In Hyderabad, that untarnished ancient city south of dizzying Delhi lies a new landmark ready to bedazzle. Meet the ITC Kohenur, the hotel of tomorrow.
ITC Hotels, one of India’s major hotel companies, has set its sights on a forlorn plot of land in one of India’s fastest growing cities to open the brand’s latest luxury property while simultaneously snagging the title, “the first luxury hotel in Hyderabad’s HITEC City.”
Opened on June 1, ITC Kohenur, which is the company’s twelfth property in the ITC Hotels Luxury Collection, is designed to LEED Platinum quality (awaiting approval) on a “Responsible luxury” ethos. Among the green practices: 100 percent LED light, solar energy, multi-glazed windows, recycling water for irrigation, and using 40 percent less energy than the national average for luxury hotels.
It’s got the prerequisite hallmarks discerning luxury travelers seek. Experiential bespoke tours, organically infused bedtime sleep aids, 24 hour fitness center alongside 24 hour breakfasts and a huge nod to eco-consciousness.
As the city of Pearls (Hyderabad’s friendly moniker) is in the midst of a record speed transformation attracting global companies from a new IKEA to Airbus and Boeing proposals, hotel officials say the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Ideally situated in Hyderabad’s new business district HITEC city close to an array of global IT heavyweights (think the new homes of Amazon, Google and Apple), today’s business traveler will get the snooze of their dreams, a home away from home in the hotel’s new extended stay residences, and an experience fueled by the love of Mother Earth.
Like earlier ITC luxury hotels that have spawned local urban redevelopment this futuristic build, the hotel reports has helped kick-start city infrastructure projects. The construction of the country’s largest cable stayed bridge, plans for rejuvenating the adjacent Durgam lake, and reviving green space in a downtrodden area are a few.
Is it any wonder India’s top responsible luxury hotel renowned for its sustainable practices that predates the current trends has planted roots here?
Here’s a snapshot on the hotel of tomorrow.
The hotelier celebrates the local culture. Hyderabad, a hotbed to bling (especially diamonds and pearls) has designed a modern day jewel using the famous Kohinoor diamond mined down the road as its muse. Strong cut edges covered in vertical gardens and a living roof alongside rounded facades that mesh with the rocky surrounds. By night, cutting edge LED illumination add luster to the imagery.
A nod to the grandeur of Nizami culture, the interiors radiate luxe riches as the curated experiential tours are full of play and wonder.
The lobby makes its own bold standalone statement. A crystal glass lobby facade is inspired by the diamond Darya-i-Noor draped in brilliant chandeliers with a hanging art installation of golden bangles representative of the city’s bangle ties.
The Suite Pluses:
Try among the largest room sizes in the city in all ranges. The list of suite categories is long and brash (try nine room styles) including a Presidential Suite and a Grand Presidential Suite. Guests’ well-being is paramount. There are Wellness Rooms featuring Vitamin C showers, in-room exercise equipment on request, indoor plants that improve air quality, artisanal drinks in the guilt-free minibar, well-being associates to guide you, and tried and true Swasthya menus that help improve sleep.
The jewels of Nizam inspire. Think rich palettes of sapphire, emerald, turquoise and amethyst that add dazzle to the various room categories.
A single swipe on the room tablet is all that’s needed for light’s out, blinds down and flatscreen TV on.
My butler service room in the ITC One category – like its sister suites – shares ensuite surprises. There’s a built-in private butler door that’s incognito. Place any laundry, ironing or empty food trays there and voila, the items disappear without ever having to do a meet and greet if not inclined. Spacious beyond belief, the interior allows for lounging by the plush couch, dipping into the deep soaker tub, or sitting outside on your private balcony with lake views. My king-sized bed with a pillow menu for special sleeps also had a bedside sleep bar for extra pampering. I used the night shades, ear plugs, sprayed the organic sleepy time spray with its calming essential oils and, yes, slept like a baby.
Welcome treats of shortbread-like Osmania and crescent-shaped Chand cookies, local sweets await.
Dining: Choose from six dining options. Tempt your taste buds at Dum Pukht specializing in India’s grand cuisine that transports you to the palace of the Nizam. Sample regional and international cuisine at the anchor restaurant, Golconda Pavilion, a 24/7 restaurant. Immerse in the Orient amid rare artifacts like a sunken ship relic at the creative Yi Jing Chinese restaurant. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the luxury chocolate boutique, Fabelle.
The Bar: Unwind with a cocktail at the Royal Peacock Bar. Have it mixed, shaken or stirred by the hotel’s acclaimed female bartender, whose revered as “the best mixologist in Chennai,” a southern coastal city.
Amenities: For fitness, the Fitness Center is fully stocked with state-of-the-art gym equipment from treadmills and StairMasters to stationery bikes and weight machines with views of Durgam Lake. For unwinding, the tri-leveled Kaya Kalp, Royal Spa spans five treatment rooms with massage therapists using Ila organic products. For refreshing dips, the infinity pool enveloped by a tropical garden boasts lake views.
Sign up for a Foodie Sherpa Tour or see the local landmarks with the hotel’s guided concierge experience. Get whisked away to landmarks like Charminar, the equivalent of Agra’s Taj Mahal or Paris’ Eiffel Tower and Chowmahalla Palace with a stop to the impressive hilltop fort, Golconda. For shopaholics, find fashion, food and entertainment under one roof at Inorbit Mall across the street.
Overall Impression: The cool sustainable confines of this new luxury property has set the bar for travelers of tomorrow.
You can make your reservations directly through the ITC Kohenur website. For the ITC One room nightly rates start at $248 based on double occupancy. For standard rooms in the Executive Club category, nightly room rates start from $160 per couple. Compare rates at Hotels.com, Travelocity or another online booking site.
Photography: Ilona Kauremszky and ITC Kohenur.