Soon Mumbaiites will be able to dine on the sea with the iconic cable-stayed Bandra Worli Sea Link in the back drop. The city’s first floating hotel or floatel will be inaugurated by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday evening.
The vessel is harboured near the BWSL toll plazas since a few months now, and can be accessed via a jetty near the sea link—500 meters before the toll plazas. The floatel, AB Celestial, is built in the United State of America. The three-tier vessel is a venture by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation in partnership with AB Hospitality and WB International Consultant.
According to MTDC officials, the state-of-the-art floatel has three restaurants and a banquet hall. It has a sky deck, two galleys, and will have two multi-cuisine restaurants including a club lounge equipped with a round-the-clock coffee shop.
“The floatel will give a 360-degree view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea and has a capacity to cater to around 650 guests. Mumbai receives the maximum number of foreign tourists so the floatel will certainly become a huge attraction for the tourists and for Mumbaikars as well. The floatel would also enhance the image of Mumbai,” an MTDC official, requesting anonymity.
The floatel was launched in 2014 by then tourism minister Chhagan Bhujbal, but was not opened to public due to issues of permissions, officials added.
Currently, states such as Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry already run floating hotels and attract a high number of tourists. Globally too cities including New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Saigon in Vietnam, etc have floating restaurants.