The Kempinski Ambience Delhi, a hotel blessed by the holy Dalai Lama, is a design treat that contemporises traditional Indian patterns.
If it is a Kempinski Hotel, it has to be unique, and the Kempinski Ambience Hotel, Delhi lives up to this expectation. The hotel, which opened with the blessings of Dalai Lama, has swept the city with its grand design and large banqueting facilities. With a brief to design a hotel that would stand out as a landmark in East Delhi, architects from Achal Kataria Architects have worked on designs by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to give birth to a new star on the city's hospitality firmament.
The architecture is inspired by the works of celebrated artist Peter Mondrian, and sports many shades of grey and white within its free flowing spaces. The 480-room hotel includes two swimming pools, a ballroom which can cater to up to 6,000 guests and many more luxurious facilities. Italian marble and wood, predominant throughout the hotel, act as a perfect backdrop for Indian weddings and events, while selected artworks by contemporary Indian artists act as well-placed highlights.
The hotel has two separate towers, the Club Tower and the Hotel Tower. The Club Tower, with 180 guestrooms, provides additional services for the Club Room guests. Both towers are equipped with a pre-lobby, a main lobby, a business centre, a concierge desk and a fitness centre each.
The main lobby is on the third floor of each tower. The main lobby in the Club Tower offers access to the Club Lounge, the fitness centre (City Club) and the Indian specialty restaurant. The lobby of the Hotel Tower gives guests access to three specialty restaurants and the Cherry bar. The lobbies in both towers exude warmth, with subtle hues of brown strikingly contrasted with bright wall hangings and artwork.
The two towers are connected to each other by three connecting walkways. The walkway on the ground floor runs parallel to the ballroom, another on the third floor overlooks the water and greenery, while a third access point via the sky bridge on the 10th floor has a glass wall on one side that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Twist of taste
All public spaces are integrated with the restaurant and other areas in a free flow form. For a feeling of continuity, hard surfaces such as the stone on floors and wood panelling on walls, etc. have been repeated throughout the hotel with slight variations.
Three specialty restaurants and a bar give the hotel its buzz. Dilli 32, the Indian specialty restaurant, has a modern look with some traditional accents. For instance, the restaurant has a dedicated wall with beautiful bottles filled with mustard oil - an ode to the Indian preference for cooking with mustard oil.
The live stations and the colourful café of the Asian restaurant, Mei Kun, depict the vibrant cultures of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Café Knosh, the all-day dining experience, puts the spotlight on the lavish buffet. The ceiling here is chocolate brown, which contrasts well with the bright red seating. In the Cherry Bar, a beautiful tapering structure becomes a point of interest.
"Throughout the hotel, we have used warm neutral woods and stone, allowing the design to have bright accents and Indian-inspired colours and patterns to make each space come alive," says Vella Ramasawmy, General Manager, Kempinski Ambience Hotel.
The guest rooms are modern and luxurious with effective space utilisation. Various types of glass are used for glazing. For the guest rooms, a double glazed unit of 38mm is used to control the decibel levels. Wooden flooring in a luxurious chocolate brown shade combined with a cream stone, it lends a cosy feel to the rooms. The walls are covered with subtle Indian-inspired patterns. These touches, juxtaposed with serene blue and green hued fabrics, give the rooms a quiet sophistication.
Size does matter
The highlight of the hotel is its banquet area: large, column-less halls that cover 26,000 sq ft. This space is divided into five parts, with independent pre-function areas and a kitchen service for each area. The ceiling lighting has been designed to suit the type of functions being held in the hall.
The hotel, with its subtle colour palette, focus on artwork and landscaping and use of Indian patterns, gently places guests within the local culture. The traditional theme is juxtaposed with modern architecture and luxurious materials to create a unique blend of two worlds, assuring each guest at Kempinski Ambience an unparalleled experience.
Total Area: Approx 1 million sq ft
Total Cost: Over Rs 1,400 crore
Text: Sumisha Arora
Achal Kataria Architects, E 15, Part 1, 1st Floor, South Extension, New Delhi - 110 049 Tel: 011-2462 0911.
HBA, Website: www.hbadesign.com
Meet the architect
Firm: Achal Kataria Architects founded in 1991
Firm Specialisation: Hospitality and healthcare projects.
Design philosophy: To provide a service that inspires all.
Philosophy towards life: Honesty.
Favourite architect/Designer: Joseph Allen Stein and Herzog & de Meuron.