What started as a experiment is now a passion project for Dimple Saini, managing director, Aauris hotel that recently completed seven years in the city. Located on 4, Robinson Street, the four-star hotel is a go-to spot for its fine balance of F&B outlets and warm hospitality. “When I opened Aauris in 2015, it was because I wanted to digress from the steel industry background that I come from. Then when Aauris started getting appreciated, it grew on me. I am very thankful to our patrons who have supported us throughout and will wish they continue to do so,” said Dimple when The Telegraph down sat for a chat.
How would you like to describe this journey of seven years?
These seven years have literally flown and it all seems like yesterday when all of Kolkata had gathered for the opening party of Aauris. If you remember it was a three-day event to accommodate all the guests. The journey of Aauris has been the biggest teacher of life to me. The initial years were very tough for operations. We were struggling initially with lots of issues. Running our nightclub called Black on the sixth floor simultaneously with the rooms was becoming incredibly difficult with the sound issues. We completely changed with more powerful acoustics but that did not help much and for that reason we had to shut down our nightclub after a couple of years. We then built a lounge bar called Mojo, which helped us synchronise our room sales with the lounge bar operations. All was just going well and that’s when the pandemic hit us and then we decided to shut the lounge bar as well.
Zyqa, the new F&B outlet in the hotel opened in September, has been getting rave reviews. “We are very content with the response; the footfall on Sundays are maximum! Our guests include family crowd and any foodie. And lunch time are popular with women’s kitty groups,” said Dimple
Now that things are pretty normal as far as the pandemic is concerned, what’s happening with that space of Mojo ?
The pandemic has taught us a lot of lessons that we didn’t wanna learn and I guess that goes for all of us in general. That space has now been turned into a presidential suite called La Vie. We should be launching it by December.
Tell us more about La Vie...
La Vie in French means “such is life” and it is pretty apt and ironic to this space, which has seen so many ups and downs in these seven years. La Vie is a presidential suite which can be booked by a couple or for weddings and social gatherings for 50-70 people.
What are the future plans for Aauris?
We have recently been certified by the ministry of tourism as a four-star hotel and we are now looking to expand the brand Aauris but all of that is still under planning stages and mostly out of Kolkata.
We have recently introduced Zyqa, our modern Indian kitchen and the response has been more than overwhelming. We are definitely going to expand this one and are going to look out for spaces in malls to take this brand outside Aauris and even outside the city. We are also looking to take our cafe Scarlet outside the hotel. Finally, we have our flagship outlet Aura, which will always remain one of a kind only at Aauris.
Spread across 1,800sq ft, La Vie is designed by Karishma Mehta and has a neo-classical charm with grey and midnight blue as the colour scheme. It has a master bedroom, formal and informal living areas, patio and one powder toilet. “This place is ideal for any VVIP guests, wedding or a bachelorette party. We are also up for customising the entire experience here,” said Dimple
Aura was one of the first roof-top spaces that were opened in the city. It has also seen some changes over these years, what can we expect now ?
Change is the only constant. The guest is always looking out for a new experience and that is the reason we need to change going along with the trends in the F&B Industry. Yes, we were one of the first roof-top bars in the city and a lot of people took Aura as a role model to come up with some beautiful roof-tops that have already opened in the city now and some more are due to come. As of now, there is no other change to happen anytime soon in Aura.
Your daughter Mannvi has been helping you... how is she coping with the hospitality industry?
She is a complete surprise package, her vision is also helping me to do all the things I am doing as of now in Aauris. She has filled in that gap, the thought process of a young entrepreneur that we were lacking in our organisation in a very productive way. She will do more good to Aauris than I have done in these seven years.