HOTEL Business Review
HOTEL B u s i n e s s
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The Indian hospitality sector has seen growth in terms of number of rooms in last few years. Few years back there were limited hotel markets in India. They were mostly spread across four major metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkota and mini-metros like Bangalore, Pune or Goa. These destinations were popular among hotel developers primarily because most businesses were based in these cities which needed hotel rooms. Most hotels in these major cities had a choice of luxury and upscale hotels, affiliated with both domestic and international brands. The availability and quality of hotels declined significantly when hotel developers started venturing to tier-II cities. With India’s economy booming at almost 10% growth every year there was a lot of new business activity expected. Most of this activity would require people to travel resulting in a huge increase in the demand for mid-range and economy hotels for these itinerant business men. Witnessing the rapid growth in major cities, real estate prices soared, and the cost of setting up and sustaining business operations in these cities became prohibitive. This resulted in companies started looking at other cities in the country where costs were lower. The focus shifted to cities such as Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. As a result of these dynamics, there are currently about 10 to 12 main hotel markets in the country, all of which offer a variety of branded product offerings across different categories. The emergence of these secondary cities led to an aggressive increase in hotel development activity and provided avenues for expansion of hotel brands, which were previously dependent on new opportunities in the main cities. This formed a new segment of smaller budget hotels offering good quality services for domestic and international traveller. Another market that has emerged for traditional traveller is at religious destinations. Most of these destinations lacked quality hotels offering clean & hygienic environment. Thus, while it might have been feasible previously to build only one Holiday Inn or one Marriott in the market, the presence of independent markets now allows the existence of multiple hotels. So the tier-III destinations like, Haridwar, Varanasi, Katravaishnodevi, Amritsar etc. became new emerging markets for hotel developers. Indian hotel industry in future will surely start looking at new market segments offering great potential which are traditionally ignored in the past.
HOTEL B u s i n e s s
R e v i e w
An Exclusive Business Magazine for the Hotel Industry
inside COVER STORY
Call them boutique hotels or theme hotels or art hotels or by any other name, these hotels which offer something unique – an experience that satisfies the aesthetic sense as well as keeps the wallet healthy – are becoming a rage.
To own a restaurant may look quite a glamourous proposition, but to run it successfully is really, really hard.
India is becoming one of the prominent attraction for people seeking spiritual solace. And as the religious tourism grows by leaps and bounds the hotel industry is looking at these small town destinations with interest.
Jaipur Marriott is a contemporary abode, offering elevated experiences in the bustling capital of Rajasthan. The first hotel by Marriott in Rajasthan displays the finest blend of contemporary architecture.
With rich aromas, soothing music and interesting textures and exclusive spa treatment, yoga and meditation rooms, Rejuve is indeed a modern day haven.
Spread across eight acres of orchards, the property offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea from the top. This retreat of tranquility, away from the din of the backpackers can also be termed as ‘The Valley of Gods’ or Devasthali.
Cover Pix: The Leela Palace Kempinski, Udaipur
HOTEL Business Review
E V E N T S’ C A L E N D E R
TRAFS 2011 Thailand’s Food and Hotel Exhibition 27-30 October, 2011 at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center
he 5th edition of Thailand’s food and hotel exhibition is expected to attract more than 25,000 visitors from 45 countries this year, including Indian businessmen / hoteliers. Managing Director Kavin Kittiboonya of Kavin Intertrade Co, organizer of Thailand Retail, Food & Hospitality Services 2011, or TRAFS 2011, revealed that the four-day show from 27-30 October, 2011 is well participated by more than 100 Thai and international exhibitors representing products and services from over 30 countries worldwide. Staged on a 10,000 sqm space at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center (BITEC) on eastern Bangkok, outskirt near the international airport, TRAFS 2011 showcases a full range of latest hotel equipment and supplies for chefs, pastry chefs, F&B, housekeepers and laundry. Also included are products for restaurants, coffee, bakery and ice cream shops. Mr. Kavin said TRAFS 2011 has continued to grow year on year to serve the rising demands for new equipment in line with the booming hotel and tourism industry as well as
retail business. Over 15 million tourists visit Thailand every year with an average 6-10% growth and Indian tourists (about 500,000 in 2010) are among top ten visitors for leisure, business and wedding parties, simply because of cheaper costs when compared with India. “We anticipate more tourists to Thailand after July 3 general election and that Thailand have been voted as one of the best destinations for tourists. Therefore, more hotels will be open and more demands for new products accordingly,’’ the managing director noted. TRAFS 2011 is co-located with ASEAN’s largest franchise show, Thailand Franchise & Business Opportunities 2011 (now 7 th edition). Aptech, an Indian IT computer school, is among over 40 international franchisors operating in Thailand. Today, there are more than 500 franchisors (over 25,000 outlets nationwide) in operations with a combined turnover of more 160,000 million baht (US$1 = 30 Thai baht). This is thus a good opportunity for Indian investors/hoteliers to visit this two-in-one show at one time. For more enquiries contact at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-register at www.thailandhoreca.com Website: www.thailandfranchising.com.
India Hospitality Expo 2011 16-18 September 2011 Expo centre, Panaji, GOA www.trinityworld.biz GIDA 2011 22-25 September 2011 Istanbul Expo Center, Istanbul, Turkey www.ite-gida.com ANUGA 2011 8-12 October 2011 Cologne, Germany www.anuga.com Food Tech / Bakery Tech & Hotel tech 2011 14-16 October 2011 Netaji Indoor Stadium (AC), Kolkata. www.kolkatafoodtech.com HOST 2011 21-25 October 2011 Fieramilano, Italy www.host.fieramilano.it Sweet and SnackTec Middle East 25-27 October 2011 Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center, Dubai www.sstme.com TRAFS 2011 Thailand’s Food and Hotel Exhibition 27-30 October 2011 Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center www.thailandhoreca.com Annapoorna World of foods India- 2011 16-18 November 2011 Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai www.worldoffoodindia.com Hotel Expo 2011 23-25 November 2011 The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel, Macau www.hotel-exhibition.com Fine Food India 2011 5-7 December 2011 Hall 14, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi www.finefoodindiaexpo.com Sweet and SnackTec India 2011 6-8 December 2011 Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai www.koelnmesse-india.com
HOTEL Business Review
Bangkok Brand Lebua Hotels & Levo-the first ever Resorts set to enter India Spalon at Ibis Hotel Lebua Hotels & Resorts, a renowned international luxury hotel chain with in Gurgaon properties in Bangkok and New Zealand announces its entry to the Indian market and will open its first property in New Delhi before the end of 2011. Deepak Ohri, Chief Executive Officer, Lebua Hotels & Resorts said, “Right from the beginning, Lebua has single handedly fashioned the well-heeled accommodation and dining scene of Bangkok and now we plan to bring the same in India. Starting with a property in New Delhi, we have plans to come up with properties across major metros Deepak Ohri in the country”. Each property in India will have around a hundred rooms and minimum of three restaurants, each with its own bar. Lebua is entering the Indian market through management contracts. “For Lebua Hotels & Resorts it is the overall experience of sheer luxury and opulence that will take precedence”, added Deepak. The first property by Lebua in India will come with its patent luxury model offering the Indian market an array of restaurants and bars. A spectacular roof top restaurant and bar, a traditional Indian restaurant with a renowned Indian Michelin Star awarded chef, and an alfresco fine dining venue. The contemporary yet elegantly designed hotel will offer a splendour to the Indians. Here, Lebua will bring their invaluable years of experience in understanding their guest needs including privacy, which is the top priority for their celebrity guests, cutting edge restaurants and diverse approach of hospitality in India. Even though majority of the guests at Lebua hotels are well known public figures but it believes in giving equal importance to all their guests, may be a clelebrity or a “normal person”. The hotel lays much importance on customer feedback, drawing a line from invaluable suggestions to make the stay of guests as memorable and customized to their needs as possible. “We at Lebua believe that luxury is an experience that extends beyond the price. That is what has convinced me that this country has the potential to become one of the world’s biggest luxury markets. The customers here know what they want and we are ready to give them what has been sorely missed until now. If a guest is ready to experience the grandeur, then Lebua makes sure to meet the demand”, said Deepak. A luxury hotel chain with properties in Bangkok and New Zealand, Lebua Hotels & Resorts is internationally acclaimed for its innovative business strategies and use of cutting edge research and technology. Rated within the top 1% of companies in the world in terms of Customer Satisfaction by TNS research (TRM*M Index), Lebua’s business management strategies have been the active point of discussion in several top business schools including Harvard, Kellogg, INSEAD, NYU, Columbia and IIMs. Currently, it is in the first stage of being a full-fledged case study at the Harvard Business School. With its restaurants rated among the world’s best, it has broadened its horizons to include a luxury lodge in New Zealand, and now plans to expand into Europe and the Caribbean, with a luxury period property just outside of Paris and an all-suite luxury boutique property in Saint Martin.
It’s different! Levo, a swanky spalon has been launched at the Ibis hotel on the Golf Course Road in Gurgaon. A blend of spa and salon brings beauty bounty, design and wellness under one roof. Levo derives its name from the ancient Latin word that means to ‘restore’ and that’s what the place does. Going beyond the usual familiarity of a spa or a beauty salon, Levo prefers to call itself Spalon. Initiated by Nandita Suri, an expert in wellness, Levo’s 10,000 sq ft of pure bliss will start working on you from the moment you stride in. To rejuvenate, it’s a concoction of healing powers of a spa along with the refining techniques of a beauty salon. Levo’s spa services include face & body treatments like Swedish, Balinese and Aroma body massages, vitamin scrubs as well signature facials ranging from 30 to 60 minutes in duration and starting at just Rs 1500. Using some of the best beauty care products in the world that include brands like Alessandro from Germany, Natura Bisse from Spain and Rene Futerer from France, Levo has high-tech treatment rooms which include a couple’s massage room. Enhancing the limitless Zen experience Levo is designed in white along with specially crafted furniture by Karim Rashid. Using the latest skin care and sensory technology, Levo’s signature Diamond Treatment includes a Magnetic Ritual Body Treatment and is said to be magically innovative. Starting with chakras and gems for balancing, the treatment includes the application of luminous mud with diamond dust all over the body followed by a massage using magnetic tools that purifies the mind and body by eliminating the effects of electromagnetic pollution and stressed caused by daily life. Using the therapeutic power of water, Levo’s Vichy Shower Bed Chromatherapy exfoliate the skin under infrared followed by steam and the soothing rain drop effect of a Vichy Shower. Levo is the first to offer the globally renowned Rene Futerer Hair Treatments in the NCR.
HOTEL Business Review
Greater Noida to redefine the luxury spirit of hotels The next big battle amongst the hospitality honchos is expected at the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. There is a long queue of hoteliers to set off their property in this stretch. The 25-km stretch could be the next hotspot for tourism, conventions, glitterati events, nightlife and shopping as several big hotel groups such as Hyatt, Starwood and Oberoi, Jaypee Group and Zinc InVision Hospitality are firming up their plans already. Hotel consultancy firm HVS India said it was tracking 30 hotels where construction has started in Noida and Greater Noida and an estimated 7,000 rooms are expected to come up in the region by 2014-15.
Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort Jaypee Hotels had announced an opening the gateway of much awaited “Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort”, the epitome of elegance and luxury at Greater Noida. Overlooking the soothing greens of the 18-hole Greg Norman Jaypee Golf Course, Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort is a harmonious blend of bliss and impeccable service. This super-luxury designer resort offers 170 elegant rooms (152 deluxe room and 18 suites) with a world renowned Six Senses Spa. Amidst of luxurious green landscape, the ambience clubbed with contemporary architecture and sculptures provides Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort a distinctive élan. According to Manju Sharma, the Director of Jaypee Hotels, “Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort is one of our most awaited properties which is bound to redefine luxury destinations. The newly opened luxury resort has started off at a blazing spree. Keeping up the spirit of honour upon us by the Ministry of Tourism for the “Best Golf Course”, this uber cool lavish property spread over 60 acres around the Golf Course has sold out the entire room inventory for the Formula 1 event due in October 2011.” Currently, 110 deluxe rooms are operational along with the 24 hour resto café – Eggspectation that spreads out a creative International menu with an eclectic selection of fine fare, including many styles of Eggs alone, making the restaurant one-of-its-kind. Eggspectation – a Canadian franchise is the first chain that started the concept of interactive kitchen in a coffee shop. Offering ritzy retreats for upto 3000 guests, spa in the resort is being set up in collaboration with ‘Six Senses’, a super-luxury global spa chain from Thailand and a series of private lifestyle suites and rooms which will be operational soon. Bistros lined up at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort include six specialty cuisine restaurants viz. Ano Tai – offering authentic Chinese cuisine, La Brezza – the Italian restaurant with Enoteca Bar, Paatra offering Indian cuisine, Matrix Bar – The Lounge bar and The Churchill – Cigar Bar.
Zinc InVision Hospitality plans Rs 400 crore investment Zinc InVision Hospitality is likely to invest up to $ 90 million (nearly Rs 400 crore) in India in next 3-5 years to own and operate hotel properties. The company plans to operate up to 15 hotels in the next three years in the country through a mix of ownership and management contracts. It is set to announce the launch of its first 220 room property in the country under the ‘Glow Studios’ brand in mid-scale segment at Greater Noida in September. Zinc InVision Hospitality is a partnership between Thailand-based InVision Hospitality and Zinc Holdings Inc, the Singapore-based investment arm of Cinnovation CG. Chaudhary said, “the company is also developing three more properties in Surat, Cochin and Greater Noida, which are likely to be operational by 2013 under ‘Zinc City’ brand.” Asked if half of the planned $ 180 million investment will be made in India, Chaudhary said: “Hopefully, yes”. “India is a key market for us and we want to focus on building our two brands ‘Glow Studios’ and ‘Zinc City’ here,” he said.
HOTEL Business Review
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok bestowed SmokeFree Hotel Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has been awarded Smoke-Free Hotel in Silver Star Award 2011-2012 by Green Leaf Foundation with Thai Health Promotion Foundation. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has followed smoke-free regulations by providing designated smoking areas and featuring more than 65% of non-smoking guestrooms for instance, to deliver environmentally-friendly facilities and services. As a part of Health Promotion Hotel programme, the Smoke-Free Hotel Award is given to hotels that lay bare a strong commitment towards environmental protection and health promotion. This practice will minimize harm to the environment and will also help to promote long term sustainable development of hotel and tourism industry.
