The 16-bedroom hotel, which first opened in 1976, used to charge its patrons Rs 5,000 a night for simple rooms. “It was an embarrassment to own that hotel,” explains Radha Bajaj, director of Pali Hill Tourist Hotel Private Ltd, who owns the building. “I am used to doing things in a slightly more fancy way.”
She says her vision was to create a hotel that was known throughout the world. “So we thought if we Indianised it, it would be the first of its kind in the world and we realised that our heritage had much more to offer,” she adds. Le Sutra has taken three years to be designed and around 2 crore has been invested on it. Scores of designers, sculptors and artists from across India have contributed to it. The rooms will be available from the end of March at a price of Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 per night. Each floor is themed on one of the three Guna (energies) — Sattva, Rajas or Tamas. Designed around a particular concept, each room has original artwork commissioned by Indian artists, and furniture and décor to match its theme. The art gallery on the third floor will be kept aside for art shows, flea markets and conferences.
In the category of Rajas (vibrant energy), the second floor will have a room based on the love story of Baji Rao; on Dyuuta (gambling) and on Kathak (the dance form). The rooms themed around Tamas (self indulgence) will have three rooms — Vaasna (sensuality), Ravana and Maya (mental illusion).
“Most hotels compete on luxury; we wanted to add another dimension of mind space,” Bajaj concluded. Rooms based on the Sattvic guna, that is, of balance, order, purity and higher energy has four rooms.
Shuddhi (Cleansing): This blue and white coloured room is themed around gaining peace of mind and purifying oneself, while the artwork reflects an out-of-body experience. A lotus is engraved in the bathroom, and a mandu (water and stone installation) inlaid in the floor.
Prakriti (nature on an ethereal level): This room is meant to elevate the mind, by hearing, thinking and imagining. Art of flowing leaves symbolise the need for flexibility. The colours are woody.
Nirvan (Nirvana): Themed in yellow, this room defines life’s struggles, with a fresco of the eight events in Gautam Buddha’s life. The room has Khadau slippers for the guests, which symbolise self control; and a Stupa chair, symbolic of the Budhist Stupa.
Mandala (cosmic diagram connecting the finite and infinite): The room has rose quartz that heals psychological emotional blocks and the Mandala chair shows a lotus in full bloom representing enlightenment.