Cane & able
As climatic conditions in India thaw and give way to warmer times, it’s time for hotels to throw open their doors—literally. Come summer and it’s all about the outdoors. Pools, lawns, terraces and balconies are all prime places, where guests can take in the colours of the season.
Design motifs in Indian properties range from traditional to trendy, from baroque to simplistic. For all of these wide-ranging design identities, there is a plethora of furniture to choose from these days. Charpoys, hammocks, bespoke beach dining shacks…are just some of the ways to woo outdoor-loving guests.
How are you sprucing up your decor to create the best outdoor experiences for your patrons? In the bid to offer newer and more exciting options this season, vendors have a lot on offer for hotels in India.
Vivanta by Taj Fisherman’s Cove at Kanchipuram offers an unbeatable view of the bay. Its outdoor restaurant, Bay View, is a major attraction for residents and walk-in guests over the next few months.Built on the ramparts of an old Dutch fort, Fisherman’s Cove abides by a “stylishly spirited” brand of hospitality. The tranquillity of a beach resort such as this attracts several local and international travellers. Location being the prime factor, Gracy Varghese, executive housekeeper at the hotel, states, “At our hotel, we avoid metal furniture for outdoor locations.” Beach and lawn furniture include wooden lounges, beach hay umbrellas and wooden umbrellas for the pool area and the lawns. The verandas of the private villas use cane line synthetic material that is easy to wash and maintain.
Cane wins the bid to please housekeepers of properties that have outdoor outlets. From seaside destinations to those nestled in the hills, cane furniture is the best option for durable outdoor use. Keshav Chand, executive housekeeper at JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, vouches for cane. “As a material, cane is also easier to maintain and does not give in to external weather conditions, which is a big advantage for a place like Mussoorie that receives heavy rain and snowfall during the winters,” he states. Always in fashion and easily adaptable to newer and quirkier design trends, cane is used here in the grill lounge—Trout House Grill and Bar—in the form of lounge beds on an open-to-sky deck. Guests are comfortably seated and offered great food along with scenic views of Garhwal’s share of the Himalayas. Since the design of this resort drew inspiration from its environs, cane is in-sync with the idea of keeping it natural.
Such resorts attract large groups of families as well as corporate guests on off-site visits, who enjoy spending time, taking in the beauty of the outdoor environment. The benefit of using cane, therefore, is that its furniture is light and can be easily moved around to accommodate groups.
Wrought iron is also used in some hill resorts as some part of their outdoor furniture, which again is “easy to maintain and does not get hampered by rain, frost or snow”, states Chand.
Some manufacturers do advocate the use of wooden products as enduring furniture. One may not necessarily opt for the expensive and heavy varieties such as teak or oak but there are less expensive and lightweight choices, which are better suited for pool and lawn areas for their elegant look. Once laminated and cleaned to have a smooth surface, the furniture pieces become more durable and can be put out without signs of fatigue.
A contrast to these more relaxing resorts is Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre, a business hotel designed with large public areas. Contemporarily designed with elegant furniture that appeals to the business traveller, furniture for outdoor areas (loungers, bistro chairs, poolside dining furniture and more) is selected after stringent consideration. Hyderabad faces harsh summers, so the choice is based on local climatic conditions and the group’s international standards of hotel aesthetics, shares Jai Prakash, executive housekeeper of Novotel Hyderabad. The hotel has many furniture pieces featuring resin wicker around metal frames for its outdoor sites.
Cane is a low-maintenance material and requires regular dusting, while covering it during non-operational hours or at times such as heavy rain can protect it. At Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre, all outdoor furniture is cleaned thoroughly and disinfected daily and whenever necessary.
Leading manufacturers of outdoor furniture are becoming more and more competent with their product ranges. As design sensibilities, hospitality endeavours and guest preferences are becoming more intricate, so also is the furniture range. Yet, the parameters for any product can boil down to specifics like comfort, ease of maintenance, mobility and aesthetic appeal.