By 2015, Indian hotel industry to grow mammoth By 2015, the Indian Hotel Industry is expected to reach Rs 230 billion, growing at a robust CAGR of 12.2%. India will be investing approx Rs 448 billion in the hospitality industry in the next five years. India is currently ranked 12th in the Asia Pacific region and 68th overall in the list of the world’s attractive destinations, according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Indian Hotel Industry holds an enormous potential due to the positive impact of demand-supply scenario, growth drivers, investments and government initiatives for tourism sector. To develop a better understanding of the industry, Cygnus has come out with a comprehensive Industry insight - Indian hotel industry, which brings out the past performance, trends and future prospects keeping in mind the various factors. Despite global economic woes, development of hotels in India has been one of the most money-spinning investments. As per Cygnus estimates, total supply (number of hotel rooms) in India is expected to reach more than 180,000 within five years. Various domestic and international brands have made significant inroads into this space and more are expected to follow; around 40 international brands will enter the country in the next five years.
Four Seasons to top the chart by 6-7 hotel listings in India Four Seasons, Canadian luxury hotel chain is planning to stretch its wing in India by adding 6-7 hotels in next 10 years. The company currently operates 85 hotels across 35 countries with about half of them located in North America. The big ticket luxury hotel brand has one operational hotel in Mumbai. China also tops the list. The focus is to boost their future growth in India shifting from North America. The company’s second hotel is being built in Bangalore and had recently announced another hotel in Noida which is likely to be operational by 2014. “We see marvelous potential in countries like India and China because of their growing affluence, economic growth and the opportunities available in business and leisure tourism,” Scott Woroch, executive vice president worldwide development of the company said. In China, it runs four hotels and will twofold the number of hotels by next year taking the total tally to 12.
HOTEL Business Review
ITC Hotels honoured greenest luxury hotel chain in the world All ITC’s luxury hotels have been accorded with the highest rating: LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) making it the ‘greenest luxury hotel chain in the world’. This distinction is an endorsement of ITC Hotels’ credo of ‘Responsible Luxury’ - an ethos that integrates world class green best practices with contemporary design elements to deliver the best of luxury in the greenest possible manner. The Responsible Luxury commitment of ITC Hotels blends elements of nature to deliver a unique value proposition to discerning guests, conscious of their responsibility to be planet positive. In addition to the wide spectrum of environment friendly measures that ITC Hotels implemented, the ITC group’s carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive status ensures that a guest’s stay at any of its luxury hotels contributes to a lower carbon footprint. Today, all ‘ITC Hotels’- ITC Maurya, New Delhi; ITC Maratha; Mumbai; ITC Grand Central, Mumbai; ITC Sonar, Kolkata; ITC Windsor, Bengaluru; *ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru; ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad and ITC Mughal, Agra are rated LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), for their commitment to perform to the highest standards of energy, water and waste efficiency and continuing to provide inspiration to the Green Building movement in India. (*Rated LEED Platinum by Indian Green Building Council-IGBC) Commenting on the distinction, Nakul Anand, Executive
Director, ITC Ltd. said, “This coveted feat uniquely positions ITC as the first hotel chain in the world to have all its premium luxury hotels accorded the highest rating: LEED Platinum by USGBC. It exemplifies the credo of ‘Responsible Luxury’ adopted by ITC’s Hotels Division – delivering globally benchmarked quality, services and luxury in the greenest possible manner.” “The LEED Platinum rating demonstrates tremendous green building leadership”, said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and the certified ITC Hotels serve as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.” The product design of ‘Responsible Luxury’ is in the form of green buildings that are energy efficient, utilize renewable energy, conserve and recycle water while taking concrete steps to preserve the eco-system around them. ITC Hotels have innovated the use of materials that utilize renewable sources and are biodegradable or conserve scarce environmental resources. Some hotels have also innovated on their offerings in food and beverages to optimize customer satisfaction while achieving a lower carbon footprint. Supporting national priorities, ITC’s hotel business will continue to make a meaningful contribution to national economic development as an employment multiplier creating sustainable livelihoods, while enriching the tourism landscape of the country.
Mittal International Inaugurates Showroom Mittal International one of the oldest known company offering customized service to the hospitality industry has achieved one more milestone by opening a new showroom in Mumbai at Goregaon (E). Mittal International based at Delhi is a leading name for imports of kitchen & Fast Food equipment for Indian Hospitality Industry. The showroom displays wide range of equipment for the Hotels, Restaurants, Fast Food Joints, Ice Cream Parlors, Coffee Shops, Super Markets, and Food Centers. The range of products includes Ice Cube machines, Ice Cream machines, Mixers and Blenders, Coffee & Tea Machine, Dish Washing machine, Food Preparation machine, Refrigerators & Freezers, Ovens and many more. The company offers complete tailored made packages to the hospitality industry including consultancy as per the need. The company also has an office in Mumbai along with business associates at Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, offering nation wide warranty, free installation and after sales service. The company is supported by qualified engineers to ensure International quality service. The company also has well stocked spare parts. Some of their esteemed clients serviced by Mittal’s are Barista, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Haldiram, Taj Hotels, ITDC, Oberoi’s, Nikko Hotel, Hyatt Regency.
HOTEL Business Review
Bangalore, Pune and Goa will catchhold HHI soon, revived the existing In a bid to support the growing demand for hotel rooms around India, Kolkata-based Hotel Hindustan International (HHI) Group of Hotels going to spectacle a birth of three new hotels in Bangalore, Pune and Goa. Bangalore and Pune property will swearin on September and October respectively. HHI will kick-start its third new property in Goa shortly. The group has also earmarked a few tier II cities, which entail rooms for the business segment, to build three and four-star business hotels. The property in Goa will be a fivestar deluxe one, while Pune will showcase boutique hotel. Speaking on venturing in some outlying locations, DK Jaiswal, Chairman and Managing Director, HHI Group of Hotels said, “When we thought of branching out in Pune, Bangalore and Goa, we realised the growing need of hotel rooms for business and leisure guests, respectively. Pune, developing as one of the central hub for industrial congestion and Goa, gaining more and more popularity as the most exotic beach destination of India, seemed to be the perfect locations to start our ventures.” The Goa property, which has 180 rooms along with all modern facilities that a fivestar hotel can offer, will cater mainly to the leisure and the MICE sector, while the 65room boutique hotel in Pune will be a full-fledged business hotel. “The HHI, Kolkata is gaining momentum with the luxury-seeking business segment. This has prompted us to invest in more business hotels. The future of Indian hospitality lies in the three and four-star business hotels has been already proved by our business category hotels.” Speaking further about the group’s existing properties in Varanasi and Bhubaneswar, Jaiswal informed that, HHI Bhubaneswar has a very modern and elegant look with an equally strong F&B department, while the F&B department of the 20 year old Varanasi property has been revised last year. “We changed the entire look of the hotel through the renovations done in the interiors of the lobbies, rooms and outlets. We have also made major changes in the F&B service, while educating the team properly,” adds Jaiswal. While discussing about the required manpower in all these properties, Jaiswal informed, “In order to balance the supply and demand of quality manpower in our setups, in the present hospitality scenario, we already have a Hotel management Institute by the name of Regency HHI Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, which is slated to churn out professional’s as per today’s needs. We also plan to set up another branch of it at Bhubaneswar as the demand is very high.”
IHCL to take off eight hotels worldwide by 2014 Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has planned to add more feathers on the cap by opening eight hotels into pipeline by 2014. It was dessiminated by Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons. Adding further, at the annual shareholder’s meeting, Tata said that Sea Rock Hotel in Mumbai is likely to be over and done by 2014. Beside Taj Exotica is all set come by 2013 in Andaman Island. IHCL caters to the various star category hotels and the brand TAJ take hold of first place in five star categories, Vivanta brand in the four star league, Gateway and Ginger hotels caters to three-star and budget legroom. Ginger hotel chains is to break even in the next fiscal year which is run by Roots Corporation Limited, a subsidiary of IHCL. Ratan Tata also said, US operations are going to make profit in next 18 months. The company posted a strong first quarter result for FY12 with the net profit in April-June jumping to Rs 20.31 crore aided by higher occupancies and a rise in other income.
HOTEL Business Review
HRANI Convention September 23-25, 2011, Amritsar The Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (HRANI) gears up to host the first HRANI Convention at Ista Hotel, Amritsar from September 23-25, 2011. HRANI is the northern wing of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI). Issues pertaining specifically to the northern region are taken up by HRANI. According to S M Shervani, President of HRANI “the objective of the convention is to explore the potential of the hospitality industry in North India and focus on the regional issues that impact the sector”. “We plan to develop ourselves on the seven pillars outlined by the MoT as Swagat (Welcome), Soochana (Information), Suvidha (Facilitation), Suraksha (Safety), Sahyog (Cooperation), Samrachanam (Infrastructure Development) and Safai (cleanliness). Our special focus would be on cleanliness as it is an important aspect of tourism in any country”, he further added. Theme for the Convention The theme of the convention is Hospitality Industry-Vision 2020. The aim is to understand and analyse how to make India a better destination and prepare for the year 2020. India is a diverse destination with plenty of products spread all over the country offering great amount of variety to the travellers. With so much to offer we have only five million tourists arriving annually. So there is a need to do something about it desperately. Hence the theme is Vision 2020.
News Scan Participation & Sessions At least 300 delegates are expected for the convention. The itinerary also includes a visit to the Golden Temple. The convention will be addressed by experts from the industry and also planned to have sessions on security, environment and discussion on franchise vs owned brand, human resource development (HRD), etc. Challenges faced by the hotels and restaurants of northern India • Gap between demand and supply. The supply of hotel rooms is not in proportion with the increase in demand which in turn increases the cost of the product. Though there is availability of good accommodation at affordable price but in the long run more number of hotel rooms are needed. • The high cost of land is another big challenge. Hoteliers need to be encouraged to build hotels on long term partnerships with the government so that investors can invest in building the hotels rather than investing in land. This would bring down the cost of building the property and giving a cheaper priced product for the market. The more the hotels rooms, the cheaper it would get. • Taxation is a major hindrance. In the absence of GST, hotels are subjected to multiple taxes in the form of service tax, luxury tax and VAT. Imposing too many taxes on the hotel industry is not good for the health of tourism in the country as ultimately the traveller ends up paying more. • Also the forum is going to make resolutions and take the same forward to the concerned department in the ministry of tourism.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts and GuRich fasten together to develop Le Méridien Koh Samui Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc has signed an agreement with GuRich Company Limited to develop Le Meridien Koh Samui in Thailand. Located on Lamai Beach on the east coast of Koh Samui, the resort is scheduled to open on September 1, 2011. The resort will illustrate the global Le Méridien ‘Arrival Experience’, curated by Jérôme Sans, international arts provocateur and the hotel brand’s cultural curator since 2006. This consists of four signature elements, including the artwork on arrival, the sensory experience, demonstrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, UNLOCK ART programme, which features an artist, designed key card collection that offers access to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers; and lastly, the elevated experience. Le Méridien Koh Samui will offer 77 guest rooms and villas. It also attributes three food and beverage venues, a full-service spa with six treatment rooms and 100 square meters of meeting and event space. Wayne Buckingham, Regional Vice President- Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc said, “Through our spotlight is on contemporary art, culture and innovative cuisine, Le Méridien Koh Samui will showcase an enriching cultural experience and inspiration to our guests and local community to discover a new horizon.”
HOTEL Business Review
Hotel growth at religious Hilton signs an agreement destinations with Nehru Place Hotels Umpteen numbers of hotels are coming forward to set up myriad religious projects across India. Sarovar Hotels & Resorts recently tied up with Africa-based Marasa Hospitality Pvt Ltd to set up four hotels in holy destinations at an estimated investment of Rs 180 crore. As part of the tie-up, Sarovar Hotels will provide technical assistance, besides managing the operations and marketing. In the next five years, the Sarovar group plans to expand to more religious places and has marked down investments worth Rs 400 crore. While Varanasi, Dharmasala and Puri are on the radar, the group is exploring possibilities in Bengal as well. Starwood is setting up a 180-room property under the Sheraton brand in Amritsar, which is likely to be outfitted in the next two years. Hotel Leelaventure is executing a plan to set up three-star hotels at locations such as Varanasi, Mysore, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Nalanda under the Leela Gardens brand. According to Anil Madhok, The managing director of Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, “Bengal offers a big opportunity for the group and projects are in the pipeline. The four hotels will come up at Rajkot (70 rooms), Bodhgaya (60 rooms), Tirupati and Rishikesh (120 rooms each) by 2013 and will be crowned with four star status. The monetary aspects of the operation shall be entirely looked at by Marasa. The total investment of Rs 180 crore will include a mix of debt and equity”.
Hilton Worldwide has signed an agreement with Nehru Place Hotels, an Eros Group company, to take over the management of its hotel in Nehru Place in South Delhi. The hotel, which has been rebranded as Eros Hotel - managed by Hilton was earlier called Inter-Continental Eros, Nehru Place. Nehru Place Hotels is spending Rs 75 crore to upgrade the hotel’s facilities which encompasses guestrooms, restaurants, conference and banquet facilities, and recreational areas. Once the refurbishment is complete, the hotel will be re-branded as a Hilton property. Martin Rinck, the president of Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide, said, “We are delighted to be entrusted with this strategically located property. This marks the continuation of Hilton Worldwide’s expansion in India, a critically important growth market for us. With this agreement, we now manage five hotels in three key cities in India. Steadily increasing our footprint, we plan to open another five properties in India this year, which will double our trading estate for 2011.” Besides these three hotels of Nehru Place, Hilton Worldwide also manages Hilton Janakpuri, Hilton Mumbai International Airport, Hilton Chennai and Hilton Garden Inn Saket.” “This is our third hotel that will be managed by Hilton Worldwide. The other two hotels, part of a twin-tower complex in East Delhi, include the Hilton New Delhi and DoubleTree by Hilton New Delhi at Mayur Vihar,” said Satish Sood, chairman and managing director, Nehru Place Hotels.
