The year may not have started on a great note, but there is a silver lining! When you are ready to pack your bags again, there will be many more new destinations and stays to choose from. By Pallavi Pasricha
A number of hotels opened in the last few months of 2021, and many interesting ones are due to open this year. From a boutique art hotel in Kochi, a couple of beautiful new properties in Sikkim, Hyatt Regency’s first hotels in Rajasthan and Uttarakhand to a unique one made of shipping containers – there will be a wide variety.
Hotel openings in India that we are excited about!
When you check into this quaint boutique art hotel by The Postcard Hotel located in a building that is more than two centuries old, you don’t head into a room but a ‘gallery’. That is because each of its five rooms showcases artwork and installations of different artists.
Kapil Chopra, Founder and CEO of The Postcard Hotel says, “Each section is carefully designed to tell its own unique story, be it the rooms, the heritage jewellery store or even the untouched exterior walls.” The experimental fine dining restaurant, Aah, serves local specialities with a contemporary twist. The hotel group is on an expansion spree; they opened The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali in Goa and have hotels coming up in Mashobra, Amritsar, Tirupati, Ranthambore, Uttarakhand and Maravanthe Coast in Karnataka.
Image: Courtesy The Postcard Mandalay Hall
One of its kind in Agra, this hotel is made using shipping containers with the idea that recycling keeps the world eco-friendly. It is starting out with four units – a room of about 320 square feet that has been refashioned from the container and a much bigger private garden with outdoor seating that will overlook sprawling green fields. There is no restaurant and it’s all about casual dining here with meals served in your garden and farm-fresh delicacies on the menu in keeping with the hotel’s focus on sustainability. In this unique property, which has plans to expand to more than a dozen containers, the emphasis will be on outdoor spaces. This is going to open by the end of February.
Image: Courtesy Tree of Life Ecotainers
Say hello to Ramada, the first international hotel brand in Sikkim’s capital, Gangtok, that opened its doors in the last month of 2021. The hotel has 57 rooms in eight different categories and those who love beautiful views can check into those that face the mighty Kanchenjunga. Your stay here can be action-packed! It is home to the largest casino in the country spread over two floors with 32 live gaming tables and gaming machines as well. There is a temperature-controlled infinity pool at the rooftop, a spa and two restaurants including a rooftop bar and restaurant by the pool.
Image: Courtesy Ramada by Wyndham Gangtok Deorali Hotel & Casino
Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited has set foot in Madhya Pradesh with this 99-room luxury hotel in Indore. There are six categories of rooms to choose from, including the presidential suite. The hotel group brings some of its popular and familiar brands here such as Aura – the spa offering a range of treatments and Aqua, the alfresco bar that is by the poolside with seating at the deck and cabanas. An ideal spot for sundowners, the island bar here serves cocktails and grills, barbecue Lebanese, Italian and Asian fare. Some Place Else is the indoor bar offering finger food. When it comes to the main meals, head to the all-day dining restaurant Epicentre which serves a range of cuisines.
Image: Courtesy The Park
The first premium hotel in the city famed for its hot chillies is Welcomhotel By ITC Hotels, about one hour away from Vijayawada airport. The hotel rooms are done up with local art and crafts and there are three dining options including the bar named Swizzle. The hotel’s signature northwest Frontier cuisine restaurant called Peshawari offers all its famed delicacies including the popular Dal Bukhara. When you want to savour the local cuisine, order the WelcomSthalika thali at the all-day restaurant WelcomCafe that brings all the Andhra delicacies on one platter. The hotel has a spa ‘K By Kaya Kalp’, a 24-gym and a pool with stunning views of the city.
Image: Courtesy Welcomhotel By ITC Hotels, Guntur
Very soon the Pink City will be home to yet another gorgeous luxury hotel. The Hyatt group is opening a 245 room hotel this year, which is going to be the first Hyatt Regency in Rajasthan. The hotel will have 34 suites which include a regal Presidential Suite. When hunger pangs strike, there will be two options to choose from – Shrot – which will have regional delicacies and The North Club that takes you back to colonial India. Both restaurants will also offer wellness and vegan selections. Besides a bar and a deli, the hotel will have a gym, pool and spa.
