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India’s first W hotel coming up off Mahalaxmi racecourse

Tuesday, 1 February 2011 - 2:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The international hotel chain has inked a management agreement for the hotel which is coming up at Lower Parel.

Global hospitality major Starwood Hotels & Resorts is all set to introduce the iconic lifestyle hotel brand ‘W Hotels’ in India. According to industry sources, the international hotel chain has already inked a management agreement for the hotel which is coming up at Lower Parel in Mumbai. An official announcement in this regard is expected soon.

A top official from a leading international hotel chain familiar with the development said that Starwood has signed its first W Hotel, which is currently under development in Mumbai. “It’s a 300-room property overlooking the Mahalaxmi Racecourse and Worli Sea Face and likely to get operational by 2013-14,” he said, requesting not to be identified.

When contacted, the India office of Starwood Hotels & Resorts refrained from commenting and sharing any information on the development or the real estate partner for the project.

DNA has, however, learnt from sources that the premium lifestyle brand is being developed by a high networth individual (HNI) whose identity is not yet public. The property is part of an iconic mix-use development christened ‘Namaste Tower’. The construction site is the erstwhile Ambika Mills land parcel located a few hundred metres south of another soon-to-open luxury hotel, Shangri-La, atop the luxury retail mall Palladium at High Street Phoenix at Lower Parel.

While the identity of the HNI has been kept strictly under wraps, industry sources said that the person goes by the name Gurinder and is also doing another hotel in Noida with Starwood to be operated under the Sheraton brand. Designing the iconic development is the UK’s largest engineering and design consultancy firm WS Atkins Plc (also listed on the London Stock Exchange) which is the world’s 11th largest design company. Atkins is also the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

According to an entry submitted by Atkins at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona (held in November 2010) Namaste Tower is 300-metre, 62-storey, mix-use tower that will encompass a hotel, office and retail space. The entry also mentions the client/developer’s name as Jaguar Buildcon, India.

Resembling the ‘namaste’ gesture, the design follows the long tradition of rich Indian architecture and will stand as a landmark structure representative of the burgeoning economic and cultural significance of India. “The two wings of the hotel are clasped together like hands greeting the city of Mumbai,” said the Atkins entry describing the project design.

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