HOTEL Business Review
IGI on a brink of hotel hub in Capital Capital and NCR region is on a hotel binge. It is expected to attract more tourists within next four to five years. Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (DIAL) has earmarked 90 acres for this. In Delhi the largest hotel hub will be near the IGI Airport where 5,000 rooms in 11 properties – from ultra luxury to budget — are coming up in the first phase of the development of its hospitality district. The Capital by 2015-16 will report for 41% of the new arrivals, followed by Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, which are yet to acquire the allure, will account for barely 1%. Massive development of Formula 1 track in Greater Noida will attract visitors.” Said MD of HVS, Kaushik Vardharajan. He also added “The high cost of land in Delhi has made NCR areas like Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Gurgaon an equally striking option for hoteliers.” Matthew Cooper, GM of Marriott (Gurgaon), says, “There is a complete under supply of hotels in India, including Delhi. Two years ago, hotel tariff here was Rs 18,000-22,000 a night, which is not sustainable. Increase in hotel rooms will rationalize this.” Vivek Nair, the Leela Group VP, recalls having bought a 3-acre plot in Delhi’s swanky Chanakyapuri for a mammoth Rs 700 crore and then spending another Rs 900 crore to build his 260-room property – the most high-born hotel in India ever at Rs 6 crore per room. “Cost of land is a big issue for new development. We are requesting the government to change its policy of asking successful bidders to pay upfront. Delhi has a shortage of rooms and once the NCR adds 20,000-odd rooms the tariff will fall and stabilize,” he says. The world’s second-largest hotel group, The Hilton, is going to take projects in Delhi and the NCR by opening new properties and taking over existing ones. “Currently, we operate four hotels in Delhi and more will open at Mayur Vihar and Gurgaon. Delhi NCR has witnessed continued growth due to the development of the economies of Gurgaon and Noida, and sustained investment in infrastructure,” says Rajesh Punjabi, the Hilton Worldwide-India VP.
Kolkata’s Rajarhat to witness avantgarde hotel hub Rajarhat, (newly named Jyoti Basu Nagar) Kolkata’s fast-growing planned new city has become a cynosure of all hoteliers. Hotel Moguls are making a beeline to set up a voguish property here. In coming years Rajarhat will see a range of hotel line up. Ambuja Realty has already established their shot by launching Swisshotel Neotia Vista inside City Centre 2, most featured shopping precinct in Rajarhat. EIH, the flagship of the group that runs the Oberoi and Trident brand of hotels, is planning two hotels at Rajarhat with a combined investment of over 950 crore. Shristi has tied up with Starwood for a West Inn brand hotel in Rajarhat, Taj Group is mulling over a Ginger while Universal Success has plans to set up hotels with J W Marriott. Salarpuria Group has started work on a three star hotel near Axis mall. “EIH is looking for 3-4 acres privately-held land over here for this purpose. We are looking for any person or any company which holds land at Rajarhat for the purpose of setting up hotel properties and wants to be associated with us. We have talked to a lot of people but nothing has been finalized yet,” said company chairman PRS Oberoi. According to the plan, EIH wants to run one 350-room Trident hotel and another Oberoi property with 250 rooms at Rajarhat. On being asked about the quantum of investment, Oberoi said, “Without the price of land, an Oberoi hotel needs an investment of 2 crore per room, while per room investment for a Trident hotel varies between 1.3 crore and 1.4 crore.” Citing examples of renowned hotel brands like Four Seasons and Hilton, Oberoi said that EIH was now interested to manage hotel properties like them instead of running real estates.
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HOTEL Business Review
IHG Brings Holiday Inn to Cochin IHG (Inter-Continental Hotels Group), the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms, officially launched Holiday Inn Cochin. With the promise of being ‘A fresh destination for everyday People’, Holiday Inn Cochin will present delightful opportunities across the year, making it the perfect blend of smart business and fun and frolic zone with friends & family. The initial opening will offer 94 rooms to its guests along with a wide selection of food and beverage outlets such as Masala - an all day dining restaurant, serving authentic localised and international cuisines; Roma – The Italian Bistro and Deli KC – Holiday Inn Cochin’s 24-hour coffee shop. Guests staying at the Holiday Inn Cochin can revitalize themselves through a wide array of health club facilities and unwind at the hotels’ infinity pool, which overlooks the tree lined Cochin cityscape. Featuring 212 rooms, Holiday Inn Cochin is conveniently located in close proximity to the National Highway Bypass, making it easily accessible to both business and leisure travellers as well as local residents. Shaun Langdon, Regional General Manager for India, IHG said, “The opening of Holiday Inn Cochin is a significant milestone for IHG. This hotel is our third new-look Holiday Inn property in India, following the successful completion of the US$ 1 billion Holiday Inn global brand re-launch. The Holiday Inn brand represents a great opportunity for us in
the midmarket segment and will address the increasing demand for internationallybranded hotels in India. Cochin is a strategic location for us and we continue to look for the right opportunities to expand the brand’s presence in India’s key business and leisure hubs. IHG has aggressive expansion plans for our Holiday Inn brand in India with 32 new-look Holiday Inn hotels which account for over 70% of our current India development pipeline. “ Commenting on the hotel’s opening, Garth Solly, General Manager at Holiday Inn Cochin said, ”We are extremely excited to bring Holiday Inn to Cochin. Holiday Inn Cochin is designed for business and family oriented leisure travellers in need of a full-service lodging experience. We believe in “Stay Real”, a service commitment that recognizes our guests as individuals and our staff who understand their real needs during their stay. We are delighted to bring the world’s most recognised hotel brand to a premier destination of God’s own country.”
Premier Inn opens hotel cum multi-cuisine restaurant in Capital UK’s leading hotel chain Premier Inn, has opened its first hotel in the Capital. The hotel is located in Shalimar Bagh, spotting an investment of 92 crores into the local economy. This opening has created 50 jobs. Premier Inn features 143 air-conditioned rooms with a multi-cuisine restaurant cum bar, named LINX along with various other conveniences at just Rs 5,500 a night. Each bedroom can gratify two adults and two children ((aged 15 and under). The hotel is outfitted with a Hypnos bed which has a reputation for making the most comfortable beds in the world. The hotel group had highlighted the fact that it is very family friendly, as the price of the room will not change, irrespective of the number of people or kids in the room. They would provide also a free breakfast for upto 2 children under the age of 15. Mr. Aly Shariff, Managing Director, speaking on the occasion of new opening, Premier Inn India said, “There is a huge demand for cost-effective, good quality rooms from both corporate and leisure travellers in North India and we believe that Premier Inn, New Delhi, Shalimar Bagh will meet these needs”. Earlier, the hotel group had opened a Premier Inn at Whitefield in Bangalore.
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Willy Ribbe Willy Ribbe has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer, Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd. Willy Ribbe is a Hotel Management Graduate and has over 28 years of extensive experience in Hospitality industry. Prior to joining us, he was the Area General Manager for the breathtaking properties of Ritz Carlton at Doha, Qatar. He has an illustrative career with Marriott Hotels in Europe and USA, worked with some of the award winning Marriott hotels like the New York Marriott Marquis, Marriott Hotels in Washington DC, Bucharest Marriott Grand Hotel, etc. He has held various senior Management positions for over 25 years in Marriott Intl including Cluster General Manager Position in Europe.
Dr. Arun Tomson Dr. Arun Tomson has been appointed as Director of Spa at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. He will be spearheading the spa operations at the newly launched Quan Spa at the hotel. In his new role, he will be responsible for conceptualizing spa treatments, designing marketing strategies, departmental structuring, revenue generation, guest service recovery and facility maintenance. Prior to this, Dr. Tomson headed the spa operations at Surya Samudra Private Retreat. He started his journey in health, beauty and wellness six years ago. Under his supervision, The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach received an award for the best hotel spa in 2008 by Pevonia Asia Spa Magazine. Dr. Tomson is well versed in Ayurvedic, Oriental and European Spa therapy. His spa and fitness philosophy provides the guests an ultimate holistic spa therapies and enriching experience. He aims at creating life enhancing therapies that help to retrieve
the balance of the mind and the body, improve vitality to enable them to lead a longer and healthier life. Dr. Tomson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore. He has also received Doctor’s training in Panchakarma (Ayurveda) and other special therapies of Kerala from Kerala Ayurvedic Pharmacy. In addition, he has also gone through a programme on Advanced Paramedical Aesthetics from Christine Valmy international school of Aesthetics, Mumbai. Currently, he is pursuing his MBA (Specializing in Human resources) from the National institute of Business Management, Chennai.
Ray McShane Ray McShane has been appointed as Vice President Sales, Royal Orchid Group & General Manager, Hotel Royal orchid, Bangalore. Ray McShane is a Diploma holder in Hotel Catering & Institutional operation and has over 23 years of extensive experience in Hospitality industry. Prior to joining us he was working with the Centara Hotel & Resorts, the Grand, New Delhi. He has held various Senior Management positions in India and Abroad and worked with international hotels like Conrad HotelsTurkey, Hyatt Hotels- Kazakastan & Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Intercontinental-Saudi Arabia, etc.
Milburn Sequeira The Mirador Hotel, Mumbai has promoted Milburn A. Sequeira as Director of Rooms. His exceptional people skills, networking, strong organizational & administrative capabilities are his core strengths and have earned him many accolades over the years as Front Office Manager from where he has been designated to his
present. In his new role, Milburn will be entrusted with superior responsibilities of enhancing guest experience, standards, efficiency, maximizing occupancies and generating higher room revenue. He has returned to the Mirador, after a short stint as a General Manager in East Africa. He has been associated with the Mirador hotel since 9 years.
Bharat Bhusan Biswal Bharat Bhushan Biswal has taken over as the new General Manager of Lotus Resort Konark. With Bachelors Degree in Tourism & Hospitality services from IIHM, Bhubaneswar and experience of about 6 years in the hotel industry, he brings with him a plethora experience, education and maturity to help the resort to reach greater heights of glory. Biswal started as a trainee with Jaypee Palace Hotels , Agra and later joined as F&B Associate at The Orchid Mumbai. He was subsequently elevated as F.&B Executive and then promoted as Asst F&B Manager. In 2009 he became the Deputy General Manager at Lotus Resort, Konark. He has recently taken over as General Manager.
Biswajit Biswas Biswajit Biswas has been appointed as the General Manager at Fort JadhavGadh, A Gadh Heritage Hotel of Kamat Hotels India Ltd. With 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry he started his career with K.Raheja Group of Hotels at The Resort, Mumbai. He has worked with different Hotel Chains , The Regent, Taj Lands End,Ras Resorts and Velvett Country,Khandala. After Graduating in Hotel Management from IIHM, Kolkata and Hospitality Management Diploma from (AH&MA), he has done his Masters in Business Administration from ISBMMumbai. He also holds a certification of Internal Auditor for ISO 9001: 2000.
HOTEL Business Review
An Opening Extravaganza for Marriott International in India 365-room Marriott comes to Pink City Marriott International has opened its 365-room Marriott Hotel in Jaipur. “This is 14th Marriott hotel in India, which is the largest in the state in terms of rooms and meeting space,” Marriott International Area Vice-President Rajeev Menon said. “With tremendous growth as a business hub during the past few years, the city is set to become one of the most sought after destinations
for both leisure and business travellers in India,” he said. The hotel, located near Sanganer airport, offers a range of restaurants designed to captivate guests with distinctive dining options. In the first phase of opening, the hotel features an international all-day dining restaurant called Okra. Menon said the Marriott would have a presence in 25 cities in the country by 2015 and projects at Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai are in the pipeline. “Hotels under JW Marriott brand are coming up at Bangalore, Delhi Airport, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai. We will have hotels at 10 locations by 2015 in India” Marriott International, Vice President, Rajeev Monon told. New hotels which are coming up in the country under JW Marriott brand would spread over 3 to 5 acres of land with 200-250 rooms per hotel. “About Rs 1.20 crore per room in a JW Marriott hotel is alloted except the land cost, is worked out at an investment in setting up,” said Rajiv Puri, Vice President (Construction). Marriott International also announced opening of its JW Marriott hotel in Chandigarh . Marriott International joined hands with local partner Lok Priya Buildwell to set up five star hotel in 3 acres of land, entailing capital expenditure of Rs 350 crore. “Chandigarh is a strategic city with pharmaceutical, IT and tourism sectors growing at a rapid pace,” said Menon while replying to a query what promoted Marriott to open second hotel property under JW Marriott brand in the country. Marriott International is also operating hotels under other brands like Renaissance, Courtyard etc in India. Marriott is also keen to set up new hotels under Courtyard brand in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Himachal Pradesh.
Brand Courtyard by Marriott gripped its presence in Pune, City Centre Marriott International continues its stellar journey in India and its dominance in Pune hospitality market with an addition of another hotel in the city. The opening of Courtyard by Marriott Pune-City Centre marks the third Marriott International hotel and the second Courtyard in the city. Courtyard, with its launch is looking forward to add a new chapter in the hospitality landscape of Pune. The hotel’s 179 rooms features great in-room amenities such as the plush Marriott bedding, iPod docking stations, High Speed Internet Access (HSIA), an electronic safe, walk-in wardrobe and a 37" LCD television. The hotel caters to the needs of both international and domestic transient travellers visiting and working in the city. The hotel also features an array of great restaurants to appeal not just to guests, but also to the city gourmets. MoMo Café, offers all day dining options, while Red Zen is a Pan Asian specialty restaurant, and for those with less time Momo2Go is a ‘Grab-and-Go’ store offering salads and sandwiches. The property also offers four luxurious banquet halls, a fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool, party deck, a business centre and an executive lounge. Contemporary in design with vibrant hues, the hotel is all about ‘refreshing business’. Commenting on the opening of Marriott International’s 15th hotel in India, Simon Cooper, President and Managing Director Asia Pacific, Marriott International said: “The Courtyard by Marriott is a smart business hotel that caters to the needs of the traveller who is always on the move and yet likes
being connected with the corporate world. Asia-Pacific as a region has seen a tremendous growth curve as far as economic thrust and business acumen is concerned. We are delighted to open the Courtyard by Marriott Pune City Centre and to be working with such great partners in The Advantage Raheja.” Mr. Craig Smith, COO and Vice President, Marriott
HOTEL Business Review
International- Asia Pacific and Australia, said “over the years Pune had become a destination for many corporate organizations. In order to serve the needs of the business travellers, Marriott International decided to come up with a second Courtyard property in the city. With its launch, Courtyard by Marriott Pune City Centre is looking forward to cater to a city that is fast growing in terms of International stature and corporate repute.” Mr. Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President - India, Malaysia, Maldives and Australia, added: “With the influx of IT, ITES, manufacturing and automobile industries, Pune is going to witness tremendous potential in the coming years. Given the demand this is our third offering from Marriott International in Pune. With this launch Marriott International continues its growth story in the city. We are extremely delighted to present our newest hotel which is magnificently built and will stand ahead for the great hospitality standards that Marriott International is committed to offer.” The hotel that will be run under the able guidance of its General Manager Mr. Harinder J Singh is looking forward to catering and serving the needs of business head-honchos and the society elites. As quoted by Mr. Harinder Singh “With the launch of this property Marriott International continues its growth story in the city of Pune. Pune has evolved from being a pensioner’s paradise, to the city of the youth, and to finally a city buzzing with young professionals. A city that has seen a steady growth in almost any sector and it deserves a hotel that mirrors its multi-faceted charm. With its world-class amenities and contemporary look and feel, the hotel is looking forward to appeal to the smart travellers.” Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Deepak Raheja of The Advantage Raheja and owner of the property said: “We are proud of our association with Marriott International. The launch of this hotel will further strengthen our alliance with the brand. We have introduced a product that is contemporary in design with an array of amenities that would suit the guest needs.”
