Fairlawn Hotel of Kolkata still retains the old colonial charm along with other styles

The Fairlawn Hotel, Kolkata 

The Fairlawn Hotel, Kolkata  thedislocatedhippies.blog

The Fairlawn Hotel, Kolkata thedislocatedhippies.blog

Built around  1783 by an Englishman William Ford as a residence  when Warren Hastings was the Governor General.  He purchased the land from Sheikh Ramzan and Bhonay on the 27th May 1781 and then the street was known as Ford Street. Renamed  Elgin Fairlawn, Hotel, it has been there on what is now called  Sudder Street since 1936. It was converted into a hotel to serve the European visitors to the city during the Raj. Tagged as  “a relic of the Raj”, it was owned and operated by an eccentric memsahib Violet Smith.  She had inherited the hotel in 1962 from her Armenian mother, Rosie Smith  (née Sarkies) of Armenian roots. She bought it from from two English women in 1936. Upon her passing away in 2014 aged aged 94 her daughter, Jennifer Fowler took up the reigns, and resumed greening the guests the way her mom did. 

The Fairlawn Hotel, Kolkata thedislocatedhippies.blog

Elgin Fairlawn hotel, Kolkataupload.wikimedia.org

Above image: Elgin Fairlawn Hotel on Sudder street in Kolkata of Chowringhee district,  was earlier known as  as 'Canada House' in 1908. It is a picture from the hotel's collection......(image courtesy wikipedia)....................

interior The Fairlawn Hotel, Kolkata thedislocatedhippies.blog

 Now owned by a member of the  Oberoi family that successfully  operates  a chain of hotels across India and abroad, until 1908 it was known as 'Canada House' as it is revealed by the hotel's collection of old pictures. It is a picture from the hotel's collection. In 2018, the  Elgin Hotels & Resorts bought the hotel to expand their business.  The spacious, and well-ventilated building with ground and first floors has  Madras terraced ceiling supported by wooden rafters and  tall wooden pillars in many  places. The open yard and the balcony overlooking  it with parapet made of grill-railing take us back to the old time.

Famous actresses  like Jennifer Kendal (wife of late Shashi Kapoor) and  her sister Felicity Kendal were patrons of this hotel. Apart, many famous people like Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, film producers  stayed here in the past. For many patrons, it was a pleasant escape from the maddening and overwhelming crowd.

Transforming the decrepit old heritage structure of  colonial era to suit the modern trend without affecting the old world charm is a difficult undertaking, the  new owners promised that the heritage aspects would be retained when the building was  taken up for renovation, It  was hoped the old colonial decor would still adore the new hotel. Though decades have gone by since the departure of the British in 1947, the hotel is still a vestige of the Raj with its unique  ambience firmly rooted in 1930s British India with  a comfortable atmosphere of chintz furnishings, proper dressing-tables, spacious almirahs, and a reliable dhobi service. Now the hotel retains the old colonial style with a potpourri of other styles to cater to the guests of varied taste.