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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 Resident Editor

Sharmila Chand (Delhi) Ashok Malkani (Mumbai) Feature Editor

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Rajat Taneja Editorial & Advertising Offices: Delhi:

Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 1202, Pragati Tower, 26, Rajindra Place, New Delhi-110008, India Phone: 91-11-45084903, 25854103 Telefax: 91-11-25854105 Mumbai:

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E-mail: hammerpublishers@vsnl.net Website: www.hbrmag.com © 2012 Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. No article can be reproduced in part or as whole without prior permission of the Publisher. Hammer Hotel Business Review is a bi-monthly magazine, printed and published by Rajneesh Sharma on behalf of Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1202, Pragati Tower, 26 Rajindra Place, New Delhi. Printed at Print Creations, C-112/3, Basement, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase - 1, New Delhi 110 028. Annual Subscription rate within India is Rs. 450 and overseas US $110, for surface mail. Single issue is available for Rs. 90 in India and US $25 overseas. Cheques are payable to Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 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.

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With the increased tensions of our fast-paced lifestyles, the increasing incidences of lifestyle diseases in our cluttered lives; with the increased disposable incomes in select pockets of Indian society and side by side the growing consciousness towards holistic health and wellness in the society at large have contributed towards the demand for upscale spa resorts and wellness vacations in urban India. Wellness vacations are becoming popular, not only among the young and the trendy, but also among the old and the moneyed, and a section of people in India are now earnest about combining the enjoyment of a holiday with the rejuvenation of a spa. And true to the characteristics of a fast-growing economy, this demand is quickly met by the supply, which is now being reflected in a number of high-end spa resorts, and opulent spas in five-star hotels across the country. The Indian spa industry is showing an impressive growth of 20-30 percent per annum. According to the figures of the Spa Association of India, the Indian spa industry has over 2,300 spas, and it generates around $400 million annually. India has great opportunity for becoming an ideal destination for spa tourism if it can promote its Ayurveda and yoga in a more scientific and creative manner to its twenty-first century domestic and inbound tourists, and at the same time, assimilate the knowledge of modern western therapies in a more proactive manner across its spas. Already such a trend is gaining momentum in India’s burgeoning wellness industry. One of the effective channels through which spas in hotels and resorts can greatly enhance their revenues is through medical tourism. However, the spa segment of India is beset with challenges too. The severe paucity of trained spa therapists and the rampant proliferation of sleazy massage parlours masquerading as spas are marring the developments in the wellness scenario of the country to a great extent. It is about time that the business of spas in India becomes more regulated than it is now, and also more professional in its approach. We have tried to cover some classy spa resorts in the country and also the prominent spa trends in our Cover Story, which we hope our readers would find interesting. Like spa tourism, the religious tourism in India too has great potential for the Indian tourism and hospitality industry. In fact, the potential of religious tourism was always there, unlike the potential for spa tourism, which is a recently developing trend. We all know that India gets a plethora of domestic and inbound religious tourists every year, but the number can greatly enhance if we can improve the cleanliness and enhance the hospitality infrastructure of our destinations of religious tourism, and introduce more innovative tourism packages at times of our fairs and festivities. Here we have attempted to explore the topic of religious tourism, along with reference of some recent developments to bolster its growth, in our Business Story. Besides these highly relevant topics, our regular and additional features, together with our coverage of news and events, are geared to give our esteemed readers quality time between the pages.


HOTEL B u s i n e s s

R e v i e w

An Exclusive Business Magazine for the Hotel Industry

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inside COVER STORY

Wellness vacations are gaining popularity among both young and the old. Combining the benefits of a spa visit with a holiday, either within India or overseas, is becoming increasingly popular among upwardly mobile Indian tourists.

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ENVIRONMENT

It is not uncommon to see hotel chains in India embarking on a green journey and introducing a bouquet of eco initiatives. Budgetary allocations are made, eco policies are laid out and teams are formed to execute eco initiatives in hotels.

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BUSINESS

F&B

Planning the renovation of a restaurant or a discotheque/ nightclub in a hotel is no doubt, a daunting task. But by methodical planning, one can execute a seamless renovation strategy.

This enduring influence of religion in India is being misused by cunning charlatans and fake godmans, but the influence of religion in India’s socio-cultural environment has immense potential for being constructively used by the Indian tourism and hospitality industry.

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TECHNOLOGY

Sound is a critical element in creating the right ambience in a hotel. A high quality ‘background music system’ (BGM) will enhance the ambience, helping the guests relax. The influence of the BGM is subtle yet substantive.

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DESIGN

Wall coverings for the hospitality industry are very vital, as aesthetically, they provide a rich, timeless, warm and textured appearance to walls, which is not otherwise possible through routine paints.

DEPARTMENTS PROPERTY

At Aamod Dalhousie, a resort nestled amidst sombre and silent green mountains of Himachal Pradesh with floating clouds caressing the peaks, environment-friendliness is amply complemented by invironment friendliness.

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Event

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News Scan

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Appointments

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Spa

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Focus

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Product Preview

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Business Opportunity

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Interview

Cover Pix: The Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur

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Event

HOTEL Business Review

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Transact Technologies, Dabon International, and Wi-Not Beverage Solutions. Top international companies from Spain, Chile, USA, Australia, Italy, China, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand, Poland, Mexico, Pakistan, Iran, and of course, India showcased their varied range of specialty and fine foods, gourmet foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, ingredients and spices, bakery and biscuits, confectionaries and snacks, dairy, and hospitality services. Discussing about international participation, Andreas Karaiskakis, Minister Plenipotentiary for Economic & Commercial Affairs, the Embassy of Greece, commented, “Fine Food India

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iversified Communications, the global organiser of food exhibitions across four continents, ran the second edition of Fine Food India in September 2012. The three day event was held at the Pragati Maidan Exhibition Centre in New Delhi, during 17th–19th September 2012. Over 3500 retailers, buyers, importers, and hoteliers attended the show to meet manufacturers, producers, exporters, and sellers of food and drink items in India and around the world. Major participating brands included Pepsi, Electrolux, Himalayan Waters, Nestle, Rational, Amrit Food, Tata Chemicals and AGS

A Tasty Recipe for Success is an interesting show in India. It is very well organised and the exhibiting companies are quite relevant to the business. The organisers are doing a good job in putting together a show of this calibre. It is the first time for Olivéma, a Greek company, to participate in Fine Food India and we will surely encourage other Greek companies to participate in this show, in the years to come.” Along with excellent opportunities for networking and business development, the show hosted informative business fora, cooking demonstrations, international and local wine tastings, and Chef ’s masterclasses. Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, the Director of


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Olive Bar & Kitchen, also popularly known as Chef Saby, inaugurated the Chef ’s Master Class Theatre on 17th September. A seasoned food & beverage professional, Chef Saby elaborated on the ‘Art on plate’ methodology during his session in the Chef ’s Masterclass and explained that cooking is an art. He generously shared his ideas and recommendations on unique and exotic dishes, and also suggested useful tips and easier methods of cooking to his audience. Other top Chefs to demonstrate their culinary skills in the Food Theatre and Chef ’s Masterclass were Chef Manish Mehrohtra, the Executive Chef of Indian Accent, Chef Yutaka Saito of Megu, The Leela Palace, Chef Mickey Bhoite of Le Cirque, The Leela Palace, Chef Gagandeep Sawhney of Qube, The Leela Palace, Chef Mohammed Jalaludeen from The Leela Palace, Chef Ludovic, International Culinary Advisor from Elle & Vire, Chef Thomas Blanchard, the Executive Chef from L’Opera, Chef Barnhard from The Lalit Hotel, and Chef Nishant Choubey from Dusit Bird Hotel. The Indian Sommelier Championship continued its traditon of awarding the best sommeliers in India, in the 5th Indian Sommelier Championship; held on 17th September, at the Drinks Academy. Sommelier Magandeep Singh, the founder of Wi-Not Beverage Solutions Pvt. Ltd., conducted the championship. Sommelier Gurjit Singh Barry and Sommelier Gagandeep Singh hosted international wine tastings, whereas mixologist Yangdup Lama, Shariq Khan, and Jon Lilly conducted sessions on cocktail making, mixing and vodka tasting respectively. Top restaurateurs from all over India attended the Restaurant Forum on the first day, which was moderated by Samir Kuckreja, the Founder & CEO, Tasanaya Hospitality, and the President of National Restaurant Association of India(NRAI). The Retail Forum on the second day recorded full

Event

attendance. Major retailers like Avni Biyani, the Chief Executive Officer of Future Group, Mini Yadav, the Owner of Le Marche, Mohit Khattar, the MD and CEO of Godrej Nature’s Basket, Sanjay Tandon, the Managing Director of Epicure Frozen Foods and Beverages, and the Vice President of Dabon International (P) Ltd. and Claude Bertrand, the CEO of Dabon International were some of the guest speakers who discussed opportunities for the Indian retailers to evolve with the changing Indian palate. Both the sessions in the Business Forum gave the food service operators and restaurateurs across India an understanding of the new trends, platform to discuss ideas, witness latest innovations and view a wide range of products specific to the industry. According to Paul Phelan, International Director, Diversified Communications India, “Fine Food India 2012 was once again a great success with 135 exhibitors from 19 countries doing business with over 3500 visitors. The ultimate aim of bringing together the hospitality, and food and beverage industry was not only accomplished but also exceeded our expectations. We believe that those who participated at Fine Food India as either exhibitors or visitors have definitely benefited through this initiative, and can imbibe what they have learnt, while moving forward in their own businesses.” The exhibition closed with a note of thanks to the participants, with a promise to come back with an even bigger and better Fine Food India, in December 2013.


News Scan

HOTEL Business Review

Goa to be a Destination of International Class The government of Goa is on the lookout for international consultancies for turning Goa into a world class tourism destination, said Samuel Mathew, the Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Goa on the 2nd day of the 47th Annual FHRAI (Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India) Convention at The Leela, Goa. Mathew said, “Goa has been doing beach tourism for over 40 years now and monotony has set in. We are looking for international agencies, which can provide us with the consultancy services. Goa is a major international tourist destination but the next step required is to make Goa into a destination of international class. We are planning to look at the possibilities in developing beach shacks, water sports, etc.” Sounding a word of caution, he also mentioned that the growth has to be sustainable. “We also have to take care of environmental issues and local population. They have to be protected. Tourism is a multi-dimensional industry and many inter-departmental procedures are to be followed.” On the demands of FHRAI pertaining to the taxation, he said that broadly, taxes need to be rationalised across the board. Double taxation should be avoided and every state has different priorities. In Goa also there are issues related to the land acquisition, casinos, etc.

Blu Day Celebrated At Radisson Blu Hotel PV Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar, as part of its ‘Turning the World Blu’ campaign, celebrated the second successful year of its new brand identity on 28th September 2012, in the form of Blu Day. To celebrate this very special day, apart from blue coloured decoration in the entire hotel, various indulging activities like a Blu High Tea, complimentary Blu cocktails, mocktails, desserts and games were organised for the guests. “The Turning the World Blu campaign marks a new milestone for the Radisson Blu brand, as for the first time Carlson Rezidor is investing in a global campaign that will see the brand reaching out to guests around the world,” said Preet Inder Singh, the General Manager, Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar. This campaign is part of the Asia Pacific’s three-year brand investment strategy to encourage travellers to ‘Discover Radisson Blu’. “The integrated brand campaign focuses on promoting Radisson Blu brand hallmarks, which are unique touch points for the guests when they stay with us. Through the campaign, we aim to reach out and engage more guests to appreciate the World of Radisson,” he added. ○

Reason to Cheer for the Hospitality Industry The inaugural session of the 47th Annual FHRAI (Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India) gave the hospitality industry a reason to cheer. The Union Minister of Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahai promised that he would help the industry in acquiring the much required ‘infrastructure’ industry status. Much to the delight of a full house (more than 800 members attending at the Convention), Sahai said, “I have met the Honourable Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram recently and have raised the issue of granting infrastructure status to the hotel and restaurant industry. I have also been discussing this with the Infrastructure Committee and promise that the anomalies present in the current status of infrastructure to the industry will be removed.” The theme of the three-day convention was ‘Employment Generation: Engine of Inclusive Growth. For the first time, the FHRAI convention was being webcasted all over the world.

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News Scan

HOTEL Business Review

Shruti Shibulal Joins The Tamara Tamara Real Estate Holding & Development Pvt. Ltd. has announced that Shruti Shibulal, the daughter of Infosys Cofounder and CEO, S D Shibulal, has been appointed as the company’s Head — Corporate Strategy. Shruti, a Promoter & Director at The Tamara, was appointed in this executive role, which came into effect from 3rd September 2012. She will work under guidance of Senthil Kumar — the Director &CEO, The Tamara. Shruti is very much earnest on promoting sustainable living and responsible tourism in India. Her vision has now been translated into The Tamara Coorg. She hopes that the future generations will respect and enjoy this hospitality concept, developed in tandem with the natural beauty and eco-system of Coorg. As Head— Corporate Strategyat The Tamara, she is envisaging towards long-term business growth of the company while maintaining the key company principles on responsible tourism. She will play a crucial role in shaping the future direction of The Tamara’s hospitality business in India, which includes expansion into Kodhaikanal and Allapuzha. The Tamara Coorg has been conceptualised as a hymn to the beauty of the Western Ghats Mountains, located in the southern part of Kodagu (Coorg) district. Revealed to the world in 2012, the resort presides over an estate of 170 acres; producing coffee, cardamom, pepper, honey and mixed woodlands on the ragged slopes of an east-facing hill. The breathtaking and eco-friendly ambience compliments the natural environment, adding superb

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luxuries to create an experiential getaway. The Tamara Coorg has some 30 awe-inspiring cottages, built on stilts on the steep slope with picturesque views over the valley. The resort has silent, emission-free electric vehicles for guests’ movement. The multi-cuisine restaurant named ‘The Falls’ offers regional, national, international & fusion cuisines, in an atmosphere of warmth and elegance and featuring a see through dance floor. ‘The Deck’, is the luxurious lounge bar and grill of the property, and ‘The Verandah’ offers a heritage ambience mixed with a rich coffee experience. The multi-purpose conference and recreation space can host groups comprising up to 60 participants. It is suitable for senior management conferences, board meetings, and leadership training sessions. In the near future, the on-site facilities at the property will include a holistic spa, a swimming pool and a sports arena. ○

Carnation Hotels Enters in to a Management Contract Carnation Hotels has announced the signing of a management contract for the Himachal Pradesh-based upscale Suryavilas Luxury Resort & Spa. The 36-room property, which is owned by Bajaj Hill Resorts Pvt. Ltd., entered into a 10-year renewable agreement with Carnation Hotels for management of the property. Under the agreement, Suryavilas will become part of the Lemon Tree Premier portfolio. Here it deserves a mention that Carnation Hotels is a joint venture between Rattan Keswani and Lemon Tree Hotels. Suryavilas is an upscale luxury resort in Himachal Pradesh, and it is currently under development. It shall expand to 50 rooms from its current 36 rooms. The property is situated off the Kumarhatti-Nahan Road in Solan district, which is a 55 km drive from Chandigarh. The management and operations of the resort will be taken over by the Lemon Tree Group from 1st December 2012 and this resort will be known as a ‘Suryavilas, a Lemon Tree Premier Resort’, effective 1st February 2013, after amalgamation of all systems. The agreement was signed by Rattan Keswani, CoPromoter and Managing Director, Carnation Hotels and Anil Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Hill Resorts Pvt. Ltd. Rattan Keswani, Co-Promoter and Managing Director, Carnation Hotels said, “We are delighted to add Suryavilas to the growing Lemon Tree Premier portfolio. This resort gives us a ready foothold in the lucrative resort and spa market in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. It enriches the portfolio mix for our brand. We are exploring the option of setting up more Suryavilas resorts with Lemon Tree Premier branding with the Bajaj family.” Gayatri Bajaj, the Managing Director, Suryavilas Luxury Resort & Spa said, “Apart from the advantage of bringing world class management to the table, this agreement will help Suryavilas gain tremendously in terms of global exposure and also in terms of access to consumers by being part of this fast growing group.”


