INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL KARACHI
ICH now PC was inaugurated on 2nd May 1961 with Bernard Holt, a French, as it’s first GM. It was one of the chain of the famous Intercontinental Group of New York. During its initial days, it’s most loved restaurant was “Nasreen Room” followed by “Chandni Lounge” (which has now become “Chandni Chowk”)….. It’s amazing 24 hours recluse was right on the left side of main PIDC house side entrance. “Demi Tasse” was its name….. it had awesome ‘waffle’.
ICH had two branches of UBL and HBL. I remained posted at HBL on training during 1971 there when Pervez Shadani was the Manager.
It’s famous flower shop “Zerritta Flowers” was managed by Zarine Dubash who supplied fresh flowers specially imported from Holland for Javed Jabbar’s movie scene of “Beyond The Last Mountain” in 1973-74… The flowers which I destroyed in the scene we filmed at KLM Midway House at Karachi Airport,..in the movie.
ICH’s New Year Eve at Nasreen Room was dream come true…at Rs.500 per couple with dinner and live bank in attendance. Zafar Zehri of “Zafar Marbles” the owner of a unique Chevy Belair was often seen at the NY eve. Also popular at the New Year Eve as best dressed were; Rakhshinda Khattak, Shahnaz Ghani and Babs Chinoy.
It had an amazing swimming pool. Some scenes of the famous TV serial “Uncle Urfi” were recorded at the famous reception and lift of ICH in 1975. The start of the famous song by Rushdi “IK Urran Khatoula Ayega” was from the Karachi Gymkhana side entry of ICH in front if a gas station with Reza Fazli in action for a movie in 1968.
ICH turning into PC for sometime justified it’s ranking but slowly and eventually the 5 star status was withdrawn that I know of.
I met Noor Jahan, Zeba, Mohammad Ali, Tarana, Reza Faazli, Shabnam at the ICH decades back.
نیے طرزوں سے میخانے میں رنگ مے چھلکتا تھا
گلابی روتی تھی واں جام ہنس ہنس کر چھلکتا تھا
تیرے اس خاک اڑانے کی دہمک سے آئے میری وحشت
کلیجہ ریگ صحرا کا بھی دس دس گز تھلکتا ہے
گی تسبیح اس کی نزاع میں کب میر کے دل سے
اسی کے نام کی سمرن تھی جب منکا ڈھلتا تھ