Mumbai’s first ‘floating’ hotel now open for business, pay upto Rs 5000 for a meal for two!

Mumbai's first 'floating' hotel now open for business, pay upto Rs 5000 for a meal for two!
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries at the inauguration of ‘Celestial’

A three-deck luxury yacht, Maharashtra’s first floatel, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Saturday evening.

The floatel, christened ‘Celestial’, is moored on the Bandra Reclamation shore of the Arabian Sea, towards the Mahim end with an exclusive approach road. The 24-hour hotel with a crew of 110 can host around 800 guests.

The plush hotel has a 24/7 coffee shop, banquet hall, dining lounge and sky deck, besides eight rooms.

The site offers a view of the sea, the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link (RGBWSL) and an uninterrupted skyline of the maximum city from Bandra to Worli with several prominent landmarks.

“We are inaugurating it formally as a luxury fine-wine-dine locale. It will be thrown open to the public in due course,” one of the owners, Aishwarya Bhende told IANS.

The cuisine will be varied with a signature menu of modern European and she hinted “it would be a five-star experience” on the patrons’ pockets.

According to officials, a meal for two persons could cost between Rs 3,000 and 5,000, including drinks.

Although the yacht had been docked at the Mumbai Port Trust since 2014, it took the owners three years to acquire the hundred plus permissions required to operate the property.

The floatel is the first project of WB International Consultants run by the family of entrepreneurs comprising Chetan Bhende, his interior decorator wife Manju and their 21-year old management graduate daughter Aishwarya.

Celestial will be operated by the family as a joint venture with AB Hospitality and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd as a profit-sharing partner.

It was a brainchild of the then Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal of the erstwhile Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government, who had first thrown open the yacht in May 2014 after it arrived here.

After this project takes off successfully, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has plans to encourage more such floatels dotting the city’s huge skyline on the eastern and western coasts, and other coastal districts of Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg on its 760-kms long coastline.

Apart from Maharashtra, states like Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have floating hotels which are fairly popular with tourists.

Mumbai's first 'floating' hotel now open for business, pay upto Rs 5000 for a meal for two! 1
A view of the ‘Celestial’. Picture Courtesy: Santosh Raman
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