News Scan

HOTEL Business Review

Accor Increases its Room Across Asia-Pacific With the opening of ibis Hong Kong Central and Sheung Wan, Accor, the largest international hotel operator in AsiaPacific, has stated that it now operates over 100,000 rooms in the region. Accor AsiaPacific’s Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Michael Issenberg announced this achievement at the 2012 Economy Hotels World Asia conference in Singapore, reaffirming the group’s growth strategy for the Asia-Pacific. Issenberg also revealed the findings of Accor’s Asia Economy Hotels Research 2012, which seeks to better understand the attitudinal differences between travellers staying at economy hotels. Till date, Accor operates 179 ibis brand family hotels in Asia-Pacific, including 113 ibis, 42 ibis Styles and 24 ibis budget properties. The growing demand for international standard, valuefor-money economy hotels induced Accor to commission

the Asia Economy Hotels Research 2012. The study surveyed business and leisure travellers from eight key markets in Asia to gather insights into the differing attitudes towards economy hotels. According to the research, six out of ten travellers in Asia prefer international economy hotel brands to domestic brands and assign different ‘personalities’ to them. International brands were considered “stylish, high-class, reliable, attractive and energetic” compared to domestic brands, which tended to be viewed as “down-to-earth, practical, approachable, and considerate.” “The Asia-Pacific region is one of Accor’s strategic growth markets, and I congratulate the regional team and our partners on passing the key milestone of 100,000 rooms in the region,” commented Denis Hennequin, Accor’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Speaking at the 2012 Economy Hotels World Asia conference in Singapore, Issenberg said, “Today Accor operates 536 hotels in 16 countries across Asia-Pacific and is the market leader in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam. I am proud to announce that Accor’s network has grown beyond 100,000 rooms in Asia-Pacific, with the opening of ibis Hong Kong Central and Sheung Wan.”

Accolade for Aditya Hometel Aditya Hometel has won the prestigious Awards for Excellence in the Best Maintained Property, in three-star category. The award was conferred by the Minister for Tourism & Culture of Andhra Pradesh, Vatti Vasant Kumar, on the occasion of the World Tourism Day on 27th September, at a ceremony held at Ravindra Bharathi Bhavan, Hyderabad. The award was received by Deepkumar Gupta, the General Manager of Aditya Hometel. The esteemed award is being given to Aditya Hometel for its continuous focus on adopting and following the best practices in hotel management. Aditya Hometel is a three-star hotel embodying a unique vision of hospitality and service elegance. Aditya Hometel is one of the best three-star hotels in Hyderabad that attracts guests from all over the country. On this occasion, Deepkumar Gupta, the General Manager of Aditya Hometel said, “We are happy to receive this prestigious award. This award is in recognition of our efforts and initiatives in this direction. We strongly believe in innovation and are constantly striving to deliver the best for our guests. We will continue to strive hard to maintain the property. This award motivates and inspires us to be more focussed towards scaling new heights. “

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HOTEL Business Review

News Scan

Lemon Tree Shines in HR Leadership

Vivek Nair Elected as the President of FHRAI

Lemon Tree Hotels has notched up a winning performance in the realm of HR. Davander Tomar, the Executive Vice President — Corporate Affairs, Lemon Tree Hotels has been felicitated with the prestigious ‘HR Leadership Award’ for the year 2012, by the Asia Pacific HRM Congress, at a glittering event in Bengaluru. The Asia Pacific HRM Congress is one of the most prestigious HR summits in the world. It is a global human resource forum that partners with 52 Asian countries. “This award is a representation of the values we bring to our work at Lemon Tree Hotels. It is a team effort and all of us come together to promote a professional open culture,” said Davender Tomar. Patu Keswani, the Chairman and Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, expressed happiness on the occasion and said, “It is a matter of great pride for everyone at Lemon Tree that Davander has been awarded the HR Leadership Award at the Asia Pacific HRM Congress. This award highlights the progressive HR policies and practices we follow at Lemon Tree, and showcases the professional talent we have built here.”

At the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), Vivek Nair, the ViceChairman & Managing Director of Hotel Leelaventure Limited, has been elected as the President of FHRAI, for 2012-13. One of India’s most accomplished and respected hoteliers, Nair previously served as the FHRAI President during 2003-04. The newly elected FHRAI President highlighted the tourism sector’s vast intrinsic potential to act as a catalyst for generating large-scale employment and promote equitable and inclusive economic growth. Nair pointed out that the Indian hotel industry is poised to commit a capital investment of 1,27,600 crores to bridge the projected shortfall of over 1,80,000 rooms in the country, over the next decade. He urged the government to facilitate a progressive and conducive policy framework for enabling the industry to viably undertake this massive additional investment. This includes granting ‘infrastructure’ status to the sector as a whole, by removing the restrictive stipulation presently prescribed in the ‘Harmonized List of Infrastructure Sub-sectors’. Nair also requested all state governments to accord the sector ‘industry’ status, so that all the hotels become entitled to industrial rates on inputs such as power, water, etc. instead of paying commercial tariff. In view of the acute scarcity and exorbitant price of land in metro cities, he asked for a liberalisation of FSI/FAR norms and informed about FHRAI’s detailed submission in this regard to the Ministry of Urban Development, during consultations for DDA’s MPD-2021.

SIHRA Re-elects K Syama Raju as the President South India Hotels & Restaurants Association (SIHRA) has re-elected K Syama Raju, the Managing Director, Hotel Maurya Bangalore as its new President for 2012-13. The 61st Annual General Meeting of SIHRA, held at Marigold GRT Convention Centre Chennai has decided that the managing committee members for the last year will continue for another term. The other office bearers include T Nataraajan, CEO, GRT Hotels & Resorts as Secretary; M Chakravarthy, Director, Emerald Park Hotel, Chennai as Treasurer. The Vice-Presidents include Jose Dominic, MD & CEO, CGH Earth; K Murali Rao, MD, New Woodlands Hotel Private Ltd; GV Krishnaiah and KL Ramnatha Bhat, Managing Partner, Sri Hariram Hotel. MP Purushothaman is the President of Honour.

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HOTEL Business Review

The Imperial Bestowed With ‘International Gold Star for Quality Award’ In recognition of outstanding commitment to quality and excellence, The Imperial, New Delhi has been bestowed with ‘International Gold Star for Quality Award’ at the 37th International Star Quality Convention Geneva 2012, held during 29th-30th September.. The award is in the realm of customer satisfaction, leadership, innovation and prestige as established in the QC100 TQM Model, part of the annual program of B.I.D., Business Initiative Directions Awards; designed to recognise the prestige of the outstanding companies, organisations, and business persons in the business world. The award was received by Vijay Wanchoo — Senior Executive Vice President & General Manager, The Imperial, New Delhi, and the ceremony was attended by companies from 74 countries, together with leaders from different business fields, professionals from the world of economics, the arts and corporate image, quality experts, as well as academic personalities and representatives from the diplomatic corporations.

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News Scan

ITC Grand Chola Launched in Chennai ITC has added another feather in its cap by unveiling ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. Reaffirming its commitment to the ethos of ‘Responsible Luxury,’ ITC Hotels has secured a LEED® Platinum rating, by India Green Building Council (IGBC) for this 600-room premium luxury hotel in Chennai. This coveted achievement has made ITC Grand Chola the world’s largest LEED Platinum rated

hotel in the New Construction category. This LEED Platinum rating can be construed as the recognition of ITC Grand Chola’s commitment to perform to the highest standards of energy, water and waste efficiency and also the ITC Hotels’ commitment to continue to provide inspiration to the green building movement in India. 100 percent of the electrical energy demands of the hotel will be met through renewable energy sources. Efficient fixtures will reduce the building’s water use by 35 percent, as compared to internationally benchmarked luxury hotel standards and 100 percent of the hotel’s waste will be recycled for useful purposes. The ITC Grand Chola comprises 522 rooms and 78 luxuriously appointed serviced apartments. Its 600 spacious guest rooms, suites and luxury serviced apartments are the epitome of Indian grace and style; expertly spruced with thoughtful amenities. It is expected to exceed the needs of both the business travellers as well as the bespoke requirements of the destination connoisseurs. With a built up area of close to 1.5 million square feet, ITC Grand Chola is inspired by the architectural splendour and rich culture of the imperial Cholas. It is a tribute to the remarkable vision of a memorable era, long gone by. ITC Hotels' tradition of culinary excellence is taken to the next level at every one of the ten food and beverage outlets at ITC Grand Chola. This luxury hotel in Chennai plays host to the most comprehensive selection of fine dining and F&B options, which include ITC Hotels' world renowned, award winning cuisine brands, along with offerings that are unique to the hotel. Here you can discover new flavours from Asia and Italy.


HOTEL Business Review

Spring Air Enhances Sleeping Luxury Spring Air Bedding Co. is a bedding company from USA, with operations in India. Founded in 1926 in USA, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious companies in the US bedding industry. The company’s products are currently sold in over 40 countries under the Spring Air brand and are now available across India. In India, the company has facilities in north and south India and a presence with over 250 retailers across the country. Its new range of Europedic and Nature’s Rest mattresses assure complete support to your neck, shoulder and hip. Spring Air’s series of ‘Europedic Combination Mattress’ uses memory foam, the most advanced material in the lineup of comfort bedding. Equipped with the celebrated NASA technology, the Europedic

Combination Series Mattresses are made from high quality materials in the most appropriate mix and provides an unrivalled comfort and support to the human bodies. What distinguishes the Europedic range from the conventional range of mattress in the market is the feature of temperature sensitive and pressure relieving memory foam material, which is sandwiched with fine Ultra Cell High Density Foam to give the customers promising comfort encapsulated with therapeutic properties. Spring Air’s Nature’s Rest latex mattress is also here to make a revolutionary difference to your sleep. Nature’s Rest mattress presents a perfect amalgamation of premium upholstery materials inserted into multi-level coil units for ensuring proper support to the natural body curve. The multiple layers of coil include natural latex, gel, high density memory foam or plant-based ‘Surface Modified Technology’ foam. These layers are designed to ‘interlock’ with the encased coil units to reduce pressure at the shoulders and hips, while providing lower back support.

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News Scan

Louis XIII Honours Capt. Nair Recently, Vincent Géré, the Director of Remy Martin Estates and Oenology honoured Captain C.P. Krishnan Nair, Chairman, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts by presenting him customised Louis XIII miniature with the initials of Capt. Nair as a token of gratitude, for his consistent support and cooperation. Vivek Nair, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, The Leela Group, Aishwarya Nair, Corporate Food & Wine Consultant, The Leela Group, Rukn Luthra, Managing Director, Remy Cointreau —Indian sub-continent and Gulf— and Vincent Cleme, Louis XIII Brand Ambassador — India, were also present on the occasion. Here it deserves a mention that the Louis XIII is the iconic summit of French refinement in taste. It is an out of the ordinary experience for cognac lovers: a FIREWORKS OF AROMAS bursting from the astounding blend of GRANDE CHAMPAGNE eaux-de-vie, the most prestigious of the six crus classed in the delimited region of Cognac. On this occasion, Rukn Luthra, the Managing Director, Remy Cointreau — Indian sub-continent and Gulf said, “We are proud of our partnership with The Leela Group of Hotels. The Leela Group has been a strong support for Remy Martin in India and we look forward to our association to grow manifolds in the future.” “It’s an honour to present Louis XIII to the doyen of the hospitality industry. Capt Nair’s Leela Group of Hotels is synonymous with ultimate luxury and so is Louis XIII. We would like to thank The Leela Group for continuous support,” explained Vincent Géré, Director of Remy Martin Estates and Oenology. “When two powerhouse brands Remy Martin and The Leela meet, it is bound to be celebrated with a friendship that will last more than our lifetimes. It’s truly an honour for The Nair family and The Leela hotels to receive this prestigious honour for our Chairman,” proffered Aishwarya Nair, Corporate Food & Wine Consultant, The Leela Group.

Park Hyatt Chennai Goes On-board Hyatt Hotels Corporation unveiled Park Hyatt Chennai, marking the 30th hotel in the Park Hyatt collection, and the first Park Hyatt hotel to be introduced in the city of Chennai. Designed as a serene and tranquil retreat for the astute business travellers, Park Hyatt Chennai is located next to the prestigious Governor’s residence and is also adjacent to the thriving green area of the Guindy National Park. Park Hyatt Chennai features 201 luxury guestrooms, including 20 indulgent suites, all thoughtfully designed to create an inviting environment and contribute to the understated sophistication and mood of the hotel. Rich travertine marble floors and plush hand-tufted rugs are luxuries found in every guestroom. In addition, all suites feature exquisite, relaxing stone plunge tubs. The elegant and chic interiors create a unique, luxuriant and calming ambience, reflecting the quiet and refined side of Chennai.


HOTEL Business Review

News Scan

Making Kitchens More Efficient

Eclipse International to Enter the Indian Mattress Market

RATIONAL, the global market and technology leader in the realm of hot food preparation for professional kitchens, shared useful information about efficient kitchen planning and intelligent cooking processes during two consultant events. The events took place in Mumbai and Chennai, where more than 200 hundred planners and dealers working in this industry could see live how easy and efficient the cooking process was conducted by using the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency. The guests saw live how a huge variety of food was prepared to perfection within a short span of time. Within the two hours of presentation, croissants, steamed vegetables, grilled lamb and salmon, pizza, biryani, chicken tikka, dal makhani and much more delectable offerings were produced in just one unit, without any stress. For the events, RATIONAL India invited two experts from Germany to inform about the latest kitchen trends. “Customers worldwide are facing growing energy costs and need to find out how they can make their kitchen more profitable. With the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency, they can replace a lot of traditional cooking appliances like steamer, rice cooker, fryer, grill or tandoori oven and save up to 70 percent of energy in comparison to kitchens without a combi-steamer,” mentioned Christian Hirsch, the Product Manager of the headquarter RATIONAL AG. “The SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency is not only the standard for western dishes, but also for Indian cuisine,” explained Sascha Barby, the Head of Product Management Application of RATIONAL AG, Germany. “We have developed several cooking processes specialised to the Indian cuisine, like tandoori, tikka, biryani and much more. Chefs can prepare now samosas and/or idlis just at a push of a button. It is so easy and user-friendly,” added Sascha. “We have a lot of customers all around India who are using the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency for preparing Indian dishes. The feedback we get is great and makes us feel proud,” said Aidan Hughes, the Chief Representative of RATIONAL India.

