It was known for its rooms with a Qutab Minar view and had been the proud home to the first bowling alley in the Capital. But like most Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) properties, Qutab Hotel too had fallen into a predictable disrepair and neglect. Now, much like its bigger cousin Ashoka, it’s time for the once-throbbing hotel to get a nifty makeover. Only, it’s going to be a gradual process for the decrepit old lady to turn into a young, elegant damsel. As part of the disinvestment process, Qutab was taken over by Edenpark Hotels last year. Since then, the group has launched a two-phase drive to renovate the property.
The hotel hasn’t completely shaken off its rusty past yet—the environ is still rather old-worldly, the air is laidback and the musty smell hangs in the air in the office areas. But the first phase of repairs is already done with and 60 rooms and the lobby have been given a fresh coat of paint.
The company has employed Shanghai-based interior designer Malini Sahni to undertake the "minimalistic" overhaul. The next phase will be a more ambitious venture—setting up a 7,000 sq ft multi-level entertainment centre, including a lounge and nightclub, and a 5,000 sq ft state-of-the-art health SPA and gymnasium.
The plans also involve adding another 125 rooms and 20 serviced apartments at the cost of Rs 50 crore, pegging the total investment in the project at about Rs 100 crore. The renovation isn’t just confined to the interiors, it promises to reflect in the menu as well.
The multicuisine restaurant-bar, Terrazzo, will host a slew of promotions and food festivals to please palates of all kinds. "Our mission is simple: to reposition Qutab as a contemporary boutique hotel in the heart of Delhi and yet offer value-for-money accommodation with international service standards," says managing director Sandeep Gupta.
Once the house has been put in complete order, Qutab will be repositioned as Clarion Luxor Hotel. But that’s still a good six months away.