By Robert Polacek
Yesterday was not only a personal achievement but an eye opening experience. I spent 8 hours on site of the new hotel here in New Delhi with the Indian based designers and Puccini team walking the site, reviewing drawings and making those last minute tweaks designers love to do best. The site of the project is being built on the family farm of the owner where every tree, temple and natural contour of the property is painstakingly being preserved. This of course means no heavy equipment, cranes, or construction methods designers and contractors on US based projects take for granted. The result is an eerily quiet yet serene construction site where conversation between workers fills the thick humid air replacing idling motors and the cautionary beeping of reversing machinery. The craft and skill of the men and women working on the project brings it to life giving it personality, soul and authenticity. I watched men dig a 100 meter long pool by hand taking careful steps to preserve a Sal tree planted by the family many years ago. Imagine yourself taking that morning lap in the pool pausing to reflect its beauty but bewildered by its significance and location. Moments like this make hotels magical, emotional and unforgettable experiences. Moments like this make our profession truly unique.