Creating footprints in the Rs.5000 crore Indian bedding industry, Eclipse International, the US-based global giant in bedding solutions, has chalked up ambitious plans to venture into the country’s mattress market.The move comes as a part of Eclipse International’s strategic expansion plan to reach out to the burgeoning mattress market in India. One of the leading and oldest suppliers of mattresses worldwide, the company has set up its first Indian production facility, with a capacity of 500 mattresses a day at Rudrapur, in Uttrakahand. Having entered the northern region, the company plans to penetrate the southern, eastern and western markets of the country in next two years with plants in Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata. The entire mattress collection of Eclipse International including Ortho, Bonnel, Latex and Memory Foam ensures use of high-end materials and goes beyond the traditional coir and cotton mattress to provide luxury and support to consumers. Talking about its Indian foray, B.K.Vijh, the CEO of Eclipse Mattress India said, “These are exciting times and with the bedding industry undergoing a paradigm shift we are thrilled to enter the Indian market at the most opportune moment. It is a great time to launch the most awaited plan and bring Eclipse to India. Our entire gamut of products is geared to provide sleep solutions for consumers, based on comfort and support. Starting from North India, we plan to have our operations up and running pan India, in the next two years”. Eclipse International is eyeing sales of Rs. 300 crore from the Indian market in the next two years, by being present at modern retail outlets, together with company owned showrooms.

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Wyndham Hotel Group’s Plans for India The hospitality giant Wyndham Hotel Group has recently said that it would come up with 35 hotels in India under the ambit of Howard Johnson brand, over the next five years. In this regard, Wyndham Hotel Group has entered into a franchise agreement with domestic real estate firm Unique Global Group. The agreement entails that the Unique Global Group will open 35 hotels in India under the Howard Johnson brand, in the next five years. Under the aggrement, the first hotel having the Howard Johnson brand will be opened in Bangalore, by mid 2013. Unique Hotel Group will invest up to Rs. 2275 crore for setting up these forthcoming hospitality properties. According to Unique Global Group’s Chairman and Managing Director, Rajkumar Rai, the average investment for one of these hotel rooms will be in the tune of Rs.6065 lakh and each of these hotels are expected to have around 100 rooms. Here it deserves a mention that in the recent past, Unique Global Group has also launched Wyndham’s Ramada Resort and Spa in the City of Lakes, which is also known as Udaipur. Besides Howard Johnson, WHG has 14 other brands in its exhaustive hospitality portfolio, and Ramada is only one among them. Presently, Wyndham Hotel Group operates 475 hotels under the Howard Johnson brand. The Howard Johnson brand has its presence in 13 countries. For the Indian hospitality market, the group is endeavouring to target business and cost conscious leisure travellers who come under the mid-market segment.


Appointment

Sept-Oct ’12

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Virender Razdan Virender Razdan returns to ITC Windsor- A Luxury Collection Hotel, Bengaluru as the General Manager. Razdan brings with him an amazing knowledge on food & beverage, adroit people skills and a cheerful temperament. After pursuing a hotel management degree from IHM- Srinagar, he commenced his career at Hyatt Regency Delhi. After a fruitful tenure with Hyatt, he moved to renowned hospitality chains like Hilton and Oberoi, where he spent very successful tenures. Having proved his competence in the field of hoteliering it wasn’t long before he joined ITC Hotels. Apart from his impeccable managerial skills, Razdan also has great expertise in wines. He is one of the proficient wine connoisseurs across the country and this skill of his has taken him globe-trotting. According to him, each tour of his has been a learning experience for him. This versatile hotelier also enjoys a good game of golf and white water rafting in his spare time.

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Aditya Singh

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With a successful stint as the General Manager at ITC Gardenia, Anil Chadha has now moved to Delhi as The General Manager, ITC Maurya. Chadha has had previous stints with ITC Maurya as the F&B Manager and Resident Manager. He now returns to the hospitality property as GM. An alumni of the ITC Hospitality Management Institute, Chadha brings with him great experience of both luxury and resort properties. In addition to his stint at ITC Gardenia, ITC Windsor and ITC Sonar, Chadha was instrumental in the launch of KayaKalp: The Royal Spa at ITC

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Anil Chadha

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Hyatt Regency Chennai has announced the appointment of Shubham Chandra as Director Sales and Marketing. Chandra has over 16 years of experience in business development, marketing and sales with reputed names in the hospitality industry. Chandra brings a wide portfolio of experience to his new role as he has worked in all the important Indian markets from sales and marketing perspective. Man management, financial acumen, market insight and adaptability are his key strengths along with driving sales & marketing endeavours of the

Shubham Chandra

Mughal, which secured the Tatler Award for The World’s Best City Spa, in the first year itself.

A passionate hotelier and an avid golfer with a penchant for perfection, Ranvir Bhandari has joined ITC Hotels in the capacity of Vice President South & General Manager ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru, from September 2012. Associated with the Oberoi Hotels for over a decade, Bhandari’s portfolio included Hotel Manager, The Oberoi Towers & General Manager, The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata. Bhandari’s role was pivotal in the capacity of General Manager, ITC Sonar, Kolkata during its pre opening phase in 2002, which augmented its successful launch as the bedrock of luxury hospitality in the east. An established professional in the realms of the hospitality business, Bhandari is an alumnus of La Martiniere School & a Bachelor of Commerce from St Xavier’s, Kolkata. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma from Strathclyde University, Scotland, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland & the Oberoi Center for Learning & Development.

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organisation. In his new role, Chandra will be managing the sales & marketing team at Hyatt Regency Chennai.

Manish Nambiar has become the Hotel Manager for Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi. He is expected to replicate the success he has achieved in Africa, Asia and Middle-East. Nambiar brings with him over 16 years of hospitality experience with a unique combination of conceptual and culinary knowledge. He has strong operations management, sales, product marketing, business development, and project management skills. A great believer in employee empowerment and talent development, Nambiar was the Hotel Manager at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, Egypt, where he ensured high rankings for the hotel on quality audits, customer ratings, employee satisfaction and revenues. In his new role, Nambiar will be responsible for directing the pre-opening activities relating to finance, marketing and guest services at the upcoming Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi, and will be conceptualising restaurant themes and designs, developing vendors, and operating supplies and equipment (OS&E) identification and procurement for the first Kempinski’s hotel in India.

Manish Nambiar

HOTEL Business Review

Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi has appointed Aditya Singh as the Director for Sales and Marketing, who will be spearheading the room sales, catering sales, marketing and revenue divisions in addition to building and honing a dynamic sales team. With a wealth of knowledge of the Indian hospitality sector spread over 17 years, Singh comes across as a seasoned professional in various aspects of sales and marketing including pricing strategies, property reactive sales, proactive sales accounts and segment sales, local and social catering sales, and destination sales. Prior to his current portfolio, Singh was the Director of Sales & Marketing at JW Marriott Chandigarh where he led the sales and marketing team since the pre-opening of the property to ensure a successful launch.


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Wellness Wave

Riding a

HOTEL Business Review

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Spa tourism has ample opportunity for growth in India, a country which is the centre of Ayurvedic medicine. Spas and other rejuvenating centres have become popular with urban Indians bogged down with sedentary lifestyles. It has also become popular among wellness conscious crowd with healthy disposable incomes. Wellness vacations are gaining popularity among both young and the old. Combining the benefits of a spa visit with a holiday, either within India or overseas, is becoming increasingly popular among upwardly mobile Indian tourists. This demand has subsequently given rise to several spa resorts in India. Here Ashok Malkani takes a look at the growth of spa resorts in the country and does brief profiles of some of the unique wellness havens.


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HOTEL Business Review

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he clutter, noise and tensions of today’s increasingly demanding world are creating greater demand for rejuvenation, wellness and solitude, which can be met by the highend spas. This demand is also fostered by the increasing disposable incomes among select pockets of urban Indian society, whose numbers are no way negligible as a market force.

Travel with Wellness As a result, it is not uncommon to see present day’s luxury traveller seeking authentic lifestyle enriching experiences through healing and rejuvenative services provided by spa resorts. Holidays with visit to spas for holistic well-being, which include both healthcare and rejuvenation, has become popular among a great many Indian tourists, which has opened new revenue earning opportunities for enterprising tour operators. This trend is expected to continue to grow further and evolve further through the coming decade. The concept of travel with wellness is however, not a new one. The ritual dates back several millennia. The Greek pilgrims travelling to meet the healing gods way back in the fourth century BC, or ancient Indians reaching Himalayas for yogic salvation and spiritual healing are part of global wellness legacy. Today, however, one doesn’t need to physically exert for holistic healing, which is just a phone call away. It is because there is a greater demand for wellness than yesteryears; which earlier was confined to miniscule sections of society. People are now more aware of the benefits to the mind, body and soul that visits to sophisticated wellness centres can bring, perhaps more than ever

before. Neither is wellness today totally dependent upon nature, it is instead presented often as an intelligent combination of nature, technology and professional expertise. The popularity of spas has led to the growth of health and wellness tourism in India and the outside world. In this context, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that spas in Indian hotels do have the potential to enhance the revenues of India’s tourism and hospitality industry in a great way. These days, Ayurveda and yoga have attracted the western tourists perhaps like no other ancient healthcare and wellness therapies. Kerala, the haven of Ayurveda in the twenty-first century, is dotted with a plethora of Ayurvedic medical spa resorts and meditation centers.

Many of them are frequented by wellheeled western tourists seeking health and rejuvenation packages, which include de-stressing, body toning, weight loss and healing of aches and pains like sinusitis, backaches among others. According to a report by HVS, tabled two years back, India was ranked the 19th top spa country in the world, having 2359 operational spas. By 2010, the spa industry in India was employing more than 22,000 people, and was generating around 384 million USD annually.

Spas Have a Future What is more significant is that according to a joint report by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, if the current growth is maintained, the Indian health and wellness industry is to double by 2015. Presently, the sector is growing at a CAGR of 18-20 percent. The FICCIPwC report also stated that the per capita spend on wellness has escalated to Rs.480 a year in 2011, from Rs. 300 in 2008. In 2010, a study by the FICCI suggested that the wellness industry in India was showing an annual growth of close to 20 percent and stood at Rs.1500 crore. Spa is a crucial part of the wellness industry, and is an industry in itself, in India. According to ASSOCHAM, the

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HOTEL Business Review

Indian spa industry over the last five years has shown tremendous growth, not only in the number of spas, but also in the diversity of spas and products available. According to the figures of the Spa Association of India, the Indian spa industry has over 2,300 spas, and it generates around $400 million annually. One of the channels through which spas in India can earn great revenues is the medical tourism. With India emerging as a great destination for medical tourism for the foreign tourists, many spas are using this opportunity to present themselves as centres for pre and post medical tourism recuperation and rejuvenation. In 2008, ASSOCHAM said that the medical tourism market in India was estimated to be worth over 300 million USD, attracting approximately 170,000 foreign patients every year. ASSOCHAM expected that India’s medical tourism market to inflate to a 2 billion USD business by 2012.

Therapies from the World Many of the spas in India offer Ayurvedic and yogic treatments, as they are gaining popularity in our times. Many people are taking help of these ancient wellness therapies to escape from the tensions and frustrations of modern life and lifestyle. But Ayurveda and yoga are not the only wellness facets offered at the spas in India. Swedish massages, Chinese and Thai healing techniques, Balinese massage and various other restorative and rejuvenative therapies too form an integral part of the spa culture at many high-end spas in the country. Many spa resorts in the country have adopted a combination of western, Indian and oriental wellness practices,

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thereby providing the customer with a one-stop wellness solution. Medi spas are gaining popularity, and ready to use products with herbal ingredients and natural preservatives, as well as natural mud and marine products are attracting consumer demand in spas. Plasma therapy, Botox, facials using pearls, caviar, and diamonds, oxygen therapy and salt rooms are also getting vogue in the realm of the Indian spa industry. The spa resorts are also offering healthy spa cuisine which includes indigenous foods, organic vegetables, and dairy alternatives. India is now having many high-end spa facilities and also holistic health and wellness resorts at par with the international level. Some of them are explored in the following passages.

Get Rejuvenated at Rejuve Rejuve — The Spa, Bekal, which can be found in the opulent environment or invironment of The LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal, comes across as a top-of-the-line wellness haven in Kerala, also known as the God’s Own Country. Bekal is located in the northern part of this state, in the

district of Kasargod. “The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal is a luxury beach resort spread across 26 acres of virgin land. The resort is surrounded by a natural backwater on three sides with internal lagoons meandering through the property. The resort’s scenic beauty is accentuated by lagoons, backwater and the Arabian Sea,” said Rajesh T, Sales Head of the property. The property has abundant natural surroundings in the form of over 20,000 coconut trees planted inside the resort and other forms of flora. It is the northern Kerala’s first five-star deluxe resort. The resort has a large, well appointed spa that offers health and lifestyle consultations, Ayurvedic treatments, western and eastern therapies, beauty treatments and yoga. Rejuve — The Spa is located on the prime spot of the resort overlooking the lagoon. It is spread over 20,000 sq. ft. with four Ayurveda Rooms, five International Treatment Rooms and four Specialty Rooms. The spa has an open air yoga pavilion, a fully equipped world class gym with latest fitness equipments, an exclusive relaxation lounge with a health library, a couple’s therapy room, a medical spa room, a modern salon with five beauty stations, and a meditation pavilion surrounded by garden. Each therapy room includes steam & shower cubicle, garden with relaxation lounge and a dressing area. “Ayurveda being the prominent theme here, Rejuve — The Spa offers all Ayurveda therapies in the most authentic & traditional form,” informed Dr. Renju, Spa Doctor at Rejuve — The Spa. The variety of wellness experiences offered at Rejuve — The Spa include Punarnavam — Rejuvenation program, Nairmallyam


C o v e r St o r y — Detox program, Lavanyam — Weight Management program & Jeevanam — Anti-aging program. Concepts like rejuvenation, weight loss, detoxification, and anti-aging are the major focus at Rejuve —The Spa. All the guests at the spa are offered a wellness analysis and consultation with the in-house Ayurveda doctor who recommends a suitable plan according to the guests’ health requirement. The entire experience to the guests at the spa is expected to be of refreshing vigour and vitality combined with pampered holidays. It doesn’t deserve a mention that the resort has a team of professional well-trained therapists, fitness instructors, nutritionists & spa doctors. Rejuve Bliss, Rejuve Royal Retreat, and Rejuve Spa Journey are some of the special therapies offered at the Rejuve — The Spa. With Rejuve Bliss, the journey of experiencing the delights of Ayurveda therapies start with a foot ritual, followed by a traditional Ayurveda massage called Abhyanga. This is followed by the calming & rejuvenating therapy, Shirodhara. A steam session after the treatments will be a detoxifying and refreshing experience. Rejuve Bliss urges you to leave the world behind while you indulge in a session of body pampering treatments. Some of the myriad Ayurveda therapies offered at the spa include Abhyangam (a complete body massage using a combination of soothing long strokes to regulate the circulatory & the nervous systems), Elakizhy (leaves & herbs of suitable choice fried in herbal oil prepared as linen bundles are used to massage the entire body, thereby promoting circulation, facilitating elimination of wastes and treating inflammatory conditions), and Shirodhara (uninterrupted pouring of suitable herbal oil on to the forehead results in stimulation of the nervous system; effective in soothing the senses & calming the mind) among others. The luxurious spa also boasts of a host of western therapies, which include Swedish massages, and Rejuve Body Treatments. With Rejuve Body Treatments, the guests can experience the journey for body revitalisation with the finest and purest resources from the ocean and the earth; blended together for the perfect treatment. Guests can

HOTEL Business Review

choose from body wrap treatments like Tropical Fruit Wrap, Healing Herbal Wrap and Aloe Vera Sandalwood Wrap or from body scrubs like Coconut Honey Scrub, Lemon Yoghurt Scrub, and Indian Spices Scrub.

