While the Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach offers a panoramic view of the sea, its interiors, designed by Ameet Mirpuri, offer a take on tradition and colour.
A panoramic view of the Bay of Bengal, the salty tanginess of the sea and simple styling are just a hint of what the new Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach offers. With the interiors designed by Ameet Mirpuri, Interior Designer, Design Studio, and the architecture by Mayuresh Katira, Chief Architect, Iconics, the hotel also promises a leisurely sojourn in the lap of luxury.
The 350,000 sq ft of the hotel’s expanse presented the design team with the challenge of breaking the space down into parts to give each section individual focus. “Clean lines and an organic approach helped us create the contemporary look that is Novotel’s trademark,” says Mirpuri. The prime focus of the design, he reveals, was on the ocean view, the external glazing and windows, retaining the ceiling height and maintenance-free surfaces.
The hotel is divided into a 12,000 sq ft convention centre, eight small and big meeting rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, a lounge bar, a specialty Indian restaurant, a spa and salon, a gym and a terrace restaurant.
The design theme is based on the four elements of wind, water, fire and earth – a subject that presented an opportunity to play with the colours associated with them. Light colours, preferred by the client, have been extensively used to enable a seamless definition of spaces; the bright colours, which add accent and warmth, come in the form of art, furnishings, light fittings, etc.
The intelligently executed accent and spot lighting by lighting consultant Sarangan Ramaswamy, Principal Consultant, Luma Design Arts, Hyderabad, give the hotel an added sparkle. A special touch is the projector near the guest elevators that casts colourful waves on the marble floor and walls.
Flavour with flair
The colour play continues in the lounge bar Vue. Large round chandeliers have cut-outs for shadows to play up on the plain wall behind. The all-day dining restaurant, The Square, has hints of red that give spunk to the lighter colours on the floor and wall.
At the fine-dine Indian cuisine restaurant Zaffran, the jaalis, veneer, flooring, wallpapers, etc, have a beige metallic under tone, with splashes of purple in the furnishings for glamour. A sneak peek into the soon-to-open terrace restaurant, Infinity, reveals a space enveloped in glass from all four sides with the ceiling and floor caress finish dark steel grey stone, and all-white furniture.
The rooms also have an equally luxurious vibe. The standard ‘Next’ rooms follow the lines of Accor’s (Accor Hotels owns the Novotel hotel brand) design office, with a few adaptations for the humid climate. The nine 2-bay suites designed by Mirpuri are even more sumptuous and include a personal living area, a bar counter, a free standing bath tub and a recliner in every bedroom.
The touch of grace
The ballroom, a crucial point of design, had to be functional and aesthetically appropriate for hosting all kinds of events, says Mirpuri. Accordingly, the colours of the carpet evoke the traditional concept of haldi and kumkum in ochre and maroon, while the walls are dressed with neutral beige fabric and mahogany veneer. The ceiling light is a graceful confection of aluminium sheets with floral cut-outs finished in champagne gold.
A ‘sea’ of work
While views are the star attraction at Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach, the very sea that provides them brought with it certain challenges. “The salinity and pollution from the port made it difficult to use metals other than high grade 316 stainless steel. So, we stuck to wood and stone, which actually worked in our favour by creating a sense of warmth,” says Mirpuri. Similarly, with the infinity pool and landscaping, executed by the client Prabhu Kishore, the biggest concern was to choose plants that could withstand the strong sea breeze, pollution and weather conditions of sultry Vizag. But, the biggest challenge of all was in tackling the hotel services and maintaining the ceiling height, for which the services were extensively reworked on.
However, the exhilarating architecture and flawless décor give no clue of the underlying challenges – instead, they connect the guest with the sea at each point, making it easy for him to imagine for a while that he is floating along on a luxurious cruise liner!
Total Area: 350,000 sq ft
Total cost: Rs 150 crore
Design Team: Ameet Mirpuri, Dhara Katira, Divya Gokhlani
Text: Shanti Padukone
Photos: Navneet Kumar, Fotobubbles Tech
Meet the designer: Ameet Mirpuri
Firm: Design Studio, founded in 2004.
Firm specialisation: Hospitality and homes.
Design philosophy: It’s got to feel good. Generating that positive energy in the space you create is what it’s all about!
Philosophy towards life: Don’t just do it. Do it because it’s right!
Favourite architect/Designer: Sandeep Khosla and Geoffrey Bawa – without a doubt.
Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach, Beach Road, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh-530 003. Tel: 0891-2822 222. www.novotel.com
Design Studio C2, Akruti, 10-1-9, Visakhapatnam-530 003. Tel: 0891-256 1586.
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