Goa Marriott Resort is reborn as Goa Marriott Resort & Spa Marriott International Inc, proudly announces the relaunch of its property Goa Marriott Resort as Goa Marriott Resort and Spa. Since 1999, when this luxury resort first greeted guests, the property stands as one of the most successful international hotels in Goa and has created a unique and distinct identity for
itself. Had undergone a comprehensive transformation, the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa is set to astound all with its magnificent new look and inimitably outstanding features.
Happiness on a wellness Quan Spa, a world-renowned brand that promises a whole new world of spa & wellness treatments, is an integral part of the new Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. Quan, a Chinese word that literally means ‘a source of pure water’ represents a spa that seeks to provide a path to wholeness and well-being, while embracing the time-honoured healing practices of its local culture. The Quan Spa has well appointed five treatment rooms with an added steam room and a Jacuzzi and a couple of massage room as well. There is also a brand new Fitness Centre (gymnasium) and a Kids Club as part of the recreational facilities. Pavithran Nambiar, General Manager, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa said, “Goa is a dynamic city, which plays host to over 2.5 million tourists, domestic and foreign, every year. It has become a favourite with Goanese and visitors since the past 11 years; we will now offer a total refreshed property with the additional introduction of the signature Quan Spa. With the launch of the premium Quan Spa, our guests will be able to indulge and discover a whole new world of luxury and rejuvenation. Our refreshed Food and Beverage offerings, refurbished rooms and top notch banqueting services will ensure a deeper and stronger resonance with our guests.” The lobby is aesthetically crafted which exemplifies the best of contemporary and old-world charm. The 180 well renovated rooms offer picturesque views of the expansive bay and well-maintained gardens are designed to meet every need of the leisure or business traveller. The new food and beverage facilities include AZ.U.R, a revolutionary transition lounge and Simply Grills, the new signature outdoor dining restaurant. The revamped menu at the all-day dining restaurant Waterfront Terrace & Bar and the 24-hour inroom dining facilities will cater to guests’ food and beverage needs at any time of the day. The 9,149 sq ft of fully refurbished banquet and conference spaces as well as multiple outdoor venue options offer spectacular views of the waterfront. The hotel has dynamic embrace - what remains constant is the legendary Goanese spirit to serve, that the guests have always loved and appreciated.
HOTEL Business Review
Small is ‘in’ Call them boutique hotels or theme hotels or art hotels or by any other name, these hotels which offer something unique – an experience that satisfies the aesthetic sense as well as keeps the wallet healthy – are becoming a rage. Hotels with interiors designed to meet the fastidious tastes of its clientele and offer services that can compete with star hotels are now becoming the talk of the town. Having a limited number of rooms with interiors differing in different rooms, these hotels give an experience of something new even if you visit the hotel frequently. The identical décor associated with larger star hotels is absent. Ashok Malkani finds that these boutique hotels, offering rooms at competitive rates, are not just springing up in tier-II and tier-III cities but also in urban areas like Mumbai as well as in IT hubs like Pune and Bangalore. 32
HOTEL Business Review
ig is beautiful, but not always where the hotel industry is concerned. That is what TripAdvisors’ Choice Hotels for India indicates. As far as hotels are concerned small is ‘in’. Small hotels surpass even star hotels in ratings. With growing popularity of small hotels is it any wonder that nearly 50 per cent rooms branded hotels plan to add in the next five years will be in the mid-market and budget segments. Investors are comfortable in putting in money in budget hotels and many leading international brands are planning to enter this space in India. Says Ashish Jakhanwalal, managing director
and chief executive officer at Samhi Hotels Pvt. Ltd, a hotel investment and development company: “India has a huge market for budget and mid-market hotels. We are comfortable with investing in midmarket hotels in India. We are raising $100 million (Rs.440.6 crore today) for investing in hotel properties and this will be largely in mid-market hotels.” But small budget hotel is not all that a traveler is seeking. He wants something different; something innovative. Says Sharat Dhall, managing director, TripAdvisor India: “Its hotels offering personalized service and value for money that have been rated high.” The urban traveler wants more than “just another hotel stay.” According to a report issued by Sydney, Australia-based Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, a real estate investment advisory group, boutique hotels’
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skyrocketing popularity illustrates the 21st century consumer’s increasing desire for a unique hotel experience. The report states: “As hotel owners, developers and operators search for advantages in today’s competitive environment, boutique hotels are spreading like wildfire. Today’s traveler is looking for a hotel that offers not only a comfortable guestroom, but also a storyline that fits his or her image.” Boutique hotels offer travelers much more than the standard toiletry kit and ironing board, as each one is uniquely designed to reflect the surrounding area or a particular theme. Often, such hotels represent the adaptive re-use of an older, urban property. The atmosphere at these hotels can range from minimalist to decadent, the report notes. Incidentally, boutique hotel is a term popularized in North America and the United Kingdom to describe intimate, usually luxurious or quirky environments. Boutique hotels differentiate themselves from larger chain/branded hotels by providing personalized accommodation and services / facilities. Sometimes known as “design hotels” or “lifestyle hotels”, boutique hotels began appearing in the 1980s in major cities like London, New York, and San Francisco. Typically boutique hotels are furnished in a themed, stylish and/or aspirational manner. They usually are considerably smaller than mainstream hotels, often ranging from 3 to 50 guest rooms. Boutique hotels are always individual and focused on offering their services in a comfortable, intimate, and welcoming setting. The concept of boutique or design hotels has spread throughout the world, including European countries like Spain
and East Asian countries such as Thailand, where many boutique or design hotels are sprouting, especially in resort locations. Says Thomas Fisher, senior vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels: “With the technology-driven environment we live in today, there is a shift in people’s psyche. They want to be cutting-edge. Products that are different often attract people.” According to Fisher, market differentiation propels the boutique segment’s strong performance. The revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the boutique segment has “exceeded luxury segment levels since 1996.” The boutique segment’s success also can be attributed to value, according to the Jones Lang LaSalle report. From the numbers, it seems boutique hotels have found their niche in the lodging industry. Certainly, more mainstream hotels also will demand a share of the limelight. Hotel operators say the industry is capable of accommodating a new “mainstream boutique product” while keeping the identity of the “true” boutique hotel intact. People’s preference for something new has given rise to theme and lifestyle hotels where the room décor is different in different rooms. Yes, small hotels with rooms having interiors that differ from room to room are becoming a rage. It gives a person a new experience even if he visits the same hotel a dozen times. And the target clientele for these hotels is mostly business and FITs. Says Milburn Sequeira, Director of Rooms, Mirador Hotel Mumbai: “There are many factors guests and corporates look at in small hotels. Firstly the comfort and the service should be equivalent to that of a 5star hotel at a comparatively lower tariff.
This suits their company or themselves as individual travelers. Also, the personalized service, warmth and attention a guest gets in a smaller hotel is far better than any bigger hotel. And since you interact with everyone, it is easier for the employees to remember a guest’s face, name and preferences. Personal interaction with the guest by most of the staff also gives the guest a more relaxed and homely experience.” The demand for these hotels is even attracting foreign chains. With growing market for boutique hotels, more international chains like Svenska are eyeing India. The latest being Alila Hotels & Resorts which feels that this is the right time to embark on new developments. Alila Hotels & Resorts plans to open 12 hotels in India by 2015. Being among Asia’s leaders in luxury boutique hotels, Singapore-based Alila Hotels and Resorts is known for its exclusive properties designed by award-winning architects that offer personalized hospitality in great locations. Swedish boutique design hotel company, Svenska Design Hotels, has launched its collection of design hotels in India. They have plans to bring in new dimension to the fiver star hospitality concept in India. Starting off from Mumbai (30-room property) and Bangalore (56-room property) at an investment of Rs. 36 crore and 50 crore respectively. Svenska plans to tap Tier-II and Tier-III cities where a large format luxury hotel may not be viable. While the design hotel concept gives it fast scalability, Svenska says it does not compromise on any five star features including the services. Says Wasim Sheikh, CEO of Svenska: “The finish and finesse of hotels’ interiors and our brand standards are five star comparable across our properties. We offer personalized butler service to all our guests staying at the hotel, in-room spa treatments, selection of gaming consoles, blue ray and DVD options, i-pods and ipads and docking stations with FMs. The company spends close to a crore per room.” The group is looking at 1,000 room inventory in 10 years with a budget of around ‘1,000 crore. The company has 20 hotels in the pipeline with hotels planned in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and Bhilwara, Rajasthan, which will start development in 2011. The company is also looking at properties in Delhi and Kolkata where the
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development work will start in 2012. The group is also looking for land in Dehradun and Thiruvanathapuram. The property at Bhilwara is a fort which will be developed though management contract. Says Zia Shaikh, MD, Svenska Design Hotels: “We are looking at doubling our properties every year. As we grow management contracts will be our main focus. We are ideally looking at designing hotels from scratch.” Defying the adage that size matters, Svenska Mumbai has managed to pack in five places to eat spanning Mediterranean and Japanese and a few token Swedish drinks and dishes on the menu. Speaking about the concept, Zia Sheikh, said, “Svenska is small sized luxury hotel chain which, is a well established concept in the metros in the west, we would like to establish the same here. We are looking at providing personalisation, combined with lifestyle products. After extensive research we decided to go for small-format hotels as this concept is new in India. There is lot of demand for personalised service and all our hotels will be under 100 rooms. We will provide superior service at par with boutique hotels in Europe to our guests.” Says Wasim Sheikh: “As increasingly Indian cities get more crowded, business travellers will prefer staying near their place of work. A city like New York has more designer boutique hotels than the large scale ones.” Another international chain, Small Luxury Hotels (SLH), plans to take 20 Indian properties under its umbrella in the next two years. Says Paul J Kerr, joint MD, Hill Goodridge & Associates and CEO, Small Luxury Hotels of the World: “Small Luxury Hotels has grown organically and has increased its strength considerably to nearly 26,000 rooms today. India is a market of great potential and we look forward to take more properties under our brand name.” Presently, SLH has 13 properties in India in its portfolio. It is
planning 10 properties by the end 2011 and another 10 by the end 2012 On the national frontier we have the Mirador Hotel in Mumbai, which is considered as one of the finest 4 star premium designer hotels boasting of several world renowned personalities on its guests’ list. Says Sequeira: “we don’t sell rooms, we sell experience. It is the experience and the wow factor that is important to retain our guests and make them loyal.” They have 19 rooms in the Club Myra category at the 6th level, which are designed differently than the other rooms. The décor of the 270 sq ft. room is designed for style, comfort and innovativeness to attract the guests. Each of the room is a contemporary styled urban resort room with an Indian accent. The interiors and ambience gives one the feeling of a resort in the urban city. The originality starts with the hardwood flooring and continues to the 2-door seethrough glass bathroom. And what’s more a cologne towel on arrival drives away your journey’s tiredness! Kohinoor Elite – situated in uptown Mumbai within the prestigious integrated township of Kohinoor City, KurlaVidyavihar, just 3 kms away from BandraKurla Complex (BKC) is an innovation in hospitality, a three-star business budget hotel offering five-star services to its esteemed customers. At Kohinoor Elite, every customer is elite. At the same time, staying at Kohinoor Elite is e-lite (especially light) on the pocket for customers. As a preferred choice for the discerning new age business traveller, Kohinoor Elite offers an excellent range of guest facilities and services tailored to the needs of business travellers valuing their precious time. The Kohinoor Elite décor and style has been specifically designed keeping in mind the finesse of the new age business
travelers. A lot of white and cream has been used in the Lobby and the Restaurant with roof to floor glass windows and high ceilings, making the public areas give a very bright and vibrant look to the property. The room interiors have been adorned with pastel shades of yellow, green, grey and cream giving a spacious feel to it. The hotel offers you a selection of 100 spacious cosy wellequipped rooms having the most elegant décor with a carefully crafted blend of aesthetics and modern amenities. The hotel’s corridors carry paintings depicting the tourist and heritage sites of Mumbai which adds to the exuberance of Kohinoor Elite’s décor. The Gordon House hotels in Mumbai and Pune also are high on décor. The themed guest rooms in Mumbai can be kind of fun: Best are the no-nonsense Scandinavian rooms (smart, contemporary units with parquet floors and sleek Ikeastyle furniture, timber blinds, and blackand-white photographs). Mediterranean rooms are less severe (with bright blues and yellows, tiled floors, cane chairs, and cool aqua-toned bathrooms). The flooring is in shades of pastels, floral, and patchwork designs. The hotel has very stylish ambience with fine detailing in every nook. It is segregated in three different floors with each floor representing a different theme. The hotel offers 28 stylish boutique double rooms and 1 suite room on three themed floors. The Suites sport a distinctive architecture of typical design elements and attention to luxurious comforts providing a richer and special guest experience. The hotel in Pune conveys an expression of individuality against the routine glass-concrete structures offering extraordinary themed rooms. The Hotel has 30 boutique rooms in the following categories: Scandinavian Rooms (16), English Country Rooms (10), Deluxe Country Rooms (2) Don’s Den Suite and Zen & Now Suite. Another hotel that offers something contemporary is Le Sutra in Mumbai. The hotel has tried to weave thousands of years of Indian ethos – the philosophy and myth – and narrate it through contemporary Indian Art. The 16 rooms are each based on a ‘Character’ (Ravana, Ashoka, Buddha) or ‘Characteristic’ (Sensuality, Love, Purification) from a theme in Indian culture. Art here un-
Cover Story frames itself to engage and live with you. Embraced at every level, your bed, chair, floor or wall; in every facet - canvas, fresco, insets, inlay, sculpture; each story is subtly composed. Nirvana and moksha have inspired this Bandra property. Level one is tamas guna, focused on pleasures of the flesh. The décor is opulent and erotic. A nice segue into the frenzied energy of the rajas guna highlights level two. Level three is the sattva guna, featuring minimalist décor, pure, straight lines and simple shapes that allude to the ascetic, stripped down truth at the heart of the universe. Hotel Le Royal Meridien Mumbai combines the convenience of an excellent location with an exceptionally distinctive style and quality of decor, facilities and service. The rooms capture the colonial essence. The colonial era, recreated in a unique style by international designers, is supported with an abundance of New Age technology. Le Royal Meridien Mumbai is a statement of elegance and vibrancy. The hotel is an outstanding architectural marvel, with a glass curtain exterior, atrium lobby and capsule elevators. To enhance
