The high-profile denizens of Mumbai and other celebrities will soon have a new place to hang out. Planet Hollywood, the US-based theme restaurant, is planning its debut in India by setting up a floating restaurant around the Mumbai harbour.
Shubh Hospitality, the master franchisee of Planet Hollywood, will import a 5-deck ship from the US, which will be functional for eight months in a year. US-based Shubh Hospitality, which has a presence in Mumbai, also owns and operates Marriotts, Sheratons and Doubletree Hotels in the US.
The investment for this first-of-its-kind venture has not been disclosed. When contacted, Shubh's sister company Arch Millennium's president and CEO, Siddharth Mobar, confirmed the development.
"This could be the first floating restaurant in India of this size. I cannot divulge more details at this point of time. We are in the process of getting the necessary details," he told Business Standard.
The floating restaurant will have a restobar, a coffee shop, even a spa and lounge facilities. It is expected that Planet Hollywood Mumbai would also be used as an interesting venue for events like product launches, conventions and fashion shows.
Like Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood is a theme restaurant chain. It began its innings with support from Hollywood superstars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone.
While Shubh Hospitality executives could not be contacted, Maharashtra government sources confirmed the development, adding that the Tourism Department had given its green signal for this floating hotel concept in Mumbai harbour.
During the off-season, the floating hotel will be anchored at Mumbai Port, the same place where international cruiseliner Superstar Libra operates domestic cruises.
Interestingly, besides Planet Hollywood, other domestic hospitality majors have also planned setting up of floating restaurants in the port limits.
"There is one floatel -- floating hotel -- operating on a barge in Kolkata. We have also received proposals to start floating retail malls and restaurants on the sea," A K Chanda, chairman, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) told Business Standard.
At present, Kolkata Port operates river cruises to Sunderbans. Goa has also received proposals for floating restaurants, while Panjim Port already has over 30 small passenger ships, that have restaurants aboard.