Five years after making an announcement of its venture into India, Planet Hollywood, the American theme restaurant and hotel chain, is finally set to open here.
Arch Millennium Corp, a Florida-based company, which has acquired the master franchise rights for the Planet Hollywood brand across India, is opening a five-star Planet Hollywood Hotel on the site of the former Shelley’s Hotel in Colaba. Scheduled to open in 2012, this will be the company’s second hotel in the world.
The first Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino opened in Las Vegas in 2007. Arch Millennium also plans to open Planet Hollywood floating restaurant in Colaba, on a pleasure yacht, which has already been imported from the US. Named Oceanis, it is a four-level boat, anchored in Mumbai, containing a variety of multi-cuisine restaurants, bars, lounges and coffee shops, seating 400 patrons. The northern suburbs are being considered for Mumbai’s first Planet Hollywood-themed restaurant.
Numbering 14 worldwide, the restaurants are typically decorated with movie memorabilia, including props from films, and serve American cuisine. Planet Hollywood is a privately-held US company. Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have stake in the brand.
While the Las Vegas gigantic resort has 2,600 rooms dedicated to specific movies, a three-acre casino, and a 7,000-seater theatre, the Mumbai hotel will be more of a five-star luxury business hotel, says Sunit Sharma, group executive chef, Planet Hollywood India. The rooms won’t have movie memorabilia. He promises, “Guests will be treated like celebrities.”
Arch Millennium has already submitted plans to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) to raze down Shelley’s Hotel, which remains closed and rebuild the Planet Hollywood Hotel on the plot, which falls in a heritage precinct. “It is not possible to renovate such a small hotel in the way we want,” Sharma says. “It won’t have a casino, but will be a five-star hotel, drawing from the celebrity status of Planet Hollywood.”
As for the five-year delay, he explains that plans to enter India were postponed due to the recession, the terror attacks and other factors, but are on the roll again. Sharma says, “We are bringing Hollywood stars down to all the launches. Everyone in India likes VIP treatment.”
Dinesh Afzalpurkar, chairman of the MHCC, says, “We have received their plans and the matter will be placed before the committee next week.” Shelley’s Hotel was a place where foreign scholars used to stay,” reminisces conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah. “I’ve got nothing against Planet Hollywood coming in, just as long as they don’t put any ghastly signage on the front.”