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the ambience of a stately home, each room is beautifully decorated with different hues of wood, set off by wooden floors and elegant cream and beige soft furnishings. Designed along the lines of a 19thcentury summer palace, the hotel is a lively mélange of colonial era influences and modern amenities. Each of the 171 Classic, Deluxe, Royal Club and Royal Club Premium guest rooms and suites reflect European elegance. The Gold Finch Hotel, Bangalore, one of the finest Boutique and business hotels in South India has 50 very large rooms with excellent décor for the value. Elegant, contemporary and uniquely themed, this business boutique chain stands out for its understated luxury with sophisticated interior design redefining the intimate experience of hospitality wrapped in personalized service. Here the décor is inspirational, service is by anticipation and approach individualistic. In the heart of the IT hub, Bangalore, is the Purple Lotus. The elegant contemporary interiors of 20 suites spread over five floors enchant the eye with their
subdued moonlit hues and quite aura. In an age where space comes at a premium the hotel offers guests an unbelievable expanse in style and comfort without burdening your wallet. The rooms are large, uniquely stylish in design. The little dining area attached to the room and the large bathrooms, are tastefully done. Yes, the phenomenon of boutique, art or theme – call it by any name – has created an opportunity for industry expansion, particularly in areas with high barriers to entry. Now that the boutique segment has cemented its identity in the hospitality industry, operators are looking to keep offerings creative. Says Milburn Sequeira: “The challenge for these types of hotel companies is to always be fresh and new”. It’s maintaining your competitiveness in the market by always creating an atmosphere that’s boutique in nature so the properties don’t get tired. You don’t know what to expect. That’s the magic that makes these hotels exciting! So Let’s raise a toast to the ‘small but beautiful’ that you will remember and cherish through time. ■
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Seeking Spiritual Solace
India has a host of religious places – Tirupati, Madurai, Rameswaram, Varnasi, Dwaraka, Amarnath, Badrinath and Kedarnath, etc – stretching from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. This has resulted in the country becoming one of the prominent attraction for people seeking spiritual solace. And as the religious tourism grows by leaps and bounds the hotel industry is looking at these small town destinations with interest. The change in the profile of the religious tourist – a person who took care of his pennies to one who has cash to spare and is willing to pay for his comforts – is attracting several star hotel chains to venture into places like Shirdi, Pandharpur, Ajmer etc. Ashok Malkani discovers that India considered as the spiritual capital of the world has tourists flocking here to achieve spiritual salvation. And as both – domestic as well as international tourists – make a beeline for religious places like Haridwar, Tirumalai, the hotel industry, both budget hotels and star hotels are eyeing these places. These are good destinations for the industry as the real estate and infrastructure prices are low. 38
B us i n e s s The hospitality can thank God for all the moolah that it is raking in, in small places like Shirdi and Pandharpur or Amritsar and Tirupati. Yes, religious places are proving to be ideal places for investment for the hotel industry. Even star hotels are now looking at these religious centres as profitable investments. For many a well heeled, a pilgrimage is no longer about an arduous journey to meet God. They are seeking deluxe Nirvana! And sensing a growing opportunity, international hotel chains are leaving no stone unturned to satisfy their needs. These star hotels are making a beeline for the religious centres – even small town ones! Small temple towns such as Shirdi, Amritsar, Haridwar, Tirupati, Ajmer, Katra-Vaishnodevi, Madurai and Mathura, are quickly turning into goldmines for the hospitality trade. Several hotels including Golden Tulip Hospitality, Hyatt, Marriott, Carlson Hospitality, Starwood and Best Western, among others, are lining up properties at leading temple towns as the number of the deeply devout – having even deeper
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pockets – grows by the day. Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific plans to open its Radisson Hotels & Resorts in Puri and Bhubaneswar. Park Inn, Radisson and Country Inns and Suites will also go to Amritsar. Analysts say that the industry was poised for maximum growth in smaller cities in the coming
years with realtors entering the market. Indeed religious tourism is on the rise. Religious tourism has a big future in India. India is richly endowed with ancient temples and religious festivals. Religions originating in India, be it Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism or Buddhism, have a vibrant culture and
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spiritual philosophy. Together, they present a viable, alternative way of life as compared to the materialism and confrontation prevalent in the West. Yes, these temples located mostly in tier-II and tier-III cities are attracting the hospitality industry. Indeed every big retailer, franchisor and brand is talking about tier-II and tier-III cities and hospitality brands are also not secluded to this development. The reason is that the pilgrims are no longer seeking just a shelter. They are also seeking comfort which they can afford. Besides, expansion here is beneficial as real estate is cheaper thus making investments and infrastructure costs low. There is a revival of religious attitudes not only in India but the world over. The second and third generations of the Indian diaspora are actively seeking out their roots in religion. The religions of Indian origin are also proving to be an attraction to many persons of non-Indian origin because these religions advocate a pacifist and inclusive approach to life. This is evident from the posts that can be read on the numerous blog sites devoted to religion. And there can be no better way to introduce these aspirants to Indian religions than to entice them to come to India and undertake and experience religious tourism themselves. Can an industry or a city run on faith alone? Ludicrous though it may sound but the answer is yes. The noncommercial economy of Vatican City survives only on financial contributions,
dubbed Peter’s Pence, made by millions of Roman Catholics around the world. Vatican is dependent on its God for the tourists. He attracts the tourists and the city is able to prosper on its own. Holy cities like Tirumala, Shirdi, Puri, Ajmer – many times the size of Vatican – are similarly dependent on their resident deities to attract believers. Economic machineries of these townships are oiled by the money these faithfuls spend en route their rendezvous with the Almighty. Says Avinash Adaling, a senior official at Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust that manages the activities of the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi: “On a normal day we get almost 30,000-40,000 devotees and on special days this number can reach a maximum of 1.25 lakh,” The trust has an accommodation of only 500 rooms. Though there are various hotels still have room for more. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has also revived its six-year-old Shirdi development plan worth Rs 450 crore and is planning to construct a hotel, a promenade, skywalks and parking lots in the city.
Says Kaushik Vardharajan, managing director of HVS Hospitality Services: “The existing demand-supply gap in these temple towns offers huge opportunity for international firms. Every brand which was earlier in the luxury segment now wants to have a piece of the business here.” For instance, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams receives 50,000-70,000 pilgrims each day, while there is accommodation for only 22,000 people across dharamsalas, private guest houses and big hotel chains. A large number of hotels in Tirupati have come up to cater to the needs of the millions who visit the temple town everyday. Says a Devasthanam’s functionary: “The current accommodation works well during weekdays but they are not sufficient to meet the peak period requirement during the weekends. Tirupati has 5,000 hotel rooms and requires additional 2,000 rooms to meet the peak demand.” Says Jayesh Ranjan, tourism secretary of Andhra Pradesh: “The maximum number of visitors come to bow in front of Lord Balaji in Tirupati.” Today it has hotels like Ramee Guestline, Fortune Kences, Tirumala Residency, Bhimas Residency, Kalyan Residency, Sindhudurg Park and Hotel Bliss besides several budget hotels. But, as subscribed by a Devasthanam’s functionary “There is need for more.” Another very important holy place is the Golden temple, at world renowned tourist spot at Amritsar. Besides the Golden temple there are Gurudwara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji, Gurudwara Baba Atal, Gurudwara Ramsar (related to Guru Arjun Dev Ji), Gurudwara Lohgarh Sahib, Gurudwaraibeksar (built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh), Gurudwara Tahli Sahib (related to Guru AmardasJi), etc. These Gurudwaras have high potential for religious tourism and can attract a large number of tourists from India and abroad. The Sarais at the temple complex can accommodate only 1800 visitors but the inflow is several times over. There are 45 small and medium size hotels in the city, which are catering to the growing number of tourists in the city. A number of budget hotels are available near Golden Temple. But these are not sufficient to meet the demand Says Rajeev Menon, vice-president,
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India, Pakistan, Maldives and Malaysia Marriott International “There is hardly any decent place to stay at religious destinations and it makes for a perfect choice for hoteliers.” Marriott is planning a hotel in Amritsar. Starwood, which operates a 200-room luxury Sheraton hotel in Amritsar, close to the Golden Temple, is also looking to expand. According to tourism and hospitality player, Bird group, religious tourism in India has been growing at a CAGR of 10 per cent year-on-year. It will continue to grow more in the near future. Going forward, approximately 60 per cent of some 200 million domestic tourists in India are expected to travel to the country’s religious destinations like Shirdi, Vaishnodevi and Tirupati, among others. Religious tourism is proving popular for international tourists because within its distinct segment, religious tourism in India offers a variety to attract different kinds of tourists. In time, it has the potential to become a commercially viable endeavour. To begin with, there are pilgrimages to several worldrenowned temples and shrines, such as Tirupati, Vaishno Devi and Sabarimala. For those seeking more enduring pilgrimages, there are the Char Dhams (four holy sites) at the four corners of the country and the twelve Jyotirlingas scattered across the land. But traveling to temples and seeking the blessings of the gods is only one aspect of religious tourism and an aspect that may not interest many. Foreigners to India are fascinated by the gaiety and pomp that marks religious festivals. These can also be made nodal points for promoting religious tourism in India. Some fairs like the Kumbh at Haridwar and Pushkar camel fair already draw significant tourists. Durga Puja in Kolkata is a spectacle
beyond compare. Myriad statues of Kali with her blood soaked tongue and garland of skulls in every nook and corner of the city enthuses those not accustomed to such crowds. The Rama Lila in the hinterland of Uttar Pradesh is another experience that cannot be had anywhere in the world. The one at Ramnagar goes back two centuries without a break and is showcased as a historical and social event as well. Yes, religious tourism in India is an enigma. Take the case of a trip from Haridwar to Deoprayag. This provides the visitors an enigmatic scope to view the origin of Ganga from the two perennial rivers – Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. Covering a distance of 95 km, the journey to Deoprayag is regarded as one of the most fascinating religious tours from Haridwar. Also known as Kadiram or Tirukkandam, Deoprayag has been mentioned in the Tamil mythology too. Deoprayag is placed at a height of 1700 feet above the sea surface. Pilgrims from all over the world along with common visitors frequent Deoprayag to seek blessings of the various deities of the temples located in the place. The Raghunath Temple is one such religious site which is enshrined with Lord Rama. The idol of Rama, who is also called by the name of Raghunath, has a height of 15 foot and captures the attention of every visitor. On an average around 10 million tourists and pilgrims flock the holy town of Haridwar every year. The number swells to around 4-5 million during the Kumbh Mela Fair. To accommodate
diverse kinds of tourists Haridwar is dotted with all kinds of hotels and resorts. But, once again, they are not sufficient to satiate the demand. Says Bird Group executive director Ankur Bhatia: “Though most international hotel chains have been vying for attractive locations in some of these destinations, they have to keep in mind that a majority of the travellers are on a shoe string budget. But there is opportunity across the segment.” Add to that rising disposable incomes, demand for more hotel rooms across categories and assured footfalls, collectively appear to be urging international hotel chains to set up properties at religious destinations. USbased Best Western, which operates 4,000 hotels across the globe, has entered into a joint venture with a local developer to launch its first property in Ajmer. The 72-room hotel property will be operational by the end of this year. Says Sudhir Sinha, president and chief operating officer of Best Western India, “traditionally religious destinations did not have any business class clients. But now, they are our core clients.” Best Western, which already operates two hotels in Shirdi and Amritsar is seeking to expand to other tier-III towns. Carlson Hotels, which operates the Park Plaza, Radisson and Country Inn brands, is developing an additional five hotels and is zeroing in on locations such as Haridwar, Amritsar and Ajmer. These hotels would have a total of 491 rooms and is expected to be operational by 2014. Executive vice-president, KB Kachru, says he is also looking at new destinations such as Puri, Shirdi and Tirupati-all temple towns. Carlson Group’s existing hotels’ religious destinations like Varanasi, Katra, Amritsar and Haridwar offer services such as helicopter rides, yoga, meditation and river cruise on the Ganges. Hotel companies like Starwood and Marriott are also scouting for prime land in destinations such as Bodhgaya, Shirdi and Tirupati. Another draw for big hotel brands is the non-seasonality of business to religious destinations. While the star hotels are eyeing God’s domain to increase their business, for entrepreneurs planning to start budget hotels this is a ■ God sent opportunity indeed!
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Marriott Jaipur Blend of Contemporary and Ethnic Elements By Sharmila Chand
aipur Marriott is a contemporary abode, offering elevated experiences in the bustling capital of Rajasthan. The first hotel of the internationally renowned Marriott International Hotel Group in Rajasthan, the Hotel displays the finest blend of contemporary architecture, courtesy Arcorp Associates with subtle ethnic design elements brought in by renowned interior designers Bobby Mukherjee and Zoran Djunick to bring in the local flavor. Owned by Serveall Land Developers
Private Limited, the sprawling structure is located in close proximity of the Jaipur International Airport.
Accommodation With 365 spacious luxury rooms that are a blend of contemporary and ethnic, the Jaipur Marriott offers elevated experiences. The hotel has 299 deluxe rooms, 50 executive rooms, 15 junior suites and 1 Presidential suite.
Executive Lounge Executive Lounge to be opened soon is located on Level 7. It is a privilege space offered to guests staying in the Executive room category and above. It is the perfect environment to work at ease or just sit back and relax. It provides complimentary buffet breakfast, hi-tea and
happy-hour services daily. Here the associates are available to assist with photocopying, sending faxes and arranging for private meetings in the multiple meeting venues. Recreation options include a fully equipped Health Club, outdoor swimming pool and the signature ultra luxurious Quan Spa.
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The Design Although the whole structure is contemporary, there have been various touches to bring in the local ethnic design elements. Murals on the pool side walls, Lattice work on the porch walk, stone carved elephants by the pool and stone lotus structures in the centre water body behind the lobby have been thoughtfully adapted to keep the local and ethnic specialty in focus. Lastly even the uniforms have been inspired from the local motif patterns in a very subtle fashion to bring in the sense of place. The design is unique in the sense that it is contemporary with ethnic touches essence of the place reflects space and has scope for lots of natural light to steam in from all directions. With special touches of wood work, lattice work, plush leather ceilings, stone carved artifacts, warm earthen colour tones, water cascading over all glasses in the hotel, the whole focus has been to give
it a sense of huge spaces with natural lights flowing in from all directions.
