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Editorial

Hotel Business Review

HOTEL B u s i n e s s

R e v i e w

An Exclusive Business Magazine for the Hotel Industry

Publisher cum Editor Rajneesh Sharma rajneeshhammer@gmail.com Associate Editor Swarnendu Biswas

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ith the impressive growth in India’s economy in general and India’s tourism in particular during the recent years, the growth of budget hotels has also picked up pace in our hospitality industry. These hotels, by and large, may not offer great luxuries but they can effectively cater to the requirements of those new-age business and leisure travellers who are looking for value for money, and are eager to get quality hospitality within the realms of affordability. Though budget hotels in India’s hospitality industry are expected to thrive on domestic tourism, but they attract a good many international tourists too. In our Cover Story we explore the promising market of budget hotels in India. The appropriate cities in the country for launching of budget hotels in India, the role of growing automation in budget hotels, and the future ahead for budget hotels in India’s hospitality industry are also being examined here. In this post-modern digital age, guests’ feedback and hospitality properties’ response towards them have become extremely crucial for the success of hospitality properties. In our Business Story, we explore various facets of response of the hotels to guest reviews, which can be of immense interest for our readers. The prohibitive prices of real estate in Indian metros, and the growth of industrialisation and tourism appeal in many of the tier-II and tier-III cities of India during the last one decade are some of the reasons behind the growing trend of channelising of investments of branded hospitality projects in tier-II and tier-III cities of India. We cover the issue in some detail in our Feature section. With the wellness business in India gaining market momentum, it is only expected that spa designing would gain focus in the coming years across India’s hospitality industry, as many of the hotels and resorts nowadays house spas in them. In this issue, we cover various aspects of spa designing while talking with two renowned wellness experts and one renowned interior designer. A regal resort in the backdrop of sombre Aravalli hills, located just two hour drive from Udaipur; menu curating; tackling of indoor air pollution in restaurants are some of the other industry relevant topics covered in this issue, from which our esteemed readers can find value. The perspective of features and Q&As are supplemented by the rich information base of our News and Appointment sections.

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Resident Editor Sharmila Chand (Delhi) Ashok Malkani (Mumbai) Layout & Design Hari Kumar V Abhishek Singh Rathore Production Assistant Mamta Sharma Advertising Sales Delhi: Debabrata Nath, Sumesh Sharma Director Sales Sanjay Anand Mobile: +91 9811136837 Director Operations Rajat Taneja Mobile: +91 9810315463 Editorial & Advertising Offices: Delhi: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 206, Samrat Bhawan, Ranjeet Nagar Commercial Complex, New Delhi-110008 Phone: 91-11-25704103, 45093486, 45084903 Mumbai: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 105, 1st Floor, Aarpee Centre, Gufic Compound, 11th Road, MIDC, Near Tunga Paradise, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400093, India Phone: 91-22-28395833 E-mail: info@hammer.co.in © 2018 Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher. Hammer Hotel Business Review is a bi-monthly magazine, printed, edited, owned and published by Rajneesh Sharma on behalf of Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 206, Samrat Bhawan, Ranjeet Nagar Commercial Complex, New Delhi. Printed at Swan Press, B-71, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi-110 028. Editorial Policy: Editorial emphasis in Hammer Hotel Business Review magazine is on educational & informational material specifically designed to assist those responsible for managing instututional Hotel business. Articles are welcome and will be published on the sole discretion of the editor. Disclaimer: The editor and publisher believes that all information contained in this publication are correct at the time of publishing. Content published not necessarily are the opinion or view of the editor and publisher. Editor and publisher declines any responsibility for any action taken based on the information contained in this publication, including liability for error or omission. Annual subscription rate within India is Rs. 500 and for overseas it is US $110, for surface mail. Single issue is available for Rs. 90 in India and US $25 for overseas. Cheques are payable to Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.


HOTEL B u s i n e s s

inside

R e v i e w

An Exclusive Business Magazine for the Hotel Industry

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COVER STORY

The growth of tourism in India will see a demand for hotel rooms but there is all likelihood of the demand increasing majorly for budget hotels. A survey, released by an online travel portal, points out that people might opt for three or four star rated hotels rather than pay 28 percent GST applicable in the case of luxury hotels, with tariffs of Rs. 7500 and above.

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PROPERTY

While sauntering through the stone carved road of Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh one can easily get the impression of being in a majestic fort, straight out of the Rajput era. One can get the feel of being transported to another time…

FEATURE

One of the important changes or rather transitions that has been taking place in India’s hospitality industry during the recent years is the significant channelising of investments of branded hospitality projects in tier-II and tier-III cities of the country.

36 F&B Curating a new menu is definitely not an easy task. It requires lot of research, an exhaustive data base on what kind of diners the outlet is targeting and perhaps most importantly, the kind of ingredients one can source to excel in the preparation.

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Spa at Hyatt Regency Amritsar induces a sense of ease and relaxation the moment you set foot in the spa facility. The spa, spread across 5240 square feet, offers eight distinct, beautifully appointed rooms to take you on a relaxing journey, along with a beauty salon and separate wet areas for male and female.

BUSINESS

Digitalisation and social media have become important elements for tourists as far as selection of rooms in hospitality properties is concerned. Referring to online reviews of the experiences of the guests had at hospitality properties has begun to play a major role in their opting for a particular property.

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DESIGN

Now, with the impressive growth and maturation of the wellness business in the country, the demand for innovative spa designs can also be expected to emerge as a trend, whose effects can of course, influence India’s evolving hospitality industry, as nowadays a lot many hotels and resorts in the country house spas in them.

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IAQ

To prevent indoor air pollution in restaurants s u c c e s s f u l l y, a l l t h e products used to design the restaurant need to be of good quality — be it the furniture, carpets, blinds or curtains, or even the paint used for the interiors. Moreover, the restaurants and their kitchen/s should be well ventilated, and air-conditioners should be timely serviced.

departments 04 Event 06

News Scan

14 Appointments 16 Focus 50 Housekeeping 54

Product Preview

56 Interview

Cover Pic: Leela Palace Kempinski, Udaipur

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Event

Hotel Business Review

IHE 18 Strikes the Right Chord with Industry Stakeholders The first edition of India International Hospitality Expo attracted over 200 exhibitors and 8,000 visitors

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uilt on a grand vision to become the biggest hospitality show in Asia, the first edition of India International Hospitality Expo (IHE 18) held at the India Expo Centre & Mart in Greater Noida from 8th-11th August, concluded on a note of success for the hosts. Inaugurated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, the show, which aims to become the largest sourcing hub for hospitality, retail, baking, housekeeping and the F&B industry, attracted over 200 exhibitors and 8,000 visitors. Unerlining the importance of such exhibition in the growth of the Indian e c o n o m y, t h e M i n i s t e r s a i d , “ T h e

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Government of India is aiming to achieve one per cent share in world’s international tourist arrivals by 2020, and two percent share by 2025, and we need such platforms that can act as a trailblazer for the hospitality industry in the country. I wish India Expo Centre & Mart, as well as IHE 18, the very best in their vision to create the top hospitality show in Asia.” Amit Burman, Vice Chairman, Dabur India Ltd and Chairman, Lite Bite Foods Pvt. Ltd. was the guest of honour at the event. With its board of industry stalwarts, IHE 18 turned out to be a powerful n etwo r k i n g fo r u m . Th i s s h ow p l aye d host to celebrated influencers such as C EO s ; G e n e ra l M a n a g e rs ; Exe c u t i ve Chefs; hotel-chain owners; F&B Managers; head of the departments of engineering, housekeeping and purchase sections; distributors/wholesalers; Procurement Managers; Designers; the all-important frontline hospitality personnel, among others. There were also different sessions of culinary theatre curated by celebrity Chef Davinder Kumar, Chef Gunjan Goela ( Ve g eta r i a n Fo o d Co n s u l ta nt ) , C h ef Gautam Chaudhary (Director – Demiurgic Hospitality), Chef Abhishek Basu (Executive Chef – The Park, New Delhi), Chef Nishant Chobey (CEO – Swad Samudra Pvt. Ltd.), and Kama Laksh (Bar & Beverages Consultant). IHE Coneferences, a conclave spanned over four days that had industry leaders sharing their knowledge and experiences

with the hospitality fraternity, concluded with its final session on ‘Opportunities for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy in Wellness Tourism’. India International Hospitality Expo will be back next year - IHE 19 - with a bigger, better and an even grander show, the organisers said.

EVENTS’ CALENDER Food & Hotel India 05-07 September 2018 Sahara Star Hotel, Mumbai www.foodandhotelindia.com Food India Inspired By SIAL 16-18 September 2018 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi www.foodindiabysial.com Fi Asia 2018 03-05 October 2018 Jakarta International Expo Jakarta, Indonesia www.figlobal.com SIAL Paris 21-25 October 2018 Paris Nord Villepinte, Paris www.sialparis.com HPMF Annual Convention & Awards 2018 25-27 October 2018 Hotel Taj Ganges Varanasi, India http://www.hpmfindia.com


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InterContinental Hotels Group Debuts in Agra Marking its debut in Agra, the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of world’s leading h ot e l c o m p a n i e s , s i g n e d i n J u n e a management agreement with Hotel Marina Agra to open its first hotel in the city famous for the Taj Mahal and other renowned tourist attractions. The 150-room hotel, Holiday Inn Agra MG Road, is expected to be rebranded and the operational in 2018, IHG said in a statement. “We are delighted to partner with Hotel Agra Marina to introduce our first hotel in Agra, under the Holiday Inn banner. Agra has been an important destination on the tourism map of India, and we are excited to be setting foot in this growing market,” said Sudeep Jain, Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG. Situated on MG Road, the hotel is a 15 minutes drive from the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal.

Renaissance Hotels Forays Into Bengaluru Renaissance Hotels, part of Marriott International, announced in July the opening of the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel. It is the brand’s first hotel in the southern parts of India and the fourth property in line to join the Renaissance Hotels India portfolio. “With the debut of the Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, guests can experience a global, lifestyle hospitality brand that seeks to inspire, and encourages spontaneous discovery when travelling, be it for business or pleasure,” said Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International. The 276-room hotel houses four culinary outlets - Lush, the casual all-day dining restaurant; Cinnamon that serves gourmet delicatessen items and sweet treats; R Bar, a pub featuring live bands; and Pool Bar that offers Chef’s special detox salads served along with poolside favourites such as frozen margaritas and cold infused fruits. Leisure facilities at the hotel include a full service spa and an outdoor swimming pool. Spread over 12,680 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, the design elements at the hotel revolve around many horse-related aspects.

IHCL Inks Pact with DMG Group to Bring Vivanta to Katra, J&K ConnectedCooking 2.0 The networked kitchen. Made by RATIONAL. Arguably the biggest digital platform for professional kitchens. ConnectedCooking.com

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On 19th June, the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) announced the signing of a pact with New Delhi-based DMG Group to open a hotel in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir, under IHCL’s Vivanta brand. The DMG Group’s hotel at Katra is an existing property. The owners will further invest approximately Rs 10 crore to bring the hotel to Vivanta brand standards, by early 2019. Vivanta Katra will be the third IHCL branded hotel in Jammu and Kashmir, strengthening the company’s presence in the state. The company also manages the Vivanta Dal View in Srinagar, and Ginger Katra. “We are pleased to partner with DMG Group in bringing the Vivanta brand to Katra. This announcement is aligned to our strategy of expanding our footprint and driving growth across popular pilgrimage and tourist destinations,” said Suma Venkatesh, Executive Vice President – Real Estate & Development at IHCL. Located in Katra, the base camp for the pilgrimage of Vaishno Devi temple, the hotel is conveniently located 42 kilometers from the Jammu airport. The 80-room hotel is spread over eight acres.

Hammer Food & Beverage Business Review

Oct-Nov ’17


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Hotel Business Review

IHCL Plans to Increase Domestic Footprint The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) is planning to open eight new hotels this year, as part of its strategy to expand its domestic footprint. Addressing the shareholders at the annual general meeting (AGM), IHCL’s Chairman, N Chandrasekaran said the business environment for the hospitality industry had changed for the good. He said that with the middle class in India expanding and disposable income of a large number of people growing in the country, the company was eying 30 percent growth in its revenue over the next few years. In its annual report for 2017-2018, IHCL unveiled its business startegy ‘Aspiration 2022’ that focusses on maximising stakeholder value over the next few years. The strategy aims to build on IHCL’s legacy and further strengthen its position by operating the best-inclass portfolio of brands in India and in select overseas destinations.

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Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Invests Rs 650 Crore in SAMHI Hotels Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Limited (PCHFL), the wholly owned subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises, in July announced an investment of Rs. 650 crore in the Gurgaon-based SAMHI Hotels, which currently owns 29 hotels. This structured debt investment will allow Samhi Hotels to support its growth plans and refinance existing lenders across three assets – The Courtyard and Fairfield by Marriott in Bangalore, the Sheraton in Hyderabad, and the Hyatt Regency in Pune, PCHFL said in a statement. This is the third significant investment made by PCHFL in the hospitality sector, in the past six months. Prior to this, PCHFL had invested Rs. 600 crore with the Gurgaon-based Vatika Group (against the Westin Gurgaon and the Westin Sohna) and Rs. 600 crore with Advantage Raheja Group (against the JW Marriott, Bangalore and the Crowne Plaza, Pune). “Over a span of six months, we have deployed approximately Rs. 2000 crore towards the hospitality sector as we scale our offerings within this vertical to reach a target book size of Rs. 10,000 crore in the next three years. The industry is firmly on a path of growth, ably supported by both domestic and foreign tourism, has high disposable income and is witnessing a general change in spending habits of target customers,” said Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd. PCHFL said it also recently concluded five other transactions, totalling to Rs. 450 crore against five hotel assets. Three of them are operational and two are in the final stages of construction and fit out. Of this, Rs. 100 crore will be extended as the last mile funding towards the completion of the first Taj Luxury Resort in Himachal Pradesh, coming up in Theog, near Shimla.

Ginger Signs New Hotel in Bharuch, Gujarat Gujarat is set to get its 10th Ginger hotel as the company has signed in July a new hotel in the state’s Bharuch city. “We are delighted to expand our presence in Gujarat and enter Bharuch by partnering with Hotel Sethna Plaza Annexe. The modern day Bharuch is one of the biggest industrial areas in the state. The hotel will be ideally located to cater to the business guests,” said Deepika Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ginger. With 55 comfortable rooms, an all-day diner, a banquet hall and a fitness centre, the forthcoming Ginger hotel is located just a few minutes from the railway station. The hotel is slated to commence operations in 2019, Ginger said in a statement. Ginger hotels are operated by Roots Corporation Limited which is a subsidiary of Indian Hotels Company Limited.

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Hotel Business Review

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IHG Inks Pact with Lotus Hotels Welcome GST on Actual Tariffs Trans Travel to Set Up Four Holiday Inn Hotels The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has entered into a management agreement with Lotus Trans Travel Private Limited to establish a four-hotel portfolio under the Holiday Inn banner. Slated to open between 2020 and 2023, Holiday Inn Bodhgaya, Holiday Inn Kushinagar, Holiday Inn Gorakhpur, and Holiday Inn Shravasti together will add over 450 rooms to IHG’s portfolio and establish the company’s presence at the Buddhist tourism circuit, IHG said in a statement on 9th August. Bodhgaya in Bihar, and Gorakhpur, Shravasti and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh are some of the main pilgrimage centres for Buddhism. As a part of the agreement, Holiday Inn hotels in Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Shravasti will be refurbished and upgraded, to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn brand globally. Holiday Inn Gorakhpur will be a newly built hotel. “The Holiday Inn brand family is IHG’s growth engine in India, and this agreement is in line with our development strategy for the South-West Asia region,” said Sudeep Jain, Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG.

In a major relief to the hospitality sector, the GST Council has decided to levy goods and services tax on actual tariff that hotels charge to customers, irrespective of the declared tariff, paving the way for lower rates for their patrons in cases where the declared tariff is Rs. 7,500 or above, but the actual tariff is lower than Rs. 7,500. Welcoming the decision, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) said that levying GST on declared tariff was not right as it created confusion among customers. The decision bears significance in view of the fact that hotels often offer discounts during off seasons to attract guests. While room tariffs ranging between ₹Rs. 2,500 and ₹ Rs. 7,500 attract GST of 18 percent, a hotel room with tariffs of ₹ Rs. 7,500 and above attract 28 percent GST.

