It’s a little known fact that the word ‘Hotel’ in India is often use to mean restaurant, so when we were approached to brand and design a witty but sophisticated Indian restaurant over in Kuwait, we used this misnomer as a springboard for our creative thinking. Inspired to craft a fictional story around an imaginary ‘Hotel Calcutta’ restaurant, our themes and cues were informed by the rich history of past colonial relics – equal parts opulent, eccentric and surreal, all at the same time. Located in Kuwait’s largest and most prestigious mall, The Avenues, the restaurant redefines Indian cuisine with a fresh approach to space and experience, fully differentiating it within the saturated, Millennial-centric Kuwaiti market.
Hotel Calcutta’s brand identity is designed to evoke classic surroundings, but filled with exotic character and surrealism, through plays on typography, pattern and illustration. The interiors incorporate a playful take on the typical features of a hotel (key holders, luggage trolleys, a courtyard, dining zones), and we went to great lengths to recreate some of the authentic details that once graced the now defunct Great Eastern Hotel, one of Calcutta’s most grandiose, historic hotels from the days of the Raj. Sumptuous materials and rich colours have been married with faceted pink mirrors, soft velvets, smooth leathers, rosewood joinery and bespoke artwork.