Far from the madding crowd

How about something between the two, an apartment that represents luxury living? We are talking about the penthouse. 

These exclusive houses sitting on the topmost floor of buildings have quickly carved a niche for themselves in the country’s urban skyline. Not merely in Tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore and real estate boom-towns like Gurgaon and Noida. Even Tier 2 towns are rapidly warming up to the idea of plush dwellings on high-rise buildings affording a panoramic view of the city and an escape from the congestion, pollution and the racket below.

Symbolic of luxury living

Does the term penthouse conjure up images of an inexpensive, shabby shack on a crowded building’s roof? Then, you’re mistaken!

For, penthouses have today come to symbolise luxury living. Initially, Americans too hadn’t realised the glamour potential of rooftop houses, consigning the space for chimneys and cables, besides little rooms to accommodate steps leading to the roof, air-conditioning equipment and elevator machines. The penthouse luxury suite idea endeared itself to the Europeans much earlier. Soon, the rest of the world followed suit and today, the penthouse represents an outlet for opulence display.

Huge apartment blocks are now specially designed for accommodating elaborate roof dwellings and gardens. Though the terrace tolerates only a single penthouse in most Western countries, in India, two mutually-exclusive penthouse suites are common.

Glamour elements

The penthouse usually boasts of features that the other apartment houses in the building lack – say, private entrance or elevator, French doors, terrace-garden, patio, barbecue space, fireplace, solarium, etc.

Some penthouse apartments come semi-furnished and the interior decor is mostly minimalist.

Luxury items dot the house - jacuzzi, modular kitchen, high-end appliances, bar, kids’ play-area, private swimming pools, sunbathing and deck area, recessed lighting, wall-panelling, 100 per cent back-up power, separate laundry-room with washer/dryer and so on. Sometimes, the penthouse occupies not just the topmost floor but the last two or three floors even. Else, it can consist of multiple levels. 

Beyond the ordinary

The exact price of this premium real estate option combining the advantages of freedom and privacy of an independent bungalow along with the security of an apartment depends on the city, location within the city (proximity to airport, central area, restaurants, malls, schools, commercial centres) and square-foot area of the house among other factors. In short, it exceeds the cost of the building’s ordinary apartments.
Fresh air, lovely green surroundings, absence of smog and din, open space, freedom from mosquitoes and the stamp of luxury– all add to the allure of such special apartments like penthouses.

The concept is particularly popular among NRIs and young professionals in the country.
In Bangalore, the luxury hotel is now featuring a new trend – serviced apartment located as a penthouse with bedrooms, living room, kitchen, Internet access, satellite television and bar, to cater to the needs of corporate executives visiting the city on business.

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