Elanpro Rolls Out New Range of Wine Dispensers Domestic commercial refrigeration company Elanpro has rolled out a professional range of wine dispensers; designed to chill, dispense, and preserve an array of red and white wines. An integral part of a profitable wine-by-the-glass program is to reduce waste, reduce over-pouring, and to increase convenience for maximum return on investment. The new range of wine dispensers from Elanpro promises to achieve just that. This range, dubbed ‘Wine For You’, features compressorbased dispenser to keep a stable internal temperature despite environmental conditions, the company said in a statement in July. These wine dispensers are equipped with adjustable temperature control, the statement added.

Bloom Hotels Wins Bid for Delhi’s Asian International Hotel In an e-auction conducted by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in June, Bloom Hotels, part of Imperative Hospitality Private Ltd., won the bid for Asian International Hotel, located in the capital’s prime Janpath area. The successful bidder will now have to pay 39.50 percent of gross turnover or Rs. ₹1.19 crore per annum for a period of 33 years, whichever is higher, according to the terms of the bidding. Due to non-payment of licence fee dues, the NDMC had sealed the 38-room hotel in 2015, and later decided to auction it. Besides Imperative Hospitality, Byke Hospitality Ltd and Indian Hotels Company Ltd. were the other technically qualified bidders.

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Hotel Business Review

India Kitchen & Food Service Design Summit India Kitchen & Food Service Design Summit, 2018 will be hosted by Food Service Design India during 5th-6th October 2018 at Le Meridien, New Delhi. The main objectives of the two-day-long event are sharing of knowledge on food service design and facilities with the objective to take India to the next level in sustainable kitchen design, introduction of food and beverage operators to new technologies and products, have eight panel discussions addressing kitchen design process, CKV, kitchen refrigeration, fire safety, energy efficient kitchens, etc. and networking among hospitality professionals having special interest in kitchen design. There will be four panel discussions on each day with networking lunches. There will be a networking dinner on the night of 6th October. Topics for the discussions will relate to sustainable kitchen design. The topics shortlisted as of today are sustainable central kitchen ventilation, sustainable kitchen refrigeration, sustainable commercial cooking, water conservation in commercial kitchens, sustainable dish washing, energy efficient kitchen design, energy efficient hotel BOH design, energy

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efficient FOH design, efficient utilities, etc. The forthcoming event is also proposed to organise design workshops on the sidelines. Panelists and delegates will be hoteliers, restaurateurs, kitchen consultants, project managers, architects & IDs, MEP consultants, KECs, OEMs and distributors. Some of the prominent speakers at the forthcoming conference will include Narender Verma, Principal Consultant, Hospitality Consultants India Pvt. Ltd., Ken Gallagher, VP Global Sales, T&S Brass and Bronze Works Inc., USA, Sanjay Batra, Project Director, Medanta -The Medicity, Barry Wormald, Principal, ThinkBIM Technical Services Pvt. Ltd., Chef Olivier Vincenot, Executive Pastry Chef, Foodhall Future Group among others.


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Appo intments

Hotel Business Review

Vamsi Bhargav Vamsi Bhargav has been appointed as the new Executive Chef of Mercure Hyderabad KCP. Mercure is a midscale brand of AccorHotels. During his career spanning over 12 years, Chef Bhargav has had the opportunity to work with various prestigious properties in India as well as abroad, including in the UK and Australia where he had worked as the Head Chef of Arnie’s Fine Food and PJ’S Pasta Bar & Restaurant. After graduating in catering technology and culinary arts from the Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad, Bhargav began his professional career with The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata. Prior to joining AccorHotels, he had worked with Hyatt and Radisson groups.

Manisha S a rova r H ote l s h as a n n o u n ce d the appointment of its new Public Relations Manager, Manisha, who brings with her over five years of experience in the field of public relations spanning diverse domains, including luxury & lifestyle, travel & hospitality, and art & culture. Manisha holds a graduate degree from Delhi University and Master’s degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi.

Elroy Tulkar Elroy Tulkar has been appointed as the Director of Operations at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center. In his new role, Tulkar will oversee the day-to-day activities of the hotel and lead the management team in planning and strategising operational and administrative functions. During his decade-long career in the hospitality industry, Tulkar has gained the exeperience of working in both the Indian and international markets. His career began with the Taj Exotic, Goa as the Assistant Restaurant Manager. Subsequently, he went on to work with Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa and Grand Hyatt Dubai. Prior to joining Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center, he was the Cluster Executive Assistant Manager — Food & Beverage, and Marketing, at Jumeirah Hotels — Al Seef by Meraas Dubai.

Firoz Jangaria Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel has recently announced the appointment of Firoz Jangaria as the General Manager. In his

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new role, Jangaria will be responsible for overseeing the hotel operations and will lead the executive team with strategic planning and tactical management. J a n g a r i a b r i n g s to t h e n ew role over 15 years of hospitality experience. Prior to joining Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course H ote l , J a n g a r i a s e rve d as t h e General Manager — Pre-opening for AccorHotels. Renaissance Hotels is part of Marriott International, Inc.

Apoorva Maheshwari A p o o rva M a h es h wa r i h as b e e n a p p o i n t e d a s t h e D i re ct o r of Marketing for AccorHotels India. Apoorva holds close to a decade of r i c h a n d d i ve rs e co n s u m e r and brand marketing experience across industries, including fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and e-commerce. she has experience of managing brands and leading marketing campaigns for multinational and Indian firms, including P&G, Lodha Group and Zivame, in varying capacities.

Karthi V K Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, has appointment Karthi VK as Food & Beverage Manager, where he will oversee operations in kitchens and in the property’s food and beverage outlets — Dakshin, Cappuccino, On The Rocks, The Residency, Westminster, Gatsby2000, and In-Room Dining and Connexions Lounge. Prior to joining IHG, he had worked with The Oberoi Group from 2005 to July 2018, and his last assignment was as Assistant F&B Manager at Trident Chennai.

Shibil Malik Shibil Malik has been appointed the first General Manager of Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa — a premium resort property coming up on the East Coast Road of Chennai. He will be responsible for launching the new resort and positioning it as a unique destination in itself. Malik, who brings to the new role


Ap p oi n tm en t s

Hotel Business Review

18 years of experience, had previously held various positions in the company and has been associated with Marriott’s premium distinct and classic brands – The Westin and Sheraton. Prior to this assignment, he was the General Manager of Sheraton, Hyderabad where he headed a challenging assignment of successfully repositioning a conversion hotel.

Jaideep Jugran Sarovar Hotels has appointed Jaideep Jugran as the General Manager of The Ambrosia Sarovar Portico, Haridwar. Having worked in the industry for more than 18 years, Jugran brings to the new role handson experience in food and beverage. Prior to joining the Sarovar Hotels, he had been associated with several prominent hospitality brands, including The Oberoi, Taj Hotels, Radisson, Grand Hyatt and Pride Hotels. His last assignment was with Radisson, Gurugram in the role of Director, Food and Beverage.

Grand, The Leela Kempinski Hotel & Residences, Crowne Plaza and Courtyard by Marriott Downtown.

Amitabh Rai The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore recently announced the appointment of Amitabh Rai as its new General Manager. He was previously working as the General Manager of The Oberoi, Gurgaon. During the past 25 years of his career, Rai had worked in multiple hotel properties in India. Commenting on his new role, Rai said, “I am honoured to be given this wonderful opportunity as the General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore. My key focus would be to ensure that the hotel continues to excel and deliver the legacy of hospitality and famed distinctive services that the brand is globally renowned for.”

Ujwala Modekurthi Hema Hariramani H e m a H a r i ra m a n i h a s b e e n appointed as the new Hotel Manager of The Westin Mumbai Garden City. In her new role, Hariramani will be responsible for the seamless operational management of the hotel. Hema began her career with the Marriott group in 2000 as a Sales Manager. She then went on to work with Renaissance Mumbai Hotel and Convention Center, Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport, and JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu. During her career spanning close to two decades, Hema has received a host of awards, including the Marriott Chairman’s Circle award in 2004 – an award to recognise the excellence within the Marriott Group.

Puneet Kapoor Puneet Kapoor has joined Hyatt Regency Delhi as the Director of Events. In his new role, Kapoor will be responsible for managing operational and administrative functions to ensure the projects are delivered efficiently. He will also monitor the progress of the planning and execution of each task that has to do with any event at the hotel. During the past 16 years of his career, he had been associated with prominent brands across the hospitality industry such as The

Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru has appointed Ujwala Modekurthi as its Learning & Development Manager. In her new role, Modekurthi will spearhead the formulation and implementation of learning, talent and leadership development strategies to strengthen associate engagement and service delivery standards at the hotel. She will look at every individual’s growth and offer existing and future employees the best possible training and personal development to help them succeed in their chosen path. Modekurthi brings with her 14 years of experience in hotel operations. Prior to joining Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru, she had been associated with leading hotel brands such as Four Points by Sheraton, Oakwood Worldwide, and Lemon Tree Hotels.

Fredrik Blomqvist Fre d r i k B l o m q v i s t h a s b e e n appointed as the General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru, scheduled to open in the ‘Silicon Valley of India,’ in the latter part of 2018. Helming the pre-opening team of this much anticipated Four Seasons property in the Indian subcontinent, he is excitedly looking at positioning this uber luxury destination as a futuristic hub in the city of Bengaluru. Fredrik is a Four Seasons veteran. He has worked with Four Seasons across the globe - Dublin, Philadelphia, Guangzhou, Chiang Mai, Jakarta, Shanghai and now Bengaluru.

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Hotel Business Review

Haven for Leisure and Business Travellers By Ashok Malkani

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s you traverse through the MumbaiPune Highway, at the Balewadi Junction (also called the Orchid Junction), the imposing structure of The Orchid Hotel, Pune catches your eye. Huge billboards of ‘SMILE Orchid’ greet you on the highway, making you wonder if The Orchid Hotel, Pune has changed its name. As you enter the property and drive down towards the entrance, with verdant gardens on either side of the roadway leading to the portal of the five-star hotel, you are left breathless at the array of colourful flowers and any doubts that you had about the hotel’s eco tag can be easily dispelled. As one traverse through the hotel while studying its décor, one finds that the name indeed suits the property! The Orchidaceae are a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants with colourful and fragrant blooms. No wonder this calm and serene place, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, has become a weekend gateway for Mumbaikars, and for people from Bengaluru, Pune and also people from around Pune!

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Besides being an ideal weekend leisure destination, the hotel also comes across an ideal destination for business travellers due to its close proximity to Hinjewadi Tech Park and other IT and software hubs, in and around Pune. From the spacious lobby you can step into the brightly lit, huge elevator which has a capacity to carry 100 passengers. The hotel, which has become a milestone of luxury hospitality since the last 10 years,

boasts of a high degree of courteous and friendly service. Ayon Bhattacharya, General Manager, who has taken charge of the hotel since the last six months, has contributed to the further improvement of the hospitality property. He has introduced innovative touches which have raised the hotel’s décor several notches higher. Along the corridors that join the two L-shaped wings of the hotel, the walls have been given a


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Hotel Business Review

touch of class. One of the corridors has a series of paintings, done by amateur artists. The walls act as an art gallery for these creative people. Another corridor narrates the history of the hotel. The hotel’s sprawling lawns and gardens can easily leave you impressed as do its artistically decorated rooms, which seem to be tailored for comfort and relaxation. The hotel has a total of 346 rooms in different categories – Deluxe, Premier, and Suites. The Deluxe and the Premier rooms, spruced with the requirements of the twenty-first century hospitality, are elegantly decorated for your comfort. The 725 sq. ft. Suite is tastefully embellished in warm colours. The large living room and a separate bedroom, to ensure your privacy, makes this an opulent home-away-from-home. The hotel can accommodate large destination wedding galas as well as MICE meetings. The poolside could be apt to be host to a gala wedding or a lavish birthday party. Sprawled across six acres of stunning landscaped gardens, The Orchid Hotel, Pune, has an assortment of world-class conference rooms, banquet halls, and outdoor lawns for hosting events. If it is a destination wedding that you are contemplating on then The Orchid

Ayon Bhattacharya Hotel, Pune is the ideal place. The 18,000 sq.ft Convention Lawn is a great venue for outdoor weddings. The 6500 sq. ft Crystal Ballroom would suit you perfectly for a grand indoor wedding. The Crystal Ballroom, the Chamber Rooms, which can provide you with 8001650sq. ft. space, depending on the number of delegates, are ideal for hosting MICE. There is also the Ruby Board Room, which is suitable for closed-door board meetings or discussions. And to do away with the exhaustion of l o n g co nt i n u o u s m e et i n g s , Ayo n Bhattacharya, the General Manager of the

Presenting Eco-friendly Hospitality with Smile This correspondent had the opportunity to meet the General Manager of The Orchid Hotel, Pune and engage him in a tete-a-tete about his achievements and future plans pertaining to the property. He disclosed that the hotel observed all norms for a truly eco-friendly hotel. “We do not use any single use plastic items and discourage our guests from doing the same. In fact, we avoid plastic items as far as possible,” he asserted. Having joined the organisation only six months back, he has, with his innovative ideas, taken the reputation of the hotel several notches higher. Besides curtailment of plastics he has encouraged the expansion of greenery around the hotel. “We have adopted water recycling for toilet purposes. There is also a generator to conserve electricity,” he said. “We use herbs in our cuisine served in the Boulevard; the 24-hour coffee shop and restaurant. In fact, we grow our own herbs. We have a herb garden, which you can find as you exit from the hotel premises,” Ayon asserted further. When questioned about the billboards declaring ‘SMILE Orchird’, he stated that this was to encourage the employees to serve the guests with a smile at all times. “Employees who have excelled in their work are doubling up as models, whose ever-smiling photos are on the billboards. For the benefit of the employees we also have recreational facilities in their changing rooms, to help them relax and rejuvenate,” he conveyed. While taking about the future plans for the hotel he stated that there were plans to open another F&B outlet named Vaso da Gama, which would serve Portuguese, English, Spanish, Goan and Konkani cuisines. He also said that there were plans to increase the number of suites and other rooms. “The ultimate objective is to make this hotel the ultimate choice for leisure as well as business travellers,” he concluded.

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hotel, has come up with a novel concept which he terms as ‘meetings unplugged.’ He has created a space adjoining the meeting rooms where the delegates can relax and relieve their tensions over a game of carom or chess or play golf or darts. The Orchid Hotel, Pune has various shades of spellbinding colourful scenic views and the wafting enticing aromas at the Boulevard – its 24 hour coffee shop – will have you drooling. This restaurant can be construed as a satiation destination for your tastes and appetite. Boulevard offers you a la carte as well as buffet option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffets offer you a range of Indian as well as pan-Asian cuisines. For breakfast, the buffet is demarcated in to three segments – Indian (which offers a variety of South Indian as well as other regional dishes), the Cold Section (which has a variety of fruits, curd, sandwiches and fruit juices as well as choice of cereals and oats), and the Western segment (which has bread which can be baked and had with cheese, butter and jam). The lunch and dinner buffets comprise of Indian cuisine as well as Chinese dishes. Besides the main course, there is a range of starters, soups and salads as well as a range of appetising desserts. The hotel is known for hosting a great Sunday brunch and exclusive midnight buffet (from 12 midnight to 2.30 a.m.) in Pune. The a la carte menu of Boulevard offers you all of the above, besides sandwich & wraps, pizzas, a range of starters, and regional delicacies over and above the numerous main course dishes. They also have combos as well as international fare. The Merlin Bar reminds you of Merlin the magician at King Arthur’s court. The cocktails concocted by the bartender are nothing short of magical, with potential to uplift the jaded spirits. The ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ is a kickoff combination of white spirits topped with coke. The ‘Mexican Love Bite’ (comprising tequila, vodka. strawberry soda, and lime) is sure to give you a love bite. The bar also serves you appetising snacks to go along with your array of drinks. As you leave the hotel, where impeccable hospitality is manifested through its extremely courteous and polite staff, you are likely to take back memories that will be cherished for a long time. You would also be induced to return back to the hotel in the future. n


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Hotel Business Review

Cover Story

Budget Hotels Gaining Momentum The hospitality market in India, according to a Deutsche Bank report, is believed to be worth 10-12 billion USD. Seventy percent of this comprises of budget hotels and almost two-thirds of India’s rooms supply during 2020-2021 will comprise of budget hotels. Branded budget hotels are believed to be driving the growth of online booking of domestic hotels in the country. According to a report by Google Travel Trends published some time ago, queries for branded budget hotels in India were growing at a rate of 179 percent year-on-year, in comparison to just 36 percent growth in generic budget hotel queries. Ashok Malkani takes a look at this segment of the hospitality industry to understand the scope for its growth in India and what makes it so popular in the India’s hospitality industry. 20

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h e re h as b e e n a n i nf l u x of tourists – both domestic as well as foreign – over the last several years in the country. The India’s tourism sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9 percent to Rs. 32.05 lakh crore by 2028. In CY 2017, the foreign tourist arrivals in India stood at 10.177 million and reached 2.12 million in CY 2018, up to February. All these are encouraging news for the growing hospitality segment of the country. However, domestic travel is expected to be the primary driver of India’s hospitality industry’s growth. High disposable income and the advent of better locations are possibly driving this growth. The growth of tourism in India will see a demand for hotel rooms but there is all likelihood of the demand increasing majorly for budget hotels. A survey, released by an online travel portal, points out that people might opt for three or four star rated hotels rather than pay 28 percent GST applicable in the case of luxury hotels, with tariffs of Rs. 7500 and above.