Image: Courtesy Hyatt Regency Jaipur Mansarovar
If you want to soak in some gorgeous Himalayan views, then this stunning new hotel by the Taj group built along a mountain slope about an hour away from Gangtok fits the bill because each of its 50 rooms overlooks the Himalayas.
There is a Zen garden and streams running through the property as it imbibes nature in the true sense. There is a heated swimming pool to take a dip in even when it is freezing and the signature Jiva spa is where you can luxuriate in a range of treatments. The in-house restaurant Mynt serves local Sikkimese dishes as well as Indian, Continental and Pan-Asian and the cocktails at the bar, Wink, include those made from local Sikkimese liquor. For those who like to explore the mountains, there are a number of treks around the hotel.
Image: Courtesy Vivanta Sikkim, Pakyong
The first Radisson RED hotel in the country is bold and stylish. There are touches of red all over the hotel – from the lobby, rooms, fitness centre to even the bathrooms making it look really swanky. Every room comes with selfie spots, digital screens and king-size beds. Redhaba is the signature multi-cuisine restaurant with private dining space as well. Jigger Bar has live music on weekends and whips up good cocktails, while Lavo&Go is where you can grab a coffee and a quick bite. This 154-room hotel is a 12-minute drive from the Chandigarh airport.
Image: Courtesy Radisson RED Chandigarh Mohali
Surrounded by the Malsi forest and located on the foothills of Mussoorie, this 263-room luxury resort will open its doors in the first half of this year, making it the first Hyatt Regency hotel in Uttarakhand. The hotel has 24 suites including a presidential suite and four very interesting F&B options including a rooftop lounge that serves Tibetan grazing platters and North Indian cuisine. The spa offers a range of treatments and there is a rooftop infinity pool, workout studio and salon as well. The little ones have been kept in mind with the program ‘Camp Hyatt’ where there’s a personalised check-in for them and a range of activities like craft projects, pottery making, kite flying and scavenger hunts.
Image: Courtesy Hyatt Regency Dehradun
If you want to experience true Bengali culture, then check into this 33-room boutique hotel that is designed like a Bengali ‘Raajbari’- built around a courtyard. There are Bengali touches and vintage artefacts all over this property, from a Durga idol, a horse carriage, paintings by the Bengal School of Arts to Bengali food and music as well. Living up to its name, The East India Room restaurant serves British Colonial and Zamindari cuisine. When it is time for tea, head to Loafer’s Cafe and enjoy a traditional Victorian-style high tea. The Swig Bar & Lounge has vintage single malts and cigars. The Outhouse has a spa, gym and pool that is open for 14 hours each day.
Image: Courtesy Raajkutir, Kolkata – IHCL SeleQtions
After launching ‘ibis Mumbai Vikhroli’, the largest ibis in India last year, the hotel group is set to open another one in Thane. The 186-room hotel that is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year will have artwork with Maharashtrian depictions both in the rooms and in its vibrant and cheerful public areas. The hotel is going to have a gym, one restaurant, a banquet hall and also an automated parking tower.
Image: Courtesy ibis Thane
Located in a town that is better known as the ‘wine capital of India’ this sprawling new hotel with 224 rooms is nestled at the foothills of the Pandav caves. All 18 suites have private balconies. They take food rather seriously and have four dining options that cover anything you may be craving. The Smoked Vine serves Asian, Robatayaki, and Western food, The Tuscan Room is the Italian restaurant, The Orient House is the Chinese one and Le Bistro is the Indo-Parisian eatery. At the Atman spa, you can choose from Western, Oriental and Ayurvedic treatments while a 24-hour gym, salon, Pilates room, squash court and a temperature-controlled outdoor pool ensure that there are enough options for the fitness-minded.
Image: Courtesy Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Nashik