An Idyllic Resort Somatheeram is another wonderful wellness resort in Kerala. Established in 1985, the resort claims to be the world’s first Ayurvedic resort. It is located at Chowara Beach on a hillock, 9 km south from the famous Kovalam Beach. The sunny beach at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort is of course an ideal place to get some solitude while enjoying the scenery, feeling the sea breeze, taking a long walk, getting a good tan, or while even making castles in the sand. The resort provides pristine nature with luxury and wellness. The luxurious accommodation facilities at Somatheeram are built with a touch of Kerala tradition. Designed to give a wonderful view, every room at the resort is well-equipped and offers comprehensive facilities at par with a star hotel. On top of all these, there are quality Ayurvedic treatments and therapies on offer at the resort. A holistic experience is what Somatheeram aims for with its range of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. And the expert hands at the resort make sure of it in every minute detail. Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi, Dhara, Vasthi, Sirovasthi, Abhyangam, and Nasyam are among the multitude of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies on offer at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort. The multi-cuisine restaurant at Somatheeram presents a variety of mouth-watering delicacies. A wide variety of vegetarian dishes is made available to those undergoing Ayurveda treatment at the resort. And there would not be any lack of entertainment with Somatheeram’s expressly put together cultural performances. Indeed, Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort is one place where enjoyment and well-being go hand in hand!

Presenting Ayurveda, Recreating Kerala AyurvedaGram Heritage Wellness Centre is a heritage wellness centre, wrapped in serenity, near but far from

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HOTEL Business Review

the hustle-bustle of Bangalore. The centre offers several rejuvenation programs suited to the guest’s specific constitution and lifestyle, based on the ancient principles of Ayurveda. As you drive in through the gates of AyurvedaGram you are likely to feel that you have been transported back in time, to a long lost era of quaint ethnic charm. The ambience is dotted with Kerala’s antique Nalukettus, Kovilakams (Palaces), Manas & Illams — the traditional homes of Kerala. Each one of these ethereal homes has been transplanted piece by piece, all the way from Kerala, thereby recreating the erstwhile architectural glory of Kerala for the twenty-first century wellness connoisseurs to admire. Accommodation options at AyurvedaGram Heritage Wellness Centre combine the resplendent heritage of ornate woodwork, intricate craftsmanship and exquisite furniture from the 18th and 19th century Kerala with a host of modern conveniences. Succinctly, this ethnic Ayurvedic health resort seems to have been transplanted from the 19th century Kerala into seven acres of herbal garden in Bangalore, whose ambience is spruced with more than 200 species of rare medicinal herbs. Backed by one of India’s leading Ayurvedic institutions — Kerala Ayurveda Limited (KAL) — AyurvedaGram Heritage Wellness Centre is an Ayurvedic village with resident Ayurvedic physicians, therapists, health centre, dispensary, yoga & meditation centre, heritage cottages, and vegetarian

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restaurant, which are all manned by an ever-attentive service staff. AyurvedaGram Heritage Wellness Centre provides authentic Ayurvedic treatments for specific ailments such as arthritis, obesity, spondylitis, cholesterol, sinusitis, peptic ulcer, etc. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive Ayurvedic treatment or a weekend getaway in an Ayurvedic health spa, this resort can be the right address for you with its whole range of Ayurvedic treatments to suit every individual’s need. The treatment programs on offer at the resort include Panchakarma, Rejuvenation or Rasayana Chikithsa, Stress Management, Weight Reduction, Yoga & Meditation, Spine & Joint Care, Lifestyle Disease Management, and Beauty Care. A perfect blend of time-honoured diagnostic methods including pulse diagnosis, conventional therapies and effective herbal medicines from Kerala Ayurveda Limited(KAL), customised yoga, pranayama & meditation, and balanced vegetarian diet as per the classical Ayurvedic scriptures together constitutes the core program at AyurvedaGram. Since its inception, the resort has attracted international fame for its authoritative Ayurvedic treatments and long-term rejuvenation programs. The recipe behind this success story is the scientific execution of traditional knowledge in a professional manner.

The Joy of Wellness The aura of wellness is now spread across

the country. From the south to the Himalayas is a long leap but it goes to show that spa resorts and Ayurvedic treatments have conquered distances. Standing tall in the Himalayas is the Ananda. Located in the tranquility of Himalayan foothills, close to the holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh, and amidst graceful sal forests, Ananda in the Himalayas is there to take you to a mesmerising wellness journey. Once the residence of Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal, today it is a world class destination spa. Overlooking the placid, mighty and meandering Ganga, Ananda would facilitate you in redefining lifestyles. Here you will get well-known traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda and yoga combined with the best of international wellness experiences to bring about the union of mind, body and soul. Ananda has endeavoured to recreate the synergy of mind, body and intellect not just through the natural Himalayan locales and its proximity to the mountains and the river, but through the rejuvenating and ancient processes and philosophies of Ayurveda, yoga and Vedanta, combined with contemporary international therapies which enhance and augment them. The wellness philosophy at Ananda in the Himalyas is propelled by the concept of a holistic lifestyle and well-being. Here the vast menu of spa programmes and adventure activities energise the body, while serene yoga and meditation sessions uplift the mind. The inclusion of art and culture into the wellness regime of the guests is carefully orchestrated to elevate the human spirit. The spa offers an extensive menu of over 79 body and beauty treatments, integrating the traditional Indian systems of Ayurveda with the more contemporary western spa approach. At Ananda, Ayurveda constitutes an intrinsic part of the wellness programme for the guests. From massages and specialised diet programme to fulfill personal goals to the more rigorous transformations in lifestyle, here the Ayurveda experience has been tailored while keeping account of the individual’s desire to heal, cleanse, relax and rejuvenate. With qualified Ayurveda doctors and therapists to administer treatments ranging from therapeutic massages to


C o v e r St o r y the more rigorous modes of toxic elimination, the Ayurvedic therapies at Ananda are strongly rooted in ancient traditions, while keeping in mind contemporary preferences and comforts.

Elements of Design Though the spa resorts are much sought after these days, the appropriate spa design poses several challenges. The spa designers should have an insight of the individual wellness preferences of the people who are likely to be interested in using the services at spas. Many spa goers aim to strike a chord between their inner and outer selves. The right design of the spa should facilitate the spa goers to strike a balance between their essential characteristics and their external environment. Ideally, the spa design should aim to create a natural atmosphere, with the use of natural elements such as wood, stone and earth colours, and spruce that natural décor with scope to include a host of modern amenities and luxuries. The spa resorts should provide

HOTEL Business Review

wellness with the right combination of luxury and opulence and their décor should make the guests feel at home. At the same time, the spa design and décor should exude a sense of warmth and an inviting feel. Art materials and other such accessories for the spa should be chosen after careful consideration, so that they complement the above-mentioned traits. The spas should preferably have warm interiors, which should emanate vibes of curing and healing.

The Impediments to Growth However, all said and done, despite the huge potential for India’s wellness industry, India’s spa market is still considered a niche market but with great opportunities for investments. Even today many hotels in the country lack expertise and experience in managing spas. The paucity of trained spa therapists and other spa professionals is an impeding factor towards the growth of spas in the country. Considering these facts, it is not surprising that our burgeoning spa industry accounts for less than two percent of the global spa

industry. Especially, the lack of therapists for the Ayurveda method of treatment, which follows a 5,000-year-old Indian tradition, is a big problem. At present, the industry has only 1000 trained spa therapists, whereas there are 1200 spa resorts and 3000 day spas spread across the country. According to a recent CII report, there is an urgent need for around 20,000 trained therapists. Other factor holding the growth of the spas in India is the spa segment’s largely unregulated nature. Accreditation of the spa centers and the certification of spa therapists are the need of the hour. Today’s discerning spa goers in India are likely to be exposed to global wellness trends and thus poorly trained spa therapists, loudness of décor, or unavailability of the new-age rejuvenating spa therapies in hotels and resorts can turn off an affluent spa goer from visiting spas in India. She may choose to go to spas in her foreign vacations, and this is likely to lead to loss of revenues for the Indian hospitality industry. I

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Business

HOTEL Business Review

Revenues From the Soul By Swarnendu Biswas

I

ndia is a modern nation where flows an ancient civilisation like the mighty Ganga. The essence of Indian civilisation is still very much vibrant among the hearts, minds and souls of its people, even after the civilisation’s tumultuous, adventurous but nevertheless continuous journey through the course of five millennia, and it is expected to remain so for millennia to come. With the exception of the Chinese civilisation, perhaps no other great civilisations of the world have experienced such a thread of continuity across several millenniums. And there is no denying the fact that religion with its mythological hues is one of the major cementing forces behind the edifice of Indian civilisation. Most major

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religions of the world, such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism are being enthusiastically practiced in the pluralistic cultural milieu of India, and the country has places of tourist interest associated with all these religions. What is more important is that even in the twenty-first century IT-powered India, which seems to be obsessed with cricket and Bollywood, the influence of religion is very much evident among its teeming millions. This enduring influence is misused by cunning charlatans and fake godmans, but the influence of religion in India’s sociocultural environment has immense potential for being constructively used by the Indian tourism and hospitality

industry. Of course, this religious influence in India’s socio-cultural milieu is being used by the Indian tourism and hospitality industry, but it needs to be tapped in a more proactive and optimal manner.

An Immense Potential It is common knowledge that India has numerous religious sites and shrines, which are enough to make a devotee of religious tourism to explore for at least a lifetime. From Varanasi and Jammu, from Ajmer to Tirupati, and from Goa to Puri to Rameswaram, the thread of religious tourism in India spreads across the length and breadth of the country. From taking a dip in the holy Ganges at Varanasi at the break of the dawn, to


Business feeling the mellifluous music of aarti in your soul as the twilight descends on Hardwar, from undertaking the arduous Amarnath Yatra to taking part in the Rath Yatra at Puri with thousands of devotees; with loud chants of Lord Jagannath spreading through the air, from taking an introspective trip to the churches of Goa and feeling the soul of Christianity whose resonance could be heard much beyond the roar of the waves of the Arabian Sea, to praying with a heart full of devotion at the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer to get relieved of one’s miseries, to feeling the ripple of middle-path spiritualism in your heart at Bodh Gaya, indeed, the religious tourism in India can take myriad montages, which are fascinating enough to form their niches in the memories for a lifetime. Then there are religious events of epic proportions in India, where everything stops for a few days at the destination/s, which are focal points of such events. These events are thronged by huge numbers of domestic and even a sizeable number of inbound tourists, and offer enormous potential for religious tourism. The Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, Hardwar, Nashik and Ujjain, which takes place once in the same destination after every twelve years, and the annual Rath Yatra at Puri afford a collage of experiences that could last a lifetime. Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering on this planet. Both these mega events or rather larger than life spectacles are high points of collective devotion, often coloured with frenzied hues. They give a kaleidoscopic view of the seminal yet vibrant, transient yet unchanging cultural landscape of India, where all changes are absorbed in a calm stream of continuity, without disturbing the essential social fabric. The Durga Puja in Kolkata or rather in West Bengal, where the entire City of Joy and the state of West Bengal stops work for a few days to bathe in the river of undiluted celebration, calls for more attention by the hospitality industry. Durga Puja has been celebrated in the country since time immemorial, but has assumed such a huge magnitude since the last fifty years or so. Today, it is not only a religious festival, but also a cultural and aesthetic extravaganza. Durga Puja, like other prominent festivities of India like

HOTEL Business Review

Diwali and Holi, also acts as an occasion to meet old friends and distant members of extended families. Their tourism and hospitality potential deserve to be harnessed by the industry in a much more creative way.

Festive Business For example, hotels can provide affordable excursion packages to famous Durga Pujas within the city of Kolkata and its vicinity, for their guests, during the time of Durga Puja celebrations. These packages can reap great dividends in Kolkata and also in Delhi, where Durga Puja is celebrated with great euphoria. During Diwali and Holi celebrations also, hotels could rope in Bollywood stars (at their own cost), and they can take part in Diwali and Holi celebrations with the guests. Double the cost of hiring the Bollywood star can be recovered by increasing the tariff of the resident guests (those who are staying at the hotels for a given period) only for the day of the Diwali and/or Holi festivity, and also through charging a good fee from the transient walk-in guests to the hotels, who would be coming on those days to take part in festivities with a celebrity or celebrities. Many of the guests coming to hotels for celebrations would not mind paying a decent sum for the ticket to play Holi or to celebrate the ‘Festival of Lights’ with Bollywood celebrities. At the same time, if the star is called on the eve of her/

his film release, she/he may not be reluctant to celebrate Holi and Diwali with minimal charge, and view it as a PR exercise. However, this initiative is more relevant for big cities, where hotels can expect to have a sizeable number of moneyed walk-in transient guests. Moreover, besides these abovementioned fairs and festivities, India is home to myriad other lesser-known religious fairs and festivities, which need to be better promoted before the domestic and inbound tourists by the state governments and also by the tourism and hospitality industry at large, and their respective destinations should be spruced with better hospitality infrastructure than they are having presently.

Need for Infrastructure Yes, religion is an important and a steady source of revenue for the tourism and hospitality industries of India. Religious tourism is not only one of the largest segments of domestic tourism in India, but it also attracts a sizeable proportion of the inbound crowd every year to its spiritual ambit. But nevertheless the fact remains that the immense potential of religious tourism, which can attract a huge sea of devotees to and within India, is far from being optimally harnessed. The further growth and development of religious tourism in India first of all needs a drastic improvement in the average quality of

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HOTEL Business Review

hospitality infrastructure at places of religious tourist interest in the country. This would greatly promote domestic religious tourism, and accrue more revenues for budget hotels. More numbers of international quality hotels and resorts are also needed especially for effectively tapping the potential of inbound religious tourism in India. Many a time, untidy hotels with lack or paucity of basic facilities, prevalence of unscrupulous touts, and bad roads in destinations of worship can evoke a discouragement among many foreign tourists to make repeat visit to India for salvation. For example, Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, is languishing in utter neglect by the tourism and hospitality industry. The place doesn’t have even a handful of good hotels and the public transport of the place is pitiable. The guest houses at Sarnath are dirty and unkempt. Nearby Varnasi doesn’t fare much better. Dust and filth share space in the holy city, with religion, myth and history. The beauty of the Puri beach is greatly marred by the fact that is also dirty and overcrowded. There is a huge demand supply gap in hotel rooms across various religious tourism centres, which is leading to failure of India’s tourism and hospitality industry in tapping the full potential of religious tourism. In this regard, the state governments should play a proactive role towards making real estate available to prospective hotels and resorts in their respective religious tourism destinations,

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at affordable prices. Yes, we need more number of hotels and resorts in places of religious significance. However, hospitality infrastructure doesn’t only entail a great many number of luxury and budget hotels and resorts. Simply building of more hotels wouldn’t do, roads and transportation facilities at many of the pilgrimage destinations in the country also need to be improved. Many of our famous centres for religious tourism, such as Puri, Hardwar and Varanasi could generate greater number of foreign tourists, and much better revenues, with better cleanliness of its environment. Addressing spiritual needs in an unhygienic atmosphere is quite a challenge for the soul.