A Promising Market A b u d g et h ote l i s a d es i g n - to - va l u e proposition where these properties remove unnecessary frills and offer what a consumer really needs. So what is the scope for the growth of budget hotel segment in the country and what are the other factors, besides rate, which helps guests prefer budget hotels? Also, are they preferred only by domestic tourists? “ Th e b ra n d e d m i d - m a r ket h ot e l s constitute for almost 80 percent of India’s organised hospitality sector today. It is the

fastest growing segment in the sector with around 40 per cent year-on-year growth rate and incidentally within this segment, Lords Hotels & Resorts is the fastest growing mid-market hotel chain in India. There is still a lot of room for growth in this segment and the outlook is positive,” disclosed P R Bansal, Chief Operating Officer, Lords Hotels & Resorts. “Consumers will remain value conscious and if they can get assurance of a good experience at budget price point, they would make the choice to stay in budget hotels instead of expensive star category hotels,” affirmed Punit Garg, Head of Business Development, Treebo Hotels. “As fa r as o n l y d o m es t i c to u r i s ts patronising budget hotels is concerned, I would like to state that a lot of international tourists stay at our properties across India. I think easy discoverability clubbed with the value proposition of budget hotel brands appeals to an extremely wide gamut of

consumers,” Punit informed. “The USP of the mid-market hospitality segment in India is that it cuts across the entire tourism spectrum and is as much a preferred stay option for business travellers as it is for leisure travellers or even for pilgrimage tourists. The basic premise of any class of tourists opting to stay in a mid-market hotel is identifying with standardisation of service levels. This includes cleanliness and hygiene; standard room amenities, good food and most importantly, great service. Today most mid-market hotels offer these as part of standard offerings at economic tariffs, which meet the requirements of a large number of domestic and international tourists,” he elaborated further. “Lords Hotels & Resorts is a premium mid-market hotel chain and for us delivering quality experiences supersedes all else. We follow SOPs across all our hotels irrespective of the regions they may be located at. We are very conscious of the smallest deviations and we are a stickler for maintaining compliances. Even answering a guest’s phone call within a maximum of three to four rings is a process which is followed diligently by us. There may be different SOPs for different brands but a complete lack of it at any branded hotel chain in India doesn’t seem to be possible. However, the same may not be true in case of independent budget hotels operating in the country,” informed Bansal. “There has always been a huge scope for budget hotels in India, more so lately with OTAs forming majority chunk of our source of bookings,” observed Kamlesh Barot, Director of VIE Hospitality and Past President of FHRAI and HRAWI. “A low dollar spending international

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Hotel Business Review

Arindam Mukherjee tourist, who does not want to shell out 28 percent GST on a Rs.7500 room per night, would be inclined to visit our country’s budget hotel. In the winter season a lot of international tourists visit budget hotels, besides which the bulk of the business to our budget hotels comes from our domestic tourists during the rest of the year, either through social or business or pilgrimage tours,” pointed out Kamlesh. “Typically budget hotel is a lodging based product, which is largely designed while keeping the needs and wants of SME business travellers in mind. I believe there is tremendous scope for organised budget hotels in places like Aligarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, etc. which are known for small scale industries,” affirmed Nandivardhan Jain, Founder & CEO, Noesis Capital Advisors. “The Indian market for the next five years is on a high growth trajectory, which means a large number of lower middle classes are

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moving towards upper middle class. As we are aware that the economy is shifting in this direction, the demand for budget hotels is going to rise in the country in proportion to India’s growth and development. The major growth in budget hotels in India will be acquired from the domestic market. Branded budget hotels, such as the Mercure brand has made a clear impact in the Indian market by providing guests a high quality experience at an affordable price,” observed Arindam Mukherjee, General Manager, Mercure Dwarka. “By and large if you look at the country as whole, domestic tourism is what the budget hotels thrive on. Certain markets in the country of course do have considerable number of international travellers that look for an affordable yet worthy experience,” he maintained. Bhupinder Rawat, Director of Operations, Aloft New Delhi Aerocity, stated, “There is ample scope for growth in budget hotels especially in tier-II cities of the country that are strongly competing with our tier –I cities in terms of establishing themselves as the stronghold of the growing hospitality industry. Ever expanding hotel brands in India, both domestic and international, have led to a considerable change in terms of power centers of budget hotels in the country and the same would only grow.”

Branded with Budget The branded budget hotels’ supply in India has increased at a rapid pace. The number of rooms in these hotels is believed to have increased from 6000 in 2002 to 53,200 in 2017. But what exactly are the necessities for popularising budget hotels?

P R Bansal “The basic essential required for any budget hotel should be a pleasant experience for the guest. Every hotel should strive hard in order to offer an impeccable F&B service, well-equipped amenities along with safety measures to its visitors. Our brand has made a significant impact on the Indian market and we have established ourselves as a high quality affordable brand across several cities,” Arindam asserted. “I would reiterate that merely low rates will not attract guests in budget hotels. Besides affordable rates, required are the basic amenities with an earnest attitude of the hotel employees towards serving the guests and patrons. This goes a long way in establishing the hotel as a go to destination for travellers of all kind,” Bhupinder averred. “In any unorganised industry, there is a need for branded players to ensure consumers get a good quality product. Budget hotels in India were unorganised and


Cover Story as a consumer one always had to struggle to get consistent quality in the segment, in the India’s hospitality industry. Hence, the need for brands to emerge in the category is obvious. Also given the fact that it is an oversupplied market in most parts of the country, taking a franchise route makes sense,” declared Punit. “Standardisation is the key differentiator between a branded mid-market hotel and a singly operated mid-market hotel. A single operated hotel is defined by its own practices or is based on its own convenience of providing a set of services and amenities. It may or may not be in sync with best industry practices that are widely standard. Whereas, a branded hotel chain such as Lords Hotels & Resorts follows SOPs, which are uniform across its chain of hotels and is tuned to accommodate industry norms,” explained Bansal. “Right from providing the basic levels of services to the upkeep and maintenance of the infrastructure, we are process driven. This ensures compliance at all stages of operations and management, which reflects in customer satisfaction,” he added.

Hotel Business Review

among branded hotels,” asserted Kamlesh. “Several brands are being established in India’s budget hotel segment. They have implemented stringent quality standards and are focused on the guest experience, which actually begins from searching for a hotel and doesn’t end until post check-out,” expressed Arindam.

Cities for Budget Hotels

Kamlesh Barot “The unorganised sector of the Indian hotel industry is steadily getting organised, since the past few years. This facilitates best practices adoption and improves the brand to deliver what its guests’ expect for the money they spend. Not only price becomes the reason for their popularity, but brand recall and consistency in service standards also add to the budget hotels’ popularity

Which are the right destinations in India for opening of budget hotels? “The Return on Investment (ROI) is the most important factor that needs to be taken into consideration while venturing into a mid-market segment hospitality project. So I would suggest that the budget hotel players operating in India should consider developing their properties in the tier-III, IV and V cities of the country as against in the metros and other tier-I cities, and the tier-II cities of India. The land value in the tier-I and II cities in India is high and so the ROI to bear fruit would take a lot longer. Besides, the prospect for growth is much better outside of these big cities as more and more city residents who are also the spenders, travel out of the city

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Hotel Business Review

for holidays,” Bansal opined. Punit, however, does not concur with this view. “There is a huge travel volume in budget segment in India’s metros as well, and good budget hotels do great business irrespective of their city. In fact, a large part of Treebo Hotels’ portfolio is in metros and we see both business and leisure travellers coming to these hotels. The underlying reason is the value proposition of an assured high quality experience at an affordable price,” he affirmed. “Due to high real estate and debt cost and long time required for building hotels in India, it is quite difficult to build budget hotels in centric locations of metro cities like Mumbai & Delhi. There are few budget hotels in these metro cities but from pricing perspective they might not be budget. For example, IBIS at Mumbai domestic airport charges its customers closer to 100 USD for a night,” informed Nandivardhan. Bhupinder claims that the trend of budget hotels not succeeding in metros of India is reversing. “Budget hotels in India are giving stiff competition to star hotels in tier-I cities of the country,” he opined. “With the development of tier-II and III cities in the country, leisure and business travellers are also visiting these cities in increasing numbers, thus raising the demand for hotels there,” he added. “There is no reason for a budget hotel to not succeed in India’s metros. The main aspects for any budget hotel to succeed depend on what kind of real estate they are holding and what kind of dynamics do they cater to. There is every reason for a budget hotel to do well in a metro in India,” Arindam offered.

Automation with Personalisation With automation invading India’s hospitality industry with fast pace, the question that arises is: Would increased automation impact the business prospects of budget hotels operating in the country, as they would try to achieve cost savings by cutting down on the ratio of employees to a room? “At Treebo Hotels, personalisation and guest delight is very close to our heart. Every policy and process of ours is built on a guest-first basis. Budget hotels often see repeat business from loyal clients where the team understands their needs and preferences and proactively customises various elements of their stay. Same goes for a first-time guest wherever possible. However, as this segment becomes more

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Nandivardhan Jain organised in India’s market, technology will play a huge role in offering a personalised experience to the guests,” observed Punit. “Automation is a welcome development and is definitely a boon for the hospitality industry. Embracing automation and the extent of its deployment varies from hotel to hotel and mostly depends on the segment it caters to,” averred Bansal. “With increased automation, right from the point of check-in to offering guests their preferred beverage, becomes a seamless activity. Furthermore, it facilitates to personalise services based on a customer’s history with the hotel with little or no human interference. For instance, we had a guest staying with us at our hotel in Bengaluru and post check out, she was going to Gujarat. In Gujarat, she again chose to stay with us. The day of her check-in at our hotel in Gujarat was also her birthday, and since we had the information beforehand, our hotel GM

Bhupinder Rawat

had pre-ordered a special birthday cake for her. Automation in this case had given us the edge, which not only allowed us to offer our appreciation for the guest’s loyalty but also made her feel special,” he explained. “Digitalisation works in improving the customer satisfaction levels and is certainly a win-win for both the hotel and the guest. On the digitalisation front, we are constantly upgrading or reorienting our resources and digital platforms to remain in sync with the e-world,” asserted Bansal. “Budget hotels are based on the premise of good product at a good price; therefore the value proposition is extremely important to the customers. It is not necessarily the personal contact with guests that drives guests to a budget hotel. While the star hotels may focus on establishing a personal contact, for a property like Mercure Dwarka, personal contact is important but it may come through a different methodology; either by activities at the property or through homely F&B experience,” claimed Arindam. However, Bhupinder declared that “Every successful hotel – whether it be budget or star property – should rely on a simple rule that personalised service is the biggest driving factor in building guest loyalty and relationship.”

Future Ahead Over the period of last few years, there has been a significant progress in the budget hotel segment in India. But is this progress going to continue, and if so, at what pace? This is a question that the entire India’s hospitality industry seems to be interested in knowing. “There is a very promising future for the budget hotels in the country. If the operator’s advice is taken seriously and the fancies of making a one-of-its-kind hotel is given a go ahead by the owner, a respectable return on investment can be ploughed back to make this segment grow exponentially,” articulated Kamlesh. “Today we are witnessing a big change in people’s perception with regards to choice of lifestyles, including the choice of accommodations for a tourist. Even a pilgrimage tourist who formerly stayed in dharamshalas or at guest houses, today prefers to stay in a good hotel for quality sleep and rest. Even the eating habits define a person’s choice of stay and we see that there is a gradual shift in consumption from junk to healthy. The young generation is avoiding colas and is instead sipping on fresh


Cover Story juices and this transition is replicating across several such choices,” declared Bansal. “The nature of such choice stems from an evolved understanding of how quality makes a difference in the overall experience. The choice of staying in a mid-market hotel is a similar choice, which meets all the dots from comfort to value and everything in between. We foresee that the budget hotels segment in our country will grow by 100 percent during the next five years and the tier-III, IV and V cities of the country are where the action is. So the future for the segment looks bright and we are positive that it will continue to grow for at least another decade,” he elaborated. There is bright future for the budget hotels in India. In this day and age, customers prefer good quality at affordable costs. This will ensure that there is bright future for budget hotels like Mercure Dwarka in India’s hospitality industry,” Arindam opined. “The space has tremendous potential subject to the condition that the players should focus on addressing the right problem areas, which is lack of consistency in offering top-notch experience to the

Hotel Business Review

Punit Garg consumers. Players who focus on this problem and invest towards solving this problem are likely to succeed and become large businesses and brands. Also we are likely to see escalation in consumer needs and expectations. So these players will have to keep designing for future in order to succeed,” Punit expressed. “Budget hotels have tremendous scope

in India. We are under supply market, and with improvement in air, rail and road connectivity, the country will need more quality rooms,” Nandivardan aired. “The future is just getting brighter for budget hotels in India with each passing year, and the road ahead is promising. Consistency and balanced efforts are the key towards success in this segment,” affirmed Bhupinder. Despite several complexities, arising out of certain decisions of the government, India’s hotel industry witnessed a growth during 2017. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the Foreign Tourist Arrival (FTA) has crossed the 10 million mark. Add to this the increase in the number of domestic travellers and there can be little doubt that the demand for hotel rooms in the country will continue to increase in the future. With budget and mid-market hotels in the country now raising their standards of service and amenities there is all likelihood of an increasing number of tourists opting for hotels in this segment. The future for budget hotels in India’s hospitality industry thus looks bright. n

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Business

Addressing Guests’ Feedback Digitalisation and social media have become important elements for tourists as far as selection of rooms in hospitality properties is concerned. Referring to online reviews of the experiences of the guests had at hospitality properties has begun to play a major role in their opting for a particular property. It has thus become essential for hotels to take notice of these reviews and not only respond to them but also rectify shortcomings pointed out by the disgruntled guests. Ashok Malkani gauges the impact that these reviews have on hotels and how the properties respond to these reviews. 26

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large number of hotel guests, today, share their experiences on the social web in the form of online reviews. It is believed that over 100 travel agencies and review sites spread the message of these leisure and business travellers. Earlier hotel reviews were usually in the form of a magazine article, a critic’s opinion, or just through word-of-mouth. These mediums of expression are still there. But with the advent of Internet and tourist sites, these days people can also write a review of a hotel online, which can be accessible all over the world, or refer to reviews written by guests who have visited the place, from anywhere in the world. The importance of maintaining the reputation of your hotel online has become essential for hoteliers, for they are believed to influence the footfall in the hotel, and not without reason.

