A contextually designed hotel in wine country

Project: Aria Hotel, Nashik, Maharashtra


The site for this hotel is gently contoured that rises up 9 metres towards the south, with the entry at the lowest level in the north. Being situated in Nashik, the wine growing region of India, the northern side of the site faces a large river and a dam with hills beyond. The southern side rises up into the hills that are in close proximity to the site. The client’s requirements included a large banquet hall of 15,000 sqft, in addition to 60 rooms and other facilities.

Since the banquet hall will have large gatherings, its access is planned directly from the road frontage at the lowest level of the site. The public facilities, including the hotel lobby, restaurant, bar, spa and business centre, occupy a higher level at 6 metres above the banquet hall and can be entered directly from an ascending approach road. The rooms at the higher levels are oriented to face the river in the north or the immediate hills in the south, with naturally ventilated spaces, open circulation and sky-lit courtyards.

Each level of the hotel is integrated with the natural contours of the site, thus minimising land cutting and landfill. No soil was taken out or brought into the site while constructing, making the construction both economical and sustainable. Over 50 percent of the walls are built with natural black basalt stone available in close proximity of the site. All the circulation spaces are naturally lit and ventilated, rendering the building energy efficient. Solar panels on the rooftop, over the banquet kitchen and parking areas generate 50 percent of the electrical energy required for the hotel. Rain water harvesting tanks, with water recycling and reuse, further add to the sustainable methods adopted for the design of this hotel. All the rooms, restaurant, spa and banquets open into sheltered balconies and decks that provide outdoor usable spaces, whilst minimising the heat gain into the internal volumes.

At each floor, the rooms form rectilinear cuboids that are angled differently, creating balconies that frame the picturesque surroundings with two floor-high suites at the topmost levels. Painted in terracotta colour stucco, these frames are juxtaposed with the black basalt stone walls of the lower floors. Aria Hotel is designed contextually, responding to the site contours, the views of the surroundings, the climate and the materials, creating a web of experiences within its different volumes.


Photo credit: Dinesh Mehta
Drawing credit: Sanjay Puri Architects

FACTFILE Client: Aditya Parakh

Lead architect: Sanjay Puri

Design team: Toral Doshi, Manjeet Khatri, Sudhir Ambasana, Dipti Patil

Consultants: Engineering – Dr. Kelkar Designs Pvt. Ltd; Services – Noesis; Interior Design & Landscape – Sanjay Puri Architects

Construction: RCC structure, PT frame structure

Finishes: Black basalt stone; Terracotta colour stucco

Plot area: 3.2 acres

Built-up area: 13,935 sq m

Year of completion: 2020