Goa was recently graced with at least two movie greats - Bollywood's King Khan and America's ode to cinema, Planet Hollywood for the grand launch of the first ever Planet Hollywood Hotel Resort in India. Actor and Producer Sachiin Joshi opened the doors to his luxury Hollywood themed hotel with a mega bucks star-studded bash that boasted a celeb guest list amassing Shah Rukh Khan & Gauri Khan, Varun Dhawan, Sohail Khan & Seema Khan, Farah Khan, Dabboo Ratnani, Chunky Pandey & Bhavana Pandey, DJ Aqeel, Ravi Shastri, Elli Avram, Neelam Kothari, Sophie Choudry, Dino Morea, Kanika Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Sanjay Kapoor & VIVA-LUXE.COM Fashion Director Maheep Kapoor to name but a few, (phew)!
And now that she's caught her breath(!) VIVA-LUXE.COM talks exclusively to one of the brains behind this historic launch Bhavana Pandey on the inside scoop, the celebs, the stress, the surprises and just what it takes to pull off the ultimate shin-dig in India's party capital.
How did this opportunity come up?
Gauri is known for her interior design and was already lined up to style and design the furniture in the Heart Bar and the lobby and reception area of the hotel. Since Nandita Mahtani, Gauri and I are good friends we were approached to have a party and showcase the hotel to our friends. Nandita and I have been working in partnership over the last eight years in event planning and management and have worked for some of the biggest brands that have been launched in India; Christian Dior, Burberry, Cartier and Louis Vuitton to name a few.
What did you have to think through to make this mega bash a reality?
One of the major tasks was to fly down around 150 people to Goa for the day and so from a logistics point of view we decided to charter a flight instead of distributing guests on various flights and airlines. Although we started the intense work about a month and a half back, we did an initial recce of the hotel plot in December. The property is vast with tons of beautiful palm trees and serene, stunning beach. It also has a huge sand pit in the middle of the property which can be used for volleyball and other sporting activities. So we decided to enhance these areas and have an outdoor party on the beach and the dinner set up at the sand pit. This would also give our guests an outdoor experience which they rarely get in Mumbai.
Sticking with the outdoor theme, the party started around 6.30/7pm on the beach and at around 11pm we moved inside and eventually ended at 4am! We had a great DJ, Vishal Shetty who worked a different lounge vibe. DJ Aqeel who had flown down as our guest actually told us how he was so happy to be partying and not working for a change! In between Mallika Haydon, (Lisa Haydon's sister), and her partner Nina DJ'd also, which was nice as we usually have guys as DJ's and I think girls bring a different vibe again.
And what about the clothes?
Well April is very hot in Goa, but we were lucky to have had a cool breeze that night. Gauri wore a beautiful Monisha Jaising dress in cute pastel pink and I wore something Nandi designed for me which was super comfortable as well as stunning. She wore one own of her own pieces too.
What was the one thing that you wanted to do but couldn't?
I wish we could have changed the date and have it on a weekend but couldn't due to various reasons. We had a lot of friends who wanted to make it but couldn't because it was mid-week. Even Shah Rukh came just for the evening and flew back out that same night because he had to shoot very early the next morning back in Mumbai. Luckily he had time to play for a while with his and Gauri's son Abram and I believe he even managed to drop in on the set of one of his upcoming films 'Dilwale'. Added to that Goa airport is closing for a month after 12.30 pm everyday due to renovation so everyone who came to the party left on the 11.30 am flight. It's a bit hectic to come for one day!
Images courtesy of Bhavana Pandey