Impact of Guest Reviews Ayon Bhattacharya, General Manager of The Orchid Hotel Pune, stated, “Reviews influence the footfall as future guests refer to the reviews by past guests on the digital space before deciding to book rooms. Positive reviews increases footfall and this trend is going to grow with the global market becoming more tech savvy.” “Digital media has changed the whole shopping experience for consumers and provided them with access to a wide range of products and tools that they can use to get the necessary information instantly. This web revolution has empowered consumers to share their opinions in terms of reviews on the web, across sectors. The ease with which we can compare while searching for flights and booking hotels through travel websites, while taking into account reviews, has made an impact on the way we now shop for hotel rooms and travel,” explained Sriram Ramaswamy, Director of Sales and Marketing, Indore Marriott Hotel. “In addition to the extensive use of web, the use of smart phones has further influenced travel and hotel bookings. Guest reviews are now all the more important as they could be given ‘on-the-go.’ Today’s traveller, before making any bookings, is expected to first go through the reviews shared by other travellers as they give them an opportunity to check the quality of service and analyse whether it will meet their

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Hotel Business Review

expectations. Customers often trust these online reviews more than any other form of communication as they believe these reviews are independent and trustworthy,” he affirmed. “We, at Indore Marriot hotel, are aware that customers make holiday decisions by extensively using the Internet. This keeps us to stay focused on providing the best possible services that we have to offer at every point of time. The guest reviews also help us to market the hotel and showcase our hospitality standards and feedback. We encourage the guests to write the reviews so we can know their feedback. We believe that guests who visit our hotel come with specific requirements in mind and we ensure their expectations are met,” Sriram added. “In the hospitality industry, guests have access to multiple online booking channels including hotel websites and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) that feature p rev i o u s g u es t ex p e r i e n ces t h ro u g h reviews and ratings. Online reputation has become an integral function as it directly influences the hotel’s popularity and image. Millennials, especially, are most influenced by online guest reviews while making their bookings. They rely more on the candid reviews from other patrons when picking from the numerous choice of hotels. Therefore, it has become very important for hotels to maintain their online reputation, as it directly influences the bottom line. The more positive guest reviews your hotel receives, the more the likelihood of people choosing your hotel over competitors with comparatively lower reviews and ratings is there,” disclosed Divakar Shukla, the General Manager, Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre. “The quality of guest reviews directly influences your target guest profile’s decision-making trends. Negative reviews adversely impact the online reputation of your property and can be extremely damaging if not handled well and in time. In the same way, positive reviews also play a big role in creating trust and encouraging booking intentions of potential guests. Online reviews also significantly influence the hotel’s search engine ranking. It is thus very important to ensure that positive review responses are increased across all social platforms,” Divakar maintained. “A quote from a famous entrepreneur once read: ‘Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.’ Indeed, reviews across any

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Divakar Shukla portal from a guest who has experienced a service/services in our hotel, is the best form of marketing we rely on. A stay at our hotel and experiencing the luxuries we offer induces guests to recommend the services to their acquaintances, friends and family,” proffered Anisha Pereira, Guest Experiences Manager at Sofitel Mumbai BKC. “Good online content for a hospitality property serves a meaningful purpose and helps to promote the property and the brand in innumerable ways. Reviews assist in increasing online visibility, improving operations and driving hotel revenues. As a hotel, we understand that a negative hotel review has serious repercussions to our image and we immediately reach out to the guest and ensure the experience is turned around. Sincerity being the core of our operations, we do not hesitate to admit a fault on our part,” she acknowledged.

Timely Response to Reviews While the guests praise or criticise the

Ayon Bhattacharya

properties, it is necessary for hospitality properties to have a review response strategy. A study from Cornell University of Hospitality reveals that responding to online reviews has a great impact on revenues initially, but the impact declines after a certain threshold of reviews are responded to. This is certainly good news as it means that you do not have to respond to 100 percent of reviews across the board, something that few hospitality properties have the time or resources to do. But how fast should be your response to the reviews, particularly if they are negative, is an important question to consider. “Responding to each guest review within a stipulated amount of time is very important as it shows the guests that we have acknowledged their feedback. It also helps to build goodwill for the brand and engage with guests who have taken the effort to share their experiences. All reviews should be responded to in a timely manner. Negative reviews especially should be handled tactfully; understanding the grievance shared and responding promptly to the aggrieved guests. At Crowne Plaza Pune, we ensure that each guest review across any social platform is acknowledged and analysed by our team within 12 hours of receiving the feedback. Each feedback, whether negative or positive, helps us to assess our areas of improvement or competence,” elaborated Divakar. “Sofitel Mumbai BKC responds to all reviews we receive from our valued guests. Communication is the key to make our business grow. We genuinely feel that if a guest has taken the time to review us, we should respond, acknowledge and thank the guest for the same,” stated Anisha. “In today’s world of real time feedback, we want the guest to know we are right here for them. We usually reply to post-stay reviews within 12 hours. Real time feedback on social media is replied instantly,” she stated. “Responding to negative reviews with customised and honest response and trying to address the issues pointed out makes a lot of difference as it makes the guests and potential guests know that we care about our guests. Positive reviews also have to be acknowledged and answered,” declared Ayon. “Orchid Hotel Pune responds to all reviews coming over from OTAs, Tripadvisor and other social sites. We have a digital tool which auto populates all hotel mentions on


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a single dashboard. We respond within 24 hrs to all guest reviews,” Ayon stated. “Any response to a review needs to done as early as possible, in most cases within 24 hours and within a maximum time frame of 48 hours,” averred Sriram. “In case of negative reviews, the response time should be even lesser and this should be followed up with call to the guest as well,” he added further.

Prioritising Responses While talking with the hospitality industry experts, we could gather that ideally, all guest reviews should be responded to. But should the priority be to answer negative or positive reviews? “We need to keep monitoring customer feedback, as it is just the first step. We can’t set a priority here as both positive and negative reviews are important. The responses help in creating a personal and transparent brand image, and makes it definite to the customers that the hotel does care about what they have to say,” opined Sriram. “At the Indore Marriott Hotel, we have an internal software named Medellia, which ensures every guest review is addressed.

This software converts all the negative reviews into a ticket and ensures that they are responded within 24 hours,” he disclosed. Ayon avers, “Priority should be paid to both. Negative to correct, and positive reviews to share with our employees to feel proud of,” averred Ayon. “We feel both deserve equal attention

and importance. Positive reviews are great for the brand image, revenue and sales, and a negative review can mean the exact opposite. At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, both are given equal importance and are acknowledged instantly,” stated Anisha. “All reviews should be responded to in a timely manner, more so the negative reviews, which tend to spread quickly and

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Anisha Pereira cause a negative impact if not handled tactfully. Positive reviews must also be given equal attention as they are from happy guests who can be converted into loyal brand patrons,” opined Divakar.

Tackling Poor Reviews Since poor reviews are believed to affect the footfall in the hospitality properties, the hotel industry personnel have to make efforts to offset the effect of these reviews. Anisha concedes that a guest experience may not be 100 percent satisfactory all the time, and added, “In the rare instance of things going wrong during a guest stay and not being brought to our notice, a guest is most likely to express his/her opinion on social media. At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, we put all efforts in place to connect with the guests, and then rectify the situation. As mentioned, we have sincerity in our DNA and more often, guests do understand and not only return but become our loyal patrons.”

“The best way forward is to differentiate negative reviews and categorise them in three broad sections as: (1) service and behavioral issues, (2) infrastructure issues, and (3) quality issues. You should then take the issues to the HOD table and device strategies to negate the points from grassroots level so that the issues do not get repetitive. Of course, some complaints will always be there, where the expectation of the customers is not aligned to the deliverance timeline as per industry benchmarking standards,” declared Ayon. “Negative reviews have the potential to provide insights into areas of improvement for the hotel. A quick response time is usually the best practice and should include the following steps – identifying the problem, engaging in damage control and seeking a resolution for the aggrieved guests. Ensuring that the negative review is responded to, addressing the concerns of the guest with reassurance also helps to avoid any negative impact on other customers who come across the review.” explained Divakar. ”Negative review leaves a great impact on the guests searching for your property; thus, responding to their feedback properly is one of the biggest challenges. The hotel needs to respond to a negative review in such a way that it surpasses the after effect and provides the guest with an alternative,” pointed out Sriram. “Some of the ways one can achieve this are by thanking the guest by their name. Address the guests by their name and thank them for taking time to share their valuable feedback. If it is a negative review, then apologise for the guests’ poor experience and endeavour to lessen the bad effects of the review in the eyes of your prospective guests. Also request for any

Surveys for Online Reviews There can be little doubt that online reviews have a significant impact on the reputation and business of hospitality properties. The following statistics compiled by surveys undertaken by TrustYou and TripAdvisor reveal the importance of online reviews: • 88 percent of travellers filter out hotels with an average star rating below three • 32 percent eliminated those with a rating below four • 96 percent consider reviews important when researching a hotel • 79 percent will read between six and 12 reviews before making a purchase decision • Four out of five believe a hotel that responds to reviews cares more about its customers • 85 percent agree that a thoughtful response to a review will improve their impression of the hotel.

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Sriram Ramaswamy suggestion on their services to be added or changed. Communicating and receiving suggestion; be it negative or positive, helps in building a good image for the brand. This conversation could also be taken offline, however, it should be made sure that there is no communication on compensation mentioned,” Sriram elaborated.

Getting the Desired Guest Response As an hotelier, it is crucial to obtain positive feedback from satisfied guests who share their experiences with a hotel. So what steps should be taken to get positive response from the guests? Ayon is of the view that one should “observe the trends of negative reviews, introspect, sort and address the same. This, according to me, is the turn-around mantra.” “We truly believe that if we work with sincerity, humility and from the heart, on a daily basis, then there is no stopping favourable reviews from pouring in. At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, we have a brilliant programme titled ‘Cousu Main’, which literally means ‘Service from the Heart’. Every experience is hand sewn with love and respect for our guests, thus creating ‘magnifique’ experiences, which, needless to say, converts into favourable reviews,” averred Anisha. “ Th e fo c u s s h o u l d a l ways b e o n delivering unsurpassed customer service and unforgettable experiences. The human touch is what elevates the experience and a guest seldom forgets a smiling and helpful face. One should remember, the better the experience the better the chance of guests leaving excellent reviews,” pointed out Divakar.


Business “Some of the precautionary steps that could be taken by the hospitality property to get favourable reviews online are assigning a dedicated team to read, analyse and respond to the queries and reviews online; ensuring that each and every review provided across different digital platforms are answered well in time; appreciating your guests’ review and recommendations, as it helps in building a good brand image; submitting a report to the management team on the week’s online reviews received and using them as a tool to improve customer service, which also acts as a motivating tool for employees; and providing assurance in serving guests better while they visit the next time,” articulated Sriram.

Who Should Respond? The main challenge for hoteliers is to engage in actively promoting a hotel’s reputation while monitoring recent developments and constantly interacting with guests. It is easy to get sucked into the operational vortex of the hotel’s dayto-day affairs while your hotel’s online reviews get neglected. So who should be assigned with the responsibility of responding to the reviews? “At Crowne Plaza Pune, each review is usually responded to by the General Manager; making sure that each guest is thanked for his/her feedback,” asserted Divakar. “At the Sofitel Mumbai BKC, every review is read by the management team of the hotel and spearheaded by the General Manager, Biswajit Chakraborty. We dedicate 15 minutes every day, without fail, analysing all the reviews of the past day. After that we sit along with General Manager, to dedicate quality time to each review. Our General Manager personally relays what he wants to convey to each guest. This is a very special touch we exercise whereby the General Manager himself takes personal interest in the overall guest experience of the hotel,” affirmed Anisha. “ Th e g u e s t rev i ew s s h o u l d b e responded under the signature of the General Manager, though the mechanism may defer from one hospitality property to another,” opined Ayon. Sriram believes that a dedicated marketing team should respond to the guest reviews. “At the Indore Marriott

Hotel, in case of a positive review, the social media team responds to guests with a thank you note, which is also circulated in the internal forum of the hotel. In case of a negative review, the social media team informs the concerned department and the HOD regarding the feedback. The feedback is further analysed to understand the reason behind the guest’s experience. Post analysing the situation, the guest is provided with a response on his/her social media post along with an apology, and with an assurance of a memorable service during his/her next visit,” he disclosed.

Online Reputation Management Companies Several online reputation management (ORM) companies have also emerged on the global scene. How heavily do hospitality properties in India rely on them? “Reputation management companies do help in delivering a more qualitative and professional response but the soul of the review should be through an honest addressing of the issues. The Orchid Hotel Pune does have a digital reputation platform to see the reviews as a single dashboard but the responses are drafted and answered by the hotel. The same platform is also used to send invitations to review the hotel in our direct channel,” declared Ayon. “At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, we rely on TrustYou – an online guest feedback platform and hospitality reputation software. TrustYou collects and analyses over three million guest reviews, surveys, and social media posts from all across the web, every week, for 5,00,000 hotels. All hotel reviews in one place certainly helps in monitoring reviews better and understanding trends,” affirmed Anisha. “At Crowne Plaza Pune, we maintain our online reputation at a property level, ensuring that each platform is checked on a daily basis,” pointed out Divakar. “The reputation management of any hospitality property plays a key role in making or breaking its brand image as guests are now choosing a particular hospitality property by considering its social media reputation. There are some reputation management companies in India who manage to maintain online reputation of some hotels,” Sriram articulated. n

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Feature

Hotel Business Review

Branded Hospitality, Beyond Metros By Swarnendu Biswas

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ike all other facets of life and times, hospitality industry is also going through changes. One of the important changes or rather transitions that has been taking place in India’s hospitality industry during the recent years is the significant channelising of investments of branded hospitality projects in tier-II and tier-III cities of the country. Patna, Dehradun, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Madurai, Kanpur, Kochi, Vadodara, Jodhpur, Nashik are some examples of tier-II and tier-III cities of India. Even a decade earlier, hoteliers and real estate developers investing in massive hospitality projects in tier-II and tier-III cities of India, unless it was a conventional

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and famous tourist destination, were rarity. But it is no longer so. Now even some of the tier-IV cities and small towns of India which are also not tourist destinations in conventional sense are showing potential to attract considerable investments from branded players in India’s hospitality industry. Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram R e s o r t & C o n v e n t i o n C e n t e r, i n Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, City Sarovar Premiere Jaipur, Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Place, Novotel Kochi Infopark Hotel are only four of the many such examples of recently opened branded hospitality properties in non metro cities, and towns of

India. A few months back, Radisson entered Jodhpur with Radisson Jodhpur.

