Category Archives: Hotels

Hotels in Sikkim boycott Go-MMT effective January 16, 2019

The Sikkim Hotels & Restaurants Association (SHRA) recently convened hoteliers’ meeting in Gangtok during which it was unanimously agreed to not continue conducting business with Go-MMT until the concerns were addressed and resolved. Effective January 16, 2019, hotels in the state have indefinitely closed inventory to the OTAs and have decided to not honour any new bookings that might come through. During the meeting, SHRA member hotels also decided to terminate their contracts with Go-MMT immediately. Pema Lamta, President, SHRA, said, “We are in solidarity with the country’s apex hospitality body – Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and also our regional body – Hotel & Restaurant Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) in uniting against the OTAs’ unfair and discriminatory business practices. We have made an official appeal to all our members to not honour Go-MMT bookings from January 16, 2019, and have requested them to terminate their contracts with the OTAs immediately. However, we will accommodate guests who have already been booked through Go-MMT even after the 16th. We do not want our guests to be harassed or inconvenienced. However, they will be requested to make payments directly to the hotel instead of to the OTAs.” Many other hotel Associations across India have accused the said OTAs of charging exorbitant commissions, unfair accounting practices and unauthorised and further discounting of hotel prices set by hoteliers. The boycotting of the two online portals gained momentum after Ahmedabad Hotel Association had first raised the issue, which many other associations and hotels followed on later. “SHRA had earlier written to OTAs with concerns raised by local hotels and even held meeting with them. The association had raised specific concerns …

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Sarovar’s Jammu property to be operational by mid 2019

Sarovar Hotels and Resorts has signed Viraj Sarovar Portico, Jammu, the brand’s second hotel in Jammu & Kashmir after RK Sarovar Portico, Srinagar. Set to be operational in mid-2019, the property will offer 45 designed rooms with contemporary amenities and extensive banquet facilities for up to 5000 guests. The property is located in the epicentre of corporate, educational and industrial areas of Bari Brahmana. In close proximity to Jammu Airport and railway station, the hotel is designed with keeping modern travellers in mind. The facilities include car parking for more than 300 cars, gymnasium, spa, bar and an outdoor swimming pool. Commenting on the development, Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, said, “This announcement is aligned with our strategy of expanding and driving growth across all emerging destinations. Jammu is the nearest airport for connecting to Vaishno Devi, one of the most revered pilgrimage destinations in North India and we are delighted to serve the needs of the travellers, with a hotel offering best-in-class facilities and services in Jammu.”

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ibis debuts in Kolkata with 189 rooms and a redefined brand strategy

AccorHotels has announced the opening of the 189-room ibis Kolkata Rajarhat, marking the debut of the brand in the City of Joy, Kolkata. This is the group’s 50th property in India, taking the brand’s total inventory in the country to over 3,000 rooms. At the recent launch, the multinational hospitality company also announced the arrival of a new strategy for the ibis brand, designed keeping in mind the demands of today’s travellers. Speaking at the launch, Jean-Michel Cassé, COO, AccorHotels, India and South Asia, said, “The ibis brand and hotels in India have been successful in integrating into the hearts of Indians and our partnership with InterGlobe Hotels has been integral to this success. Last year we launched ibism, a campaign curated specially for guests and employees and now with the launch of ibis Kolkata Rajarhat, we start a new revolution in the space of in-demand economy hotels.” Also speaking on the occasion, JB Singh, President and CEO, InterGlobe Hotels, said, “We are thrilled to mark our presence in this city with ibis Kolkata Rajarhat, the first internationally branded economy hotel in Kolkata. The manner in which the city has endured persistently is not only demonstrative of its strength and resilience, but also indicates its potential going forth.” ibis Kolkata Rajarhat features 2,457 sqft of a pillar-less meeting space that can further be divided into three smaller rooms with a capacity for up to 250 guests. Other facilities include Spice It, the multi-cuisine restaurant; a web corner with work stations as well as a 24-hour gymnasium.

