Design at a non-luxury cost?


What does the changing face of one Indian boutique hotel company tell us about shifts in attitudes towards luxury travel in general?

Could the face of luxury travel, or at least its parameters, be shifting a little? It seems priorities no longer involve just indulgence, but value too. The pioneers of luxury boutique hotels in India, The Park Hotels, have recently announced the launch of their first property in its ‘Zone by The Park’ brand in Coimbatore. It’s a managed property, and has 56 rooms at an average rate of £90 per night.

Once that’s opened, there will be a second ‘Zone by The Park’ property in Jaipur (Rajasthan), and then a third in Mahabalipuram. Further, properties will open in OMR, Chennai and Raipur (Chhattisgarh) in 2015.


It could be argued that all of these ‘Zone’ hotels herald an increasing appetite for the mid-market Indian hospitality sector, and nods towards a change in consumer habits in the world of luxury travel in general. It also says something about how India is developing too, since these new hotels will provide many business and leisure travellers with opportunities to explore some of India’s lesser known cities.

Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park hotels Ltd., Priya Paul, has overseen the design of the hotels, working in conjunction with award-winning architects firm Project Orange, and says: “Over the years we have noticed a growing demand for a new kind of a hotel, for a new kind of traveller, someone who is moving up the ladder and is at ease with themselves. That’s why we have created a mid-segment ‘design- conscious, price conscious brand’.


But these hotels promise to be a bit more than just a classy mid-price option within the luxe accommodation market in India. You could argue, given their layout, that they are a catalyst for interaction – creating what the brands’ spokespeople call a ‘traditional market bazaar’ feel; a friendly, informal place where people meet and engage with one another. The meeting zones within the main space are meant to be like creative studios, catering towards the highly-popular flexible working style of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Far more than just another place to stay, we think you’ll agree – everything about these properties seems to spell innovation, inspiration and aspiration (which is hardly a bad thing now, is it..).

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