Category Archives: Hotels

Gokulam Hotels acquires MSR Hotel and Spa Bangalore

MSR Hotel and Spa Bangalore, which until the end 2017 was operational as Movenpick Hotel and Spa Bangalore Hotel has now been bought over by Gokulam Hotels and Resorts. The Gokulam Hotels and Resorts are owned by Sree Gokulam Chit & Finance Co have ambitious plans for the hotel group to have a strong brand presence built on robust operational services and hotel offerings, amenities and facilities. AM Gopalan, Managing Director says, “The Gokulam Group’s leap into the five star segment is a huge boost for the company. Bengaluru has always been a favourite destination and a start in Bengaluru is like a dream come true. Baiju Gopal, Executive Director says, “We are known for our excellent service standards and stellar properties across South India. Gokulam Grand is our foray into the IT city of Bangalore. We are firmly committed to strengthening, structuring and increasing the reach of our Hospitality division in the country, by standardizing our brand SOPs, deliverables and creating a niche brand in the market. We believe in becoming better with every guest feedback, and this premise of honoring our guest loyalty is our USP in every city that we operate in. Under their hospitality division, the company has properties across South India (Tamil Nadu and Kerala) under the brand name ‘Gokulam Park Hotels and Resorts’. With the addition of the MSR Hotel and Spa Bangalore to their portfolio, the group aims to strengthen its presence in the Southern region further and establish their brand in Bangalore.

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The Taj Group opens second hotel in Katra, J&K

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced the signing of a Vivanta in Katra with Delhi-based DMG Group. Speaking on the signing, Suma Venkatesh, Executive Vice President – Real Estate & Development, The Indian Hotels Company Limited said, “We are pleased to partner with DMG Group in bringing the Vivanta brand to Katra. This announcement is aligned to our strategy of expanding our footprint and driving growth across popular pilgrimage and tourist destinations.” Located in Katra – the base camp for the holy pilgrimage of Vaishno Devi, the hotel is conveniently located 42 kilometers from the Jammu airport. The 80-room hotel, spread over eight acres, offers charming views of the Holy Shrine and Trikuta Mountains. The hotel features an all-day restaurant, banqueting and recreation facilities including a gym, swimming pool and badminton court. Commenting on the partnership, Sushen Gupta, Managing Director, DMG Group said, “We are delighted to partner with The Indian Hotels Company Limited. We look forward to working with them to bring their unique Vivanta brand and legendary experience to visitors to the holy shrine.” The DMG Group hotel at Katra is an existing property. The owners will further invest approximately Rs 10 crore to bring the hotel to Vivanta brand standards by early 2019. Vivanta Katra will be the third IHCL branded hotel in Jammu and Kashmir, strengthening the company’s presence in the state.  The company also manages the Vivanta Dal View in Srinagar and Ginger in Katra.

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Rooms revenue contributed 53.6% to total hotel industry earnings in 2016-17

According to a latest research study by Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), in 2016-17, rooms revenue contributed a notable 53.6 per cent to the total hotel industry revenue, an increase over its percentage share in 2015-16, and an improvement from the declining trend exhibited in the years 2012-13 to 2014-15. On the other hand, contribution from Food & Beverage and Banquets declined to 39.5 per cent from 41.5 per cent recorded in 2015-16. The contribution of the other operating departments has remained range-bound,with a marginal increase recorded in 2016-17 over the previous fiscal.

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Lords Hotels & Resorts announces launch of new resort in Chotila, Gujarat

Lords Hotels & Resorts has announced plans of launching a new resort in Gujarat’s Chotila. Currently under construction, the resort is expected to commence operations in the last quarter of 2018 making it the chain’s 16th property in Gujarat and overall its 29th. To be launched as Lords Resort Chotila, the forty-six rooms resort will offer accommodations to the pilgrimage tourists visiting the popular Chotila Mata Mandir. Being a resort property it will host all kinds of recreational facilities which will serve as great holiday stays for the leisure tourists too. The development is also in line with Lords Hotels & Resorts’ focus on capitalising on pilgrimage tourism – a segment which is one of the support pillars of the Incredible India campaign. “We are delighted to announce our latest venture in Chotila. This will be our eighth property located at a pilgrimage site and we are consciously focusing on expanding in this segment. While Lords Resort Chotila will be a great place to stay for the pilgrimage tourist, the resort will be a fabulous retreat for the leisure traveller too. The resort architecture is inspired by the shape of a crescent moon and the rooms are designed in the traditional Bhunga style with adjoining private sit out areas overlooking water bodies built around it,” says P R Bansal, Chief Operating Officer, Lords Hotels & Resorts. “I wish to congratulate Ramzan V Halani who owns the property and look forward to partnering for future ventures in the region,” he adds.

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StayWell Holdings and Prince Hotels launch The Prince Akatoki in Japan

StayWell Holdings and Prince Hotels have announced the launch of a new luxury hotel brand offering – The Prince Akatoki – which will target the international market (outside of Japan) and complement the brands already operated by StayWell and Prince Hotels. Prince Hotels has agreed that StayWell Holdings will be assigned the rights to use The Prince Akatoki as the 5-star brand for future global development opportunities. Simon Wan, President and Director of StayWell Holdings said,” The Prince Akatoki will provide travellers with an opportunity to experience luxury services and amenities expected of a 5-star hotel brand reflecting certain elements of Japanese refined hospitality and culture. Japanese hospitality is renowned for service, tranquillity, and its peerless aesthetic. This is precisely what The Prince Akatoki will deliver. For international travellers, it offers a unique and authentic Japanese flavour.” “The travellers we anticipate as guests of The Prince Akatoki brand are those actively seeking high quality services and amenities when visiting from gateway cities worldwide, with a specific focus on London, New York, Singapore, Bangkok, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Shanghai,” he said. “Customers in Japan are familiar with the Prince brand, so they will easily recognise the new brand when they are looking for a hotel overseas. For travellers who have not yet experienced Prince Hotel brands, The Prince Akatoki will be their first brand experience, and will build positive sentiment and greater brand awareness globally, whilst increasing inbound tourism in Japan,” Wan said.