Reasons behind the Trend There are various reasons behind this development. Prohibitive prices of real estate in metros of India, significant increase in disposable incomes among segments of people in small cities and towns of India during the last decade-anda-half, the growth of industrialisation and tourism appeal in many of the tier-II and tier-III cities of India during the same period, the heightened popularity of destination weddings and the growth of MICE segment in India’s hospitality industry during the


Feature

Hotel Business Review

Sahdev Mehta

Amit Kumar

Ramendra Pratap Singh

last few years are some of the factors influencing this trend. Improvement of infrastructure and connectivity in these cities during the last decade can also be attributed as the reason for fostering of this trend. Besides these, the labour costs in tier-II and tier-III cities of India are lesser on an average, as compared to our metros and other tier-I cities, and thus a hospitality property running in these cities is expected to entail less operational cost on an average, than if it runs in the metros. “With increasingly prohibitive land cost, high supply of room inventory in metros of India is becoming extremely challenging. The tier-II and tier-III cities of the country offer long-term opportunities and in my view it is good for hospitality players to be early

movers in this area,” asserted Ramendra Pratap Singh, General Manager, Radisson Noida. “The major focus for leading hospitality players operating in India, in the coming years would be our tier-II, and tier-III cities,” feels Pankaj Saxena, GM, Radisson Blu Pune Hinjawadi. “This is mainly to keep up with increasing demand as many of these cities are witnessing lots of industrial investments and an increase in domestic travellers. At the same time, the paucity of supply in quality accommodation in these cities are attracting leading hotel companies to invest in mid-scale, budget hotels in tier-II and tierIII cities to cater to the demands,” he added. “The potential for growth in India is now in many tier-II and tier-III cities. These cities

have great opportunities for both business / industrial growth as well as in terms of tourism,” opined Varun Sharma, Director of Operations, Clarks Exotica Convention Resort & Spa, Bengaluru. “Governments are setting up SEZs in smaller cities, creating more employment opportunities. Naturally, in this climate there will be requirement for more hotels in these spaces, with more business travellers coming to these cities. Presently, there is a vast gap between the actual on-ground requirement of hotels, and the hospitality infrastructure currently present in many of the tier-II and tier-III cities of the country. The spending capacity of people in these regions is also growing. Hotel brands are realising the immense opportunity for growth in these areas and expanding accordingly in these cities,” he elaborated further. In fact, hotels and resorts in small towns, located in industrial belts or close to industrial belts can garner lucrative room revenues. Take the case of Noor Mahal, a five-star property, located in Karnal, a nondescript tier-III city which is not known for any breathtaking tourist attractions. However, the hotelier made an intelligent decision by coming up with a much needed five-star property in Karnal, as the town is in close proximity to four important business districts of Haryana, which are Panipat, Yamunanagar, Kaithal and Kurukshetra. This location can make Noor Mahal an attractive MICE destination for corporate tourists. The convenient location of Noor Mahal too makes it attractive for a section of high-profile leisure tourists commuting from Delhi to Chandigarh or Shimla, and vice-versa. Then take the case of Sinclairs Burdwan,

July-Aug ’18

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Feature

Hotel Business Review

Aditya Malla

Pankaj Saxena

Varun Sharma

which is located in the small town of Burdwan. But Burdwan is located very near to the industrial towns of Asansol and Durgapur and only 90 km from Kolkata. It is conveniently located at a 2 hour drive from the Kolkata airport. Sinclairs Burdwan is an upscale tourist resort offering fine accommodation, club and banquet facilities. Spread over four acres, the resort can come across as getaway for families looking for a break from stressful city life. The hotel can also easily get business travellers commuting from Kolkata to Durgapur or Asansol. “Besides through business travel, hotels and resorts located in tier-II & tier-III cities of the country can garner significant revenues through increased buoyancy in our food & beverage spend, weddings, and social events. Moreover, many of our tier-II and tier-III cities are closely located to UNESCO Heritage Sites and religious destinations. As our Incredible India campaign is driving more inbound and domestic tourists, these cities will continue to cash in on the business opportunities,” pointed out Saxena. Sahdev Mehta, General Manager. Hilton Garden Inn Gurgaon Baani Square, believes

that important factors behind the growth in investments of hotel projects in tier-II and tier-III cities of India are the low land cost hence low development cost in these cities, as compared to that of metros in India, and the growing expendable income of the middle class in these cities. “During the past few years, tier-II and tier-III cities of our country have seen a major boom of hotel brands across various segments. Growth of industrialisation in many of these cities of India is one of the major reasons, which led to emergence of this trend. Industrialisation is encouraging, or rather sometimes necessitating, business travellers from across the globe to visit tierII and tier-III cities of India for their business purposes; thereby resulting in a rise in demand and supply of accommodations of various budgets across these cities,” opined Ajith Nair, DOSM, Novotel Imagica Khopoli. Nair believes that with economical real estate and skilled labour force, many of the tier-II and tier-III cities of India reflect a potential market for hospitality industry players; a market, which he believes, needs to be further explored. “In small cities of India there is now considerable disposable income but they have few outlets to channelise those disposable incomes. And hence there is a huge untapped opportunity for lifestyle elements to thrive in many of these cities,” opined Aditya Malla, GM, Doubletree by Hilton Pune-Chinchwad. Thus by the same logic, there is a potential for the growth of tourism and hospitality in these cities and towns, which many hospitality players are exploiting. Ramendra Pratap Singh feels that the branded hospitality properties reflect great aspirational value for people in tier-II and tier-III cities of India. “Many of the tier-II and tier-III cities of

the country have emerged as the hub of business activity and the investments from branded hotels have begun to penetrate in to these cities. The major significance these small cities have over larger cities of the country is their economical real estate, affordable labour and service costs,” proffered Amit Kumar, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan.

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Connectivity and Hygiene Issues However, many things need to be done to improve the connectivity to the tier-II and tier-III cities of India, which can make them at par with metros in terms of tourism inflows. The airline connectivity needs to go deeper in India, and road infrastructure and the state of hygiene needs to be improved through the country, for branded hotel chains to better explore the tourism and hospitality potential of tier-II and tier-III cities and towns of India. Improving of connectivity to north-east destinations deserve special mention in this regard. Similarly, drastic improvement of cleanliness and hygiene in a globally renowned religious tourism destination like Varanasi is required. Places with great natural beauty and cultural heritage like Darjeeling and Bankura also fare badly in terms of sanitation, which needs to be urgently addressed. “Overall, currently, transportation needs to be further improved in and to these cities. Most of our natural landscapes, which are attractive to tourists as well as other key tourist attractions, are located in our tier-II and tier-III cities. But many of these places still lack comprehensive access, which is a deterrent to most travellers,” affirmed Sharma. Airline connectivity to international


Feature destinations can give tier-II and tier-III cities more inbound travellers, which can give a fillip to the hospitality business in these cities. A case in the point in this regard is Amritsar, which has airline connectivity to seven international destinations such as Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Birmingham, Doha, Singapore, Ashgabat and Tashkent. “More and more tier-II and tier-III cities of India should have easier & better air access to the airports of metros in India, and also should have direct connectivity to international locations as well. Improvement of navigation in suitable stretches of major ports and river cities will also provide immense possibilities for opening out a new route for tourists to these cities. The National Highways and Expressways built to connect tourism destinations will revolutionise holiday travel in tier-II, and tier-III cities,” elaborated an enthusiastic Saxena. “The Union and the state governments should continue to focus on infrastructure development and maintenance and upkeep of tourist spots in these tier-II and tier-III cities,” maintained Malla. “The tourism and hospitality revenues in

Hotel Business Review

Ajith Nair the tier-II and tier-III cities can be improved by better connectivity to these cities. Better connectivity will facilitate people to travel to these cities at nominal cost. Activation of rural and religious tourism in these cities can also increase the inflow of international tourists to these regions,” averred Nair.

Safety Concerns Safety concerns for the women tourists need to be given even greater priority by

our Union and state governments, and also by our tourism and hospitality industry. If hotels opening in tier-II and tier-III cities have separate floors for single women travellers or tailor made special tourism packages for women travellers, they can attract more numbers of women tourists and hence better revenues. Introduction of Tourist Police throughout the country is also the need of the hour. It was heartening when KJ Alphons, the Union Minister of State for  Electronics and Information Technology,  Culture, and  Tourism, said in the Rajya Sabha that 14 states had deployed tourist police in one form or the other. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha.  Moreover, the promotion of lesser known cities and towns of India with great but lesser known heritage and religious appeal through creative advertising by the Ministry of Tourism can also direct more hospitality investments in these places. n

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F&B

Hotel Business Review

Having the Right Menu By Sharmila Chand

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urating a new menu is definitely not an easy task. It requires lot of research, an exhaustive data base on what kind of diners the outlet is targeting and perhaps most importantly, the kind of ingredients one can source to excel in the preparation. Here we talk to some experts in India’s food service industry and find out what they have to say about the subject.

Seasonal Factors Menu curating depends greatly on the seasons. “Go green is the right word when we talk about dishes for summers. In summers, people will love to have health salads, more and more fruit-based coolers. Hot & spicy food is out of fashion during summers,” expressed Chef Shyam Dhar Rai, Culinary Designer, Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity and Novotel New Delhi Aerocity Hotel. “One should always think about the products and ingredients one is using for every season when planning to curate the menu. Like you can’t have a hot chocolate in a summer afternoon but you can definitely try it in monsoon and winters, of course. Be systematic and less experimental to avoid last minute fiascos,” advised Om Nayak, Chef Om’s Hospitality, and Cofounder & Lead Consultant at The Pasta Bowl Company, Gurugram. “ S u m m e r i s a wo n d e rf u l t i m e to experiment with a variety of dishes. During the summer season, our focus is on including basil, beans, broccoli, plums, melons, strawberries, corn, amongst others in the menu because of their health related benefits. There has been a huge demand

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for salads this year on the basis of which we have started offering in varieties of the same category. Besides these, mocktails like orange mango mojito, variations of aampanna, and blueberry ginger ice tea were among our best buys during summers,” elaborated Cajetan D’Souza, F&B Manager, Banjara Restaurant, a restaurant chain with presence in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Presentation, Categorisation, and Description Menu should appeal at a first glance, and thus its designing is of crucial importance.

“Designing your menu should communicate your brand. The colours and overall tone of the dishes need to gel with restaurant’s culinary character,” stated Cajetan. “Irrespective of the design of the menu you choose, the restaurateur/hotelier should ensure that the menu is short rather than long; customers won’t like spending too much time flipping through long menus. What can you do if you have items you really need to serve but can’t fit onto your menu? Change your menu periodically, introduce those items as occasional specials, or consider having separate menus for different meals,” Cajetan elaborated. Cajetan opines that when deciding on menu categories, consider what you would like to draw attention to. “Breaking away from traditional food categories should serve a particular purpose, such as focusing on the restaurant’s specialty. Decide what you want your menu to say prior to deciding on food groupings. It is also important to remember to accentuate your more profitable items, in every category. No matter what categorisation style or design you decide to go with, always keep in mind that the easier it is for the customer to navigate the menu, the better it is. Confusing or illogically organised menus will likely lead to annoyed customers,” pointed out Cajetan. Right descriptions can highlight the menu. “Good descriptions in the menu are essential; they need to explain what the items are, accurately and succinctly. And good, appetising, descriptions are worth the trouble. Your description should include more than the ingredients; it should express the feeling that you would like for the dish to


F&B

Hotel Business Review

Mayank Tiwari convey, while listing any well-known brand name ingredients that may be included,” expressed Cajetan. “If you decide to not include common allergens on your menu (such as nuts), ensure that your staff is well aware and ready to answer any questions pertaining to this. Keep in mind, however, that descriptions in the menu should never get too long. Say what needs to be said, and that is it,” he pointed out.

Other Factors There are several other factors which should come into play while curating a menu for a food service outlet. “Understand what your farmer or grower can give in a given season, understand who the food is for, and understand the atmosphere in which guests are consuming food to make the experience more ergonomic and user-friendly,” advised Mayank Tiwari, Group Executive Chef, PVRThe Luxury Collection. “Menu designing is based on various factors like location of the restaurant, target audience, price point, etc.,” proffered Chef Vaibhav, Corporate Chef, Yuvi Hospitality. He asserted to “be creative and innovative with your imagination while designing the menu.” “The menu should not be too lengthy to begin with. Understand the strengths of your culinary team and accordingly deliver the menu,” he asserted. “Bring something new to the menu. Don’t stick to old menu items. Try and use maximum local ingredients, which are easy on pocket and good in taste, and always do a market survey before curating the menu,” opined Shyam Dhar Rai.

Om Nayak

Bringing Tastes from Sicily “Curating a menu is a challenging task for any restaurant as the menu can make or break your restaurant. Here are few things that we keep in mind before curating a new menu. The most important thing that we look for are the availability of seasonal products and the pricing of the ingredients. We follow the Italian culinary culture thoroughly and to have those exotic ingredients present in the Indian market is difficult at times, so having the products according to their season is very much important when it comes to curate international food,” Om Nayak elaborated. “Menu mix stands to be the second most important thing for us while curating a menu. We need to be smart and develop a menu mix as no specific ingredient should not be used in every dish. Authenticity of ingredients is also a crucial part of our menu designing,” he asserted “Pasta Bowl is India’s only Sicilian restaurant. What you eat in Sicily is what you get at The Pasta Bowl Company. So

Vaibhav while curating the menu we always keep in mind the ingredients used in Sicilian food and accordingly we include them in our menu for the different seasons,” Om Nayak added further. “A menu should always be curated keeping in mind the plating and presentation time,” he advised. “For example, at The Pasta Bowl Company we make everything fresh and do not store or refrigerate products which can be heated and served. For that we need to keep in mind that the plating time should be less so to maintain the serving temperature of the food,” explained Om Nayak. He also practices retention of freshness of the products/ingredients in curating of the menu at The Pasta Bowl Company. “ Fo r exa m p l e, a r u g u l a i s o n e of t h e ingredients that is not available in north India, in the monsoon season, but is one of the important ingredients for our menu and to keep it in stock we source it from Kerela in batches to keep it fresh and not as an ingredient stored in refrigerator,” Om Nayak iterated.

Work in Progress

Cajetan D’Souza

Though menu designing requires taking several factors in to consideration, but in this competitive environment of India’s food service industry, it should also be ideally treated as a work in progress. “Menu designing should be a continual work in progress. In order to achieve the optimum results, you need to be continually modifying your menu and trying out new things, while keeping track of what methods are giving you the best results,” affirmed Chef Vaibhav. n

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Design

Hotel Business Review

Designing Wellness By Swarnendu Biswas

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ellness business in India is growing impressively. According to the estimates of the Spa Association of India, spa industry in India is currently valued at around Rs. 11,000 crore and it will continue to grow at a fast pace. A report by KPMG had shown that the size of India’s beauty and wellness market was expected to reach Rs. 80,370 crore by 2017-2018 from Rs.41,224 crore during 2012-13. The growth of India’s spa industry can be attributed to the significant increase in disposable incomes in select but sizeable pockets of urban India during the last decade-and-a-half, tension filled hectic lifestyles of many sections of people of post-modern urban India, and also due to the growing health and wellness consciousness in niches of Indian society. Now, with the impressive growth and maturation of the wellness business in the country, the demand for innovative spa designs can also be expected to emerge as a trend, whose effects can of course, influence India’s evolving hospitality industry, as nowadays a lot many hotels and resorts in the country house spas in them. I got the opportunity to discuss with two renowned wellness experts and one renowned interior designer to know the

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appropriate lighting requirements for spa; to get to have a feel of the trends pervading through spa designing in India’s spa industry; to know the elements which should be incorporated while designing a spa; to get an idea of the futuristic spa design trends in the context of India’s spa industry; the relevance of eco-friendly spas among other issues.

Lighting the Spa The role of lighting and colours in spa design cannot be overstated. In fact, lighting can be construed as one of the most fundamental and crucial aspect of spa designing. “Lighting and colours are extremely important to create the right spa environment. As spa consultants we have to give a very detailed brief of our vision to the lighting designers. In general, in a single spa there are different types of lighting needed to create a perfect balance of aesthetics and functionality,” affirmed Lovina Gidwani Jha, the Founder and Creative Strategist of Spa Guide-n-Light, a spa consultancy services company, based in Mumbai. “Ambient light is appropriate for giving the overall soothing mood of the spa environment. In the therapy rooms task lighting is also needed to help staff clean

the rooms and also see minute details while doing some jobs, such as while doing skin analysis. ” she elaborated further. “Lighting is one of the most important elements of a spa’s design. First and foremost, it is a functional element, so it has to be ensured that the lights are being used optimally. Secondly, lights also act as mood enhancers. Dimmers should be used inside a treatment room to create the desired atmosphere. Effective lighting should be provided around mirrors and in the dressing room. Thirdly, lights can also double as décor accessories in the form of lamp shades, pendant lighting fixtures and chandeliers,” asserted Rekha Chaudhari, the Founder of JCKRC Spa Destination Pvt. Ltd. She is a spa expert since the past 22 years. “In any spa, irrespective of its positioning, light should play a very important part. Harsh light is not required in spas. Warm yellow mellow light, preferably on dimmers or in a cove is always recommended. Soft light always helps to keep the mood calm which is the essence of going to a spa,” conveyed Payal Kapoor, a renowned interior designer who owns and runs her Delhibased design firm named Visions. She has a number of prestigious hospitality projects to her credit.


Design

Hotel Business Review

“Chandeliers and other decorative lighting options in spas are also great to uplift the spirit of the guests and beautify the reception area. Finally, in areas such as the relaxation area, natural lighting should be allowed to fill the space to create a feel of the outdoors. Hence, a detailed lighting plan has to be in place to compliment the spa design,” Lovina articulated.

Happening Trends Various happening trends are pervading through India’s wellness industry. “In a rapidly growing wellness industry, India has witnessed many spa designs that are structurally beautiful, with fusing of some amazing design principles of east and the west,” Lovina observed. Spa facilities close to nature is another trend pervading through India’s wellness industry. “Bringing the ‘outdoors in’ to keep guests close to nature is a spa design trend in the country. Similarly, wellness meets fitness is also a spa design trend. There is a lot of focus on creative options to stay fit within spa resorts such as meditative walking pathways, Pilates studios, meditative zones etc.,” Lovina added further. “A general trend in spa design is minimalism. Clean neat lines with eye pleasing colour scheme are generally preferred by both spa owners and clients. Spas in India are moving toward thematic interiors, where spa is designed around a particular theme, and elements related to the theme are used in the interiors. For instance, in a spa that specialises in marine treatments and follows a water theme, a water body should be installed within the spa and aqua colours like blue and green should be predominantly used,” explained Rekha. Here it deserves a mention that Rekha Chaudhari is the Global Wellness Ambassador India for Global Wellness Day.

