The Luxe List 2019: The Andhra Art & Craft Hotel, India

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More excitingly original than conventionally luxurious, this live-in museum in Andhra Pradesh nevertheless stands out as a showcase for the coastal state’s four famous craft traditions: tholu bommalata shadow puppets, Budithi brass work, Kalamkari pen art, and Etikoppaka lacquerware toys. Each of the 24 richly textured guest rooms—designed by local artists and craftsmen—has one of these as its theme (Budithi rooms, for instance, are decked out with brass bells and traditional swing beds called uyala), with flamboyant headboards as their centerpieces. All told, there are 70 sculptures and 50 art installations around the property, including the four sphinx-like yali that watch over the swimming pool and its breezy dining terrace. That pool is actually part of the adjoining Palm Beach hotel, which also shares its Masala Mafia buffet restaurant and Dusk, where indulgences include unexpectedly good cocktails and the best cheese-and-corn balls you’ve ever had. The beach out front is accessible through a private gate and empty for the most part. For exploring farther out, trips can be organized to the marvelous hilltop temple of Simhachalam or to Araku Valley, a hill station in the Eastern Ghats where the hotel sources its coffee and chocolate. You’ll return to find cooling face packs and body scrubs awaiting you in your bathroom.
91-891/273-1036; andhraartandcrafthotel.com; doubles from US$120

See the full 2019 Luxe List in the October/November 2019 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2019: The Andhra Art & Craft Hotel, India”).

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