Lounge 18 The reinvented lobby at Jaipur Marriott
Hotel features functional seating, state-ofthe-art technology and innovative food and beverage concepts in a stylish setting—all designed to meet the needs of today’s business traveler. A perfect place
We are proud to unveil Jaipur Marriott offering 365 luxurious rooms with all modern amenities including a comfortable living space, contemporary and chic furnishings, well-equipped bathroom and state-of-theart technologies like Wi-Fi internet connectivity.
- Pankaj Birla, General Manager, Jaipur Marriott Hotel
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With tremendous growth as a business hub in the last few years, Jaipur is all set to become the most sought-after destination, both for leisure and for business travelers in India. We at Marriott, are happy to be a part of this incredible growth story with our impeccable hospitality services.
- Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President, India, Maldives, Malaysia & Australia, Marriott International
for meeting friends or just relax and unwind while enjoying a variety of spirits, wines and soft drinks, including premium scotches and delightful snacks.
Dining Options Jaipur Marriott offers a diverse range of restaurants designed to captivate guests with eclectic and distinctive dining options. In the first phase, the hotel brings to its guests, the all-day world cuisine restaurant, Okra, where food meets fashion featuring a plethora of international dishes and the Jaipur Baking Company, an adaptation of a classic pastry shop, with an interactive open baking area is another
addition to the hotels F&B offerings. Okra At Okra – Experience a world of flavors - all day dining restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, supported by an exotic ala carte menu. The sumptuous buffets and a la carte menu are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offer a wide array of continental and Indian delicacies, the Dimsum, Teppinyaki and Sushi live stations; Wood fire pizza oven and open grill stations beckon to all tastes & styles with an endless choice of all day dining. Alto Vino Alto Vino, a fine dining Italian restaurant will be opening soon. Chef Enrico Luise takes pleasure in serving an inimitable menu that gives palate the most unique experience while tantalizing with its heavenly aromas. The somber decor captivates heart. Set in a backdrop of white it gives a statement of its own. The selection of the furniture along with the crockery is marvelously done.
The objective was to create a contemporary product with subtle local touches. Fine clean lines with a subdued warm ambience. The design concept was functionality for the 24x7 business traveler / achievers and to best inspire their performance with ergonomically designed places.
- The Designers
Highlights The Designers Bobby Mukherjee - Public Areas Zoran Djunick - Rooms, Health Club, Spa The architects Arcorp Associates - Prabhakar One can indulge in authentic Italian cuisine from the regions of Tuscany, Sicily & Sardinia. Paired with the finest wines, this distinctive restaurant in the PINK City brings the flavors of Italy to the heart of Rajasthan. Saffron A contemporary Indian fine dining restaurant offering Regional specialties including great kebabs, curries and Biryani along with a variety of local Rajasthani food options. A special vegetarian menu would be available for select customers. Aqua Poolside cafe and bar open for morning delicatessen and gourmet sandwiches along with cool cocktails, fresh juices or coffee. Can be transformed into an evening barbeque and grill restaurant with fresh fish, steaks and desserts on group request
Jaipur Baking Company Jaipur Baking Company is the sinful corner with an assortment of Crisp cookies, home made breads, a variety of pastries, delightful chocolates, aromatic coffee, blended beverages and a lot more. One can choose from a wide array of gourmet delights and make own sandwich at the open bakery. Located on the lobby level with a magnificent view of the swimming pool, JBC lets Indulge, Pamper and Rediscover in the waft of freshly baked items.
Night Club To be opened soon, Jaipur Marriott shall bring to the Pink City the first ever multi level night club that shall redefine nightlife for the city. Plush interiors with DJ, VIP enclosure areas and a well lit up dance floor make up for a unique experience,
Banquets and Meeting Rooms The state-of-the-art banqueting facilities in the hotel are spread over an area of
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43000 sq ft, indoors and outdoors and have been named after the precious gem stones that the Pink City is famous for. The spaces include 2 Ballrooms, 7 Break away venues, 4 Meeting Rooms, and a lawn to accommodate 1000 people. The multi level Ballrooms named Sapphire (6500 sq ft) and Ruby (8500 sq ft) possess a majestic ceiling height of 20 ft are both further divisible into 3 break-away halls each; Sapphire can accommodate 1000 people and Ruby accommodates 1700 people free style. There is a pre function area attached with each of the ballrooms with a separate entrance which makes functions a private and exclusive affair. The separate entrance to the Convention block makes it an ideal destination for MICE and Weddings For the MICE audience in particular, Jaipur Marriott has a dedicated team of seasoned Event Planning mangers ,whose primary concern would be to ensure that the business is conducted in the most convenient and seamless manner possible. State-of-theart audio-visual equipment, high speed wireless internet access and multi- media conferencing facilities along with 24 hours assistance and service will take care of every business need.
The Living Spaces Based around the concept of a New York style apartment, The Living Room is a space for business meetings with a difference. With an open kitchen, a lounging area and an open foyer, it offers a casual and relaxed environment for business meetings and blends the comforts of a living area with the benefits of tech-savvy meeting rooms. Each room is well equipped with a large drop down screen with lift projector and a surround sound audio-visual system and wired for both cable and wireless internet. “Creating your own space”, is what the living spaces concept offers, as one relaxes and recharges through a busy day, within the warm and peaceful environs of the hotel.
Business Centre State-of-the-art business centre facilities include four meeting rooms with a seating capacity varying from 12 to 32 persons and two private offices. All meeting rooms are equipped with an over head projector and clip boards, TV, VCR, Dictaphone, LCD panel, laser pointers and laptops. It also provides secretarial services, colour photocopies, facsimile, internet connection, scanning, lamination, binding, translation, transcription, notary services, private secretary, courier services and video conferencing.
Quan Spa Jaipur Marriott brings the award winning Quan Spa to the Pink City. Quan is the Chinese word for ‘the source of pure water’. Enjoy 10000 sq feet of pure indulgence and luxury at the Quan spa, where traditional ayurveda and modern treatments come together to create the perfect blend of wellness and rejuvenation.
Recreational Services The hotel offers multiple recreation options that are meant to help guests gear up, relax or un-wind, at the start or end of a day. These facilities include: Fitness @ Marriott: Fully equipped fitness club with cardio equipment, free weights, fitness assessments and personal trainer. Swimming Pool: The gigantic pool is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy Kids Pool: A place for kids to splash around with inflatable toys.
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Passionate, Methodical & Articulate Pankaj Birla, General Manager, Jaipur Marriott Hotel By Sharmila Chand With over 20 years of experience, Pankaj Birla joined Marriott International in 1990 at San Jose as a finance controller, moving forward across various Marriott properties in the United States. He moved to India as Director of Finance at the first Marriott property in the country – Goa Marriott Resort in 1998. Since then there has been no looking back. After his successful stint in finance, Pankaj has been under the “GM Training” initiative in Europe Region for over two years where he supported opening hotels in Istanbul, Budapest, and St. Petersburg and was also cross trained across all departments in various Marriott hotels. Pankaj is an avid golfer, loves sports and enjoys traveling. He and his family – wife, son and daughter are happy to be back in India after a long stint overseas. Excerpts of an interview: What is the latest buzz and activity at your property worth talking about?
bring to Jaipur that which the city has not witnessed before.
We are attempting to change the landscape of the city of Jaipur. We pride in our unique architecture, which is a blend of contemporary and subtle local elements. Other aspects include proximity to the International Airport and our multiple and exotic dining options.
What according to you is the role of F&B in getting business for a hotel? How much importance do you give to this department?
What is the USP of your property?
Jaipur Marriott is all about impressive spaces, be it in terms of the lobby, our restaurants, or our meeting spaces. The lobby is spacious, and uses natural light to its best, with glass walls and a central courtyard. Portions of the food and beverage outlets also overlook the swimming pool area, which further adds to the light and space of the outlet. What is the marketing strategy you have adopted to promote your property?
We aim at becoming the leading MICE hotel in Jaipur, while also providing services, facilities, and products to attract and cater to the leisure traveler. What distinguishes your property from others in the same bracket?
The Jaipur Marriott boasts of modern architecture and ambience, fused with subtle local touches, international service quality and standards, our prime location, variety of food and beverage outlets in the hotel, and our main USP, sheer space. We
F&B serves as a key driver to capture the attention of our local market and local clientele. The hotel has already exhibited its food and beverage expertise and capabilities during the IPL season this year. We were the official hospitality partners for the Rajasthan royals, and catered to the IPL matches hosted in Jaipur, while the hotel was still not functional. Local chefs from different cities in Rajasthan further improve the quality and concepts of our food, and enable us in satisfying our guests and gaining repeat business. The importance of this department is tremendous, since the guest looks for a wholesome experience during his/her stay at a hotel. What would you say is the ‘Differentiating Factor’ of your F&B outlets?
Okra, our all day dining restaurant features a sushi counter, a wood fired oven which serves pizzas, a live pasta station, an Asian Dimsum station, and more as part of our daily buffets. Guests are offered flavours from around the globe, and a kind of menu that has yet not been seen in Jaipur. JBC, our deli and gourmet patisserie is a modern twist of a pastry shop. We serve gourmet baked goodies and delights, along with exclusive Illy coffee, which makes it the perfect place to grab a bite. The outlet
also features an open and interactive kitchen, where guests can make their own sandwiches. Lounge 18, our transitional lounge, is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Blending business and pleasure, the lounge transforms from a business centre and tea lounge by day, to a trendy bar at might. Our specialty here is the menu, which is designed as per the convenience of the business traveler. Segregated into 5, 10 and 15 minute sections, the menu is great for people who are short on time. Saffron, soon to open, is a contemporary Indian fine dining restaurant. It offers regional culinary specialties, across different parts of India. It also features a show kitchen, so that guests are engaged, and have a wholesome experience. How important is the role of Spa in generating business for your hotel?
For a business, as well as a leisure traveler, a spa is the perfect addition to any trip. The Jaipur Marriott will shortly be opening a 10,000 sq ft Quan spa, which is the signature spa of the Marriott International. It is an ultra luxurious spa which aims at making this hotel an ultimate lifestyle destination for the business, leisure travelers as well as the local market. Could you reflect on the future plans and new initiatives you wish to undertake in your property?
We plan to roll out the Club Marriott Membership Program, which is an exclusive lifestyle membership program. Happiness at
Property your doorstep is another initiative undertaken by the hotel, wherein goodies from the Jaipur Baking Company are now being home delivered. Other than this, we aim at inculcating a great service attitude and culture in the hotel, and focus on the basics of hospitality to provide unmatched service to our guests. What is the most crucial issue to tackle in the Hospitality industry today?
One of the most crucial issues is retaining manpower and talent in the hospitality industry. What would you like to say about your position in your hotel; how crucial is your role and what are the challenges you have to face regularly?
I consider myself to be more of a mentor or a coach, and help to inspire and create passion amongst the associates. It is also necessary that the associates deliver great pride in the product, which is something that I try and imbibe in them. Some of the challenges we face are ensuring consistent and quality service, serving authentic food, and acquiring and retaining talent in the hotel. What do you enjoy most about being at the helm of affairs at the hotel?
It enables me to be a part of the action, wherever it happens, and to be able to interact and communicate with associates across all levels and departments of the hotel. It is also a great matter of pride to be heading such a stunning hotel and a wonderfully supportive team. What kind of pressures have you encountered at work?
Ensuring timely project execution is a pressure that needs to be handled effectively and efficiently. Can you suggest any tips or insights to strengthen your team?
We at Marriott are proud of our work culture and values, which help us in building a strong, supportive team. To add on to this, team building activities, employee empowerment and constant interaction and communication with the associates helps in strengthening the team. Encouraging open communication, and supporting associate views and ideas is also an initiative that contributes. What is your strength professionally?
Being able to drive passion into the hotel, its associates and the team, as well as leading by example is something that I consider to be my professional strength. And what do you consider your weakness?
I tend to be a very emotional person, and sometimes empathizing with people, and listening to their emotions can be considered as a professional weakness. How is your experience of working in India after working overseas for so many years?
As of what I have noticed, and experienced, India has the advantage of having very passionate people as compared to those in Europe.
HOTEL Business Review
By Swarnendu Biswas
hen you visit Goa, don’t forget to include Hollant beach in your itinerary. Along with Anjuna, Baga, Colva, Benaulim, Bogmalo, Dona Paula, Calangute and Miramar beaches, Hollant beach should also be covered in your beach tour if you want to make that tour a holistic and inclusive one. Hollant beach, located just 2 km from away from the quiet and busy Bogmalo beach and just 7 km from the Vasco city, affords views of wonderful sunrise. The beach is situated within a shallow bay that gently slopes towards the sea. The waters here are safe for swimming. An environment of pristine charm and solitude prevails through the beach, which the people accustomed to busy city life are likely to highly appreciate. If you want to stay for a day or two to let the languid beauty of Hollant beach seep into your senses, then just 700 metres away from Hollant beach you can find a resort of tranquility where you can retreat amidst serenity
and luxury. Welcome to Best Western Devasthali, a condo resort located just 2 km from the Dabolin Airport, nestled in a coconut grove and surrounded by hills. Spread across eight acres of orchards, the property offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea from the top. This retreat of tranquility, away from the din of the backpackers can also be termed as ‘The Valley of Gods’ or Devasthali. The property has been designed by a Delhi-based firm -Grid Plc. The company’s innovative architectural vision is led by its dynamic Managing Director, Rajiv Khanna; an alumni of IIT Kharagpur. Here the serviced apartments in studio, 1 BHK and 2 BHK configurations are sold to investors and then run like a resort. Here it deserves a mention that the luxury resort is affiliated to Best Western International. Best Western is the world’s largest hotel chain, with its presence spread across 80 countries of
the globe. The resort is promoted by Tantra Designs Pvt. Ltd., one of the leading fashion houses of north India. Best Western International - the brand partner of Tantra in project Devasthaliplays its role in design and marketing of the resort. The peaceful ambience of the luxury resort makes Devasthali a perfect haven for the tourists and travellers seeking to rejuvenate their senses in the midst of nature, while discovering the myriad charms of Goa in their unadulterated form. The property can be construed as a slice of Europe in a rustic Goan setting. Spacious rooms with well appointed interiors, along with beautifully landscaped gardens and a fabulous open air restaurant hold the promise of a truly memorable vacation at this Indian beach paradise. Designed in Spanish-modern style, the resort perfectly gels into the green ecology of the area. The lush tropical flora and fauna of the land have been left untouched by this real estate
Eco-Friendly Hospitality The materials used for the construction of this resort are localised and eco-friendly to quite an extent. The roofing systems and the external wood used for rafters are also ecofriendly. While designing the resort,
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international design trends in hospitality properties have been introduced. Minimalistic aesthetics, functional and comfortable sleeping systems, energy efficient lighting are some of the essential characteristics of the design elements of the property. The energy savvy and electronically efficient property can be described as a reflection of
sustainable hospitality, without compromising on the luxury. The design of the resort welcomes the soft natural light in abundance, and the effect is further enhanced by the energy efficient lighting systems. The interiors extend from spatial outsides to the lavish and cosy insides. The lounges are made of ceramic vitrified tiles for giving a cool feel and the wooden floors endow the sleeping areas with added dosage of comfort. “The cultural ethos of the location has been perfectly blended within the design of the property, to the delight of the discerning travellers or tourists,” elaborated Rajiv Khanna. The site of this project also has a near perfect compliance to the principles of Vaastu. “The mini banana grove at the resort stands testimony to our endeavour to retain the nature and building around it, thereby enhancing the Vaastu element and the ecofriendly spirit of Devasthali,” informed Khanna.
