Asia’s best hotel in service as well as in its responsibility towards the environment is only till date i.e. Mughal Sheraton. It is a part of The Indian Tobacco Company’s hotel chain, which runs on the philosophy of “Responsible Luxury”, i.e. Responsibility towards the environment and serving luxury to clients. It has received recognition and certifications multiple times for sustainable practices and A-class services. The beauty of Mughal architecture has been enhanced by lush greenery and the play of water elements on the campus.
Designer and Design Inspiration
The design is inspired by Mughal architecture with pools, fountains, bridges, high ceilings, and large windows, with Mughal architecture’s color pallet followed all around the campus. The walls are composed of Arches and lattice-like patterns, whereas the floors have a combination of white marble, slate, and red sandstone. This award-winning set of architecture has been designed by ARCOP Design Group. Architects involved in designing are Ramesh Khosal, Ranjit Sabikhi and Ajoy Chaudhary. And architects dedicated to landscape and interior designing are Ravindra Bhan and Anil Verma, an inseparable part of the design team. It was constructed in 1976, on an irregular plot of 5 hectares. That is 1.6 km from Taj and 3 km from the agra fort. Due to its proximity to the taj, it has a dedicated place to observe Taj named as “Jharoka-e-Taj”.
Planning and construction
The basic structure of the hotel room is brick-bearing walls with supporting concrete slabs. The central block of public spaces is a concrete frame structure with brick infill. The blocks of the Sheraton have been organized according to functionality like the administration and the public buildings grouped in the center are accessible by the vista formed on the axis of the Taj by formal Mughal gardens. The service building and yard are located in the west. And all 233 guest rooms are arranged in the east along the 3 courtyards. Guest rooms are oriented to take advantage of the cooling effects of the pools and water features. The North-South facing guest rooms have bay windows and east and west-facing rooms have recessed windows to protect from the harsh sun.
It has 35 acres of garden, resort-style pool, tennis, basketball court, playground, and hedge maze, with a special provision for kids under specially designed Ollie’s Club for recreational activities. It also accompanies 2 conference rooms, a health club, a shopping arcade, and other recreational activities. In total, it has 290 guest rooms bifurcated under the 3 categories i.e. 233 Mughal rooms of 232sq.mt., Mughal Chambers of 32sq.mt. each and Royal Suits of 70 sq. mt. each. The inbuilt 4 restaurants are the award-winning PESAWRI the Northwest frontier, MUGHAL PAVILION for multicuisine, MAIKHANA the lobby bar for club cuisine and finger food, and The TAJ BANO for all-time available multicuisine service.
Recognitions and Certifications
This is the only hotel in India to win the Aga Khan Award for its explicit representation of Mughal Architecture. It also has multiple LEED Certifications like LEED Platinum Certificate, LEED Zero Carbon Certified Luxury Hotel, and LEED Zero Water Certified Hotel. It is all because of its planet-positive initiatives. The energy consumption by the Sheraton is much less than the benchmark specified by the EPA, USA for large size of luxury hotels.
Unique Selling Points
It has unique features and services like KAYA KALPA. The Royal Spa of 9281 sq. mt.. It offers Ayurvedic and Western therapies based on ancient traditions customized for each guest. Individually this Royal Spa has also acquired multiple recognitions as it is the largest and most decent spa in India. Awards like Talter award for the world’s best spa facilities, The American Magazine award for the best resort spa in Asia, and the favorite hotel in Asia awarded by Conde Nast. It also acquires Radiation Harmonisation Technology to nullify the effect of geopathic and man-made radiations. They have also focused on extensive research into the science of sleep and its application in day-to-day services. All these researchers and studies have resulted in the formation of special sleep programs, pillow menus, black-out window screens, sleep boxes, etc. So, they take care of the quality of sleep their guests get.
Some other services available are customized yoga sessions and Salon Di Wills for complete skin, hair, and beauty services. They also intervene in the culture through on-demand Kathak sessions and performances.
Sustainable Techniques and Practices
To achieve their tagline of “Responsible Luxury” they Chiller plant, Boiler, Electric Generator, Fire Fighting System, and Water Treatment Plant. All of which work on renewable energies as much as possible. Solid waste is recycled and water is also recycled, reused, and prevented from wastage. Soon they are going to incorporate a “Solar Electrical System” which will increase their sustainability.
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(No date b) ITC Mughal – ITC Hotels. Available at: https://www.itchotels.com/content/dam/itchotels/in/umbrella/itc/hotels/itcmughal-agra/documents/factsheet-itc-mughal.pdf (Accessed: 10 August 2023).
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MUGHAL SHERATON HOTEL, AGRA (no date) Welcome to ARCOP. Available at: http://arcop.co.in/inner-page-th-sub-category-by-name.php?id=78 (Accessed: 11 August 2023).