The World is Not Enough

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Drive past the dust-heaving, barren, concrete wilderness of Gurgaon, feel the sun bite into your bones, and you wonder what good can come out of this land?

Drive past the dust-heaving, barren, concrete wilderness of Gurgaon, feel the sun bite into your bones, and you wonder what good can come out of this land? That's when you reach the gates of the DLF Aralias Club. It's a good 20 minutes for the preliminary security check to be done and the guards open the gates. It's instantly obvious, as you proceed down the driveway, arm-in-arm with an 18-hole golf course and frangipani trees on the other, that you have reached a luxury destination. The lobby offers a hotel-esque ambience, with high ceilings and shiny marble floors. The presence of an estate manager (groomed in the hospitality industry) bolster the image. He is quite literally the in-house Superman who can fix all your on-site problems, even hire a yacht if a resident so wishes.

Home owners have access to a pool, a luxury spa, a golf club (the Arnold Palmer-designed course is rated among the best in Asia). The golf club offers a discounted membership rate for residents and they also have access to an exclusive upscale restaurant inside the gated area. Aralias was advertised "by invitation only", and will now be rivalled by another DLF project, Magnolias, coming up in an adjoining area. Price for an average 4-bedroom apartment is above Rs 10 crore and current rents are in the region of Rs 4 lakh a month.

Luxury apartments are literally the new "high" and builders are now fiercely competing with each other for any element of exclusivity, the latest trend being to hire international "starchitects." The interiors of the 117-storey World One complex from the Lodha Group in Mumbai's Worli will be designed by none other than Giorgio Armani. The property is touted as the world's tallest residential tower and its curved structures will offer 360 degree views of the city, including the Bandra-Worli sea link, Mahalaxmi Race course and the Arabian Sea. Each three bedroom apartment is priced at Rs 12 crore. Apart from a Sixth Senses spa, the apartments boast of furniture and furnishings, and home accessories designed by Armani.

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