Where Luxury is Nature A fresh water spring in the resort gives birth to a natural stream that meanders through the villas. Every room has the
HOTEL Business Review
stream and the hill view and enjoys the solitude and privacy, thereby providing you with an idyllic resort experience. All rooms of the resort are airconditioned and feature free high speed Wi-Fi Internet, and LCD TVs with premium satellite channels. You can enjoy drinks from the mini-bar or indulge in the delectable cuisines from the resort’s 24-hour room service menu. The bathrooms are luxurious with contemporary design and have a comprehensive range of modern amenities including soak-in bathtubs. Each of the cottages of the 36 serviced apartment resort is handcrafted, and the entire upholstery is created by Ratna Jain — the creative force behind Tantra. Here it deserves a mention that Tantra Designs Pvt. Ltd. was set up by the first generation
Rajiv Khanna—MD, Grid Plc
entrepreneur couple, Ratna and Manish Jain. The resort’s dining options are reflected through MJ’s Fine Dining and the Pool-Side Bar. At MJ’s Fine Dining, one can get a nice selection of Indian and international cuisines, along with an array of refreshing drinks. Whether you opt for casual snacks or formal fine dining, MJ’s Fine Dining can be a wonderful gastronomic option to indulge in. The 50 seater MJs is airy and open, and overlooks the stream with blooming lotus and tiny fish, thereby catering to your visual senses too. It has a rustic appeal with partly thatched roof and has local wood and tiled floor that provides cool comfort. The bar by the swimming pool serves a wonderful assortment of wines, spirits, cocktails and liqueurs,
while you lounge on one of the several comfortable chairs or take a dip in the pool. The best wines from France, Portugal and India, and an assortment of quality spirits along with an unmatched range of cocktails from across the world adorns the wellstocked bar. “The external landscape and poolside are abundantly verdant, keeping one close to nature in its essence,” pointed out Khanna. Devasthali also offers a wide variety of water sports and sightseeing activities. Scuba diving, dolphin spotting, cycling trips and other adventure options are on offer at the resort. Guests can enjoy a scenic walk through paddy fields to the Hollant Beach or head to the games room. But nothing stops you from doing both. Free shuttle service and entry is also ■ provided to the nearby casino.
FOOD. IT’S YOUR BUSINESS. YOUR IT’S FOOD. At Fine Food India, you can showcase your latest products and innovations face-to-face with the people who matter to your business most. Establish new relationships with thousands of India’s food professionals and show them you mean business. BOOK A STAND WITH FINE FOOD INDIA TODAY Call: +91 11 2373 1196 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.finefoodindiaexpo.com
Fine Food India registered office: Diversified Communications India Pvt. Ltd., 6C/5 Sangeeta Apartments, Juhu Road, Santa Cruz (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 049, India. Fine Food India 2011 is brought to you by Diversified Communications India. © Copyright Diversified Communications India. All rights reserved.
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Baluchi at The Lalit, New Delhi
HOTEL Business Review
Making of a Successful Restaurant By Sharmila Chand
o own a restaurant may look quite a glamourous proposition, but to run it successfully is really, really hard. Ask anyone in the food business, and they will tell you the kind of challenges they have to go through in order to have healthy bottomlines. Running a restaurant successfully involves various crucial factors. Right from the inception of an idea/theme/concept to selecting the location, from choosing the appropriate décor to hiring the right team, and channelising the right strategy for PR & Marketing, every single element has to be analysed and worked upon carefully.
The Location Location is vital to the success of any restaurant. According to the experts in the hospitality industry, restaurant’s location is as crucial to its success as great food and service. “Location, location and location! That is the key word for a successful restaurant,”
viewed Animesh Barat —Director, Food & Beverage, Jaipur Mariott. “Being close to the airport or the city helps in positioning the product. For example, Jaipur Marriott is aptly located to meet all the needs of the social diner or the business clientele. Easy approach to the hotel and location of the restaurant within the property definitely helps increase in the given restaurant’s footfalls.” Debjeet Banerjee, Director — Food & Beverage, The Park, New Delhi elaborated, “As real estate prices are experiencing an exponential rise, finding the desired location becomes the key aspect to the dream project. Many top brands have gone down because of neglecting this factor. The consumer requires a hassle-free approach towards reaching the restaurant.” There are several factors to consider when searching for that perfect restaurant location, namely, population base, parking, accessibility and visibility, to name only a
few. We would discuss these issues briefly: Population Base The location of the restaurant should be a happening place, thriving with people. It should be close to a residential area or a shopping mall/market. To determine the population base of the area where you intend to open a restaurant, as a restaurateur you should ideally do a site study. Parking Parking is always a hassle for people, so your restaurant should provide hassle-free parking. The parking space near your restaurant should have enough parking so as to accommodate all the seats in your new restaurant. Ideally, the location of a new restaurant should have its own parking lot. Accessibility The successful restaurants are normally easily accessible. They are not out of the way. People can reach those restaurants
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without fighting traffic or driving out of their way. Visibility This factor is equally important as accessibility. The restaurant should be clearly visible from the main road. People must know that the restaurant is there so that it can bring in a great deal of walk-in business. By understanding each of these elements, you can better choose the right location for your new restaurant. Once you find that perfect location, you will need to make sure you negotiate the best lease possible for your restaurant.
The Concept Before setting up a new restaurant, the first thing to do is to develop the concept of the restaurant. This is the first step towards chalking out what your restaurant will be like in terms of service, style, cuisine and atmosphere, to name a few. Whether you are taking over an existing building or starting from scratch, you need to think about what your restaurant concept will be. Your concept choice will act as a stepping
decor,” asserted Rajneesh Kumar, Food & Beverage Manager, Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon. “Every week a new restaurant opens up in the city of Delhi, but how many actually do work! A proper analysis and understanding of the theme or concept should be the first step. This defines the USP of the place, which gives us the way forward towards the type of food, ambience and service design,” pointed out Banerjee. stone for your future decisions and investments, pertaining to location, equipment purchases, number of employees, and the kind of marketing strategy you will be needing. “The theme/concept of a restaurant plays an important role in positioning the restaurant and needs to be strongly executed. The basic idea is to match the ambience and décor with the cuisine offered in the restaurant, e.g a restaurant focussing on specialty like Pan-Asian cuisine needs to have oriental elements/props in the décor to add on to the culinary theme, as the customers perceive the concept of the restaurant based on its ambience and
Decide on the Cuisine At its most basic level, a restaurant is usually recognised for the quality and type of food served there. Guests will want to know what to expect from your menu, including how your food is prepared, the types of ingredients used and the cooking methods involved. Decide whether you will serve a certain cuisine, such as ethnic food, fast food or comfort food, for example. “Once the cuisine is decided, a brainstorming session with the likeminded people should be done regarding the food’s simplicity yet innovativeness. The consumer is ready to pay the price if and
HOTEL Business Review
only if the complexities and subtleties of his palate are understood well by the Chef concerned, and this factor should be kept in mind while selecting the menu. Most importantly, the food of the restaurant must be visually appealing. One must remember that food is eaten first by the eyes, then by the nose, and finally by the mouth. All successful restaurants have this mantra in common,” explained Banerjee. “The food is the basic and the most important element of any restaurant and it needs to be really good to get steady customers’ inflow into the restaurant. The focus needs to be on the authenticity and the quality of the food. The food of a quality restaurant needs to be simple as well as hand-crafted,” added Kumar. Ravindra Kumar, General Manager — Food and Beverage (Corporate), The LaLiT, asserted, “The food that a restaurant serves should be based on the market study of the local market and the target group. The food habits of people are constantly evolving. Diners in metros are quite open to trying new food concepts now, which was not the scenario few years back. Also, one should take care of the guests’ special needs while designing the menu. For instance, balanced availability of vegetarian and nonvegetarian food, food for health conscious guests, food for people susceptible to some kind of allergy, etc. can go a long way in creating a successful restaurant.”
The Right Atmosphere The look and feel of the restaurant is no less important than its location, theme and food served. “The ambience and decor of a restaurant facilitates the consumer to relate it to occasions and events. They need to be modern and chic but not to the extent that understanding becomes difficult. Décor reflecting simplicity and minimalism are the key words to a long-lasting restaurant, because that way, the image of the restaurant grows on your mindscape, and
known to encourage guests’ appetites. The right colours or colour combinations can do a lot to influence the overall atmosphere of the restaurant.
Served to Perfection
Consistent service, competitive pricing, and constant innovation are the three key points to remember to make your restaurant work.
—Ravindra Kumar, General Manager, Food and Beverage (Corporate), The LaLiT. doesn’t fade away,” stated Banerjee. However, besides having good ambience and décor, restaurants should not forget the maintenance cost behind such appealing ambience and décor. Various elements make up the right atmosphere. The choice of furniture, furnishings, crockery, cutlery, lighting and music is very important in this regard. Lighting Lights help to achieve a certain mood or tone. Therefore restaurateurs should pay attention to lighting design. Focus dramatic light onto the tables to highlight the food, and complement it with glowing atmospheric light to make the customers look good. Music Music and culinary concept of the restaurant should gel well. At an Indian restaurant, for example, old Bollywood melodies or ghazals set the right mood, whereas in a Mediterranean place, Arabic music gives an energetic, exotic feel to the atmosphere. Similarly, a Chinese restaurant should have oriental music playing in the background. Music should also reflect your decor and also the menu. Colours Colours in the restaurant are meant to evoke certain feelings, and have even been
One has to choose the staff very carefully. The necessary training must also be imparted to them. It is important to have friendly employees in your restaurant. The employees should be very active and quick in serving, and be ready to satisfy the customers’ needs. Some of the employees may remember the regular customers and can more easily satisfy them by already knowing what will make them happy. Besides being prompt and flexible, the service also needs to be of consistent standard. The restaurant staff should be attentive without intruding in guests’ privacy. The staff must also need to know that special care and attention should be given to differently-abled guests and single woman diners. The employees in a successful restaurant should be persons who love their work and are generally having a happy disposition. Happy employees set the customers at ease and will allow the customers to enjoy their meal even more. Too often, a restaurant business has everything going for it; the location, the atmosphere, the food quality, the wine selection, yet the restaurant service staff do not meet the diners’ demands. It is to be noted that diners remember the restaurant’s service staff much more than the food or the décor, while departing from the establishment. Any bad experience with the staff can ruin the entire effort. While selecting staff, look for enthusiasm as well as experience. Besides, allow ample training time before the restaurant opens. Remember that the person running the front of the house is as important as the person running the kitchen, and great
Marketing helps position the restaurant right in the market and it is important to use the correct medium that does not dilute the positioning of the product.
—Animesh Barat, Director, Food & Beverage, Jaipur Mariott.
F&B service is as important a factor in winning customer loyalty as great food.
HOTEL Business Review
Dos & Don’ts For Running a Successful Restaurant
Marketing the PR Edge Great PR and marketing is also very much important to position your restaurant amidst the sea of competition, which would help it to penetrate the market. “Reaching the right people at the right time and through the right medium is extremely important,” opined Barat, while adding, “A right marketing plan coupled with good PR is a good choice. Marketing helps position the restaurant rightly in the market and it is important to use the correct medium that does not dilute the positioning of the product.” According to Banerjee, “A proper study of the segmentation and the target consumer is very important. This should be done during the nascent stage of the project. Once the segmentation is done, then a clear focus should be towards marketing the name. One has to make sure the name is echoed in the target consumers’ mind. Visibility in all media forms can also be the key to penetrating a new market. A very daunting task for the PR is to showcase the restaurant in such a way that the name becomes a brand.”
To Conclude While you think about opening a new restaurant, take time to explore the abovementioned major factors to help define your concept and build up the base for your start-up restaurant. There is no formula for a great concept, and even great concepts fail when other negative factors are present. However, having a clearly defined purpose and character of your restaurant will only make its business potential stronger. Strive to make your restaurant concept unique and appealing to your target market. Consider all the details of sight, sound, smell and taste when deciding about atmosphere, appearance and cuisine. Make your restaurant easy to identify and easy to enjoy by creating an inviting atmosphere and offering something special for those who come to dine. And don’t forget to clarify the business viability of your concept from experts, and put all the proposed necessary details— from decor to dessert choices—in writing. If you are lazy enough to note down the details, they would only need more thought and homework, eventually. ■
segment • Your restaurant has to be easily identifiable • Take inspiration from other sources • Make sure your business model fits the location Don’ts Don’t design a menu that will make food costs skyrocket By Rajneesh Kumar, Food & Beverage Manager – Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon Dos • Authentic food • Great service • Value for money • Strong USP • Consistency of product and service in the long- term Don’ts • Don’t make the food complicated • Don’t cut corners on quality • No experimentation with the authenticity of the food • Don’t inflate the price very frequently
By Debjeet Banerjee, Director - Food & Beverage, The Park, New Delhi Dos • Make sure your concept is unique and out of the box. • Make sure your business model is profitable and realistic • Before starting your restaurant business know your guest and market
By Animesh Barat, Director, Food & Beverage, Jaipur Mariott Dos Prepare simple Chef-crafted food; do not experiment too much with food Hire staff with the right attitude Look at what competition has been offering Listen to customers’ feedback Touch all senses of the customers through your product Don’ts Don’t confuse the customers with culinary offerings, which are not required or don’t suit the place. Do not ‘educate’ the customers, make them ‘aware’. Do not ‘over price’ or ‘under price’ your product. Right pricing is equally important. Do not be rigid; people look for restaurants that are flexible in their approach. Do not aim for accumulating customers; develop enduring relationships with them instead.