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ITC Grand Goa to soon open doors

ITC Hotels has acquired Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa in a public auction, and the property will now be known as ITC Grand Goa. The property will soon be formally open under the new owners. According to a mailer by ITC which owns and operates ITC Hotels, the sale of the property has been confirmed by Supreme Court of India, by judgement and order dated March 19, 2018. Under the judgement, ITC will be taking the possession of the property by September 19, 2018. The property is situated in Cansaulim, Goa.  

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OYO, Motherland partner to co-develop a series of new hotel formats

OYO has formed a strategic partnership with Motherland Joint Ventures, the group that has helped build India’s global brands, including Incredible India, Royal Enfield, Make in India and IndiGo. This partnership will enable OYO and Motherland to co-develop a series of exciting new hotel formats and enhance various aspects of customer experience – including key touch points such as Interiors and ergonomics – all of which will offer guests an unprecedented combination of style, efficiency and affordability. This category transformation process began in 2017 with the launch of OYO Townhouse, the ‘friendly neighbourhood  hotel’ that is receiving rave reviews as it rapidly expands across the country. This alliance will facilitate and strengthen OYO’s mission of creating beautiful living spaces via its innovative approach to brand strategy, product definition and customer experience design. As part of this strategic partnership, OYO and Motherland will be launching a massive new retail collaboration that will feature a mix of original products specially designed for new age brands such as OYO Townhouse. Initially available exclusively at OYO Townhouses, Motherland products will soon be available at other OYO spaces, including online channels. Commenting on the partnership, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “In our pursuit of creating beautiful living spaces, the partnership with Motherland will enable us to co-develop new, exciting hotel formats and enhance guest experiences – including Interiors and ergonomics – offering guests an unprecedented mix of style, efficiency and affordability. We are confident the Motherland alliance will augment OYO’s overall value propositions through their skills in brand strategy, marketing and designing.”  

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Sterling Holiday Resorts launches first comprehensive holiday insurance

Sterling Holiday Resorts has launched India’s first comprehensive holiday insurance for all Sterling guests. The insurance provides cover for trip cancellation, personal accident, emergency accident related treatment, legal liability, misplaced luggage, delayed and missed flights and more. This comprehensive holiday insurance is powered by Digit Insurance, a Fairfax company. According to Ramesh Ramanathan, Managing Director, Sterling Holiday Resorts, “The comprehensive holiday insurance ensures a worry-free holiday experience. We want our guests to enjoy the unique experiences at our resorts and destinations without any travel-related stress. This is the first time when a holiday company is offering a door to door cover. The insurance offers a total of nine unique benefits, including coverage for flight delays, missed flights and misplaced luggage.” Kamesh Goyal, Chairman, Digit Insurance, said, “Our comprehensive insurance solutions have been developed by identifying the gaps in the market and keeping in mind the requirements of customers. The insurance is backed by a seamless & easy claim settlement process. We look forward to serve Sterling Holidays’ customers and help them have a worry-free holiday experience.” The insurance covers guests from 24 hours before check-in date to 24 hours after check-out date and would be complimentary for Sterling guests in the initial period.  The insurance is issued once the guests confirm to avail the free insurance, after booking with Sterling.  

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MakeMyTrip-OYO deal: Independent hoteliers raise concern

A group of independent hotel owners who have their properties listed on MakeMyTrip met with executives of the Nasdaq-listed company last month, raising concerns about its commercial agreement with hospitality company OYO. Tens of hoteliers, who are also members of Delhi Hotels and Restaurants Owners Association, met MakeMyTrip (MMT) officials individually and sought assurances that its arrangement with SoftBank-backed OYO would not affect bookings and revenues independent hotels earned from the MMT and Goibibo platforms. They have given us verbal assurances that there will be no disruptions and OYO will not favoured over independent hotels,” said Sandeep Khandelwal, president of the association that claims to represent about 400-500 small and mid-sized budget hotel establishments. “MakeMyTrip has over 40,000 hotels listed on its platform, a significant portion of which are small independent establishments. The arrangement with OYO should not affect us,” said Khandelwal who owns Hotel Shri Nanak Continental in Delhi. A second independent hotel owner who has met with MMT executives said that since the announcement of the MakeMyTrip and OYO agreement, ratings and reviews of the latter’s properties had improved substantially on the online travel platform. A MakeMyTrip spokesperson, however, said the company had not negotiated with any association, but has been in touch with its partner hotels as part of its regular business outreach.  “As part of our regular business, we have frequent direct meetings with our hotel partners. We have had no meeting with any such association, nor have we been approached by one,” the spokesperson said. Source: ET Online

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India’s tourism sector to attract capital investments of $95.3 billion by 2028

India’s tourism sector attracted capital investments of US$ 47.8 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach US$ 95.3 billion by 2028,  according to World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC’s) Economic Impact 2018 report. International hotel chains are increasing their presence in the country, as it will account for around 47 per cent share in the tourism and hospitality sector of India by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2022, increasing from 44 per cent in 2016. Berggruen Hotels is planning to add around 20 properties under its mid-market segment ‘Keys Hotels’ brand across India by this year. Hilton plans to add 18 hotels pan India by 2021, along with 15 operational hotels under its brands namely, Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Conrad, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton. Marriott International also plans to add 20 more properties to its existing portfolio of 98 hotels in India.

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