There isn’t a five-star hotel in Mumbai that wouldn’t have killed for the honour, but it finally went to a little known establishment near the international airport. Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell party hosted by his wife Anjali at The Waterstones Hotel in Andheri has probably given its sagging fortunes the biggest boost it could hope for. Of course it’s the least the Tendulkars could have done for old friend and business partner Sanjay Narang who invested close to Rs 2,000 crore to replace what was formerly known as the Gordon House Suites with a hotel, club, serviced residences and offices.
We gather that the gamble didn’t quite pay off — with room rates plunging, he was forced to look around to offload some stake till a breather came along — a tie-up with an international chain of hotels which will hopefully drive up occupancy through its global loyalty plan. Even when he went through an intense period of introspection after retiring from One Day International cricket, it was Sanjay’s company he sought in the idyllic hills of Mussoorie. This time as well, his friend was by his side as he completed the farewell process.
While it’s not clear whether Sachin too has a stake in the project, there is speculation that they could collaborate to re-open the restaurant that first brought them together. While Mark Mascerenhas was the one who conveyed the idea of a restaurant dedicated to Sachin’s favourite foods from around the world to Sanjay, he passed away in a road accident soon after. It was Sachin who later called up Sanjay to ask whether he was still interested in the project, which finally came about as Tendulkar’s. The shaky start and sudden closure notwithstanding, Sachin and Sanjay could partner again to give Tendulkar’s a well deserved second innings soon.