Sawantwadi Palace - Boutique Art Hotel


Research, Positioning, Branding, Experience Design, Communication, Website.


Hospitality / Leisure


Royal Family of Sawantwadi

How can a boutique hotel run by the Royal Family
effectively revive the art and culture of the region?

By positioning this property not just as a
heritage site but as a boutique art hotel that
celebrates local art and culture.

Sawantwadi, historically known as the land of artists famous for Ganjifa Art and lacquerware, faced a peculiar problem. The art forms were losing their relevance due to a lack of awareness and appeal in the modern context. The Royal family of Sawantwadi has been working tirelessly to resurrect these art forms and has been providing livelihoods to these generational artists for years. Their mission extended to creating a boutique art hotel on the palace grounds, introducing these art forms to a broader audience.

Our goal was to enable them to position this property not just as a heritage site but as a boutique art hotel that celebrates local art and culture. While most heritage properties opt for opulence or family seals for their visual identity, for this project, we delved deeper. We recognised that the essence of Sawantwadi lies not in extravagance but in authenticity.

We made Ganjifa Art our foundation and married it to the unique architecture found within this 17th Century palace. The logo is inspired by the hand-painted Ganjifa cards, featuring the Dashavataras and motifs elegantly encased in the iconic arches that grace the property. The creative expression of this brand balanced Culture, History, Art, and Nostalgia.

Beauty graces every corner of this property, and our objective was to capture it through the visual language of the brand. Built in the 18th century, the property is a celebration of a bygone era. Employing minimal lines and geometry, we crafted illustrations and patterns that breathed life into the marvel of the space.

The red in the primary palette is inspired by the Laterite stones that the palace is constructed with, originating in Sawantwadi. Navy blue, ochre, gold, and maroon are rich colors that infuse a sense of royalty into the humble red. Secondary colors draw inspiration from Ganjifa and the metalwork found throughout the property.

Our aim was to seamlessly integrate the branding with the immersive culinary experience offered by this property. Utilizing the key visual of the arches and the established identity, we brought to life various touchpoints that imbue meaning into this royal yet humble experience.

We love how the branding has taken into account the key elements that highlight the unique features of the Palace and its heritage. Right from choosing the primary and secondary colors that stay true to our essence to inculcating the 10 avatars of the Sawantwadi Dashavatar Ganjifa which has not only been a part of the families history since the 16th century but is also what the hotel rooms are themed after.

We love how Firebrand has perfectly amalgamated the heritage with the young energy and giving it a fresh look right from our hotel toiletries to the small notepads in the room.  Most importantly, it’s been a wonderful wonderful experience communication wise. We never once felt as if we were asking for too much, all queries were answered with the warmest smile and now they feel like family. We truly cherish the experience of working with you.

Shraddha Bhonsle
Owner, Sawantwadi Palace Hotel