Lovina Gidwani Jha the reception areas. This could facilitate the spa to draw more guests into it, instead of it seeming to be just a random inclusion in the hotel’s plan,” Lovina elaborated. “The ambience and the design of the spa should immediately put the client at ease and provide him/her comfort. A spa room should have attached balconies and sit-out gardens. Spas or wellness centers should act as wellness retreats,” Rekha opined. “Care should be taken to have a common thread running through all aspects of the spa. This can be easily achieved by effective interior design,” she added further. The right furniture and appropriate colour schemes can also enhance the design aesthetics of the spa. “First and foremost, furniture has to be comfortable. It is advisable for spa designers to not go overboard with heavy furniture. Massage beds with controlled temperature are expected to be welcomed by the guests,”

Spa Design Elements I queried the wellness divas about the elements a spa should ideally incorporate in its designs. “According to me, all hotels that plan to have a spa facility should in great detail integrate wellness with their other operations. This can enable guests to truly experience and feel the hospitality of the hotel as regards to their overall well-being. This wellness integration should extend outside a spa and should be a part of guestrooms, public spaces and especially

Payal Kapoor

Payal aired. As for the colour schemes in the spa décor, Payal recommends soft palette of colours. “Flow of space and availability of amenities in the wet zone is very crucial part of spa design. All wet areas should be clubbed in one zone; away from therapy rooms, so that total silence is maintained near therapy rooms. Spas should also ideally have an area to unwind after the session, where soft music can play,” maintained Payal. Of course, the specifics of spa designs should vary from luxury hotels and resorts to budget hotels and resorts. “ I n h i g h - e n d s p as , l u x u ry h as to emanate from the interiors and not just the treatments. That is why the design of a luxury spa should focus on spaciousness, privacy, soothing ambience, uncluttered space and intelligent use of light. In an average spa, the focus should be more on increasing the number of walk-ins, hence there the interiors should be attractive and sturdy, and the décor should be pleasing and functional,” said Rekha. “In a luxury hospitality property, materials for walls, floors and ceilings in spas should be wisely chosen to exude luxury. Art work like paintings and sculptures should be used to reinforce the spa’s theme, if any. If space is a constraint for spas in budget hospitality properties, collapsible walls and multi-functional spaces should be created,” Rekha elaborated while sharing her years of wisdom on wellness. “Spas in luxury hospitality properties should be ideally designed in such a way that they face sights of great natural beauty wherever feasible, like sea, mountains, etc. They also can have an outdoor or indoor heated jaccuzi, facing natural beauty,” suggested Payal. “Spa sessions under the moonlight in the open, amidst jasmine, frangipani or other fragrant shrubs, of course in the conducive weather, can also be an option for a highend spa facility within a high-end hospitality property,” Payal aired. She rightly thinks that spa designs in average budget hotels and resorts should focus on contemporary décor, and minimalism. “ M o re o v e r, s p a ’ s d e s i g n s h o u l d complement the service menu. The spa’s design should fall in line with the services offered. For instance, you shouldn’t conduct an Ayurvedic massage in a room designed with a Persian theme,” Rekha expressed. While speaking specially in the context of India, Lovina said, “In a culturally diverse

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country like India, a spa facility should ideally reflect our societal, regional and cultural ethos. It should at the same time aspire to carve a niche for itself in the global wellness scenario.” “For example, in a country like India, weddings are huge business and so maybe wedding theme can be used as a central element in spa design. In India, male and female relaxation areas should be demarcated,” she elaborated further. In the Indian context, Rekha suggested the amalgamation of royal Indian touch and professional international experience, not only in the services but also in the décor. “India’s hospitality industry caters to both Indian and international clientele. Thus the spas within the hospitality properties of the country should ideally convey both Indian and international flavours through their design elements,” Rekha, the wellness guru, observed. “Spas should help the clients to connect with nature. So, introduce an element of nature inside the spa, be it a water body, greenery or open air spaces. Moreover, the spa’s design should tell a story and convey the culture of the spa to the client. A private consultation area should be part of the spa design in today’s times. Physiotherapy and yoga rooms should be part of the spa. Prana healing centre and meditation pavilion could be add-on features to the spa,” asserted Rekha. “As far as specifically spas in hospitality properties go, besides incorporation of these features another factor should be kept in mind. There the spa’s theme should match with the hotel’s decor but at the same time it should also be disconnected from the room/suite design,” she proffered.

Case Studies Lovina also talked about some of her creative spa designs. “In one of the spas that I designed we created a ‘no walls’ communal lounge to encourage clients to embrace human bonding and connections. This turned into a great idea as clients would come with friends/family and use their time to nurture themselves and at the same time interact with their close people. In another spa project we created a ‘Retail Therapy’ area. The look and feel of the space was soft and calming unlike a routine retail boutique, where the focus is only on sales. This space also offered express services like a head, and shoulder massage to help guests sample wellness products of the spa.

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As far as environmental-friendly spa designs go, Rekha suggests the use of energy efficient lighting, the usage of nontoxic paints, the use of reclaimed materials and upcycled materials, installation of in-built waste management system and water conservation system, as some of the effective measures to be included for getting environmentally-friendly spas. Moreover, “Spa owners should consciously ask the architect or interior designer to install eco-friendly lights to get long-term benefits,” Rekha opined.

Future Spas

Rekha Chaudhari This eventually resulted in great retail sales for the spa,” she disclosed. Rekha also cited the example of her own Caressaa Day Spa, at Juhu, Mumbai. “The luxurious ambience of this spa complements the unique treatments which we offer. It has a neutral colour palette that is suitably underscored with effective lighting. Since our service menu offers one-of-its-kind services, especially from South-East Asia, the interior of the spa is inspired from that culture. We have used lot of texture on the walls with the help of stone and wood and tastefully selected décor objects to enhance the clients’ experience. The treatment rooms are spacious without being overwhelming, and of course, multi-functionality is an important feature at this spa,” she explained in detail. “The main challenge in developing the spa was space management. Although we had a two-storied space, we had to fit both salon and spa within it. After a lot of discussion with the designer, we were able to get the desired result. Caressaa Day Spa has been operational since 2010, and still gets compliments for its interior design,” she said with a refreshing laugh.

Green Spas In these times, when being eco-friendly is no longer just a choice but a dire necessity for the survival of our future, eco-friendly spa designs can have good market potential. Lovina emphasised on bringing sustainability in every aspect of spa design, which include, according to the wellness expert, usage of eco-friendly building materials, using low consumption lighting among many other factors.

As the guests are getting more and more discerning, and as the definition of wellness is getting broadened, spas are expected to incorporate changes in its design elements. “I can forsee a trend in India where spas will be based on the principles of holistic lifestyle coaching to help guests discover the best possible diet, rejuvenation, stress busting and sleep strategies for their special health concerns too,” Lovina iterated. These developments would reflect in new spa design trends. “In the future, spas in India are expected to have spaces beyond those demarcated for facials and massages, which will help people feel more in sync with their environment. The focus will be on spa design trends which reflect the natural environment and translate into experiences that can immerse guests completely,” she opined. “As far futuristic spa designs in the context of India’s hospitality industry go, there should be an endeavour to look beyond the four walls of a therapy room but yet have your total privacy,” Payal put forward. Acco rd i n g to Re k h a , t h e we l l n ess czarina, “Massage pods or recliner pods, underground pools and Jacuzzis, use of vibrant colours juxtaposed with whites and pastels, installation of one-way French windows offering scenic views, more use of technology-driven concepts,” are some of the futuristic spa design trends expected to emerge in India’s wellness industry. While discussing the spa design trends with these experts, one could easily infer that India’s wellness business is not only headed for impressive growth, but is also passing through exciting developments. This is the right environment for creative spa designers to come up with out-of-the-world and innovative designs to make their mark in the country’s wellness business. n


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A Spa for All Seasons By Sharmila Chand

L

ocated in the heart of the holy city of Amritsar, Hyatt Regency Amritsar offers an ideal zone for respite with a host of energising experiences. Offering world class amenities, seamless comfort, culinary delights and immaculate services, it comes across as an ideal retreat for relaxation after exploring the historic and religious attractions of Amritsar. The hotel offers a modern wellness experience with a landscaped outdoor swimming pool, vitality pool, gymnasium and spa. The vitality pool is talk of the town as no other hospitality property in the city is offering this facility.

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For Holistic Rejuvenation At the hotel, you are pampered with a melange of wellness options such as yoga, Ayurveda and exotic western therapies. One must exploit these choices to help refresh both body and mind. The spa, spread across 5240 square feet, offers eight distinct, beautifully appointed rooms to take you on a relaxing journey, along with a beauty salon and separate wet areas for male and female. Spa at Hyatt Regency Amritsar induces a sense of ease and relaxation the moment you set foot in the spa facility. The entire spa, including rooms, corridors and reception is

dimly lit to create a calming effect on the senses. Beautiful sculptures made of iron and sandstone adorn the entire facility. The light panels, placed in the walls and floors of the corridor, ensure that the lighting is sufficient without being overpowering. Colourful fabrics adorn the ceilings of the treatment rooms, adding character to the ambience with the beautiful colour patterns of the fabrics infusing energy among the guests. For luxury and bonding with partner, guests here can opt for a Couple Spa Room; where couples can spend quality time


Spa

Hotel Business Review

rejuvenating together. Inspired by the legacy of Indian wellness traditions, the spa offers a host of authentic Ayurvedic treatments, executed in specifically designed Ayurvedic treatment rooms. Striking a perfect balance between the traditional and the modern, the Spa at Hyatt Regency Amritsar also offers specially curated western treatments, which are carried out in accordingly designed western treatment rooms. Fortified by the perennial wisdom of Mother Nature and scientifically proven spa techniques, the spa creates personalised experiences so that individual guests with different wellness needs can easily achieve

and maintain wellness in body and spirit. An interesting element which can be found in the entire spa facility including the adjoining hair and beauty salon, are the big chunks of Rock Salt, which can facilitate to keep the negative energy at bay.

Wellness Solutions Succinctly, here there is a combination of spa treatments carefully selected to give you relief from stress. Enjoy a wellness experience with Signature Programs for absolute relaxation. It is advisable to arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment so that you may enjoy the hydrotherapy facilities at the spa. Each

spa treatment starts with a relaxing foot cleansing ritual. Here there are exclusive Ayurvedic rituals including Abhyangam Massage, Shirodhara, Potli Massage, which are complemented by Swedish massage , deep tissue massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, traditional Thai massage among others. There is also an Authentic Signature Massage, which is a combination of both European and Indian treatments. The most popular wellness offering at the Spa is ‘Romantic Gateway for Couple’ treatment, which includes either Swedish or aromatherapy massage for a couple.

Leading Through Wellness A nutritionist with 12 years of experience in the wellness industry, Mahamaya Das Biswas, Spa Manager, Hyatt Regency Amritsar, has been associated with the hospitality sector for the past five years. His areas of expertise include leadership skills, developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and core policies, quality control, inventory management, training on soft skills, budgeting and audit. “I believe my energy, confidence, flexibility, focus and dedication help me to deliver to the best of my abilities and do justice to my job,” he observed. The excerpts of the interview with the seasoned professional follow: What are the kind of changes you have witnessed in India’s spa industry during the past five-six years? In India, during the last few years, spas have enhanced their appeal to broader segments by targeting single men, couples, teenagers, families, athletes and senior age groups. Spas have reengineered their menus to suit different categories of guests. There has been an increased focus on competitive pricing and attractive package offers without sacrificing quality. Nowadays, technology is helping spas reinforce their core values by offering more customer service options. For instance, social media is being increasingly used to update customers about last minute

deals, to book appointments and obtain cancellations. Earlier, people used to have the notion that spas were associated with luxury, but now they have understood that spa treatments are part of living a healthy lifestyle. Nowadays more and more spas in the country are looking to educate their clients about the benefits of spa treatments, particularly stress reduction.

What are the top trends in India’s spa business? Top trends in India’s spa business are more focus on wellness, health & fitness, use of organic and natural products for treatment, focus on stress management,

i n c l u d i n g p ra ct i ces l i ke m i n d f u l n ess and meditation, and customisation and personalisation of services suited to the individual needs of clients.

What are the key challenges towards opening a spa in India? One of the key challenges towards opening a spa in the country is finding qualified staff. Due to high attrition rate in India’s wellness industry, imparting training and delivering consistent services through qualified staff has become quite a challenge. Another challenge towards opening a spa in India is the fierce competition in the wake of rapid growth of India’s wellness industry, which can be overcome by either focusing on a niche service or offering

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an extensive range of unmatched spa experiences under one roof.

How do you decide on the spa menu? While deciding a spa menu, it is important to closely understand the demography and geography of the location where the spa is located or is to be located. In case of an upscale hospitality property like Hyatt Regency Amritsar, the menu of the in-house spa should also take into consideration the profile of the guests who are likely to choose the hospitality property as their hospitality partner during their visit to the city. The kind of wellness treatments and services these guests would prefer should be kept in mind. Besides these, along with all-year treatments, seasonal menu options should also be included to make the spa menu more comprehensive, appealing and holistic in nature. Further, there are some critical factors which play a key role in designing the spa menu. To prepare a decent spa menu, one should see to it that every spa treatment includes a little description of the features of the procedure, along with its benefits, to motivate guests. There should be clarity in treatment pricing, which should be mentioned right below the treatment’s description. The treatments should be neatly categorised so as to make it easy on the eyes under categories like body treatments, facial, add-ons, packages, etc. Proper visuals or images should be included to highlight treatments. Moreover, spa’s policies like booking requirements, hours of operations, amenities, cancellation policy, etc. should be clearly mentioned on the back cover of the menu, along with contact information like name, address, website, phone number and e-mail. The spa menu should be aesthetically designed with an easy to read font and with right ink colour combinations, on good quality paper. It is also very important to screen the menu for typo and grammatical errors, which if continue, can negatively influence the credibility and perception of the business.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Spa Manager? What I enjoy the most as a Spa Manager is facilitating optimum guest satisfaction while running day-to-day operations seamlessly.

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The ability to positively influence the lives of people instills a sense of humility in you and at the same time makes you feel proud and happy about your work and its positive impact on the society.

Throw some more light on your job profile as a Spa Manager As a Spa Manager, I try and instill the organisation’s value system in my team and this in turn helps us service our guests better. As a Spa Manager, I try to follow the highest standards of ethics and professionalism and encourage my team to do the same. I also make an effort to empower my team members by motivating them to take ownership of their job so that they can learn on the job and grow into leadership roles over the years. This gives me immense happiness and satisfaction. As part of the Hyatt Regency Amritsar family, I am happy to be working with such a wonderful organisation which has an

exceptional value system and gives me the freedom to do all the above.

Could you tell us about the USP of the spa managed by you? What distinguishes it from others? The USP of the Spa at Hyatt Regency Amritsar is that it is the only spa in Amritsar with eight treatment rooms. Another one of its kind feature here is the Couple Spa room, which is only such spa facility in the city. We offer an extensive range of treatments. We provide Ayurvedic, western and oriental treatments, along with a full-fledged salon, under one roof. We have a holistic spa menu. Along with treatments available throughout the year, we also offer seasonal treatments; best suited to a particular season.

Can you talk about two of the wonderful treatments offered at the spa Hot Stone Treatment is incorporated with

a customised massage, and it promotes deeper muscle relaxation through the placement of smooth, water-heated river stones at key points on the body. This treatment relieves chronic pain, reduces stress and helps increase the flexibility of joints. Potli Massage therapy is done by using heated herbal pouches, also known as potlis, containing Ayurvedic herbs; both fresh and dried, packed in muslin cloth and dipped in warm medicated oil, which are used for massaging the entire body to enhance blood circulation, ease aches and loosen up and nourish the body. This treatment is often recommended for addressing rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, frozen shoulders, osteoarthritis, etc.

