, the team has named it after an imaginary character, Walter Gracias, a quirky Goan-Portuguese gentleman, a world traveller who has lived in Goa for a while and then ultimately chosen to settle down in neighbourhood Bandra. “It is fun imaginary character, with the food, whiskies and experiences curated to what he would have liked,” says Makhija.
There are separate elevators for the banquet on the first level and rooftop lounge, and another for the suites. The spacious studio suites hold everything that you would need for a comfortable stay – and in some, the bathroom encloses even a bathtub. Every evening, when the sun sets, the colours cover the 54 minimalist bedrooms and suites and the public areas in a lovely pink-orange glow. Some of suite bathrooms have mosaic artworks, like a quintessential black and yellow Mumbai taxi in one.
The Zen Suite is named so because of the amenities the guests are provided with — a yoga mat and Zen meditation books, amongst others. But one of the strongest points of this 502sq.ft suite is the wall that partitions the living space from the bedroom, and the beautiful view. Yes, the view, this time of the Juhu Aerodrome with its dramatic tower and its lone runway. Not to forget the quaint Japanese soaking tub, which helps to achieve the meditative state that this peaceful cocoon is meant to foster.
The rooms are designed as a progression of spaces — from bathroom to bedroom to a generous living space, in a bid to afford a home-like feel; think of it as a beautifully designed beachfront Mumbai home. The colour palette is soft and monochromatic, accentuated by a dramatic black cabinet housing a refrigerator, tea and coffee amenities and a cocktail bar. The colours of the windows are reflected in the bold fuchsia or burnt orange tables.
In Saffron Room, a 2,500 sq.ft banqueting space, designers have cleverly used load-bearing walls to create corners that could hold bowls with roasted nuts, as well as coffee and tea service during events. The banqueting space, besides showcasing collapsible walls, also has seating arrangement for presentations, talks and seminars, and a separate corner for corporate meetings. Remove all the corporate trappings and the space is perfect for a pre-wedding ritual or even a party.
“The design talking points are the spacious room and bathroom sizes, the contrast of dark with light in the rooms, and the rooftop lounge, which will be the area of attraction in the evenings,” contends Makhija.
The Project: THE Park Mumbai
Designers: ONG & ONG
Lighting consultants: Ministry of Lights
Area: 23,000 sq. ft
Location: Juhu Tara Road
Duration of construction: 3 years
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS
Flooring: Italian marble
Lighting/light fixtures: Handpicked from the international markets
Sanitary fittings: TOTO
Air-conditioning/HVAC systems: Toshiba/ Carrier