HOTEL Business Review
Bliss in the Concrete Jungle! Rejuve-The Spa at The Lalit, New Delhi By Sharmila Chand
ituated in the heart of the Capital, Rejuve – The Spa at The Lalit New Delhi, is a perfect place to unwind after a hard day of meetings and work. With rich aromas, soothing music and interesting textures and exclusive spa treatment, yoga and meditation rooms, Rejuve is indeed a modern day haven. The Spa brings to you an intimate insight into the unique blend of contemporary therapies entwined with
ancient Indian philosophies. Spread across 10,000 sq ft, at the 3rd floor of the hotel’s atrium lobby, Rejuve offers unique experiences for body rejuvenation, as well as for rekindling the mind and soul. The Spa is designed in such a way that it incorporates natural light and is blended in soft hues and earthly tones. Broadly, Rejuve experience encompasses Aroma, Ayurvedic, Herbal and natural therapies, the patented ‘Colour Healing’ Body Massage therapy by the specialized and well trained massage therapist, Yoga and Meditation, along with Salon services for men and women, a futuristic Gymnasium and the Swimming Pool. At Rejuve, specially trained personnel ensure complete lifestyle assistance for its
patrons, which incorporates the concepts of natural healing, customised self-care techniques, nutrition concepts and a fitness regimen besides guidance for healthy living and emotional well being. Ayurvedic doctors, counselors, therapists, yoga and fitness trainers, and beauty and grooming experts – all combine to provide what is called the ‘Rejuve’ experience at this luxury spa hotel in Delhi.
HOTEL Business Review
Services & Facilities at a Glance! Gym Open 24hrs Fully equipped with state of the art Techno gym equipment Complete range of cardio equipment, free weights, resistance weights & a spacious stretching room Fitness trainers’ available from 6am – 10pm Pool Open from 7am – 10pm All-weather swimming pool Lifeguards are on duty during operational hours. Size: Length - 23m Width - 8m Min Depth - 3 feet 6 inches Max Depth - 4 feet 6 inches Hydrotherapy Open 7AM – 10PM Fully stocked lockers – robes, towels and slippers Private changing area with all
necessary amenities Steam & Sauna Relaxation beds with refreshments Salon & Barbershop Salon and barbershop are open from 8am – 8pm. This facility is open to nonresident guests as well. Treatments include all hair services, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing & threading. LPG is the latest in anticellulite and anti-aging non-invasive therapies. Using French technology, air suction on the body’s surface is applied in a specified direction according to the desired treatment. Spa Treatments International Massages Reflexology Body Scrubs Body Wraps Colour Therapy Ayurvedic Therapies Aroma Experiences. Gymnasium Personal training
Yoga & Meditation USP Of Rejuve- The Spa The only heated swimming pool in Delhi Exclusive and International Endermologie face and body machine (LPG) Internationally trained staff Yoga & Meditation, including individual yoga, Meditation room 24 hour gym Experienced Ayurvedic doctor and traditionally trained Ayurvedic staff Full Spa under one roof on the third floor- incorporating the gym, Yoga, pool, hydrotherapy, spa and beauty.
HOTEL Business Review
Our Spa brand has the right mix of ‘The East & The West’ By Sharmila Chand Since last 25 years, Richard Rosen, Corporate Spa Director, Rejuve the Spa, The Lalit Hotels has dedicated his career to the Health and Wellness Industry. He has worked in the Hollywood Industry and with professional Athletes in L.A. for over thirteen years as a Therapist/Personal Trainer, involved in clinical treatments. In Asia, he has spent about 12 years working for top rated 5 star International Spas. “Every project has been like a baby, I’ve done everything from Creating Products, Chalking out Treatment Menus, Training to Recruiting along with working with Sales Department,” tells Richard. He continues, “My endless passion and energy is what keeps me motivated at all times. The passion with which I work is such that I’ve never been afraid of getting my hands dirty, just to finish a task. With my Asian experience as a Spa Trainer/ Consultant along with being a therapist and a personal trainer in Los Angeles for years, I can safely say that I know the Industry from A to Z and that innovation is the key to success.” Excerpts of an interview: How long have you been in the Spa Industry? More than 25 years. What changes you have witnessed in your field in the past 5-6 years? An over abundance of untrained Therapists, Managers and lack of attention to detail. Not to mention, opening a Spa is being seen as a money making venture. Without knowledge, experience – people just plunge into this industry. Yet there is an incline in ways, different spas want to innovate and renovate their processes. Like everywhere, this industry also has two kinds of people, one who care and know what they are doing and the others who are ‘just making money’. There needs to be a strict monitoring system as in the West to insure quality and standard. What are the current top trends in Spa? Innovation is the only way to survive in this industry and this is how spas are also making it big. What are the top 3 traits or skills every Spa Head must have to manage the Spa successfully? • Hands on knowledge of treatments and Spa. Having a trainer and or a therapist back round is very helpful. • Willingness to think out of the box and listen to both your guests and staffs request and needs. • Being able to create an enjoyable working environment and keep abreast of the latest trends, across the globe!
What do you enjoy most about being a Director? Being in a position to actually make a difference in your staff’s lives along with being in a position to get thing done quickly so as to assure high standard of excellence. What do you dislike the most? Yet to discover! So far so good. Is your job challenging? Yes • Being held accountable for the entire operation of spa and staff. • Keeping standards high as the competition is increasing. • Dealing with every individual in the team. • Creating new innovative treatments. • Getting things done on time. If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? Nothing to say so far??? What direction do you see the spa industry taking in the next ten years? Spa owners taking a more active role in attention to detail and SOP’s as the competition get stronger. More innovative treatments and usage of equipment. Could you tell us the USP of your Spa? What distinguishes it from others? Our Spa brand has the right mix of ‘The East & The West’. The newfangled salon is one of the most recommended not only because of its staff but also because of the high standards maintained. The gym is open 24 hours of the day. The pool is not only the
ONLY open door heated pool but also has music under water. Apart from these, the USP of Rejuve – The Spa is its people. Only on trying would one realize the extent to which my staff goes to give a holistic experience to their customers. Tell us about the Signature program Treatment of your Spa? Though every treatment is thought of and done with care and passion, our stand alone treatment is the ‘Light Therapy’. The ancient art of healing through colour, light and crystals is what we call ‘The Light Therapy’ where human ‘Chakras’ are balanced. Do you have some customized treatments? Of course we do! Our special ‘scrubwrap-steam-massage’ using special products has been our most sought after treatment. We also recommend the same to be done on a weekly basis. What is your favorite treatment to receive? Why? Thai Massage and the Ayurveda treatments due to its amazing therapeutic benefits. Any other point you wish to make? We are a brand that sits in all the major hubs of India, but in spite of that we are international in our approach to the extent that we keep our standards, in accordance with the highest and accepted international level. Me being an American, I fuse the west culture with the east and vice versa to ensure, our brand retains its value!
Product & Service
HOTEL Business Review
Boutique Hospitality Consultancy
International Product Sourcing
Haute Services Private Limited is a boutique hospitality consultancy that was established in 2007. They offer a variety of services in the fields of Hotels, Restaurants, Art advisory and Interior design. The mission of Haute Services is to offer tailor made solutions that provide a distinct competitive edge to their clients. Their consultancy services can be broadly categorized into project and operations related services. Under the former they provide the entire gamut of Project Management, Consultancy on Branding and Positioning, Interior Designing services, Uniform Design, Developing Brand Standards together with SOP manuals and Menu Design. Under operational services, they specialize in Marketing Strategy that includes PR and Marketing Communications and Training in soft skills and technical skills. Under their Art advisory service, they help clients to choose from a wide range of art. There are paintings, sculptures and object d’art, that perfectly compliment and many a times, define the décor. In the case of art, they are also sound investments in the long run. The consultancy was established by Manish Kumar Baheyti, who leads a team of highly experienced professionals. The associates have a background of expertise having worked in senior positions with some of the leading chains like Manish, such as The Oberoi Group and Hyatt. Their growing list of clients includes boutique hotels and some well known International and domestic chains of hotels. Haute Services Private Limited firstname.lastname@example.org
OSS offers complete services in sourcing products from abroad. OSS help in sourcing hospitality products for clients by taking them directly overseas to a world of hospitality and other various products in all disciplines to make multiple choices. OSS after understanding the clients’ requirement plans the complete itinerary for travel and factory visits, and arrange for complete travel plans, through its overseas offices. Accordingly appointments are arranged with the potential overseas suppliers and travel schedules are decided. After visiting the overseas suppliers products/Items are finalized as required by the Project by paying advance in order to freeze the price, moreover multiple choice is available with topmost quality at par. Later OSS keep track of all items selected, a “List of Approved Items” would be given to the client at the end of the trip. Each day is crafted accurately so as to minimize costs, time, stay and travel. All the groundwork and collecting of the approved items is done once all payments are clear by our Office Overseas. The OSS Office Overseas maintains the stringiest Quality Control Method of Products/Items that being exported. In actual fact a “Pre-Delivery Inspection” is carried out thereby ensuring material is safely packed, sea-worthy and as per approvals. All documents are prepared as required and financial transactions are ensured. All copies i.e. Packing Lists, Bills of Lading; Certificate of Origin etc. etc. are couriered to OSS Mumbai and accordingly handed over to the Client for clearing the goods. OSS has a network of reputable “Clearing and Forwarding Agents” worldwide, if for any reason should the client desire to clear the goods directly OSS offers helping hand. One Stop Shop email@example.com
FCML Surfaces Versatile’ collection of exquisite tiles from Kuthaya Seramik by FCML Surfaces is inspired by nature combined with geometry. The collection has array of colours in any combination of personal choice. With a variety of options in two main tile types the choices are many that add a personal touch to the walls. The Versatile collection offers the ‘Arc’ and ‘Axis’ series that was awarded the prestigious ‘Best of the Best’ with ‘Red Dot Design Award Best Of The Best 2011’ at Red Dot Design Awards, the international acclaim of quality in the field of design. Elevated surface of the Versatile’ collection reveals many different designing styles. And Nonflattened surface design of the tile reveals different tiling patterns and installation ideas which users prefer or create. Yigit Ozer, the designer started his career in 2006. He had achieved many conceptual designs, product developments and design projects in a wide range from yacht design to home appliances, furniture designs to corporate identity projects with the leading companies. Recently Versatile’ collection has been awarded for IF Product Design Award 2011 in public design and interior design categories. FCML Projects firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitchen Order Rack King Metal Works brings truly international experience to the Indian market. They have developed the new improved design of Order racks. This patented design is sleek and simple which makes it light weight and noiseless. Its unique shape helps in holding papers firmly in place unlike the conventional aluminium or stainless steel order racks which require marbles to hold the paper making it heavy and very noisy. Avoiding the use of marbles eliminates the problem of paper
getting stuck or torn due to chipping of the surface of the marble. KOT is made from high quality stainless steel with matt finish. Available in different size as per the need. Since its incorporation in 1970, King Metal Works has been the most trustworthy and reputed firm in the industry and have over 100 satisfied customers in more than 40 countries. The company believes in maintaining quality and innovation. Over the years KMW has been successful in developing more than 3000 products for worldwide customers. King Metal Works email@example.com
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HOTEL Business Review
“Process is more Important than the end Result” By Sharmila Chand
Passionate about the Hospitality industry and particular about meeting deadlines, Ajay Kumar Upadhyay, General Manager, Royal Orchid Central, Jaipur has completed 16 successful years in the hospitality industry. At a very young age, he has held various responsible positions in Front Office & Restaurants in Luxury, Leisure & Business properties across India & abroad. At present his portfolio is much larger as he is heading a big team at a buzzing property of Jaipur. Ask him about his strength and what keeps him going, he tells, “I love speed. A Business Hotel in the heart of the city keeps me on my toes and I am always thinking of creating more work and more business. This pace of work I like, where I don’t have to go through a long period of lean season.” Skilled in strategic hotel assignments, and guide Heads of Department on creating WOW Moments, Ajay likes to keep abreast in driving consistent quality & continuous improvement in hotel operations. Excerpts of an interview follow: What is the USP of your property?
Royal Orchid Central, Jaipur is located in the heart of the city with close proximity to the Railway station, Bus stand, the happening M.I. Road, Corporate hub & offices. The location helps in getting repeated Business and Corporate guests. Moreover, the hotel is known for ‘VALUE FOR MONEY’ factor. We constantly try to exceed levels of our guests’ expectations. Our products are comparable with international hotels as we source materials from all over the world. Our service is attentive, efficient and pampering at a competitive price. What is the marketing strategy you have adopted to promote your property?
We use various mediums like online, offline advertising and PR, radio, hoardings, flyers, e-mailer’s SMS campaigns as per market research & conditions. Above all, the word of mouth has always helped us as we get lot of guests on recommendations. What distinguishes your property from others in the same bracket?
Royal Orchid Service Standards (ROSS) and Group’s restaurant brands are its distinguishing factors. Since we are a part of a big chain, we have certain standards across the chain which keep us high on the guests’ wish list. What according to you is the role of F&B in getting business for a hotel? How much importance do you give to this department?
I sincerely believe in the saying that way to anyone’s heart is through one’s stomach. 64
Thus, Wining Guest Loyalty is only possible through delicious food and anticipatory service. There are endless opportunities of creativity and its execution in F & B in wooing a guest. What would you say is the ‘Differentiating Factor’ of your F&B outlets?
Warm ambience, anticipatory proactive service, Friendly & flexible staff and constant innovations in Food Offerings are the differentiating factors of our F & B outlets. We offer very interesting Food Promotions from time to time at a very friendly price. Could you reflect on the future plans and new initiatives you wish to undertake in your property?
Hotel management believes in continuous updating of F&B service and improvement in the look and feel of the décor from time to time. So we like to upgrade in some way every season. What is the most crucial issue to tackle in the Hospitality industry today?
Price war is the most crucial issue in the hospitality sector today. What would you like to say about your position in your hotel, how crucial is your role and what are the challenges you have to face regularly?
My position is as sitting on driver’s seat on the road of quality and continuous improvement where consistency matters a lot. Staff Training / Refresher Sessions and
Maintaining Internal Discipline are the challenges where one needs perseverance & never say die attitude in bringing a change. What do you enjoy most about being at the helm of affairs at the hotel?
I enjoy providing warm service and creating delightful- Wow Moments for our esteemed guests. What kind of pressures have you encountered at work?
For a hotelier there is always a pressure to deliver quality service at any given point and time and maintain standards. But one enjoys these moments as there is always learning and a challenge to exceed. Can you suggest any tips or insights to strengthen your team?
“Process is more important than the end result”. System and procedures are of paramount importance to us, once it sets into the system as a habit best results will automatically flow. What is your professionally?
Planning Precision and Flawless Execution is my professional strength, which are achieved through two way communication and openness with my team. According to you, what is the key to success of a business hotel property?
Speed of response and quality of service to guest is the key to success in a business hotel.