This home is at your service: Citadines OMR for working families
The measure of a city’s thriving IT culture is perhaps best gauged through the number of serviced apartments and guest houses that it employs.
When it comes to Chennai, it’s also a reflection of a massive influx of experts, especially from South East Asia, Korea and Japan, as employees of various technology and automobile companies.
From the terrace of the new Citadines OMR Chennai hotel on the OMR, the view below the horizon is clearly of speedy growth, in glass-walled corporate offices, towering business complexes, and sprawling swathes of real estate set aside for upcoming SEZs and IT parks. There’s a sparkling swimming pool up on the roof too, letting you lounge in the cool waters by the view of Chennai’s IT Expressway.
But Citadines isn’t a regular hotel. As a part of the Ascott Group, which also runs the Somerset Greenways serviced apartments in MRC Nagar, Citadines is positioned as an “apart’hotel”; a serviced homes concept, if you like.
The idea is well thought-out, catering to the city’s sizeable population of travelling professionals as a comfortable — and rather reasonable — stay option that combines the amenities of an urban home with the services of a luxury hotel.
Work me up, before you go
To be sure, this isn’t a holiday resort, and not exactly meant for crowds looking for picnics, sand castles and beach volleyball. That said, this is entirely about the family.
Citadines is, in fact, based on the newest concept in the hospitality industry — one of serviced homes, tailored for families who are either visiting, or in the city for short or long stays (a few months to a year and more).
Citadines, thus, seeks out its clients largely from corporate groups, though guests are welcome to walk in off the street. For options, you have studios, as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, all of which come equipped with a kitchen and regular creature comforts — clean, fluffed-out bed linen, fresh towels, spongy carpets, a plush couch, and an HD TV set (or two).
Importantly, there are well-appointed work desks too — because, let’s not forget, this place is all about making working professionals feel at home.
To that end, the hosts like to describe their proposition as one of “a home away from home”. To translate that into relatable terms, what you actually get is “a working home closer to your work”.
It’s just a pity that when we dropped by to spend a night at Citadines, the last thing on our minds was work!
This must be IT
The one-bed apartment that we were at was made out exactly as the hosts described it — a model plug-and-play home, complete with a refrigerator, toaster, microwave and cutlery, apart from on-call laundry, and a 24-hour desk for assorted services including travel.
For a meal, you can step down to the 24-hour coffee shop, Hola (the mozarella sticks and lasagna are recommends) or the in-house Indian restaurant, Delhi Highway.
All we needed to get the complete home experience, however, was the attached open balcony, offering an expansive view of the emerging city beyond the suburbs.
The Citadines building makes for a fine subject in architecture and interior design too, as proclaimed in its aim of being “a pavilion in the park, and a modern sanctuary” for residents to experience “global vibrant living”.
The façade, for one, is sure to catch your eye from the traffic junction outside, given its stated ‘Madras Checked Pattern’ design, apparently inspired by local fabrics (not exactly Burberry, but almost there).
The furnishing in the rooms is in vibrant colours inspired by the peacock, while comforting colours such as mango, and paisley prints, lend an elegant touch, as you nurse a tall glass of fruit juice and (if only theoretically) remain glued to a laptop over work.
The point, after all, we imagine, is of good living for jobs well done.
Daily rates from `4,000++. For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 71010000. Details: citadines.com
— Jaideep Sen