By Dilip Bobb
There are two properties that have attracted the rich and ultra rich in NCR—Magnolias and Aralias, both built by DLF, adjoining each other as well as bordering the two DLF Golf courses and clubhouses, in Gurgaon. Five years ago, I had visited a friend who had moved in to one of the luxury apartments in Aralias, where monthly rents range between Rs 2.5 lakh and 5 lakh, depending on the size and number of bedrooms. Magnolia, which came up later, fetches even higher rentals.
While giving me a tour of the property, spread over 12.6 acres, he pointed to a penthouse on his tower, which, he had discovered, was owned by Robert Vadra. The towers have four penthouses, one occupied by the CEO of DLF, Rajiv Singh, son of KP Singh, the man who built DLF into a real estate giant, and now the face of the company. Another penthouse was occupied by KP Singh’s sister and the third is used by KP Singh to entertain or spend his golfing weekends. Robert Vadra and Rajiv are close friends, an association that has led to the raft of cases against the former for questionable land deals.
Which is why I was surprised at the speculation about where they would move to after they were turfed out of their Lodhi Road bungalow. Aralias offers them the ideal alternative since they will have a five-bedroom penthouse on the 18th floor overlooking the golf course and the green sprawl, in a gated, well-guarded 9,810 square metre apartment complex with all the amenities any family could want. The 11 towers in the complex are the ultimate in luxury and amenities, and the apartments come with high ceilings, central air conditioning, five large balconies, reserved parking and staff quarters. Each apartment is custom tailored to owner’s specifications. The 254 apartments here range between 5,822 and 10,803 square feet in area.
The DLF Aralias clubhouse has an Olympic size swimming pool, a restaurant, squash, badminton and tennis courts, skating rink, a gymnasium, along with facilities for yoga. Residents also get preference for membership at the two golf courses, rated among the best in the county and host to PGA events. Robert Vadra happens to be a keen golfer, along with Rajiv and KP Singh. The complex also has its own organic fruit, vegetable and grocery stores, concierge services, a pharmacy, an ATM kiosk, a laundry shop, 24×7 ambulance services and doctor-on-call.
The evening I was there, my friend had invited the general manager of the property, a former GM at the Taj hotel group who is on call to attend to any of its pampered resident’s demands or complaints.
The Vadras moving in may add to their complaints since security and screening will be much stricter. The reality is that it is already pretty strict. The evening I went, my hosts had to inform the posse of guards at the single entry gate in advance that they were expecting visitors, along with names and number of guests. When your residents are the very rich, and now, the very famous, that is literally par for the course.
Lead picture: UNI