Most globally renowned cities are glamorized by their waterfronts, be it New York, London or Paris. Perhaps realizing that belatedly, Hyderabad's waterfront and the areas surrounding the Hussain Sagar
lake are incessantly metamorphosing into theme parks, hotels, malls, multiplexes etc. The Residence is one such story.
If you drive down the Necklace Road
towards Secunderabad faster than 20 kmph, you're sure to miss this baby. Located beside the looming and - at nights at least - glowing Moksh
, this diminutive boutique hotel almost gets lost. So once you've reached Moksh, go easy on the gas pedal and keep looking to your left.
The Residence is woefully lacking in space for a 40-room hotel - even the lobby is constricted. But it makes a brave comeback with its sinfully artistic interiors and decor, and mellifluous ambience. The lobby makes way for a tiny boutique featuring trendy women's wear designed by couturier Deepika Govind. Then there is a slick conference hall that can seat 100 people, complete with a glossy mahogany table and orthopedically designed seating. This is followed by the business center, juxtaposed between two small boardrooms that can seat 6 people each. The business center is fully equipped with fax, Internet, a photocopier and so on.
The rooms at The Residence are chic, gracefully interiored and designed. The suites have 3 rooms - one bedroom with a king-size bed and two living/study rooms (one partitioned) - an LCD TV, a telephone, a mini-bar, complimentary snacks, and a swanky bathroom with a large tub. The other rooms have the same amenities as the suites, except that they are just rooms, and lack the bathtubs. One notable flaw - in the suites and the rooms - is the length of beds. They can feel too short even for a woman of above average height.
The top floor of The Residence hosts the superhit 100 Degrees
- a large and hugely popular subway-tunnel-themed Ohri sizzler-speciality restaurant with an al fresco patio overlooking the lake. The crowds, especially over the weekends, lend a lot of vivacity to the otherwise somber hotel in a quiet and sober part of town.
The Residence is a poor's man 5-star if you will, with decent rooms, plush interiors and graceful ambience. The lack of space may make you think twice before you can decide on it. But who knows, you may get a lake-view room. And even if you don't, the pizzas and sizzlers above are a compelling proposition.