With a meditation camp and customised tours, Nirvana Boutique Hotel’s bed and breakfast options suit the pocket.
EVEN though Hotel Picnic (started in the 1980s in Mahabalipuram) shut down in 2011—after it was acquired by the state government to make way for the Metro Rail—the Guptas, who owned it, were set on continuing in the hospitality sector. Launching the new Nirvana Boutique Hotel on April 16, the team—comprising Sanjay Gupta and his sons Mohit and Akash—is back in business. With stay packages beginning from `1,200 (24 hours), this boutique hotel wants to cater to the middle-income group. “There are only two types of hotels in Mahabalipuram, the super-luxury ones like Temple Bay and others that are more like lodges. I wanted to get into the mid-segment,” explains Akash, the communications manager of the 20,000 sq ft property.
They had taken over the property in December 2014, when it was just half-built. “It was a challenge for us to integrate a theme into the architecture,” says Akash. The 24-year-old’s idea to bring in the ideology of Buddhism is seen in several aspects of the hotel—from the name of its banquet hall, Moksha, to its pure vegetarian restaurant, Karma, which serves Indian and Chinese cuisine. “Our chef from Hotel Picnic, Hyatt Singh, came down from Uttarakhand to work for us again when we told him about our new venture,” smiles Akash.
The three brainstormed quite a bit before zeroing in on the interiors. While the walls are done in white, grey and black—to exude positive vibrations—the beds are made of granite. They are also planning to offer customised tours for guests, in and around Mahabalipuram (on prior request).
Besides the 11 rooms and the pool, a meditation camp will soon be coming up, along with additional 22 rooms. “In 10 years, we are looking to construct another 10 hotels—under the brand Nirvana Hotels & Resorts (P) Ltd—in places like Gokarna and Auroville. But we will stay away from commercial places like Goa,” says Mohit, the CEO and COO, speaking about expansion plans. We can soon expect their Villa Nirvana to come up 10 kms away. As of now, drop in on the weekends and enjoy an introductory offer of stay and breakfast at Rs 2,500 only.
— Seema Rajpal