Welcome Initiatives Thankfully, the Union and the state governments have lately been making some proactive efforts to give an impetus to religious tourism in India. Recently, Visa on Arrival facility to tourists from countries having high population of people practicing Buddhism has been introduced by the Government of India. This measure is likely to better explore the untapped tourism and hospitality potential of Buddhist circuit in India. However, according to many tourism and hospitality experts, this decision needs further fine-tuning. Many of them believe there is a need to revive the old initiative for common tourist visa for BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic

Cooperation) countries for proper exploitation of huge religious tourism potential of the country. Moreover, a special inter-state train covering renowned Buddhist circuits in north India is likely to cover Orissa, from late December 2012 onwards. The train is named Mahaparinirvan Express. Presently, the train’s journey includes most parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The train connects Buddhist sites like Nalanda, Rajgir, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Khushinagar, Gorakhpur, Sravasti, Gonda, and Agra. The holy trip progresses through seven nights and eight days. Taking the pilgrims to Lumbini in Nepal from Kushinagar, Bihar, by bus is also part of this package. From late December, the train will also cover many Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Orissa like Lalitgiri, Udayagiri, Khandagiri, Chadragiri, Ratnagiri, and Jaipur. What is more relevant is that the expansion of the train’s ambit will coincide with the international Buddhist conclave in the state of Orissa. The hospitality industry of India can exploit this initiative in a creative manner. This development is timely as despite having several Buddhist sites of pilgrimage, Orissa has failed to exploit its religious tourism potential in the context of Buddhist circuit to its optimal level. For example, only about 8600 tourists from different South-East Asian countries visited Orissa in 2009. The fact that the timeless city of Varanasi whose history spans through several millennia of religious resonance, is now a part of a huge heritage conservation programme that is jointly organised by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India and the World Bank, is also a praiseworthy initiative. This endeavour can give another boost to the potential of religious tourism in India. There is no denying the fact that Varanasi is one of the important centers of religious tourism in India. The two other cities covered in the first phase of the project, named Inclusive Heritage Resource-based City Development Strategies (IHCDS), are Hyderabad and Ajmer-Pushkar. However, these are at best can be interpreted as only beginnings to the huge task ahead. Many more such developments from the government and private players are needed to optimally explore the huge revenue earning potential of religious tourism in India. ■


Te c h n o l o g y

HOTEL Business Review

Sounds Great By Kanishka Gupta

F

or any hospitality venture, the ambience and feel of the venue is of utmost importance. A hotel often talks about itself to its clients through a series infrastructural applications like the décor, lighting, and above all, through its sound systems. Together they help build the unique ‘personality’ of the hotel, which can distinguish it from others. For example, the apt foreground or background music sets in the right mood. In order to appreciate such music, a quality audio system complimented with good controls is vital. Understanding the guests’ needs and meeting or rather exceeding the guests’ expectations should be the main focus of every player in the hospitality business, and it is so in reality too. Often people visit hotel after a stressful day of

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work, and they look for not only quality food, drink, accommodation and toilet but also a place where they can unwind in style. In this context, it becomes very important for the hospitality business to soothe or rejuvenate the often exhausted senses of its guests, and sound system play a very important role towards a holistic guest satisfaction in the hotels.

The Sound of Music “Only a good audio system can do justice to the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven. Discotheque will sound terrible if there is no thump in the music. A spa with screeching beats will just have the opposite effects. A good sound system can induce the customer to spend more time at the facilities and even have an additional drink at the bar. The key areas of hotel where audio solutions are a must are public areas, lobby, corridors, lifts, restaurants, bars/pubs/discotheques, gymnasium/health spas, meeting/conference rooms, banquet halls, pool side area, shopping arcade, car parking area and toilets,” asserted Rajan Gupta, Director, Hi-Tech Audio Systems. Sound is a critical element in creating the right ambience in a hotel. A high quality ‘background music system’ (BGM) will enhance the ambience, helping the guests relax. The influence of the BGM is subtle yet substantive. Moreover, most visitors to luxury properties already own high-end sound systems at home and are able to differentiate between high quality sound and an average one, and for that reason also high quality background


Te c h n o l o g y

music system is very much important for five-star properties. “Bose systems have a unique active equalisation which allows the guests to even enjoy the background music in full frequency range. Hotel guests from lobbies to restaurants expect high quality uniform music coverage without the intrusive presence of big box shaped loudspeakers. With Bose systems and technologies we are able to deliver a uniform sound across the space so that with these systems around, every seat becomes a preferred seat in a restaurant. Moreover, systems like the Bose FreeSpace series are virtually invisible,” elaborated Arun Kumar, Divisional Manager (Professional Systems Division), Bose India. Here it deserves a mention that Bose Corporation in India is uniquely positioned to address comprehensive hospitality needs related to sound. However, simply a great sound system doesn’t entail great music or rather appropriate music for the place or the occasion. Choosing music is not an easy task and one can’t expect any Tom, Dick and Harry to perform this. There has to be a professional who can play the music, while understanding the guests’ profile and their expectation from that particular place. Music should compliment the overall ambience and the experience of the guests. Great sound system is however, though not sufficient but nevertheless a necessary condition for good music in hotels and great music often ensures loyal guests.

Tuning the Ambience “Background music for a hotel or in a restaurant of a hotel ought to be chosen while keeping in mind the ambience, décor, cuisine and many other factors,” averred Alok Dubey, Associate Consultant, Cilantro Hospitality. In India, modern music systems with advanced quality are available. “They are designed in a way so that they can be incorporated in the interior design itself. System design, installation and commissioning of professional music systems and/or PA systems are done as per the international standards for Indian hotels,” added Dubey. Rajesh Mohan “We have used audio and

HOTEL Business Review

video in such a way as to create the most appealing atmosphere possible at our magnificent Tropical Lagoon. Using hightech and visually appealing video screens, coupled with robust and ample audio systems, we have created ambience that has set us apart from the rest of the pack,” articulated Rajesh Mohan, Head — Strategy, Planning and Technology, Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai. Background music is vital in Arun Kumar maintaining the moods and ambience, so carefully constructed in the hotel. It forms an integral part of the first and last impression left on the guests and hence are treated as crucial to the over all environment of the hotel. “We understand this need and have put into place microprocessor-based BGM systems that can permeate every corner of a hotel with soothing & relaxing music. This includes areas such as entrances to the lobby and the peripheral garden areas. These systems, since they are under the control of a central system, are integrated with minimal cost to the emergency evacuation, fire alarm & paging systems in place,” proffered Mohan. Hotel Sahara Star uses a range of sound systems and these are powerful and discrete audio reinforcement systems for banquet halls, bars & high lounge along with customised projection and display systems with room combining capability that optimise the utility of the venue. Speaker systems are connected to guest room TVs; lobby, elevators, shopping arcades and other public areas. Hotel Sahara Star also has robust water-proof car calling systems, which ensure that the guests will not find themselves waiting in front of the hotel; waiting for their drivers to bring their cars to them. Simple as these systems may be, their effectiveness is essential to the free flow of patrons in and out of the establishment.

The Range of Sound Heavy traffic areas like lobbies, shopping areas, corridors,

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HOTEL Business Review

elevators and other public areas require background music systems with automatic volume and source control facilities. The audio system in the hotel’s public areas should satisfy certain criteria in terms of performance, controllability and style. “Similarly, water and weather proof speaker systems are essential around the swimming pool, spas and health and beauty centers and in the bathrooms. Such speakers Alok Dubey are tested in extremely tough circumstances and are resistant to corrosion and humidity. Car parking areas should have horn speakers installed, where clarity of speech is must,” elaborated Gupta, while explaining the role of sound systems in hotels. The conference halls, banquet halls, bars, pubs and discotheques need a powerful and versatile audio system. Lobbies and restaurants in hotels need soft background music systems which are not very visible but provide excellent uniformity and tonal consistency in the listening area. Pubs and lounges need to focus on foreground music (FGM) with extended bass response, whereas banquets need both a background music (BGM) and FGM application. “Live bands are quite a common site in restaurants. Bose has the unique L1 series of systems, especially designed for the musicians. To top it the company also offers a range of solutions to address the ever changing needs for the hotel’s business centres,” explained Kumar.

with utmost attention during the final installation of the product range. As per the requirements, speakers may be required to be mounted on walls or hung from the ceiling with the help of brackets and frames. Once the installation is complete, it is followed by testing and commissioning of the system and is then finally handed over to the client after complete satisfaction from both the parties,” elaborated Gupta.

Installation Factors Installation of sound system in a hotel property is no easy task. A lot of varied factors need to be considered at every step. First and foremost, the client/consultant needs to be briefed about your experience and expertise. He also needs to be detailed about the products and must have a confidence that you are the best man for this job. Understanding the requirement of the venue along with what exactly the end customer is looking for is important. Designing a BOQ as per the requirement and layout plans comes next. Financial implications are discussed and once the BOQ is finalised, the placements of the speakers, amplifiers, control systems, etc. are marked with the help of various design softwares like Auto Cad, followed by EASE mapping. At times, some tweaking in the BOQ may be required to incorporate better options. Now comes the mammoth task of installation. It is very important for the installation team to be in sync with the civil engineering team at all times in order to lay conduits, wiring, ceiling cut outs for speakers, etc. “Each Rajan Gupta application should be treated

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Addressing the Requirement “Bose Corporation has a systematic approach which begins with capturing customer needs and collecting both geometrical and acoustical information about the spaces. Based on this, Bose’s designers design a high performing solution with the objective of delivering the optimum sound and simplified user interface. This then is installed in coordination with architects and other ‘interiors’ related agencies. Bose’s engineers then commission the system and ‘bring it to life’. Thereafter, Bose’s engineers train the hotel staff in operations and handhold them for the first few days. We also offer system maintenance, post installation,” articulated Kumar. “Understanding the requirement is an exhaustive process. Types/colour/size & the number of speakers are also discussed as aesthetics also is very important and cannot be undermined. The requirement is then put in to a BOQ with process. Competitive bids are called for, followed by negotiations. Hotels are exempted from custom duties and as such normally prefer to import under EPCG,” confirmed Gupta. “Hotel’s requirements for sound systems are determined based on the end-users’ needs, corporate positioning objectives (owners’/management’s perspective), and the budget. Each area in the hotel is discussed individually and performance metrics of the sound system are being ascertained. This then forms the basis of a detailed technical design, which thereafter is presented in the form of a proposal to the client,” opined Kumar. ■


Property

HOTEL Business Review

By Swarnendu Biswas

A

t Aamod Dalhousie, a resort nestled amidst sombre and silent green mountains of Himachal Pradesh with floating clouds caressing the peaks, environment-friendliness is amply complemented by in-vironment friendliness. The property is located 5 km uphill from Dalhousie, perched on a mountain ridge adjoining the 69 sq km Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary; affording views of the Peer Panjal range on a clear day as part of the frontal view, and dense woods of the wildlife sanctuary on the backside. The fact that the picturesque resort is located away from Dalhousie, which according to the Resort Manager of the property Pranay Raturi, like all hill stations of India gets crowded during the peak season and thereby experiences a significant dilution to its scenic ambience, has enhanced Aamod Dalhousie’s eco-tourism appeal even further. At the same time, the resort is well connected by road and is near to the cities of Pathankot, Amritsar, Jallandhar, and Chandigarh.

Nature and Adventure At Aamod Dalhousie you can really enjoy the bliss of doing nothing, or can choose to explore your latent adventurous streak amidst woods and mountains. The adventure activities include guided nature hikes, mountain biking, and camping. Also, the resort has a adventure zone where you can try your hand at Burma Bridge, monkey crawl and a host of other high-adrenaline activities. The resort provides a range of onsite & offsite activities, guided nature walks and excursion trips to places of scenic beauty in the vicinity. A trip to Khajjiar, which is popularly known as the mini Switzerland of India, a visit to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary by road or on foot, and a trek to Dainkund, where you can walk along the lush green meadows with breathtaking views of the Mani Mahesh and other peaks, shouldn’t be missed. For the more adventurous, 3-4 day treks can be organised to Mani Mahesh and Jot and other popular walking destinations. The recreation centre with a wellstocked library, a pool table, foosball

table, and options of table tennis, carom, darts, etc. together contribute towards a great holidaying experience also for those people who prefer more sedentary forms of enjoyment.

Food for Bliss A wide variety of cuisines of great quality are on offer at the multi-cuisine restaurant of the property, named The Colonial. Here you can get to enjoy the delicious flavours of oriental, Continental & Indian cuisine, and also the local Himachal specials. The experience of breakfasting at Aamod Dalhousie with silver-capped green mountains welcoming you to a brand new morning can be heightened by the taste of freshly squeezed fruit and/or vegetable juices. Along with the hot and/or cold beverages, enjoy traditional hot Indian breakfast options, muesli and assorted cereals, fresh fruits and cheeses, and cold cuts. You may also try out pan cakes and waffles. Great food also complements great nature… The bar at Aamod Dalhousie is wellstocked with an impressive collection of spirits, which together is perhaps geared

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HOTEL Business Review

to raise your spirits into even higher heights of euphoria.

The Cottages are Green Eco-tourism is imbibed in the philosophy of Aamod Dalhousie, and is amply reflected in its day-to-day functioning. “Here you are very close to natural life, breathing pristine air along with enjoying luxurious amenities at par with a conventional four-star property,” viewed Raturi. According to the ever smiling and savvy Resort Manager, the USP of the property is luxury with eco-friendliness. The green and luxurious property, which was opened in 2011 April, comprises 15 rooms, which include 10 mud rooms and 5 porta rooms. It goes without saying that both mud and porta are environment-friendly. The interiors and furnishings have old world charm and rustic flavours, combined with a comprehensive range of modern amenities and facilities. Some of the wide range of amenities and facilities provided at these ecofriendly cottages include Queen-size bed with spring mattress, LCD TV with D2H service, electronic safe, tea coffee maker, washroom with shower cubicle, intercom facility, hot and cold

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water, room heater among others. All the cottages have spacious furnished sit-outs or large panoramic windows, allowing guests to experience nature closely. The balconies or patios of all the rooms of the property offer magnificent mountain views. In the five porta rooms of the property, in between porta sheets, a sheet of thermacol is placed, which provides insulation to the rooms.

