The Architecture Behind Radisson Lonavala

In this article:
The fascinating story behind Radisson Lonavala, explained through 2D images taken from a Matterport 3D virtual tour.

Radisson Resort and Spa, Lonavala, is a luxury hotel spread across 3.5 acres, nestled in the Sahyadri Hills. A couple of hours drive from Mumbai or Pune, this newly-built destination is preferred by international business travellers as well as local couples. 

This blog post is an unofficial guide to illustrate the architecture and thought behind the resort, written in a friendly tone, for the layman. Plan ahead and book your stay directly or through an agency like Agoda to get great deals.

Radisson Lonavala was designed to resemble a fort, embracing ancient Maratha culture and the five elements. This article is dedicated to the International Yoga Day.

Earth

As your vehicle glides into the foyer, there are smiling hostesses to ensure you’re at the right place. Never mind your luggage, the awesome staff has got that covered already and won’t let you lift a finger.

If you’re not satisfied with the traditional 2D image above, here’s a Streetview panorama of the foyer. Click and drag left or right to look around – 

If a 360° image can impress you, wait until you see the entire Matterport virtual tour at the end of this post. For now, let’s stick to the story.

The ceiling is made from cotton steel, which is engineered to rust, without losing any strength over time. The idea is to let guests feel the vibe of a rustic fort. With a theme based on Maratha heritage and the five elements, the resort’s foyer is a typical example of the material transforming due to the influence of the environment.

As you check in at the reception, you’ll notice the majestic stone walls around you. These Deccan stones are composed of Basalt and were taken from the same location, after the blasts were made by the project engineers to construct the basement.

Also, the gabion, standing at 21 meters is the tallest in India. With no concrete used, the stones placed over one another is a unique civil engineering feature of the resort.

Water

After check-in, walk across the beautiful stone floors with metal grouting to see the all-day dining restaurant named Hirkani. To its left is the bar, Malhari, leading to the lawn and the swimming pool.

Radisson-Resort-and-Spa-Lonavala-Hirkani - Adostrophe

Hirkani was a lady who sold milk at a fort everyday for a living. Post sunset, no one was allowed to enter or exit the fort, but Hirkani, engrossed in her work, had not realised the time passing on a particular day. She ran to the main gate and begged the soldiers to let her go home, but they did not allow her.

The next day, while taking a head count, Hirkani was missing to everyone’s surprise. The soldiers found her at her house with her child, and was summoned to Shivaji Maharaj’s court. 

Demanding to know how Hirkani had managed to go home, she eventually confessed that she had climbed down the hillside of the fort. When the shocked court members said their best warriors were unable to do and died trying, Shivaji asked her how it was possible.

Hirkani said her baby was alone and hungry at home, which gave her the courage to go down the dangerous hill. 

This exquisite diner serves buffet as well as à la carte. Pan to the right where guests can also eat outside, in the open. The architecture also includes a well in the middle of the buffet, as seen in the pano image above. 

Next to Hirkani is Malhari – the bar with the poolside view. Malhari represents the spirit’s celebration of happiness and joy.

Swimming Pool - Radission Lonavala - Adostrophe

The black floored swimming pool is called the Kund. The black colour attracts solar energy, thereby positively energising the pool for the guests. Kund is a traditional rainwater harvesting system used typically in rural areas of India.

Fire

The name Lonavala refers to “Loni” or “resting place”, which was discovered by traveling farmers. One carries a pickaxe (Kulhadi), another a mortor pan (Ghamela) and the third farmer a water pitcher (Matki). Lonavala is referred as the ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’ owing to its scenic beauty.

A Maratha settlement used to be called as a “Wada” in the olden days. A man from a Wada used to blow a trumpet named “Tutari” at sunset to let people know that it’s time to stop work and get home. 

After this, a fire torch is lit, named “Mashal” to bring light to the house and to respect the fire element. The Masha is typically a wooden stick with a cloth tied at one end.

The walkway intersection, between the foyer and the two buildings is where the Tutari and Mashal ceremonies take place every day at Radisson Lonavala. At the lawn area, tea is served, followed by Karaoke sessions. The hotel staff and the guests have a great time listening to and singing their favorite songs. Hard to pass by without joining the group.

In Yoga, the fire element represents many traits including transformation. A balance among the elements is essential to maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit. There are Pranayamas to control the fire element, if it’s felt to be in excess.

Coming back to the hotel, some Mumbaikars might think about lighting up. Yes, smoking is allowed outside the bar “Malhari”, but not in the rooms and balconies. 

Air

As a hill station, fresh air is something you can count on without worrying about the pollution that cities are notorious for. One of the unique to-do things in Radisson Lonavala, is to go trekking. Even 15 minutes would suffice to take in the opulence of the hills.

“Peshwas” are the fore runners of a Maratha regime, hence the lush lawns here are named Peshwa Lawns, where events and Karaoke sessions are held. The nomenclature is based on ancient Maratha traditions, with a keen inclination to nature.

Radisson Facade - Adostrophe

The facade is made from Pine wood imported from Finland. Over time, it would change its colour to reveal a greyish hue, resembling a fort.

Facade - Adostrophe

The atrium wing’s corridors are fierce with wind gushing, thanks to the facade in the open area. It brings about the name “Sinh” which means lion in Marathi.

Radisson-Resort-and-Spa-Lonavala Dollhouse - Adostrophe

The dollhouse view shows two structures – Sinhgad and Vijaygad. Sinhgad is the atrium wing with 61 rooms, the spa, recreation centre, gym, courtyard and the meeting centre – Surya Bhavan. 

The other wing, Vijaygad is where the lobby, restaurant and bar is located along with pool-facing rooms. Both these buildings are names of forts. “Vijay” refers to victory.

Space

The fifth element – space or “Akasha” or Ether is the subtle one, among all elements. As an ideal location for business events and weddings, there are two spaces at both buildings – Surya Bhavan and Raj Bhavan.

Surya Bhavan - Adostrophe

Surya Bhavan, at the basement of Sinh Gad is a 2,200 sq ft acoustics hall with a Baffle pattern. Since it allows direct sunlight, it is called Surya Bhavan.

Raj Bhavan is the larger banquet hall at 4,260 sq ft area that can be split into 3 separate parts, if needed. The entire entrance wall is collapsible in order to get an open view of the Royal Bastion and waterfall, making it ideal for a wedding or a Vidhi ceremony.

Pan around to see the waterfall, the pre-function area and Raj Bhavan’s entrance. The steps on the far end makes it an ideal spot for group pictures and selfies with the Radisson logo backdrop.

The panoramic image above shows the atrium at Sinh Gad. The art on the wall, near the spa, is called the “Page Turner” which represents the first international brand that marks a new beginning in Lonavala. It is also a special symbol for the ownership and the architects.

Go ahead and experience the Matterport 3D virtual tour as if you were there physically. Use the floor plan to jump to the area of your interest or just play the highlights from the bottom left corner.

Once your chakras are balanced after dhyana, go ahead and book your room, suite or event space from the official site. Or if your soul is restless, and you’re reading this article, then it’s all the more reason to visit Radisson Lonavala soon.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

Share this post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

Recent articles

Featured articles