Business India ×

Published on: May 30, 2022, 2:22 p.m.
Polo Floatel offers a date with maritime world
  • The reception: giving a feel of the maritime world; Courtesy: Polo Floatel

By Sajal Bose. Deputy Editor, Business India

Been there, done that! Here is an experience for the jaded palate. A unique reminiscence of maritime legacy, the iconic Polo Floatel offers inspired hospitality on the bank of Hooghly River in the City of Joy. 

Anchored next to Millennium Park on the Strand Road, this riverfront property, flanked by heritage Howrah Bridge and the Vidyasagar Setu (second Hooghly bridge), this truly boutique hotel on Ganges in Kolkata offers unparalleled city views including sunrise and sunset. It also offers boat rides, guided city heritage tours showcasing the rich history and culture of Kolkata and romantic candle light dinners with panoramic views of the cityscape on demand. Lucky ones can also see river dolphins. 

Owned by Hotel Polo Tower group, The Polo Floatel, stresses on de-stressing and exclusive privacy. “This is the only floating hotel in the country,” claims Deval Tibrewalla, CEO of the group. “It is designed to give more than just a vacation. We have all types of guests coming to our property like business executives, leisure travellers, foreign tourists, weddings and MICE,” Tibrewalla adds.

Floatel was built on a barge in Singapore and brought to Kolkata by the city-based Manor Floatel. The company managed the property till 2018, before it was referred to NCLT as it failed to pay back the loan. Hotel Polo Towers group, one of the largest hotel chains in North-east India, with more than 11 hotels and cafes, bought the Floatel through the NCLT bidding process in 2018.

It refurbished the massive structure and re-opened its doors as Polo Floatel. Today, Tibrewalla and his wife Srishti are running the property successfully.  After two years of lull due to Covid, it has now achieved a high average occupancy rate of 85-90 per cent.

Making meaningful connection

 Polo Floatel has not scrimped on the mod-cons and yet carries a strong traditional line, with its antique furniture, bric-a-brac and paintings. The eco-friendly boutique hotel showcases re-imagined design elements to provide meaningful connection to local culture, while enhancing the facilities for an elevated guest experience. “We have restored several priceless antiques like artefacts and paintings,” says Srishti, a designer who oversees the decoration of the property. “And, we have also added many collected by us across the world.” 

It has a large car parking area. The reception is quite amusing, painted with marine blue with several shipping paraphernalia including a giant ship steering wheel hanging from the ceiling. The reception area and the hotel are connected with a jetty. The Polo Floatel emphasises on discreet understated service, the property manager personally greets each guest.

The hotel has 58 cabins, with beautiful interiors that reflect its maritime style. It offers six categories of cabins – Strand View Cabins, River View Cabins, River View Suite with Balcony, Strand view Suite with Balcony, Strand View Heritage Suite with Deck and River View Heritage Suite with Deck. The cabins are crafted to perfection and guests can wake up to serene views of the river Ganges and the city beyond. Plastic is not encouraged in the cabins, which feature eclectic decor elements.

There are also specially sourced map designs in the cabins, reflecting the old Calcutta of the erstwhile Raj, which serve as a perfect way to contrast the changed riverside of today with those of the old. The rack rate for the cabins varies from Rs4,500 to Rs7,500. Interestingly, the city doesn’t have any luxury hotel situated on the bank of the river.  

Bridge Bistro Bar is the multi-cuisine restaurant on board. The chef is completely versatile and can dish up anything the guest wants on a one-on-one basis. There is a well-stocked wine cellar to accompany the tasty dishes. 

The adventure of staying on the Ganges in a pollution-free environment with warm hospitality is making all the difference. 

Don't miss this

Corporate Report

IDBI Bank: Privatisation blues

There is certainly no point in selling the bank at a cheap price when the share prices are at their 52-week lows

Cover Feature

Dalmia Cement: Making a mark

Dalmia Cement with its growing capacity, markets and strong focus on efficiency, is now well placed to emerge a winner

Corporate Report

RMZ: Building spaces of future

RMZ Corp has put in place a hyper-growth strategy


Another shot at reforms

Should the stalled reforms for India’s farm economy get another push – this time within the government?

Our letter to you, once a week.
Register with The CSR Weekly for free!

Making a mark
Double Whammy
Commodity boom


Corporate Report





Social Responsibility

Company Feature

Classrooms go live, thanks to Airtel

Published on April 5, 2022, 11:25 a.m.

Despite the pandemic, Bharti Foundation has ensured that children are not deprived of learning opportunities


Collaborative excellence

Published on April 4, 2022, 8:53 p.m.

A policy perspective for meeting SDG-9 in low resource setting of developing economies


Innovation and infrastructure

Published on April 4, 2022, 8:10 p.m.

India is well-positioned to become a model of corporate sustainability


‘More for less’

Published on April 1, 2022, 10:12 p.m.

The merger of technology and SDGs – A game-changing win of the era

Climate Change


IRENA, Opec ramp up RE transition

Published on June 22, 2022, 2:01 p.m.

Both agree to mobilise finance, unlock investment and support project development


A surge in hydrogen vehicles

Published on June 22, 2022, 1:11 p.m.

The consumer market is expected to lead the hydrogen vehicles space


Climate migration wreaks havoc

Published on June 22, 2022, 12:51 p.m.

Climate change drives millions out of their homes

Government and Policy

Investors back UP’s green energy push

Published on June 22, 2022, 12:15 p.m.

Investment proposals galore in the state

Stay ahead of the times.
Register with The Climate Change Weekly for free!