Pranay Raturi

All the five porta rooms of Deluxe denomination are completely portable. They can be unscrewed and then their doors, windows and walls can be transported anywhere else (preferably to a pristine environment-friendly place) and be set up there as independent hospitality units. Of course, the comprehensive range of modern day amenities inside these porta rooms needs to be restored along with their ‘structural rehabilitation’ if you want to enjoy the optimum combination of nature and luxury. We can say that these eco-friendly porta rooms are not potentially limited by their present geographies, and have very less maintenance in terms of clean & hygiene measures. According to Raturi, the mud walls of the 10 mud rooms of the property (comprising seven Deluxe and three Family rooms) are made with local mud, which doesn’t allow the pests to germinate, thereby making the use of artificial pesticides redundant. Moreover, as Raturi pointed out, the mud rooms are warmer in the winter and cool in the summers as compared to conventional rooms. The mud walls of the 10 mud cottages of the property don’t have


Property painting of any artificial substance too. “For their maintenance, the solution of mud is only used to repaint the walls,” explained Raturi. Both the mud and porta rooms, despite their eco-friendly character, have an impressive range of amenities that befits the standard of modern day hospitality. “Moreover, both mud and porta walls prevent moulds and other infestation to germinate in a much more effective way than the walls of conventional buildings,” averred Raturi. “All the rooms of the property are endowed with double-walled glass in windows, which prevent the loss of heat energy, and with CFL lights to save electric consumption. The rooms have natural ventilation, and no VOC compound and artificial room freshener is being used in the rooms of the property. Moreover, the prevalence of wood rather than cement or concrete in the flooring of the rooms is also a welcome change,” explained Raturi, while stressing on the fact that “no tree was felled for making of this resort.” He informed that the woods from the trees which were fallen in the jungle due to natural calamities like storm and heavy rainfall were provided to the resort by the state government. The furniture in the spacious rooms are well spread out and not cluttered, thereby further lowering the already remote possibility of the presence of pests in the rooms. Herbal oils are used

HOTEL Business Review

to create a fragrant atmosphere in the rooms, without compromising on the environment, a measure which seems to be complemented by the usage of environment-friendly herbal soaps in the bathrooms of the resort.

Water and Waste Recycling Rainwater harvesting and water recycling are the day-to-day measures at Aamod Dalhousie. Rain water which falls on the roof are passed through the channels installed below the roof of the property. The water is then collected in a tank, located below the verdant lawn of the eco-friendly property. Thereafter, the collected rain water is filtered through an exhaustive process involving three layers (of gravel, sand and charcoal) and then again reused for the resort’s day-to-day usage. As far as water recycling goes “all the water used in the sleek bathrooms of the resort are being carried through underground pipes and are eventually collected in another tank, which is different from the tank used for collection of rainwater,” informed Raturi. And as you have understood by now, the collected water from bathrooms is again filtered through sand, charcoal and gravel. “Then the filtered water is used for gardening and lawn area of the resort,” conferred Raturi. Raturi also informed that the drinking water for the resort is derived from the natural springs in the vicinity.

The Tank Where Recycled Water is Stored

“Then of course, a comprehensive filtration process is being carried out on the spring water to make it just perfect for people’s consumption. Only then it arrives on the guest’s table,” elaborated the Resort Manager. Waste recycling is another environment-friendly or rather invironment friendly measure being conducted at Aamod Dalhousie. “We have made pits, where wasted food materials are being disposed. Then these wasted food materials are being decomposed through worms already injected into the pit, which makes the wasted food to convert into manure. The manure is then being used for the lawn and the horticulture of the resort,” explained Raturi. One can say that the comprehensive range of eco-friendly measures being carried out at the property can make the resort a haven for passionate ecotourists who are keen to explore travel options with responsibility towards nature. Already, in the backdrop of eco-tourism gathering momentum in India, the resort is attracting brisk and discerning crowd. “We get around 300 guests per month, on an average, which include domestic as well as foreign tourists,” concluded Raturi. ■

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Environment

HOTEL Business Review

By Kavitha Srinivasa

I

f you thought that catchy phrases like earth concern and planet protection are merely confined to the tight-knit community of environmentalists, then think again. They are now very much relevant to the hospitality sector of India. Such green thoughts have strayed into the corridors of many hotel chains dotting the country. It is not uncommon to see hotel chains in India embarking on a green journey and introducing a bouquet of eco initiatives. Budgetary allocations are made, eco policies are laid out and teams are formed to execute eco initiatives in hotels. Such efforts often lead to awards and accolades, besides of course, healthy bottom lines in the long-run. A case in the

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point is The Taj West End, a heritage property in Bangalore. “The Taj West End (TWE) has gone under EarthCheck Certification by EC3 Global. This is the only worldwide environmental certification programme for the travel & tourism industry. The hotel has got SILVER certification within a year and is looking forward to the next level of certification, which is GOLD certification,” said Sanjay Sood, the General Manager, The Taj West End, Bangalore. Here it deserves a mention that EarthCheck is now used by tourism operators in over 70 countries worldwide. The TWE has adopted the Tata Group’s climate change policy and has

integrated environmental measures in its operational process through the EARTH (Environmental Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels) initiative; a project which reiterates the conscious effort of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces to commit to energy conservation and environmental management. EARTH has received certification from EarthCheck. The TWE describes its environmental policy as a way of life, based on tenets like reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink. While the old world charm of the hotel is kept intact, the hotel has been reinventing itself to keep pace with energy efficient measures. Eco measures have been seamlessly introduced at The TWE


Environment without compromising on the historic appeal of the property. A case in the point is the tree canopies that soar over 100 feet over the heritage property. “In our effort to reuse and recycle, we have used carpenter saw dust as manure for plantation, among other such measures,” Sood added. The reduce factor is addressed by a reduction in pollution at ground level through a new chimney for DG and boiler separately. As far as its rethink strategy goes, the hotel gives away the used cooking oil to the state authorised agent for recycling and conversion to bio diesel. The hotel’s garbage disposal measures also calls for praise. “Garbage is segregated into bio-degradable and non biodegradable and are disposed accordingly. The wet garbage is collected and stored in the freezer and the same is being given to the piggeries,” explained Sood, while adding that this year a new biogas plant is being finalised to reduce the LPG consumption. However, the bio gas plant finalisation work is still in the process. It may finalise by the next month end. Being a historic property with abundant green space, The TWE scores well for its strategically positioned water bodies. One can experience 3-5 degrees drop in temperature in the hotel premises compared with the outside ambient temperature, perhaps largely because of the abundant greenery of the 125-yearold property. The cool surroundings are reinforced through rainwater harvesting. This facilitates aeration to the roots of the plants and trees and this in turn helps in preservation of heritage trees and their rejuvenation. Many trees at the hotel are over 160 years old. An energy efficient audit was conducted after which energy efficient motors or pumps were introduced at the hotel. All these ecofriendly measures are juxtaposed with battery operated buggies which transport guests to their quaint cottages. The Accor Group is among the early entrants to set out on a green campaign. Even as early as two decades ago, the hotel chain realised that it was worthwhile to map out energy efficient initiatives for sustainable development. “Many solutions were adopted to contribute to the development of local communities, optimise water and energy consumption and reduce the hotels’ environmental footprint,” explained Gopal Paranthaman,

HOTEL Business Review

Director Engineering, ibis Bengaluru Techpark, and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark, which are under the ambit of Accor Hotels. A recent move in this direction is the adoption of a new sustainable development strategy titled PLANET 21 by Accor Group. Simply put, it outlines 21 commitments and goals, many of which will be fulfilled in 2015. It includes encouraging guests and employees to contribute towards reinventing Accor hotel properties, sustainably. ibis Bengaluru Techpark, and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark are part of Accor’s PLANET 21 campaign. At its best, PLANET 21 is Accor’s way of saying Save the Planet, and this happens in the form of educational messages through bookings, room stays and restaurant service. A survey conducted in this regard revealed that 67

percent of leisure guests take sustainable development actions into account when choosing a hotel. The eco-friendly measures adopted at ibis Bengaluru Techpark and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark have clocked in an overall savings of 30 percent to 40 percent on electricity. The water conservation measures adopted at the properties ensured that the average daily consumption of water per room is not more than 300-350 liters, which would otherwise have been more than 500 liters. Fuel energy efficiency has been recorded at an average of 500 liters per day at the twin properties and this consumption certainly would have been 10 percent to 20 percent more than the current consumption levels without the green initiatives being implemented. “We have already incorporated the

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Environment

HOTEL Business Review

walls remain under shadow thereby decreasing surface radiation. Of course, as you have expected, the property has adopted water conservation measures in line with its eco-friendly profile. “Jaisalmer has survived on a single manmade lake called the Gadisagar. Drawing inspiration from this, we have employed carefully planned techniques. All taps contain aerators, which increase the water’s force and reduces outflow, thereby saving water. Using these aerators saves up to 50 percent of water,” revealed Shekhawat. All plants are on drip irrigation and wastewater is treated and reused for horticulture. Eventually, the hotel has decided to latest in green design for our properties in Bangalore. Minimising glass exteriors, and perfectly sealing the building from all points reduces heat transfer and emissions from the air-conditioning plant,” Paranthaman explained. Clever space planning has helped reduce the public areas in the hotels, in turn decreasing the quantity of waste material. The ibis Bengaluru Techpark and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark have integrated innovative measures in their effort to do their bit for the blue planet. For instance, from the technology point of view, the hotels have IP integration that help combine back of office systems and prevent duplication of cost and resource wastage in the build. Innovative technology helps optimise energy, water and fuel consumption. Automatic usage of the building management systems (BMS) through an IT-enabled plant helps in forming a perfect integration to optimise savings of energy and reduction of waste, hence leading to reduced costs. The long-term plans for these Accor properties in Bangalore include proposing new initiatives like solar hot water system, solar lighting, heat recovery from diesel generators, heat recovery from laundry ETP plant, and garden waste management. If you are not green you are not sustainable. The message is clear and that is why right from the word ‘Go,’ the twoyear-old Suryagarh hotel, launched by the MRS Hospitality Group in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, has made every effort to be ecofriendly. “Ours is an eco- friendly hotel. We have used PPC (Portland Pozzalana Cement) instead of OPC (Ordinary

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Portland Cement),” asserted Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, Managing Director, Suryagarh, throwing light on the design scheme of this luxurious boutique hotel. Fly ash that is used to make PPC, comes from the waste of thermal power plants. This way, the waste product which could have become a serious environmental hazard, now becomes a sought-after raw material. “Hence, PPC has certain distinct environmental advantages like effective waste utilisation, which makes it more environmental friendly than OPC,” explained Shekhawat. The property is made of Jaisalmer stone which reduces the recurring costs of painting it from time to time. Being in the sandy dunes of Jaisalmer, Suryagarh with its 62 rooms and public areas facing the exteriors or courtyards are designed to attract optimum natural light. The design scheme has made sure that the protrusions in the facade play an important role since majority of the dead

acquire an area in the vicinity to build a huge rain harvesting structure. “The presence of non permeable layer of bentonite in our soil is responsible for generating massive runoffs from rainwater, even with a small amount of rainfall,” Shekhawat said logistically, while adding, “Through this structure, the hotel intends to capture the water which would otherwise get wasted.” The area is naturally low lying one with a huge catchment area and is close to the hotel. And if Shekhawat is to be believed, through the help of this rain harvesting structure, transporting water from outside will be reduced, thereby lowering the dependence on diesel, and also the overall carbon footprint. No doubt, seeing the current trend, it would not be far-fetched to say that many hotel chains operating in India have responded to the green call with verve. Take the case of Lemon Tree Hotels, a 10year-old upscale hotel chain with a


Environment presence in 14 cities. In its design and conceptualisation, Lemon Tree Hotels has used glazed sound proof windows. Alternate sources of energy are being tapped by the hotel chain. Wind power is being harnessed in a phased manner because the wind power initiative saves lots of money per hotel. A wind power project is coming up at the Chennai property of Lemon Tree Hotels, within the next 18 months. “We have been experimenting with new ideas like wind power, using BEE certified equipment and solar panels, among others. Since 2004, all these are being implemented across all the 18 hotels under the Lemon Tree Premier, Lemon Tree Hotels, and Red Fox Hotels brands in 14 cities,” explained JK Chawla, Executive Vice President — Projects & Engineering Services, Lemon Tree Hotels. Overall, it is a cost cutting effort, but the challenge lies in implementing measures without tampering with the physical layout of the hotels. “Our energy saving initiatives and other conservation initiatives are an inbuilt part of our business model and

HOTEL Business Review

project design,” reasoned Chawla. All these are being planned strategically and with a purpose. For instance, solar panel for hot water saves Rs.1200 per hotel per day which amounts to Rs.7 lakh per annum for the group. An estimated calculation has indicated that insulation from heat leads to reduction in AC load by 5 percent. CFL lighting in place of traditional incandescent lighting saves 60 65 percent power, and LED lighting saves a further 50 percent. At Aditya Park, Hyderabad, room guests are gently urged to save water, as save water cards are placed in the rooms. Water saving taps have been installed. This is part

of the hotel’s green team effort to reduce consumption by at least 10-30 percent in the areas of solid waste, chemicals, energy, water, fuel and emissions. “In our green team we implement measures for optimally utilising the natural sources. For example, while cleaning the rooms, hotel staff switches off the air-conditioning and open windows to bring sunlight in to the room,” added Pankaj Saxena, the General Manager, Aditya Park Hyderabad, a Sarovar Portico hotel, which is a premium mid-market hotel from the Sarovar Group. One green effort at Aditya Park, Hyderabad is to offer a comfortable forum where employees can learn about environmental issues, meet new people and exchange ideas. The hotel felt it was a return-on-investment (ROI) to install a 150 KVA Power Saver for the chiller plant apart from investing on a 150 KVA Power Saver for the lighting panel. It has proved to be a wise proposition. The chiller plant is being maintained and monitored as per the standard set point according to the ambient temperatures. That is a green thought, well executed. ■

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F&B

HOTEL Business Review

Challenges of Renovating

Hospitality By Sharmila Chand

I

t is true that restaurants and discotheques/nightclubs are eventually judged by their food & beverage options, and fun factors. Nevertheless, the decor and ambience too make for a big impression on the guests. Planning the renovation of a restaurant or a discotheque/nightclub in a hotel is no doubt, a daunting task. But by methodical planning, one can execute a seamless renovation strategy. However, it is essential to cross check a few crucial points while beginning the renovation process in a hotel’s restaurant or a nightclub/discotheque. The experts in the field have pointed out some important questions, which must be answered at the time of planning their renovation. In fact, these factors can be applicable for a host of hospitality renovations.

Questions Needing Answers The most important question to analyse

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when beginning a hospitality renovation is why the renovation is needed in the first place. This question has several questions in its ambit. Are you renovating to update the look and feel of the ambience, or are you renovating to improve the function of the space available or are you renovating to change the use of the space needed to be clarified specifically and then answered satisfactorily. Moreover, what is the budget of a renovation of a hospitality property, who is your clientele, and whether are you serving your clientele to the best of your ability also need to be answered before undertaking a hospitality renovation. There is no denying the fact that budget is the key differentiator to decide on the scale of renovation. Every renovation project should begin with a fixed budget and one should establish the parameters of the project within that

budget. “Keeping within the budget is important, and based upon the budget you need to decide on the extent of renovation,” pointed out Tarun Bhatia, F&B Manager, Eros - Managed by Hilton New Delhi Nehru Place. Knowing your clientele and what type of experience are they looking for is also very much important. Considering those décor and ambience ideas that can help you serve your clientele better and exploring how your staff can successfully service your clientele better are questions worth exploring.

Expert Advice Experts say that these questions may vary depending upon the scale and nature of the hospitality business. But if you consider them as the checklist, they will help you to start in the right direction. There is a consensus that a professional


F&B

HOTEL Business Review

should be consulted for renovation in the hospitality sector. Professionals can help save resources by taking advantage of their planning, design and construction experience. ”Consulting an architect or an interior designer helps you prioritise your renovation and helps you decide on a layout and choose finishing materials. One should look for a designer whose portfolio includes several previous hotel renovation projects,” opined a senior hospitality professional.