Do you have some customised treatments on offer? Yes, we do have customised treatments like Royal Facial, wherein guests can avail back massage with facial, and The Invigorator, where guests can go for scrub along with any 60-minute full body massage. We also offer treatments customised to match seasonal requirements. For instance, currently we have humid weather condition. Thus for this season, we have the perfect therapeutic treatment in the form of Authentic Signature Massage; a treatment which is a combination of both hot stone and potli therapies. This treatment helps release toxins through lymphatic drainage and facilitates better blood circulation by increasing body temperature, reducing physical discomfort and easing stressed up muscles.

What is your favourite treatment to receive and why it is so? My favourite treatment is Deep Tissue Massage. This treatment involves fluent strokes of different depths and intensity, with long stokes improving lymphatic drainage and circulation. Here acupressure points are used for specific stimulation while stretching increases mobility.

Any other point you wish to make? The focus on your well-being here is not limited to just physical well-being, but on mental and emotional well-being as well. We have treatments which cater to all these aspects with the experts who work here being focused on ensuring that you go back after a treatment thoroughly relaxed, healed and recuperated.


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Hotel Business Review

A Regal Resort, Amidst Nature

By Swarnendu Biswas

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hile sauntering through the stone carved road of Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh one can easily get the impression of being in a majestic fort, straight out of the Rajput era. One can get the feel of being transported to another time… But beyond its huge regal gate, the resort also offers amenities and facilities which can easily satisfy the demands of the discerning travellers and tourists of the twenty-first century. Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh is owned and operated by Kumbhalgarh YatriNiwas Pvt. Ltd.

A Romantic Gateway Located in the vicinity of the mighty Kumbhalgarh Fort, and only two hour drive away from the Udaipur airport, the Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh comes across as a stunning luxury resort and romantic getaway nestled in the Aravalli hills, in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. It is spread across six acres. Here perennial nature, medieval heritage, modern facilities together manages to create a very post-modern reality of hospitality, for both the domestic and inbound travellers. “The resort is designed like a fort and every single stone in the resort has been handpicked and handcrafted to re-create the ageless beauty and opulence of the forts of Rajasthan,” informed Gaurav Shandilya,

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the Hotel Manager of the property. Here the scenic environment around and fresh air can refresh the city jaded souls. From the resort, besides the sombre hills gazing through eternity, one can also view the lake named Lakhela, which though was dry during my visit to the resort, according to Shandilya, gets totally filled up during the rains, thereby adding to the beauty of the surroundings.

The Hotelier’s Vision The 84-room hospitality property was launched in December 2016. Jeetu Mehta, a first generation hotelier who is Mumbaibased, is the man behind the vision, whose fruition took place in the form of this fort styled resort. He was not only guided by the profit motive to come up with this project, but was also induced by the passion to fulfill his childhood dream to do something special for his native village and provide employment to the local people, and promote tourism in the Kumbhalgarh area. “Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh is my tribute to my village. Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh is the first and only luxury resort in Kumbhalgarh. The resort is the perfect blend of traditional design and local flavor, complimented by international standards of service that Ramada brand name brings with it,” Jeetu Mehta pointed out.

The resort is a fully a vegetarian resort. “Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh’s purely vegetarian approach is driven by the philosophy of adopting a ‘compassionate and loving approach’ towards our flora and fauna,” articulated Mehta. “This environmentally-friendly philosophy is deeply ingrained amongst the people of Kumbhalgarh and we have carried forward this sentiment. The people of Kumbhalgarh are passionate about protecting wildlife and animals, and the American catfish pond, located in the vicinity of our resort, is an example of this. The villagers here don’t kill any catfish and protect them because of their belief in respecting lives,” he elaborated further. I also enjoyed a lot while feeding breadcrumbs to the crowd of American catfish in the pond, whose animated expressions in anticipation of the bread crumbs is worth observing.

Room for More The luxurious rooms of the hospitality property can be segmented into six categories; S t a n d a rd , S u p e r i o r,   P re m i e r,   Po o l Villas, the  Regal Suites, and the superexclusive Rani Mahal & Raja Mahal Suites. According to Shandilya, “There are 28 Standard rooms, spread across first and second floors, 26 Superior rooms, 13 Premier rooms, 11 Pool Villa rooms, four


Property

Regal Suites, and one each Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal Suites.” Overall, the guest room facilities include Internet access/Wi-Fi, LCD television, in room digital safe, mini bar, room temperature control facility, hair dryer, tea/coffee making facility, among others. The Pool Villa rooms, on one of which this writer stayed during his visit to the resort, has a swimming pool attached to the classy room. Each Pool Villa room is spread across 905 sq.ft. The Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal Suites embody unbridled opulence. Both are endowed with private pool and jacuzzi. The balcony in each of these ultra luxurious suites opens onto a private terrace with an exclusive outdoor jacuzzi, overlooking the wonderful Aravalli ranges. Both these suites are spread across 1074 sq. ft. each. “The resort has been attracting around 70 percent occupancy per year, on an average, and during our peak period, which spans October-February, the occupancy climbs up to 80 percent and above,” observed Keshar Singh Chauhan, the GM, Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh, who has been associated with the project since June 2015, that is much before the project evolved into a grand property. “During April-September, the resort attracts an average occupancy of 60 percent,” informed Chauhan.

MICE and Wedding Haven “Besides rooms, MICE & weddings are other important verticals of our revenues,” affirmed Chauhan. The resort attracts lots of lavish weddings per year. Family crowd is the main clientele of this luxury resort.

Hotel Business Review

Jeetu Mehta Though Chauhan didn’t divulge the financial details as he said it would go against their “internal policy,” but he asserted that “since its inception, the resort has been doing very well, both in terms of reputation and revenues.” The hospitality property has exhaustive conferencing and banqueting facilities, which can appeal to the MICE and wedding segment. “Our Darbar Hall, which is spread across 6000 sq.ft, doesn’t have a single pillar to ‘interrupt’ the open event space,” observed Khubendra Singh, the Front Office Manager of Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh. This stylish venue can come across as an ideal choice for a wide gamut of gatherings, ranging from weddings and product launches to cocktail parties and business meetings. Darbar Hall can accommodate 625 persons in theatre style and 200-225 persons in classroom style.

“Our other indoor conference venues like Darikhana & Choupal are spread across 2000 sq.ft area with the ceiling height of 14 feet along with the pre-function area, where buffet can be laid,” informed Shandilya. With over 4000 sq. ft. of event space, Darikhana at Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh gives you a pre-function area of 2000 sq. ft. and a main event space of 2000 sq.ft. Choupal too has a pre-function area of 2000 sq. ft. and a main event space of 2000 sq.ft. Both Darikhana and Choupal can accommodate up to 220 guests in theatre style. “Be it a wedding reception or a corporate product launch, the pre-function area of Darikhana and Choupal are ideal for welcoming guests or for displaying corporate or vendor exhibits. Wide and spacious, just outside the main event area and easily configurable, they could be the perfect areas for cocktail hours or event registrations too,” elaborated Singh. “The Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh has arguably the largest banqueting venue in Kumbhalgarh at its lush green, spectacularly manicured and landscaped garden spread across approximately 44,000 sq. ft. area. Named Baradari, this lawn is perfect fo r we d d i n g s , co r p o rate eve nts a n d conferences,” Singh stated further. Baradari can be an apt venue for guests thinking of hosting an opulent wedding or any other outdoor celebrations. It can accommodate 2000 guests at a time. “Overall, the resort is well-equipped to handle thematic gala dinners, corporate award ceremonies, team building activities, conferences & seminars, management

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Hotel Business Review

The Fort with a View

Gaurav Shandilya training, corporate parties & celebrations, HR events, entertainment events, press conferences & press meets among others,” offered Shandilya. “In conferences we do organise LCD projector, mike, audio-visuals, etc. on chargeable basis upon guest/s’ request. Musical evenings with DJ can also be provided on chargeable basis,” he added further.

Veggie Delights at Pangat Pa n g at , t h e 9 6 - cove r m u l t i - c u i s i n e restaurant of the property, which, if one ignores the sleek and huge glass windows, may apparently seem like a medieval fort. Pangat is a wonderful choice for any time of the day. Breakfast offers a choice of international and regional favourites. For lunch and dinner one can enjoy either an à la carte menu or a fabulous buffet. From Pangat, one can enjoy the scenic surroundings while having one’s breakfast, lunch or evening snacks. Despite being a lover of non-vegetarian Mughlai delicacies, I enjoyed the vegetarian offerings at Pangat. “We serve Indian, continental, oriental, and Mexican cuisines. We serve a wide variety of vegetarian dishes to excite and pamper the taste buds of our guests. The most popular dishes at Pangat are traditional delicacies from Rajasthan. Some of them are Gatta Curry with Laccha Parantha, Ker Sangri with Dhaba Roti, Dal Baati Churma, Kadhi Pakora with Khichidi, Rabori Kandha with Makka Roti, Badi ka Saag with Tandoori Roti,” averred Narendra S.Thalal, the Sr.Sous Chef of the resort. However, traditional north Indian dishes like Malai Kofta and Dal Makhni also tasted delicious at Pangat, when we dined there Among the desserts, Rabri, Mango Kulfi, Baadshai Falooda, Mohan Thaal

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M o r e t h a n 6 0 0 - y e a r- o l d Kumbhalgarh Fort, which was built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. The fort, which was the birth place of Maharana Pratap, is only 3 km from the resort. The majestic fort, whose fortifications run long through the hills, is built on the hilltop, 1100 m above sea level. According to Wikipedia, the fort houses over 360 temples, of which 300 are ancient Jain temples and the rest are Hindu ones. Among the Hindu temples, the Ganesh temple, and the Neel Kanth Mahadeva temple are particularly noteworthy, from the tourism point of view. From the fort one can get a mesmerising view of the green and brown Aravalli range. Overall, while walking through the fort, one can feel the glory of Mewar and the pristine charm of nature at the same time, seeping through one’s being. The Light and Sound Show within the fort can give a fascinating feel of the bygone regal aura and also of the romance and valour of the Rajput warrior kings who were associated with this mighty fort. It shouldn’t be missed. are some of the delicious options to savour at Pangat. The Chef informed that he had introduced Makke ka Soweta in the menu during his tenure. “This is a traditional Marwari dish and is very popular in Rajasthan, which is served with makka roti. The guests like the preparation as it is mildly spicy and good for digestion,” he articulated. Eggplant Provencale, an Italian dish, was also introduced by the Chef in the menu of Pangat. According to Narendra S.Thalal, the resort has been getting a section of walkin guests at Pangat not despite it being a vegetarian restaurant, but because it is a vegetarian restaurant.

Other F&B Options Mewadi Thal offers traditional Rajasthani

delicacies to the guest rooms,. Aakhali is the 50-cover coffee shop where one can enjoy filling sandwiches, mouth-watering pastries, cakes, pies, croissants and other bakery and confectionery products, with rejuvenating cups of coffee. And if you are interested to unwind or feel the need to go heady after an excursion to Kumbhalgarh Fort or to the nearby Udaipur, just head for Jalsa – The Bar. Jalsa is well-stocked with spirits. From rare spirits to vintage Champagnes, along with an exhaustive list of cocktails, Jalsa can satiate varied tastes for alcoholic beverages.

Relaxing with Wellness For relaxation and rejuvenation, the resident guests at the resort can head for the swimming pool with clear blue waters, affording wonderful view of the valley, and also at the Akasa Spa, where you can get Indian, oriental as well as western spa treatments. “Our spa sessions offer relaxation & rejuvenation to create a balance between the body and mind,” conveyed Singh. The resort’s expanse of greenery also can be used for a number of outdoor sports like cricket, volleyball, badminton, football, etc. The indoor sports options at the property include air hockey, carrom and chess.

Green Measures Keshar Singh Chauhan

Keeping in line with its corporate philosophy,


Property

Narendra S.Thalal Ramada Resort Kumbhalgarh has an impressive array of environmental-friendly options. “Use of LED lights and CFL, solar panel, STP plant where water is recycled and then used in the garden of the resort, battery operated golf cart, are some of our green measures,” disclosed Chauhan. “In addition, we have linen re-use programme for the guests staying with us for more than one night in place

Hotel Business Review

where tent cards are placed in all guest rooms asking them to let us know if they want us to change the bed or bath linen once their room is being serviced. We a re g ett i n g g o o d s u p p o rt f ro m our guests regarding this. Use of ecofriendly cleaning materials, and energy eff i c i e nt a p p l i a n ces i n k i tc h e n s a re other environmentally-friendly measures adapted at the resort. We also promote organic food in our restaurant & staff cafeteria. We purchase the vegetables f ro m t h e l o ca l ve n d o rs , ” e l a b o rate d Chauhan. The sustainable character of the resort is also reflected by the fact that mostly local craftsmen were being employed for the construction of the property.

Sights and Sounds The earlier mentioned catfish pond, along with Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, and of course the mighty Kumbhalgarh Fort, whose lengthy 36 km walls are the second longest in our blue planet; next only to the Great Wall of China, are some of the wonderful sights and sounds around the resort. It is always intelligent to visit the nearby Udaipur too, from the resort.

Khubendra Singh Among the several tourist attractions of the City of Lakes, a boat ride on the Lake Pichola where one can get to marvel the ethereal Taj Lake Palace in the midst of blue waters, is a memorable experience that shouldn’t be missed even if you are short of time in Udaipur. Another must visit spot in Udaipur is the City Palace, whose museum showcases some enriching facets of Rajput art and culture. n

Signature Scents BY MAS TE R P E RFU ME R V I SHE SH V I J AYV E R G I YA

An exclusive olfactory logo for your brand be it a Hotel, Resort, Spa, or Restaurant by award-winning master perfumer, Vishesh Vijayvergiya. Your signature-scent can be delivered in multiple formats and across all your properties. One breath will remind your clientele of the astounding experience they have had with you. From oil diffusers to air fresheners to water fountains to hot/cold towels, even aroma souvenirs to be given to your guests - your olfactory logo will be everywhere! We have worked with leading brands in India to create their unique signature scent that guests have come to recognize, love and want to be surrounded by. To learn how your brand can benefit from our scent branding expertise email us at vishesh@sugandhco.net today! in.linkedin.com/in/perfumer

/vishesh.vijayvergiya

July-Aug ’18

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Housekeeping

Hotel Business Review

Toiletries Can Make a Difference I

n the hospitality industry, small things can make a huge difference. Take, for example, the case of toiletries in hotels. Imagine visiting a hotel and finding no soap to wash your hands or no tissue to wipe your face. Would you visit that hotel again irrespective of all other ameneties that the property may boast off? The answer is a big no. Fo no one in his or her right senses would like to carry their dental kit, shaving kit, soap, shampoo, body lotion and other toiletries every time they visit a hotel. In fact, no hotel – be it a five-star property or a budget hotel — can hope to attract guests if it finds it hard to spend a fraction of the operating cost on toiletries. But here it derserves a mention that for different hotels, toiletries can serve slightly different purposes. For example, for an unstarred property, these daily essentials may be required to fulfill the basic needs of the guests. But for a five-star property, toiletries may also offer an opportunity to position their branding well, besides helping serve the basic needs. High-end hotels need to give a lot of thought before zeroing in on a particular brand of toiletries as they need to take care of the fact that every product in the hotel needs to blend well with the

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overall branding of the property or group. Offering good quality branded toiletries at free of cost to the guests will lead to extra cost of maintaining a room in a hospitality property, but this additional cost can be more than offset by the corresponding increase in valuation of the property concerned, provided the toiletries are in sync with the market positioning of the property concerned. Now this enhanced valuation among its guests can be encashed by the given hospitality propety by increasing its room rates, without the risk of losing demand for its rooms in the market. S i m i l a r l y, n ot h av i n g t o i l e t r i e s matching the brand positioning of a given hospitality property could lead to lowering of the valuation of the hospitality property concerned among its guests’ perceptions. Es p e c i a l l y fo r s ta r re d h o s p i ta l i ty properties, the toiletries offered should not only match the brand positioning of the hospitality properties concerned, but should offer comprehensive variety. There toiletries should not only be adequate and of good quality, but should also cater to diverse guest utilities. Providing premium quality shaving gel or bath oil in the bathrooms of guest rooms

of a classy hotel can relieve many high-end leisure and business travellers from giving minute focus on their packing. The sense of assurance that they can get after seeing their hotel room’s bathrooms stacked with premium quality toiletries for diverse usage can subconsciously facilitate to induce their repeat visits to the hotel concerned. Although very exclusive and luxurious toiletries would not be needed in a threestar property like they would be needed in a five-star property, but nevertheless, good quality toiletries would be needed in the former to cater to its own niche segment of discerning guests.