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The Fern Hotels & Resorts to open 20 new hotels in 2019

The Fern Hotels & Resorts is all set to open 20 Fern and Beacon Hotels across India and Nepal in the year 2019, said Suhail Kannampilly, COO, The Fern Hotels & Resorts. Out of these 20 hotels, two will be opened in Nepal – one in Kathmandu and second in Bharatpur, he informed. This will take the tally of the hotels managed by the group to 76, on our target to open 100 hotels by the year 2020, Kannampilly said. The 20 new hotels expected to open in the current year are located in Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bharatpur (Nepal), Bhopal, Goa (Verna), Indore, Karad, Kathmandu, Kolhapur, Kumbhalgarh, Lonavala (2 hotels), Manali, Morbi, Polo Forest (Gujarat), Sarnath (Varanasi), Satara, Shivamogga, Solapur and Surat. The year 2018 witnessed The Fern successfully foraying into cities like Belgaum, Bhuj, Dwarka, Jamnagar, Madhavpur (Gujarat), New Delhi, Parbhani (Maharashtra), besides taking over the operations of a hotel in Kathmandu. The footprint of the brand was further established in locations like Goa, Jaipur, Rajkot and Udaipur, where the company opened second and third hotels in the same city.

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10 out of 11 Indian cities registered increase in ARR

Ten out of eleven markets registered stability or increase in average daily rate (ADR)s in the first half of 2018, according to recent report by leading investment firm, JLL. Mumbai is the leader in absolute RevPAR and Delhi is the leader in RevPAR percentage change in H1 2018 over the same period last year. Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer- South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group said, “The overall business sentiment in the hotel industry has been high in 2018 and it may well be marked as the beginning of a sustainable upswing. Buoyed by occupancies touching 70 per cent in many markets and average rates registering improvement, the industry seems to be headed in the right direction. Having braved some early headwinds last year, the industry seems to have regained strength on the back of growing demand, slowing down of supply and various initiatives taken by the government.”

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Business travellers to generate maximum revenues in hospitality over the next years

Revenues from business travellers will grow significantly over the next few years, according to a CII-PwC report. Although MiCE has not been a significant contributor to the Indian hospitality sector so far, this trend is likely to change with better planning as well as improved infrastructure. On the other hand, few CEOs believe that leisure travel will keep pace with growth seen in business travel and MiCE. A large section of leisure travellers continue to perceive hotels as a luxury.

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‘Future hotel’ by Alibaba Group debuts in Hangzhou, China

Alibaba Group has opened its first ‘future hotel,’ known as Flyzoo Hotel, in Hangzhou, China. The hotel’s operation relies on smart interactive technologies, particularly facial recognition. A 1-meter high robot serves as a receptionist, remembering guests by using facial-recognition technology. It also uploads guest details to the country’s national public security system via a machine located in the lobby. However, to run housekeeping, FlyZoo still employs humans.

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Lemon Tree to operate 85 hotels by FY2021: Rattan Keswani

Lemon Tree Hotels will be operating 85 hotels with 8,674 rooms across 57 cities by FY2021, informed Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels and Director, Carnation Hotels. He said, “This year, we have enjoyed very high occupancy, close to 79 per cent. We have opened a few properties this year, including Dehradun, Pune, Siliguri and Morjim. We should be able to open an owned hotel in Mumbai, followed by Kolkata. Then we should be able to open a managed property in Kalina, Mumbai.”    

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Lemon Tree Hotels & Warburg Pincus enter into JV to form a co-living platform for millennials

Lemon Tree Hotels has formed a joint venture (JV) with an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, to create a co-living platform. The JV marks Lemon Tree Hotel’s entry into a new business segment focusing on the development of institutional-grade rental housing accommodation serving both students and young working professionals across major educational clusters and key office markets in India. Following Warburg Pincus’ successful partnerships in China and Hong Kong, this investment represents the first co-living platform which the firm has backed in India. An affiliate of Warburg Pincus and Lemon Tree Hotels will hold 68 per cent and 30 per cent stake, respectively in the JV, with the balance 2 per cent to be held by Patanjali Keswani. The JV partners will initially invest Rs 1,500 crore in equity over a period of time followed by an additional infusion of Rs 1,500 crore in equity at the option of the partners, to develop rental housing projects through a combination of greenfield purpose-built properties, refurbishment of existing under-managed/stressed commercial and residential assets taken on lease/acquisition basis as well as management of existing for-rent accommodation projects. The platform aims to provide affordable and conveniently located co-living spaces for students and young professionals, who are increasingly looking to be part of a vibrant community with like-minded individuals. Patanjali (Patu) Keswani, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, said, “We are delighted to once again partner with Warburg Pincus at an early stage of this exciting new business opportunity, which will allow Lemon Tree Hotels to move into a segment which is nascent but closely aligned to our existing target customers and which is expected to …

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