Challenges to Tackle No doubt, there are several challenges involved in renovation of a restaurant or a discotheque/nightclub or any other segment of a hospitality property. According to Sameer Sharma, Assistant F&B Manager, Hilton New Delhi Noida Mayur Vihar, the challenges of renovating a restaurant in a hotel include, “Deciding on the theme and décor, scheduling the re-opening, deciding on the menu and the USP, and staff engagement.”

Renovations in hotels “have to be well planned in advance so that guests do not go through any inconvenience.

— Vivin Kuriakose, Director, F&B, JW Marriott Hotel Chandigarh

Bhatia believes that while renovating a restaurant in a hotel it is very important to ensure that the loyal guests stay with you. “Proper information should be passed to the restaurant regulars to avoid any disappointing situation for the guests when they walk-in to the renovated restaurant,” he proffered. He also added that, “A detailed study must be conducted before renovating the hospitality space. Choosing the trend which has a longer shelf life and yet not simulates the existing trend is a challenge. Renovation is an opportunity to introduce something new to the market.” The seasoned F&B Manager also pointed out that one of the challenges of renovation of a hospitality property is that “The renovation work in one part of the hotel should not affect other parts of the hotel. The management needs to ensure that the movement of the work force is very discreet,” aired Bhatia. “Disturbance to guests during renovation stage may affect the guest experience,” cautioned Vivin Kuriakose, Director, F&B at JW Marriott Hotel Chandigarh.

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FS&pBa

HOTEL Business Review

Dos and Don’ts of Renovating a Restaurant By Sameer Sharma, Assistant F&B Manager, Hilton New Delhi Noida Mayur Vihar • Ask for the guests’ opinion before deciding on the theme. • Keep the guests updated about the renovation process, create hype. • Do not change the whole concept. • If possible, build on the prime theme to retain the old guests. • Consider retaining the star menu items as part of the new menu.

While undertaking “renovation of restaurants,

adherence to the timeline is very important. This not only helps the management to remain within the set budget but also helps in setting up the guest’s faith in the new product.

— Tarun Bhatia, F&B Manager, Eros - Managed by Hilton New Delhi Nehru Place Limited space poses another challenge towards hospitality renovation. “For example, the new concept that is decided for the restaurant renovation of a hotel has to be adjusted around the previous space available,” asserted Kuriakose. Of course, renovation entails challenges involved in budgeting, especially for the managed hotels.

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By Tarun Bhatia, F&B Manager, Eros - Managed by Hilton New Delhi Nehru Place • Study the local trends. • Do a feasibility study of your renovation concept. • Plan your renovation as per the budget. • Innovate. • Keep in touch with the restaurant’s regular guests. • Don’t try to replicate a successful concept, take ideas but don’t copy. Repetition is boring. • Don’t try to be too radically original as well; you might not be accepted at all. • Don’t undertake renovation without planning. • Don’t waste an opportunity to offer something new/ exciting to your guests and potential guests. • Don’t initiate renovation without professional help. By Vivin Kuriakose, Director, F&B, JW Marriott Hotel Chandigarh • Conduct a market survey on what concept may work; make a budget for planned expenses; chalk a plan on how to ensure that the guests don’t get negatively influenced by the renovation work. • Don’t rush into renovating of restaurants without conducting a feasibility exercise. “Managed hotels need approvals from owners that may be lengthy and time consuming. Owners need to buy the new concept for renovation, but also need to agree on the capital

expenditure involved, in order to make the idea of the given renovation a reality,” confirmed Kuriakose. “Moreover, adhering to the time line is a big challenge,” Bhatia said, while mentioning that various factors could negatively influence the timeline. They can be funding problems, movement in other parts of the hotel, the lack of coordination with various vendors, etc. Renovation of hospitality property may also include inclusion of new personnel, which may pose another challenge, especially for the Indian hospitality industry, which is faced with a perpetual human resource shortage. “For example, the renovation of a restaurant in a hotel may also involve bringing in a new specialty Chef, which can take time to find,” pointed out Kuriakose. I


Design

HOTEL Business Review

Not Just Paper By Kanishka Gupta

H

otels are traffic-intensive properties catering to different types and profiles of guests, which can be broadly classified under business and leisure. Each of these broad categories entails several sub-divisions. Irrespective of their category, the guests expect the best in ambience and service. However, maintenance of the hotel’s facilities is a challenge for the owner and as well as for the operator of the facilities. Wall coverings are an effective means towards maintenance of facilities in hotels. Wall coverings for the hospitality industry are very vital, as aesthetically, they provide a rich, timeless, warm and textured appearance to walls, which is not otherwise possible through routine paints. They are low on maintenance, besides carrying safety features for fire and flame retardency. Wallpapers are products which can beautify any hotel interior with their design, concept, colour and textures. As compared to a bland paint, it provides a huge variety, thereby, completely changing the look and feel of the interiors. Modern wall coverings consist of aesthetic appeal unmatched by painted surfaces. Plain and paper-backed wall coverings have limitations as the impact resistance is poor, whereas fabric-backed vinyl wall coverings are long lasting and are easy to clean. Speciallycoated wall coverings do not absorb material, as a result these wall coverings do not get stained with permanent markers, betel leaf, tobacco marks, etc. A hotel fitted with a good quality fabric-backed vinyl wall covering will have maintenance-free surfaces for at least 7-10 years. In case a repair has to be carried out, then the turnaround time is minimal with little or minimal damage to carpets, etc. Wallpapers and wall coverings offer increased functionality. Whiteboard wall covering allows the use of special dry erase

markers for presentations or notes. Though predominately used in commercial settings, this type of wall covering would also be excellently suited for a board room for projection purposes. Acoustic wall covering, though traditionally associated with commercial applications, are more commonly utilised in AHU rooms and generator rooms to reduce the noise level. These wall coverings are specifically engineered to absorb sound energy. Cork wall covering are useful as either a bulletin board, a natural sound deadening material, a natural wall covering, a textured wall covering, or a combination of its many functions. Metallic or organic wall covering have the impact of real copper or mica flakes as a wall covering. Leather wall covering provides great warmth. According to the latest Hite Report, developed for The Bell Systems by Jim Hite, lifecycle analysis shows that wall coverings now last five times longer than paint, under normal usage conditions. Most vinyl wall coverings can maintain their original beauty and performance characteristics for at least 15 years,

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Design

HOTEL Business Review

whereas a painted surface must be subjected to more frequent cleaning to maintain its appearance, and generally requires repainting after approximately every three years. While the initial investment is higher, choosing vinyl wall covering over paint can result in a savings of 30 percent or more over time.

Anil Mahale

Creating an Exotic Environment

“Several types of wallpapers are available in the market, depending on your budget. You can easily have a tailor-made look through your wallpaper. It gives more freedom to the designer to have the wall perfectly done and then work on the upholstery. As wall papers have a uniform flow, it creates a wow effect with the right kind of lighting,” said Himanshu Drawid, the Executive Housekeeper, Hotel Royal Orchid Central, Pune. Wallpapers can transform a hotel room or an outlet in a hotel from staid or boring to spectacular in a way that paint and other decorating techniques would find it difficult to attain. Wallpapers can create an illusion of making a room appear bigger or smaller, thus changing its functionality. “Different kinds of wallpapers can give different effects. To make a small room look larger, we should pick a wallpaper that has small designs or prints on it. For instance, small pansies can make a small room seem much larger than it Karan Sharma actually is. Another technique is to use lighter colours rather than dark colours,” averred Zulfiqar Ali – Executive Housekeeper, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park. To make a room seem smaller and much more cosy, one should use large designs and prints in the wallpaper. Dark colours will make a space seem smaller than it is. For example, if we are choosing wallpaper for a room that has a low ceiling and you want to create the opposite illusion then we should choose a wallpaper that has either stripes or pattern that flows in vertical lines from top to bottom. Colours greatly influence atmosphere. If we would like a room to seem warmer, we should choose wallpapers with warm colours like amber, gold, brick, and soft reds. “While selecting wallpapers, we should consider the area and the design where we will be placing the Archana Gaggar wallpaper. Keeping the

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furniture in mind, in one of the hotels we placed printed wallpapers above the head board, thus giving the room a very cosy look,” asserted Drawid.

Types of Wallpapers There are different types of wall coverings. Paper-backed printed wall coverings are called wallpapers in common parlance. In paper-backed vinyl wallpapers the surface design is achieved in vinyl on paper; in fabric-backed vinyl wallpapers the surface is vinyl and the backing is cotton fabric; in silk paper-backed wallpapers, different types of silks are treated with a paper lining; PVC fabrics are woven with different types of backings; in non-woven wallpapers normally wood pulp and polyester are used where the percentage varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. “Vescom manufactures fabric-backed vinyl, silk and nonwovens. We have supplied silks, fabric-backed vinyls to Novotel and Crowne Plaza properties among others. Our Indian operations is very recent but worldwide; we are one of the largest suppliers of wall coverings,” informed Anil Mahale, Managing Director, Vescom Wallcoverings (India). Generally, hotels use wallpapers which have a PVC front and backing of either fabric or non-woven paper due to its excellent scratch and impact resistance, which is a must in public places. “For certain specific places like suites and restaurants, the hotels may go in for more exclusive wallpapers like silk, jute, mica chips, glass beads, etc. Our clients include Shangri-La, Four Seasons, JW Marriott, Taj Lands’ End, Intercontinental and many more. Around 10 percent of our sales come from hotel clients,” elaborated Karan Sharma, Director, Marshalls Enterprise (India). “For hotels essentially, heavy vinyl wall coverings which are scrubbable, fire/flame resistant, sunlight fast, and low on maintenance have become the norm worldwide and in India too. These being constant, a design theme and aesthetic requirements need to be matched with wall coverings,” explained Archana Gaggar, Director, Ego Group of Companies. “All interior products in any hotel are specified by architects and hence it is very important to be in regular touch with them as they specify the right product for the hotel. Purchase orders are generally issued by the purchase head of any hotel,” pointed out Sharma.


Design

HOTEL Business Review

Technological Factors

While ordering wall papers for hotel one should keep in mind the desired look and feel of the space. Selecting wall paper is tougher than picking paint, because one has to decide on both colour and pattern. Simply painting your wall is limiting. Yes, it can add colour, but it leaves out important elements of interior designing like texture, shape, concept, etc. “Durability of the product and its tentative cost are also important factors as the retail cost of a wallpaper can range from Rs.10 per sq. ft to Rs 800 per sq. ft. But wallpaper price doesn’t necessarily indicate the product’s level of durability. In fact, some of the most expensive wallpapers are delicate and must be treated with circumspection to avoid damage,” said Sujata Hoon Belwal and Alankrita Soni , who are renowned interior design consultants.

Installation Process Placing wallpapers in rooms can save a lot time that would otherwise be spent in plastering the walls. However, wallpapers require even walls. The best thing to do would be to place gypsum board or create a wall with gypsum board; placing thermocol between two sheets of gypsum boards to make it sound proof. “While selecting the wallpaper one should check the thickness of the top sheet (printed/ prime layer) and the base. If using in room, we require thick wallpaper so that we can keep it clean, and can scrub with nylon scrubber. Patch work should be immaculate, for if it becomes apparent it can spoil the effect. Excess glue should be cleaned immediately,” proffered Drawid.

“Vescom’s perspective has always been that in wallpaper, a property owner should get the maximum possible life with enhanced ambience. Vescom works very closely with designers across the world and designs are created in accordance with the present and future needs,” averred Mahale. “Some of the technological factors that are Himanshu Drawid driving the manufacture of wallpapers are the nature of printing technique needed for a particular print effect, the extent of recyled or green-certified content required among others,” informed Archana. For hotels it is important to have a technically sound product and hence the manufacturer always concentrates on providing the supplier a strong product with technical features like fire retardant, washability, impact and scratch resistance. In addition, manufacturers are trying to innovate and come up with new concepts and designs so as to enhance the beauty of the interiors through wallpapers. This includes experimenting with various materials like glass beads, crystals, mica chips, silk, etc. “An evident trend is also to get wallpapers designed by world famous fashion designers and architects. We at Marshalls have a seperate range from such celebrated designers,” affirmed Sharma.

Evolution of the Industry

Zulfiqar Ali

“Growth in the wallpaper industry has been good, although the maximum growth was seen in paper-backed vinyls due to lower costs. However, property owners/operators have learned from failures. So far, the mainstay of the business has been with importers/traders. Some exceptional, committed players are in the field and are focussing on brand building,” concurred Mahale. “Over the last two decades, the wallpapers have scientifically evolved into more resilient, washable, sunlight fast and greener options. These advancements have increased acceptance of these products in India, as they are now easier to maintain, and above all they come with some aesthetic options,” opined Archana. “Nowadays, we get wallpapers made with the latest technology and futuristic trends thereby giving the consumers a huge variety to choose Sujata Hoon Belwal from,” concluded Sharma. ■

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Spa

HOTEL Business Review

Wellness with Nature By Sharmila Chand

C

itrus Backwaters Spa Retreat, Alleppey is a property of Citrus Hotels & Resorts, a venture of Mirah Hospitality. The retreat is located by the national waterways, on the banks of the Pallathuruthy river. The property is surrounded with lush green paddy fields overlooking the river, and is well connected through all modes of transport to major parts of Kerala. Spread over six acres of land, the retreat offers rooms with spectacular views of the lake and verdant paddy fields. In fact, the location of the property is its USP as the property is located in the midst of paddy fields, lake and canals. A specialty floating restaurant, coffee shop, conference rooms, business centre, spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, boat rides, kids’ play zone complete the holistic holiday experience at the retreat. Accessible only by water, the singular feature of this retreat is that it provides

transfers by houseboat. The property comes across as a perfect blend of timehonoured Kerala tradition of hospitality and modern amenities.

The Man and the Spa Santhosh Nair, the General Manager at Citrus Backwaters Spa Retreat, Alleppey, has over 23 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has worked with the renowned hospitality chains like the Taj Group of Hotels, The Oberoi Group, and the Jaypee Hotels. His last assignment was with the Lemon Tree Hotels as Hotel Manager. Nair is armed with expertise in hospitality’s various departments like projects & operations management, preopening of hotels & resorts, strategic planning, sales & marketing, budget & revenue analysis, food & beverage, training and spa. The excerpts of the interview follow:

How long have you been in the spa industry? What are the kind of changes you have witnessed in Kerala’s spa industry, during the last five-six years?

I have been managing spa resorts since the last six years. In today’s globalised times, guests are more aware and are particular about their expectations. The spa industry in Kerala is now no longer limited to the Ayurvedic treatments as in the previous years; today the customers are experimental enough to try out international therapies as well. Hence, spa resorts in Kerala now offer Thai, Balinese, and Swedish therapies, which are equally appreciated and accepted by the travellers. What are the current top trends in the Indian wellness industry?

One prominent trend is the emergence of spas as havens of medical tourism. Many spa resorts recognise the new opportunities

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Spa

HOTEL Business Review

that medical tourism presents and market themselves as ideal locations for pre and post medical treatment hubs. With the demand for effective wellness solutions in the society showing a sharp rise, spas are now in a unique position to help people make the kind of lifestyle changes that can lead to their long-term health and well-being. The intensity and the frequency with which people are now getting tuned to wellness solutions are exploding worldwide, and India is no exception to this trend. Spas are playing a major role in catering to this trend. How are you promoting Citrus Backwaters Spa Retreat, Alleppey hotel as a spa hotel?

