To new beginnings...
Seventeen months after terrorists defaced The Oberoi, the plush South Mumbai luxury hotel reopened its doors to guests on Saturday.
The hotel was inaugurated by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan at an intimate ribbon-cutting ceremony in the main lobby.
“It was a very exciting day,” said Oberoi Hotels & Resorts President Liam Lambert. “[Group chairman] Bikki Oberoi inspired us with his speech, our CM proudly cut the ribbon and allowed us to prepare ourselves for our dream of being the finest hotel in Mumbai.”
In its comeback, The Oberoi has preserved its commitment to understated luxury after a restoration that has taken over 12 months and cost the Oberoi Group an estimated $35 million to $40 million.
The restored hotel features 287 guestrooms (down from 327 and inclusive of 73 suites), spread across 21 floors. It also features three restaurants — Ziya (formerly Kandahar), Fenix (formerly Tiffin) and Vetro – a lounge and a bar (Eau Bar, formerly Bayview Bar).
As the only space that didn’t sustain damage during the attacks, Vetro, the hotel’s popular Italian restaurant, has been maintained in its original form.
A spokesperson confirmed that all the restaurants had been booked for lunch and sold out, with long waiting lists for both.
Forty-five guests were confirmed to check in.
“It’s a very delicate road that we’ve had to walk while resolving the past. We’ve rebuilt the hotel not for today, but with an eye on tomorrow,” said Lambert.