The Queen Beautique

The Umrao- Boutique Hotel, Delhi, Studio K.I.A

Standing testimony to time, the adopted architectural character of the hotel is in sync with its name yet contemporary in its offerings. Denoting heritage with the present, Studio K.I.A. have successfully captured the monumental scale and luxury of the past in a modernistic set up. Designed to cater to the discerning business traveller, the boutique hotel sits regally yet lightly on 10-acre manicured greens.

Design and Structure:

Transforming modern geometry into an exotic creation with minimalist, straight line character, purity of form and subtle colours, ‘The Umrao’ is a distinctly characterised boutique hotel in Delhi. The architect pays tribute to the resplendence of India’s culture in the contrasting urban fabric of the city. The idea was to establish a hotel that combines the exclusivity expected by the guests in regards to luxury which is visually pleasing and functionally upscale.

Blending contemporary design and timeless architecture, the design elements were conceived in detail and converted to actuality such that the reality bespeaks the vision envisaged. Having a strong indoor-outdoor connect; this boutique hotel has an imposing entrance. Resting stately amidst lush green lawns, a palm-lined vista takes the visitor to the transitional court having a focal obelisk from where the guest experience begins to unfold. It combines classical architectural exterior design with contemporary warm interiors.

An independent banquet hall approach separates the hotel guest from the banquet visitor. The banquet lawns, landscaping, swimming pool with deck and water features add the nature element to the built mass.

Studio KIA, located in Gurgaon, is spearheaded by Rajiv Khanna along with his architect wife Sabeena. They have together built an “energetic and enthusiastic” team through inspiration, vision and leadership. The design studio has a consistent record of delivering designs close to original intent and within the stipulated time and budget. For them, every day is a learning experience and seeking inspiration from everything around them and everyone they meet. For Team KIA, it is always about people; hence, all their designs are people-centric.


An entrance foyer depicting grandeur is topped with a central dome creates a play of light and shade in the interiors. A grand welcoming Reception and a Piano Lounge pampers the guest on arrival. Multi-speciality restaurant, Thyme, offers a sumptuous palette to the visitor.

A total of 60 well-appointed guest rooms have suites, double rooms, twin rooms and rooms with private outdoor Jacuzzis, suitable for the business traveller. A coffee shop, tea lounge, banquet hall with spillover lawns and a fine dining restaurant overlooking the landscaped pool with deck & changing rooms add to the guest experience. The large central Atrium serves as a Breakfast Lounge and opens up onto the poolside.


RCC post-tensioned (PT) slab construction has been used to achieve large column-free spans for public use spaces in the hotel. Shear walls and conventional RCC with brick infill has been used for the stairwells and rooms.

Patterns of flooring create a space characterised by the superposition of light, transparency, texture and the luxurious colour blend of tan and gold. Italian flooring in public areas, wooden flooring in guest rooms, carpeting in guest room corridors and banquet hall, Italian marble cladding & flooring in toilets and vestibules have been used.

UPVC windows in the exteriors and teak wood joinery in the interiors have been used and the play of GRC Jaali creates shadows that are both dramatic and engaging.


Lighting, Ventilation and Sustainability:

Hotel’s ventilation, air-conditioning, acoustics and illumination are taken care of by weaving in modern facilities and world-class amenities. Rainwater Harvesting system has been owing to the large green expanse to utilise and recharge groundwater ensuring judicious and energy efficient functioning of the hotel. Grass pavers have been used in the parking / landscaped areas for the same.

Large number of windows are used and appropriately placed to maximise daylighting, hence, reducing the need for artificial lighting. The use of high efficiency, low emissivity glazing allows high levels of daylight in whilst reducing heat losses through windows. Smart, energy saving lighting techniques are used in the corridor which is controlled by movement. Keeping the ground coverage low and stressing upon the large expansive greens, the carbon footprint of the built mass has been reduced.


fact file:
Project name The Umrao- Boutique Hotel
Location Delhi
Client Umrao Group of Hotels Pvt. Ltd.
Design Team Rajeev Khanna, Sabeena Khanna & Rashin Nafisi
Area 66,000 sq ft
Photographer Studio KIA
Completion Year 2013


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