Special packages are introduced for the guests, which includes stay at the retreat and the availing of spa facilities. The packages start with one night onwards and go up to three nights. Each package includes various spa therapies for body, skin, face, etc. for two. These packages are available on our website, on all online channels, at our central reservation office. They are being promoted through our regional sales offices and by mailers to our regular patrons. What are the top three traits or skills every Spa Head must have to manage the spa successfully?

She/he should have excellent communication skills, must have sound product knowledge in terms of both theory & practical, and must have a positive attitude. Is your job challenging? Can you point out five challenges?

Of course, my job is very much challenging, due to the market dynamics, pricing, innovation involved in special spa packages, web promotions, and for providing personalised services with benchmark. Even employee retention in the current market becomes a challenge for the Spa Manager. What direction do you see the Indian spa industry taking in the next ten years?

Indian spa industry has seen some unique growth in the recent years. The country has graduated in to a hot

destination for spa tourism and most spas in India now include a number of different therapies such as meditation, reflexology, skin treatments, aromatherapy, etc. People are coming especially to India for treatments. In this context, the Indian spa industry offers huge opportunity in the future; it has the potential of becoming an independent small scale industry. Could you tell us the USP of your spa? What distinguishes it from others?

As far as our spa’s USP is concerned, we are the only spa in the Alleppey belt that offers fusion of international wellness and Ayurvedic therapies. All the treatment rooms are attached with the modern shower cubicle with hydro shower, steamer and Jacuzzi. How many treatment rooms do you have, and how big is the spa at the retreat?

The spa and fitness center comprises an area of 4000 sq. m with five treatment rooms, which includes one couple suite. Each therapy room has its own unique charm with modern steam chamber attached with Jacuzzi and hydro shower. Do you treatment?

offer

a

signature

Yes, we do offer a signature therapy, which is called ‘Citrus Romance.’

Kindly throw some light on this

The spas of Citrus Hotels & Resorts have a special treatment targeted towards the honeymooners and for the couple, which is called as ‘Citrus Romance.’ This therapy includes body wrapping/exfoliation and a facial. It gives completeness to your mind, body and soul. Do you have some special massages?

Citrus Resort spas are created while keeping the profile of the resort/retreat users in mind. The list of spa therapies has been tailored to suit a variety of guest requirements. Such therapies include Swedish, aromatherapy, Balinese, Thai, deep tissue, fusion Ayurveda, Hot-stone Therapy, foot reflexology, and Citrus Signature. What is your treatment and why?

favourite

I greatly enjoy Balinese therapy as it incorporates dry and oil massage; it enhances the energy and completely relaxes the body. It focuses on both joints and muscles, which gives it another wellness edge. Any other point you wish to make?

Consistency in service is our brand promise. Our endeavour is to exceed guests’ expectations by time- bound deliveries and through optimum combination of prices and products.

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Focus

HOTEL Business Review

The Sixth Sense of Wellness S

ix Senses is a name which automatically endows a spa with assumption of international quality. Six Senses is a resort and spa management and development company, which manages resorts under the brand names Six Senses, Evason, and Six Senses Spas. Over 15 years, Six Senses Spas have developed a reputation for creating harmonious wellness spaces which blend seamlessly with local culture and surroundings and deliver memorable spa experiences. These same values are reflected in the very first spa in India having the brand of Six Senses Spas, which was opened in the very recent past at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort in Greater Noida. The spa presents a wonderful and holistic wellness concept across 90,000 sq.ft., which is expected to impress the discerning spa goers in DelhiNCR and beyond. The demand for spas is increasing in urban India, especially metropolitan India, largely due to our hectic lifestyles filled with tensions, due to the prevalence of many chronic ailments into our largely sedentary lives, and also because of increased disposable incomes in select sections of Indian society. According to Manju Sharma, Director — Operations, Jaypee Hotels, “Wellness is going

Manju Sharma

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to be a necessity of our tension-filled times, and it is about time we start providing wellness solutions of international standards in our spas.” In the backdrop of the growing demand for spas across urban India, the introduction of Six Senses Spas in India assumes great importance for the wellness business of India. Designed in the style of a traditional Indian house, the spa features beautiful inner courtyards, water features and various therapy and relaxation areas. Locally sourced wood and stone are used throughout the opulent spa, whose inviting ambience is dotted with traditional artifacts including antique bronzed pots, vases and urns. The spa at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, embodying the brand of Six Senses Spas, occupies a three-storied building and is a true testament to the company’s philosophy on sustainability, that is reflected from the choice of materials and design features to the organic garden, which is providing a rich collection of herbs and fruits as ingredients for locally inspired treatments and spa experiences. The basement of the building where the spa is housed has a state-of-the-art fitness centre, changing rooms, a juice bar, yoga studio and aerobics pool surrounded by an indigenous herbal garden. The spa reception, another juice bar and the Six Senses Gallery are located on the ground floor together with consultation rooms, four single treatment rooms, changing facilities with steam, sauna, experience shower, ice fountain and private pools, a private nap room and relaxation areas. Specialist treatment rooms for Ayurveda, Thai, colonic hydrotherapy and Watsu therapy are also situated on this level. Facilities at the first floor include male and female hammams, a meditation cave, single and double treatment rooms, a ladies club and golfer’s treatment area. The ladies club is an ideal location for hosting private spa parties.

It can serve as a haven for beauty and wellness for ‘brides to be’ and provides services such as luxurious hair spa treatments, hair styling, blow dry and colouring. The spacious ladies’ only beauty area also has a private make-up studio for special events, and personalised make-up lessons. Overall, the spa menu at the spa features nurturing and soothing treatments, which are complemented by result-oriented therapies and personalised programmes. A hallmark for the luxurious spa at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort is a selection of locally-inspired treatments using indigenous ingredients such as golden marigold, castor, jasmine, tamarind, thyme, and pomegranate among others. The spa offers many wonderful healing and rejuvenating experiences. Those looking for a gentler way of relieving tensions can experience the healing and rejuvenating effect of Watsu in the spa’s dedicated Watsu pool. This therapy combines the benefits of warm water with massage, shiatsu and stretching to improve flexibility, relax muscles and bring about a general sense of well-being. One can also get pampered with Six Senses’ signature massages, facials, scrubs and wraps. For example, the signature Oriental Massage is a truly individual journey, combining acupressure and stretching to un-knot muscles, de-stress and restore energy. It affords a singular experience after a busy brainstorming meeting, or after a busy day of shopping. However, the holistic wellness experience at the spa at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort goes much beyond pampering and rejuvenation. Ready-made packages focusing on detox and slimming as well as longer-stay Ayurvedic programmes have been conceived to facilitate guests achieve their personal health and wellness goals. These are complemented by a variety of group and private classes of yoga, meditation and pilates.


Product Preview

Automatic Sliding Doors Sliders work more swiftly than push and pull doors. Ozone’s Automatic Sliding Doors are robust and have proved their mettle in all these years. The systems have a very low maintenance requirement and can be used in even the most high traffic areas without any glitches; offering a ‘5-S’ experience to its users – Speed, Silence, Strength, Safety, and Smoothness. The door systems are certified for their quality and performance and conform to European and American CE Standards. These systems use the internationally acclaimed BEA Eagle Motion Sensor from Europe, which is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of radar sensors. Ozone Auto Doors can be bi parting sliding doors, telescopic opening doors, swing doors or can be revolving, and therefore can suit requirement for any type of application, whether they be main entrances, shop entrances, hospitals or residences. The door panel can be made of metal, wood or frameless glass as per the choice and preference of the customers. The doors can also be fitted with a wide range of sensors like remotes, access control, bio metric or foot sensors and therefore can be used in commercial spaces, hotels, hospitals, residences and shops. In addition to the Auto Doors, Ozone also offers a range of intelligent lock systems with bio metric or numerical codes for wooden and glass doors. All products from Ozone come along with a responsible service network ensuring minimal breakdowns. Ozone Overseas Pvt. Ltd. ozone@ozone-india.com

HOTEL Business Review

Roll in to a Blissful Slumber SpringFit Roll-away Bed stands apart from any run-of-the-mill add-on bed operations. Its robust design featuring sturdy folding frame, heavy duty metal legs, cross support and smooth

rolling wheels makes it very stable, secure and durable. This is a foldable bed with wheels that can be easily rolled away into bedroom along with mattress. The leg extends automatically when the bed is lowered. Moreover, these beds greatly save on space. This unique bed can be stored in less space at day time, thereby affording ample walking space required in the room. At night, you can open it out for your guests. It can be completely made up with blankets, sheets and pillows. When the guest arrives, all she/he has to do is pull the bed down, extend it on wheels and set it up on the floor. Now this bed is completely ready for the weary traveler, to facilitate her/ him to a great night's blissful slumber. No wonder, the product is sure to please the most discerning hotel guests. Springfit Marketing Inc. sales@springfitmattress.com

Turnkey Laundry Solutions Supershine has been successfully installing and maintaining commercial laundry equipment since 1990, in India and its neighbouring countries. Supershine offers turnkey solutions for any type of laundry projects. It represents world’s leading brands specialising in laundry and drycleaning equipment. The company has panIndian presence to provide quality services and spares, as per the requirements of the clients. The list of clients range from the best in the hospitality industry, which include names like Oberoi, Taj, Hyatt, Sheraton, Le Meridien, Radisson, Marriot, Leela, etc., to the leading healthcare industry players like Apollo, Escorts, Medanta - The Medicity, AIIMS, etc. to the major army hospitals like AFMC and various establishments and units of Army, Navy, and Air Force, and also garment exporters and commercial laundries. Supershine Laundry Systems Pvt. Ltd. corporate@supershine.in The information published in this section is as per the details furnished by the respective manufacturer/distributor. In any case, it does not represent the views of Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

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A d v e r t i s e r ’s I n d e x

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AIM TECH

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COMBII ORGANOCHEM PVT. LTD.

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COMPANY

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RATIONAL INDIA

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REMINGTON STEEL ARTS

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DEXTROUS INFOSOLUTIONS PVT. LTD.

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SAMRAT FURNISHERS

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DOLLAR ELECTRICAL INDUSTRIES

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SIO VASUNDHRA INTERNATIONAL PVT. LTD.

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ELECTROLUX

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SNOOZER BEDDING LTD.

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FCML PROJECTS

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SONY INDIA

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FIDELIO INDIA PVT. LTD.

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SPRING AIR BEDDING CO. (INDIA) LTD.

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IFB INDUSTRIES LTD.

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SPRINGFIT MARKETING INC.

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KESRI TRANSCONTINENTAL

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SPRINGWEL MATTRESSES PVT. LTD.

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KRONA LIQUATEC LTD.

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SUPERSHINE LAUNDRY SYSTEMS PVT. LTD.

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TERMINIX SIS INDIA

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LOOM CRAFTS FURNITURE (INDIA) PVT. LTD.

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MITORA MACHINEX PVT. LTD.

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TRAFS 2012

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MITZVAH ENGG. INC.

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TREND N DESIGN

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OZONE OVERSEAS PVT. LTD.

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VEDIC AROMA LAB

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PUSHKAL TEXTILES

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VENUS INDUSTRIES

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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

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RANS TECHNOCRATS (INDIA) PVT. LTD.

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Interview

HOTEL Business Review

Exuding Excellence By Sharmila Chand

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We have tied up with the Serena Spa which will soon be launched at the hotel. We also plan to open the first Asian tapas bar —Movida Tapas Bar & Lounge — by the end of 2012. What is your work philosophy?

I believe and promote work-life balance. I religiously believe in open communication as it is the way forward to have an integrated, motivated and a healthier growing happy team.

Could you reflect on the future plans and new initiatives that you wish to undertake in this property?

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What are your professional strengths?

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We pay special attention to F&B. Our Executive Chef is the only Indian who was the semi-finalist of MasterChef UK, Professional Series, 2011. Moreover, our recently launched Sunday Brunch has become the talk of the town where the guests can relish 300 choices with one price. Furthermore, in our efforts to deliver innovative packages we have launched ‘Get Stylish,’ an exclusive kitty party program for the ladies. It is a program by which we are recognising the clubs who use our hotel more

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Our brand positioning is all about providing ‘Vibrant, Contemporary and Engaging Hospitality.’ Our association with four elements of Hyderabad — art, music, fashion and lifestyle sports — have made us living our brand positioning of being a vibrant, contemporary and engaging hospitality property. Hyderabad is a corporate city with most of the hotel business coming from corporate

What is the marketing strategy you have adopted to promote your property?

often, by rewarding them and providing them with some exclusive benefits. Also, we have the exclusive ‘Dilmah T Bar,’ which will soon be introducing a whole new tea experience for the tea lovers of this city, and also the tourists.

What would you say is the differentiating factor of your F&B outlets?

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transit guests and/or conferences & meetings. Therefore, we have reached out to these segments to generate business for our hotel. Targeting the MICE business is a priority to us and we are very well designed to host small to medium sized groups and meetings. Our service concepts are unique to our brand; similarly our guests’ programs like ‘Club Carlson’ are highly rewarding and add great value to the guests. Moreover, our strategic partnerships with some leading airlines within India and internationally has facilitated us in reaching out to a vast database of our potential customers. Social media marketing is also our key focus to reach modern travellers and young generation tech-savvy guests.

Our location is our main USP. We have the prime location in the city, at Banjara Hills, which is the most posh, up market residential and commercial area of Hyderabad. The property is set amidst the elite residential area of Banjara Hills and offers a tranquil ambience, away from the hustlebustle of the city, and at the same time with close proximity to the commercial centre. Secondly, the hotel rooms with 44 sq. m room size, along with 24 hr. complimentary Wi-Fi facility and a 6 pm late check-out services offers unparalleled value to our guests. An important strength of this hotel is its people. At our hotel human resource is nurtured on a continual basis. We are a brand new hotel with a very young and vivacious team to serve the guests. Average age of our employees is 27 years. This also sets us apart from our competitors.

What is the USP of your property? What makes the property unique?

With an extensive background in the hospitality industry spanning 22 years, Nishan Silva brings impeccable managerial experience and a range of other hospitalityrelated skills to the table, as the General Manager of Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Hyderabad Banjara Hills, located at the posh Banjara Hills of the high-tech city, embodying historical legacy. Prior to joining Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Hyderabad Banjara Hills, he has held management positions with the Hilton properties in India, Sri Lanka, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Maldives and Switzerland. Speaking on his appointment and responsibilities he said, “As a General Manger my responsibility is to enable efficient and effective operations in all areas of the property, maintenance of high quality of service standards and delivering strong business dividends for the property.” Besides being an accomplished management professional, Silva is an exceptional trainer and mentor with skills to induce peak individual performance from team members, while driving sustained growth. He is also well-versed in hotel strategy and has an avid interest in food & beverage concepts & trends. The excerpts of the interview follow:

I think my ability to adapt quickly to various situations is my strength. I have been in the industry for more than 22 years and have worked in seven countries. This global exposure also contributes to my professional strength. I have spent a lot of time in operations. I have also been fortunate to undergo intensive programs in revenue generation. A combination of both is important these days to run a successful hotel business.


Hotel Business Review  

Sep-Oct 2012 ( An Exclusive Business Magazine for Hotel Industry)