WORLD’S FIRST ART AND CRAFT HOTEL LAUNCHES IN INDIA
Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel
Vishakhapatnam-The Palm Beach Hotel, a sister concern of LeSutra, Mumbai, opened the doors to its heritage wing, the Andhra Arts and Crafts Hotel today. The new wing, a ‘Microcosm of Andhra’ in itself, boasts around 70 sculptures and 50 art installations that weave in the narrative of Andhra’s arts and crafts within the passages, corridors and residential areas of the hotel, making it the world’s first art and craft hotel.
Le Sutra Hotel, the World’s first Indian Art Hotel based in Mumbai, is designed on the three gunas or qualities as defined by ancient Indian philosophy, namely – Tamas, Rajas and Satva. Each room in the hotel is a unique representation of the three gunas giving guests a never before seen experience. The Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel is Le Sutra’s third landmark project, which aims to preserve and bring forth the local craftsmanship of Andhra Pradesh, the other two being the world’s first Indian Art Hotel and Tribal Art Homes.
Designed exclusively by Andhra national award-winning artisans, interior designers, craftsmen and sculptors the property for the very first time has all its rooms themed on craft forms like Tholu Bommalata or leather shadow puppetry, Budithi brass work, Kalamkari pen art and Etikoppaka toys to create an evolved aesthetic expression encompassing the #HeartofAndhra.
The hotel promises to be a unique destination not only for leisure but also for business and corporate travellers looking for an experience after boardroom hours. Some of the amenities provided by the hotel include a secure private beach which is open 24/7, an outdoor swimming pool and four in house restaurants; Dusk – A Lounge Bar, Masala Mafia, Mafia Bar and Sea Deck where guests can indulge in some specialty cuisines.
To enhance the Andhra experience, the Hotel has also curated a special Andhra cuisine exclusive to the Andhra Arts & Crafts Hotel guests, additionally each guest is presented with a souvenir at the end of their stay that represents the art and craft of Andhra. The Hotel is also looking to add an Andhra Crafts gift shop with artifacts curated from local artists and craftsmen.
The Andhra Arts and Crafts Hotel has been conceptualized and designed by Le Sutra as its third landmark project. The other two being the world’s first Indian Art Hotel and Tribal Art Homes, both of which are in suburban Mumbai and are recognized for tastefully projecting and elevating the myriad art forms interspersed across India and transforming rooms into cheerful colours to brighten the mood of the guests.
With the 24 boutique rooms, the property has joined the ranks of the 50 art hotels, the’ world over. With the launch of the Andhra Arts and Crafts Hotel, Palm Beach will boast of 80 plus rooms including 7 cottages and 3 (1 BR) Apartments.
Craft: Etikoppaka is a small village about 120kms from Vizag. The wood used for making these toys is sourced from a locally-grown tree called Ankudu. It is lightweight and easy to chop and chisel, and therefore cannot be used for anything but this purpose. Logs of wood are dried in the sun for weeks to remove moisture. Once the bark is scraped off, the wood is roughly sawed into blocks of different sizes. Lacquer or lac is a colourless resinous secretion of a certain species of insects. It is collected by tribals from nearby jungles and mixed with colours and rolled into long sticks. The resin is highly flammable and melts easily at the application of heat. The colours used by Etikoppaka toy-makers are completely organic, and come from seeds, bark, roots and leaves of various trees.
The raw material (wood) brought from the forest is seasoned and cut to suitable length. This wood is put on the lathe machine for smoothening. With the rotation of the lathe machine, the artisan shapes and designs products with the help of different carpentry accessories. The product is then given suitable colours. Lacquering is done on the lathe, hand or machine operated. For making slender and delicate items, the hand lathe is considered suitable. Dry lac is pressed against the item to be lacquered, while it is on the lathe. The friction-generated heat melts the lac. It speaks of the skill of the craftsman that he uses different colours and yet manages to get a uniform shine on them.
Headboard: The inspiration is the Pandirimancham which is a colonial bed – Etikoppaka pillars have been customized and introduced into the head board along with other traditional elements like cane weaving & wood carvings.
Bench: The bench concept is derived from the cement benches found in most of the old traditional homes – again with the introduction of pillars and fabrics to match
Wardrobe/study Table: Keeping the traditional age old arch design intact we added a cane weave and pillars here as well. Note the detail on the room study table as well
Washrooms: Even the washrooms and room number plates have a touch inspired by the art from.
Craft: A popular village in Central Srikakulam district, referred to as Budithi village is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This village gained a lot of popularity for creating splendid brassware. While the traditional process for bronze-casting and brassware manufacturing is fairly standard, what sets Budithi apart is the craftsmanship and specific regional touch. Most notably, locally available natural resources are used to produce a tell-tale black coating. The beauty of this is unlike modern industrial chemical-based manufacture, the special black powder used for the coating is non-toxic.
Headboard: The Headboard inspirations are taken from the temple sculptures of women adorned with jewellery. Multiple forms of art & sculpture have been used to create impact; the base of the back wall is reminiscent of the rawness of temple stones
Bench: The bench is the highlight with inspiration being the traditional “Uyala” placed in most homes
Wardrobe/study table: Most doors to Pooja rooms in Andhra houses are what we have derived the wardrobes doors from! They are adorned with brass bell & unique handles with exciting colour schemes to make the brass stand out. Note the details on the study table
Washrooms: The washroom mirrors sport custom made brass corner brackets along with traditional carving under the counter.
Craft: Kalamkari or qalam kari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India and Iran. Derived from the words qalam (pen) and kari (craftsmanship), meaning drawing with a pen. Out of the many beautiful forms of handicrafts, the Kalamkari in Andhra Pradesh has always been a favourite with the art and craft lovers. It is exclusively found in the Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti areas of the state. While artists in Machilipatnam use designs carved in wooden blocks for printing, the Srikalahasti style uses the wax process to fill in the colours after drawing the outlines with the quill. All the colours and dyes, which are used in the Kalamkari craft style, are made of natural products.
Headboard: The art behind the head board is the quirk to the soul of the room. Taking traditional motif and inking then into ocean related scenes with animals and people.
Bench/wardrobe: The woodwork around it is representative of the temple “stupas” that also transcend onto the bench base and wardrobe tops with hints of copper and Kalamkari art on the wardrobe shutters as well. The unusual colours bring the Kalamkari art works to life. Note the detail on the study table
Washroom: The bathrooms have traditional original silk fabrics sandwiched between glasses to add pizzazz to our grey spaces.
Tholu Bommalata (Tholu – leather, Bommalata – puppet dance) is the shadow puppet theatre tradition of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Its performers are part of a group of wandering entertainers and peddlers who pass through villages during the course of a year and offer to sing ballads, tell fortunes, sell amulets, perform acrobatics, charm snakes, weave fishnets, tattoo local people and mend pots. Tholu Bommalata literally means “the dance of leather puppets” (tholu – leather and bommalata – puppet dance).
The room has been inspired from the “JATARA” or festival/fete which showcases all celebrations related to the tholu bommalata or the puppet dance.
Headboard: The headboard in the Tholu Bommulata rooms are made to look like an actual theatre backdrop complete with rising curtains and theatre lights; the art works bring together relief work and acrylic on canvas!
Bench: The benches are inspired by the colourful soda vendors cart and wheels at a Jatara /fair with colourful glasses to add affect.
Wardrobe: The wardrobe is actually an interactive experience with open/close shutters that have a surprise art element to each. The idea is based on the varied stalls and shops at the fair.
Washroom: The washrooms mirrors also have the same theatre style frame continued along with the colourful mirrors around it to add the impact.