Where They are Needed Toiletries are the basic need and they could reflect luxury too. They can range from plain soap cakes for washing hands to shower gel to shaving oil to aroma oil. If the bathrooms in the guest rooms or the restrooms or the spas of the hospitality properties are not spruced with adequate toiletries, then luxurious carpeting or Wi-Fi facility or flat screen TVs or for that matter g re at F & B o pt i o n s , a n d co m p re h e n s i ve wellness and fitness s o l u t i o n s w o u l d n ot b e sufficient to garner the desired level of satisfaction among the discerning guests. Therefore housekeepers should always be vigilant about the fact that the guest rooms and rest rooms and spas of the hospitality properties are having adequate toiletries, all the time. Of course, the role of toiletries is not only crucial in the bathrooms of the guest rooms and in the rest rooms of the hospitality properties, but also across their spas. Without the right kind of toiletries, a comprehensive list of therapies would not be able to bring the desired level of wellness among the guests.


July-Aug ’18

51


IAQ

Hotel Business Review

Tackling Indoor Air Pollution in Restaurants To prevent indoor air pollution in restaurants successfully, all the products used to design the restaurant need to be of good quality — be it the furniture, carpets, blinds or curtains, or even the paint used for the interiors. Moreover, the restaurants and their kitchen/s should be well ventilated, and air-conditioners should be timely serviced By Jyotismita Sharma

T

alk of pollution and the first thing that comes to one’s mind is the smog hanging over cities or the foul smell emanating from garbage dumps littered around the streets. But little attention is often paid to the impact of indoor air pollution (IAP) despite the fact that humans today spend far more time indoors than outdoors. A c c o rd i n g t o t h e W o r l d H e a l t h Organisation (WHO), the combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) air pollution causes about 6.5 million premature deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections. And about 4.3 million people a year die from the exposure to

52

July-Aug ’18

indoor air pollution alone. Now this is a global picture. The problem is actually worse in countries like India which is battling severe pollution.

In low and middle-income countries (LMICs), indoor air pollution is a leading cause of deaths from non communicable diseases, including 25 percent of all deaths from stroke; 15 percent of deaths from heart disease; 17 percent of deaths from lung cancer; and 33 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the WHO.

Air Pollution Inside Restaurant

Prashant Vaidya

Vishi Oberoi, Director of Food & Beverage, Novotel Imagica Khopoli in Maharashtra states that in restaurants, many guests and staff can get affected by faulty fabric used in carpets and soft furnishings, and also through smoke, cleaning chemicals, certain air fresheners, etc. “Often restaurants have live counter


IAQ

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Vishi Oberoi set ups that cause a lot of smoke, which, when inhaled, can have major implications on the health of guests and staff. The room temperatures inside kitchens are generally high and hence the air around it is often humid, increasing the chance of mold and mildew formation. Such polluted air can cause many breathing problems for anyone who inhales this over a prolonged period,” Oberoi said. What he highlights is that Restaurant Managers must ensure that mold formation in restaurants’ premises, especially in the restaurant kitchens, should not take place. Mold formation, which can also result from water leakage, does not only make a place look bad, it can also be a source of indoor air pollution.

Preventing IAP To prevent indoor air pollution in restaurants, Oberoi asserted that, “All the products used to design restaurants should be of good quality — be it the furniture, carpets, blinds or curtains, or even the paint used for the interiors. The restaurant and kitchen should be well ventilated, and air-conditioners should be well maintained and timely serviced.” “ Ro o m f res h e n e rs s h o u l d a l s o b e allergen free and preferably organic in nature,” he specifically pointed out, adding that indoor air pollution can affect the overall hygiene level of the restaurant. “A restaurant with air pollution is more likely to have high pathogen and bacteria levels, which adversely affect the overall

Neeraj Rawoot quality of the food,” Oberoi said. Neeraj Rawoot, Executive Chef, Sofitel Mumbai BKC, agreed when he said that with indoor air pollution, there is always risk of dusts and unwanted toxic particles that carry diseases settling on food items or service plates and eventually transferring to people, which include hotel personnel and guests alike. To maintain healthy air quality within its premises, Sofitel Mumbai BKC tests air samples from different areas. “We have also installed UV lamps in our air-conditioning and ventilation routes, as well as ozonation, a process that helps destroy harmful microorganisms through the infusion of ozone. We also ensure that all air-conditioning and ventilation ducts are regularly deep-cleaned, a process that takes place as often as once every three months,” said Prashant Vaidya, Chief Engineer, Sofitel Mumbai BKC. “Furthermore, we are a non-smoking hotel with only designated outdoor public spaces within the premises allowed for smoking. These are some of the measures that we have taken to maintain the air quality indoors,” Vaidya added. Succinctly, we can see that maintaining good air quality inside the restaurant is extremely important for reducing the risk of several diseases among restaurant personnel and its guests, and also for improving the overall market image of the restaurant. And with proper planning and adequate monitoring, it is not very difficult to achieve. n

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NAVIN POLYCON

Delhi Off.: 81, DSIDC Sheds, Scheme-I, Phase-II, New Okhla Indl. Complex, New Delhi-110020, Phone: 26387377, 26386392, 26386507 Fax: 011-26386063 Mobile: 98102 59863 E-mail: navinpolycon@rediffmail.com www.navinpolycon.com Agra: M/s. Camex India, Ph.:0562-2620720 / 6541904 Mobile: 9837077627 Contact: Mr. Sachin Jain Bangalore: M/s. Celestial Health Care, Mob.: 09343047197 Fax: 080-5504757 Contact: Mr. John Brito Calcutta: Ph.: 033-24554959, 24551558 Contact: Mr. Vipul Jodhpur: M/s. Chemtech Corporation, Mobile: 09829188885 Contact: Dr. A. Hussain

July-Aug ’18

53

SERVING THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 2 DECADES


Pr odu c t Prev i ew

Hotel Business Review

Stitching Quality with Affordability

Lords Wear Pvt. Ltd. deals with uniform, bed and bath linen, mattress and banquet linen. Delivery of uniform can be done in about 15 to 20 days. The company also does customiesd uniform as well. Th e co m p a n y h a s a d i ve rs e clientele, which includes hotels, restaurants, hospitals, Indian Air Force, etc. Its clientele includes hospitality chains like Taj, ITC, Ramada and among others. The company has been engaged in the business of stitching and designing uniforms since the last 33 years. Affordable rates and high quality are the hallmarks of the products of the company. Lords Wear Pvt. Ltd. does not engage in outsourcing and all its products are manufactured in-house. The company maintains a huge fabric stock. It has installed latest machinery in its plants like multi head computer embroider machines, stateof-the-art stitching machines, latest screen printing unit, etc. The company also provides online shopping facility. Lords Wear Pvt. Ltd. has been supplying to various customers all over India & also supplies its products abroad. Lords Wear Pvt. Ltd. delhi@lordsindia.com

From Hotel Furniture to Designer Products and Beyond ….

S.K. International Est. itself in 1984 i.e. 34 Years ago with a group of well qualified and competent Professionals, Hotel executives & engineers with hardcore Professional streams. Today the company has the state of the art well equipped plant to produce undisputed quality products, varied spectrum of design for customised usage and timely delivery. The company specialises in hotel furniture, equipments and custom made products from last 34 years and now the company enters a vast market of office furniture as well as Interior design and execution, which includes complete interior solution from designing to planning, furniture, paint & polish, stone work, ceiling, complete turnkey, etc. Its after continuous process of hard work, research & development the brand SKI developed its other Companies i.e. SKI PROJECTS which undertakes the interior designing & execution work and EURO MOBEL for the office furniture and desking solution. The company setup includes a well experienced team of architects, Interior designers, 3D designers, etc. and latest modular furniture manufacturing plant for the quality, finishing and timely delivery of the products. Known for the quality, reliability and environmental responsibility the company steps in the vast field to cater a larger clientele. “The bitterness of inferior quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” S.K. International sanjay.skinternational@gmail.com HOSPITALITY OFFICE & INTERIORS SINCE 1984

S.K.International other brands :

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SKI HOSPITALITY FURNITURE & EQUIPMENTS An ISO 9001:2008 Certified Company

July-Aug ’18

SKI DESIGN

EXECUTION & TURNKEY

SKI OFFICE FURNITURE & DESKING SYSTEMS

Infuse Supreme Elegance to Interiors

Supreme Furniture, a leading manufacturer and supplier of superior quality plastic furniture, has introduced a vast range of stylish and colourful designer plastic chairs & dinning sets, which are not only suitable for homes, but for also hotels and restaurants. Here it deserves a mention that Supreme Furniture offers products for home usage, office usage as well as for commercial usage. Supreme Furniture can be used in restaurants, cafés, schools, institutes, hospitals, parlours, shops, outdoor event lawns, etc.

Supreme Furniture, renowned for its sheer durability and stunning design styles, promises a riot of colours at attractive cost. Supreme Furniture brings to you the latest collection in the form of Cruz (Coke Red & Black), Futura (Green), Oak (Amber Gold), Web (Red) and Amazon (Globus Brown). The superior quality chairs are ever so sleek and compliments the ever-changing tastes of newage consumers. These durable and termite proof stackable chairs are high on fashion and also take very less space. Moreover, the plastic chairs of Supreme Furniture are weather-proof and thus are appropriate for garden parties. Supreme Furniture uses 100 percent virgin polymers and computerised designer art moulds to produce over one million pieces of modern plastic furniture every month. The buyers can mix and match the chairs with variety of tables from the same brand for contributing towards modern, comfortable & sophisticated interiors. Here it deserves a mention that Supreme Furniture is available across India through a large network of distributors as well as retailers. Due to its design language and adherence to international standards, the company’s products are exported to various countries across the globe. Supreme Furniture furniture@supreme.co.in


Pr odu c t Prev i ew

Hotel Business Review

Versatile Tableware

METINOX India is a dynamic company manufacturing and distributing kitchenware and tableware. The company is headquartered in Delhi with modern manufacturing and distribution facility. METINOX created new standards in quality and design in its products development. The extensive range of kitchenware and tableware is created to the satisfaction, effectiveness, durability and versatility for the users. The company values customer’s ex p e ctat i o n s and deliver on a timely basis. Being p res e nt p a n India, METINOX offers its comprehensive range at viable price range. METINOX optimizes product range, design and service to keep pace with the times thereby achieving excellence. The company maintains and follows quality managements to make ideal products. Internal quality control team equipped with advance testing facilities deliver quality products. It regularly performs assessments on products and its standards. The research team is always remain well versed with market conditions and trends, to upgrade its range. It has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, CAD software, and CNC machine workshops, advanced production process, and experienced engineers & technicians. The company keep investing in R&D and frequently updates the designs defining new trends. The products are manufactured with high grade stainless steel and the range of cutlery and kitchen tools is synonymous with quality, durability, and class. The range includes cutleries, tableware & serves ware, kitchenware, turners and spatulas, tongs, chef helpers, wire ware, hotel ware. METINOX India metinoxindia@gmail.com

Evolis Launches Edikio

Evolis, the worldwide leader in plastic card personalisation solutions, has developed three new all-in-one solutions for food tags on PVC cards, which meet the diverse needs of the hospitality industry. These solutions are Edikio Access, Edikio Flex and Edikio Duplex. They would remove hassles of unattractive labeling on paper tags! The Edikio PVC card printing system creates and prints durable, easy-to-clean buffet or food tags within seconds. In addition to saving time and respecting hygiene rules, Edikio solutions also offer the opportunity to perceive buffet tags as true marketing tools; a harmonised display, clearly l e g i b l e, c l e a n a n d a es t h et i c that can reflect the professional i m a g e of t h e hotel. All Edikio s o l u t i o n s a re c o m p r i s e d of ca rd d es i g n software, a card p r i nte r, b l a n k PVC cards and a print ribbon, enabling cards to be printed quickly and independently onto a PVC card. Buffet tags can thus be created at any time, directly in the hotel premises, individually or in batches. The printers operate just as easily as an office desktop printer. The PVC cards and the print ribbon included in the Edikio pack are installed in a single format. Evolis Card Printer India Pvt. Ltd. pjindam@evolis.com

Advertiser’s Index Company

Page No.

Company

Page No.

akasa international

12

mehta furnishers

41

charnock equipments pvt. ltd.

01

Metinox india

35

chair craft india pvt. ltd.

navin polycon

53

pushkal textiles

29

fabscapes 12

RANS TECHNOCRATS (iNDIA) PVT. LTD.

19

gralit india biotech p. ltd.

27

rational international india pvt. ltd.

06

home comfort texo fab

08

remington steel arts

54

home zone india

25

samrat furnishers

31

hostech 2018

45

s.k. international

23

ifb industries ltd.

07

sugandhco pvt. ltd.

infinity hygiene care

10

trend n design

evolis card printer india pvt. ltd.

17 FIC

49 BIC

kesri transcontinental bc

Venus Industries

05

loomcrafts furniture india pvt. ltd.

11

winterhalter india pvt. ltd.

11

lords wear pvt. ltd.

13

July-Aug ’18

55


Intervi ew

Hotel Business Review

Thriving on Positive Attitude and Team Work By Sharmila Chand

What is the USP of the properties you are managing? The service and the very friendly down to earth approach is our USP, which makes us different from other hospitality properties in the town. Our philosophy is service dil se. We inspire and train each of our staff to work with the same work philosophy. My staff’s dedication and endeavour in exceeding guest expectations make us different.

Amit Rawat, the General Manager of Treehouse Neptune and Treehouse Neptune Inn, Goa, both located in Panjim, has 13 years of experience to his credit. He began his career with Taj Group of hotels and then got an opportunity to work with Starwood and Rixos brands in Dubai. He is skilled at maintaining service standards/ operational policies, and planning and implementing effective control measures to reduce running costs of the property. He is experienced in coordinating manpower planning, recruitment, selection, induction and socialisation activities. He can also contribute to the policy formulation of the organisation. The excerpts of the interview follow: 56

July-Aug ’18

amongst our regular guests.

Could you reflect on the future plans and new initiatives you wish to undertake in the properties managed by you? We plan to launch an exclusive corporate floor and F&B outlet in one of these two properties.

What is the most crucial issue to tackle in India’s hospitality industry?

Please tell us about the green initiatives of the properties managed by you

H o s p i ta l i ty i s a l l a b o u t m a n a g i n g people, and to deal with their emotions & expectations creatively and sincerely is the most crucial part of it.

We strongly believe in sustainability practices like energy saving, recycling and reducing our wastage. We use soap and shower gel dispensers to avoid wastage.

What do you enjoy the most about being at the helm of affairs at these hotels?

What is the marketing strategy you have adopted to promote the properties managed by you? As far as marketing goes, we have a very strong digital and social media presence. A lot of our marketing is also fostered by the word of mouth, and by repeat guests.

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? F&B plays a very vital role in getting business for a hotel as guests might forget the room size but are not likely to forget the taste of the food they had. I think F&B is actually the soul of the hotel.

What would you say is the differentiating factor of your F&B outlets? Our Chefs are known to offer home style food as per guests’ preferences. They are skilled to prepare local as well as Continental dishes. Our food is very popular

To see smile on people’s face, whether they be our guests or employees, comprise the most enjoyable moments of my work profile.

What do you think makes for a good GM of a hotel? A good GM sets the right vision for his/ her team, is well disciplined, has strong determination to achieve the set goals, and an ability to think out of the box.

What is your strength/s, professionally? My positive attitude in accepting all the challenges with a smile is my strength.

How do you de-stress? I normally don’t get stressed, and if I get, I just like to be alone and listen to some good music for some time.

What is your working mantra, your guiding philosophy at work? My work mantra is ‘Together we can!’ I strongly believe that even the toughest of the situations can be handled with team work.


May-June ’18

65

Profile for Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd

Hotel Business Review (July-August 2018)  

Here we have covered the quick spread of branded budget hotels in India’s hospitality industry, which is a product of the growth of India’s...

Hotel Business Review (July-August 2018)  

Here we have covered the quick spread of branded budget hotels in India’s hospitality industry, which is a product of the growth of India’s...

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