Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel in Vishakapatnam promises to showcase the #HeartofAndhra
Counted amongst the world's 50 art hotels, this one is a veritable showcase of the state's beautiful handicraft traditions
Last month, the hotel Le Sutra in Bandra, Mumbai – a sister concern of the Palm Beach Hotel, Vishakapatnam, that recently opened the doors of its heritage wing, the Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel in Vishakhapatnam, hosted an Andhra art and culture experience in Mumbai. The evening included a live art demonstration of the Etikopaka craft, a culinary experience of Andhra Pradesh and a digital walkthrough of the Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel. Branded as a ‘microcosm of Andhra’, the new wing boasts 70 sculptures and 50 art installations that weave the narrative of Andhra’s arts and crafts through its passages, corridors and residential areas. The management’s claim that this is the world’s first handicrafts hotel may not be a tall one, after all.
Wearing the title of the world’s first Indian Art Hotel based in Mumbai, the Le Sutra Hotel is designed on the three gunas or qualities as defined by ancient Indian philosophy – viz, Tamas, Rajas and Satva. Each room in the hotel is a unique representation of one of the gunas, giving guests a unique experience. The Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel is its third landmark project that takes forward the lineage of Le Sutra – the other two being the world’s first Indian Art Hotel and Tribal Art Homes – and aims to preserve and present Andhra Pradesh’s craftsmanship.
The Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel is designed by national award-winning artisans, interior designers, craftsmen and sculptors from Andhra Pradesh. All the rooms are themed on craft forms like Tholu Bommalata or leather shadow puppetry, Budithi brass work, Kalamkari pen art and Etikoppaka toys to create an aesthetic expression celebrating the #HeartofAndhra.
The hotel promises to be a unique destination – not only for leisure, but also for business and corporate travellers looking for an experience after boardroom hours. Some of the amenities provided include a secure private beach that stays open 24/7, an outdoor swimming pool and four in-house restaurants: Dusk – a lounge bar, Masala Mafia, Mafia Bar and Sea Deck.
Each guest is presented with a souvenir at the end of their stay that represents the art and craft of Andhra. The hotel is also looking to add an Andhra Crafts gift shop with artefacts curated from local artists and craftsmen. With the additional 24 boutique rooms, the property has joined the ranks of 50 art hotels the world over and is probably the only handicrafts hotel.
Mitali Bajaj, vice president - Corporate Affairs, said, “With the Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel, our aim is to create the #HeartofAndhra within Vizag and give our guests a curated experience of Andhra Pradesh. By purposefully using an assemblage of traditional and modern handicrafts in the interiors, the hotel not only pays tribute to the cultural heritage of one of India’s magnificent states – but also preserves the legacy of its artisans. The Indian consumer today is well-informed and on the lookout for new and unique experiences, be it a leisure or business trip. The Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel serves as such an experiential destination...”
Radha Bajaj, official spokesperson, Le Sutra, said, “My family has always been oriented towards arts and culture – but when we embarked on building Le Sutra, I for one, was wary of the project since I felt that it would not only be more expensive – but would also require massive investments of time and effort. I was of the opinion that it was better to design a simple but tastefully designed hotel as the choice of hotel is mostly determined by its location and ours was in the heart of Bandra, by the sea. But when Le Sutra was fully developed, I had to set aside my apprehensions as I realised that the idea was a hit and the effort, worth it…”