In the city of dreams, Andheri and Juhu lie at the heart of the film industry. At some of the upscale restaurants and bars in these neighbourhoods, it isn’t unusual to spot a celebrity or two sipping a drink or having a quiet meal. Often, the quieter cafes double up as their workspaces. So when Soho House, the international hotel chain and private members’ club, took over a seaside property in Juhu and announced its launch, there was little doubt that it would quickly become Bollywood’s favourite hangout.
Having first opened in London, in 1995, Soho House reserves its membership for the creative community. Members include people from music, design, art, film, fashion, media and advertising communities. Nick Jones, its founder, saw an opportunity in the vibrant artistic scene of Mumbai. “It has many young entrepreneurial creatives, who will add to the Soho House community around the world,” he says.
With the iconic view of the Arabian Sea and the city’s skyline, Soho House has a rooftop area and gym, a private theatre, a member’s lounge area and 38-bedrooms (open to public on booking) with a preference given to the global and local members. They also host various events such as gym classes, yoga, film screenings and live music performances. Their two dining options, the Italian restaurant Cecconi, and The Allis, a cafe, are open to the public. The house also offers a special half-price membership to applicants under the age of 27.
Many actors, producers and directors can be seen dining or working away on their laptops at one its chic restaurants. Director Kanu Behl hosted a screening of his short film at the plush theatre here.
In Mumbai, however, the house is customised to suit the local palate. Inspired by Indian history, the interiors of each floor feature colourful block-printed fabrics from Rajasthan, with locally sourced furniture and Indian antiques from markets across the country. The property has over 200 artworks on display, including an installation by Subodh Gupta.