A home is not just a roof. It's an exclusive zone that reflects you. We list 5 Indian destinations where luxury homes are notching the game up
By: Emmanuel Balayer, Sr VP Global Real Estate Advisor, North India, Sotheby’s International Realty
Posted on: April 15, 2015
Is the demand for luxury housing also rising from NRIs, fuelled by the depreciation in the rupee value? "Yes” to a large extent. There is a greater influx today of NRIs returning to India and they are mainly looking for that 'exclusivity' of super luxury projects. Hence the demand is rising.
High-end homes have today evolved into a statement among discerning consumers. Such homes are not just about pricing, but an amalgamation of several qualities, starting with the aesthetics to the amenities to signature styles and so on. At the end of the day, however, the two most important features needed for a super luxury apartment remain a lot of space and a prestigious address.
At North India Sotheby’s International Realty, in fact, we focus on residences designed as a union of practicality and dreams, and create a paradise for our customers. The idea is to gift people a distinctive lifestyle in terms of opulence, grandeur and sheer luxury. And so, we talk about five Indian destinations, where an influx of residences that spell luxury are pulling the rich and famous towards them.
Apart from its historical importance of being a home to the Mughal Empire and the political hub of India, Delhi also happens to be the luxury real estate destination. A recent addition to the luxury developments in Delhi is the 2 Hailey Road project, developed by Tata Housing, in the heart of the National Capital. The project comprises four signature villas on one acre land. This fully approved project is located in the historic avenues of Lutyens’ Delhi, where the nation’s most illustrious citizens reside. Residences are designed around a series of atria letting natural light filter into the home, and floor to ceiling glass walls frame views of central Delhi’s lush environs.
So far, you had known Gurgaon as an industrial and commercial hub for its high-rise buildings and extraordinary farmhouses. Even as the Haryana government is in the final stage of formulating a policy for 'farmhouse colonies', Gurgaon it is set to add more to its real estate kitty with projects such as the IREO Grand Hyatt Gurgaon Residences. Artfully designed by the world renowned Foster+Partners and Tony Chi, these residences are masterfully and meticulously planned with gracious layouts and elegantly wide dimensions. Adding to this are extraordinary amenities such as famed Grand Hyatt service, world class sports facilities, a fully serviced clubhouse, luxurious SPA, retail and restaurants. With the Grand Hyatt within a short walking distance, these new residences are a perfect combination of art and science.
In Mumbai, customers want their homes to be located within the city, but the moment they step into the compound, they should be transported away from it. The view, the calm ambience is the clinching factor. Generously proportioned homes offering an un-obstructed and breathtaking view are a key consideration for a luxury home. Developers, thereby, are providing large apartments and condominiums associated with luxury.
For instance, Rustomjee is presenting ‘Elements’ a niche living experience in the heart of Mumbai – in the new and upcoming premium locality of Upper Juhu. Elements, an avant garde concept design by renowned Hong Kong based architect James Law Cybertecture, is fast becoming the place to live in. The most alluring factor? A sky lounge connected to the infinity pool and roof top garden – patisserie included. Spend the evening just a little closer to the sunset.
In Goa, the pressure on the residential market has been continuing for a while now, though it impacted high-end premium projects more than the mid end apartment projects. However, developers are very conscious of maintaining the exclusive quotient of their clientele. So, many of these luxury homes are 'by invitation only’. Recently, there has been an increasing interest among NRIs for villas, especially in premium construction projects such as Aalia Villas by JPL. Comfortable and spacious villas, these homes feature unique glass and wooden flooring with Mangalorian tiled roofs, large kitchen and ample al-fresco spaces. The villas are air conditioned and fitted with the latest amenities in design and functionality. Strategically located, these villas are 5 minutes from the beach, offer great value and are investment sound – especially for NRIs.
In addition, of late, plotted development in Goa has started experiencing keen interest from locals, as well as NRIs. ‘Isprava’, a company specializing in the design, construction and refurbishment of sophisticated luxury homes, employ light, breeze, nature and sunshine to create a homely, yet stellar design. Lending more authenticity are locally-sourced materials that are incorporated into the overall design to create a sense of country chic. Architects and designers from Germany, Italy, Australia and UK, were hired to create a Mediterranean-inspired space that also celebrates the Goan-Portuguese style. And the result: a beautiful amalgamation of elements and styles that can easily make you feel like you’re either in a Goan villa or on a Mediterranean island.
There has always been a sense of nostalgia about Shimla, with its old bungalows and their gabled roofs and beautiful gardens. Luxury holiday homes in the hills are once again becoming an object of desire and India's top real estate companies are ready to meet this demand. Entrepreneurs, retired industrialists and top executives are all looking to pick up a second home to get away from the hassles of city life.
This is no surprise since the former summer capital of the British India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has scenic beauty, surrounded by green hills with snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by structures made during the colonial era create an aura which is very different from other hilly areas.
Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings. Among them is the stately Viceregal Lodge, with charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala's escapades, offers a view of distant snow clad peaks.
One of the most iconic projects is from Tata Housing who recently launched a gated project in Kasauli located on a high promontory. ‘TATA MYST’ blends contemporary design seamlessly with the unique ecology of the area and has 70 villas spread across 24 acres. It brings residents closer to the pristine nature of the hills, while presenting them with every luxury, and are designed by the leading expert in sustainable architecture, Llewelyn Davies Yeang. Expansive mountain views, indigenous plants, clean air and cascading streams of water become a part of the living experience. Airy living spaces boast large balconies and windows to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Green walls in the shower area of select residences add a unique soothing effect. Some residences even have a gallery from which residents can observe the area's flora and fauna while indulging in other hobbies! A fireplace, and glass-sided infinity pool are just about enough to calm you down we suppose!
Over the course of a decade spent in India, Emmanuel Balayer has become one of India’s most successful individuals, serving luxury real estate requirements of most affluent HNIs, celebrities and top industrialists. Beginning with his time as Regional Director for the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 2002, Balayer has built a career on his unique understanding of the Indian luxury real estate market and ensuring that clients quicken their journey of buying their dream home. Balayer is a French national who has extensively traveled around the world, fluently speaks French, Spanish and English, which helps him serve global clients effectively. Balayer has also shepherded some of the world’s foremost luxury brands into the Indian market. Balayer’s intensive strategy, sales and marketing process hinges on his ability to quickly and creatively identify brand partnerships that generate rich and meaningful shorthand for new consumers. Brands like TOD’s, BMW cars, Rolls Royce, Aman Resorts, Vacheron Constantin and others have emerged powerfully on the Subcontinent, while lifestyle spaces like ‘AER’ at the Four Season’s Mumbai launched with Balayer’s capabilities, have permanently redrawn the topography of Indian style.