Category Archives: Hotels

Ginger undergoes repositioning, unveils new look

Ginger has opened its first prototype hotel with a complete new brand identity at Panjim, Goa, after an intensive repositioning exercise. The current portfolio of the other 45 plus hotels will be repositioned reflecting the new brand identity and brand promise. Ginger will introduce the lean luxe segment, the first of its kind in India. The new identity presents a co-existence of contrasts through re-imagined spaces blurring the lines of work and play, bringing about a fusion of global and local and create experiences that are vibrant, quirky, intuitive and smart. The redesigned spaces will bring together attractive public areas as well as spots designed for solitude, allowing the smooth transition from one to the other. They come alive with vivacious high energy glocal music and unique artwork installations. The all-day diner Café Et Cetera offers comfort food and doubles up as a personal workstation. The service style is designed around the on-the-go lifestyle of the target audience enabling them to do more whether it is on-the-go breakfast, express laundry service or quick munch snack bars.

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Sarovar to come up with 15 new hotels in 2019

Keeping its growth plans in mind for 2019 in the Indian as well as overseas market, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts will launch 15 new properties next year. Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, says, “Sarovar will be launching close to 15 properties in 2019. Some of the locations chosen for the openings are – Gorakhpur, Katra, Dehradun, Dahisar, Jammu, Palolem Goa, Morbi, Dalhousie, Jalandhar etc. Also, 2018 overall was a good year. We predicted 5 per cent increase and did better than that. We opened sebven hotels in 2018 across the country and overseas. We hope 2019 to be on the same lines, but slightly better.” The international locations where the hotels will be launched include Dar Es Salaam and Auxum, Ethiopia.

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More hotels in Russia become ‘India Friendly’

A new batch of hotels in Moscow and Saint Petersburg became ‘India Friendly’ in 2018 to encourage more Indians to visit the destination. The ‘India Friendly’ programme has been conceived and operationalised by Russian Information Centre (RIC) that identified the need for creating the correct environment in Russia to welcome Indian tourists. The hotels include Azimut Hotel Olympic Moscow, Radisson Royal St Petersburg and Alfa Izmailovo, Moscow. Katrina Belyakova, Partner, Russia Information Center, says, “The trainers are experts in tourism and restaurant business from India and Russia having proven experience of managing needs of Indian tourists in multiple environments. The training programme covers topics of ancient and modern culture of India, the uniqueness of Indian thinking, the individual religious beliefs and how it affects their needs and food, communication styles of Indian tourists. It educates the hotels on the other small but important needs of Indian tourists like tea kettles, hot/cold water, besides others.” The programme was officially launched in September 2016 in Russia by signing of an agreement to co-operate in developing Russian-Indian relations in the field of tourism and hospitality. The signatories to the agreement are Russian Information Centre (RIC, Mumbai), National Tourism Marketing Agency of Russian Federation “Visit Russia” and Department of Hotel and Restaurant Business, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics. The programme aims to create a conducive environment for development of outbound tourism from India to Russia.

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Hilton and Kalyani Group to develop DoubleTree by Hilton in Bengaluru

Hilton has announced signing of a management agreement with Kalyani Hospitality to develop DoubleTree by Hilton in Bengaluru. Scheduled to open in Q1 2021, the property will be located at the commercial micro-market of the city – Whitefield. The hotel, currently under construction, will have 183 rooms and suites to cater to the needs of both business and leisure travellers, including multiple meeting and banquet spaces, fitness amenities, outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, a bar and a roof-top lounge. Commenting on this signing, Navjit Ahluwalia, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Hilton India, said,“Our partnership with Kalyani Group reinforces our promise to expand our portfolio in India and offer Hilton guests more opportunities to experience the warmth of Hilton hospitality across multiple locations.” Announcing the project, A Mohan Raju, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyani Group, said, “We are delighted to partner with Hilton to provide world-renowned hospitality within a business‐friendly environment. Owing to its location within the fastest-growing commercial micro market in Bengaluru, the hotel will become a preferred choice of travellers with diverse requirements. We have strong plans to replicate our success in the commercial office segment into the hospitality sector.”

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Shravanthi Sarovar Portico in Bengaluru to open doors in 2019

Further expanding its presence in South India, Sarovar Hotels has announced the signing of Shravanthi Sarovar Portico in Bengaluru. The mid-scale hotel, located in JP Nagar, offers 80 newly renovated guest rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, club bar, fitness centre and conferencing facilities. The newly redecorated lobby is spacious and comprises a coffee lounge, just the perfect setting for relaxation or business networking. The total inventory of Sarovar in the city will cross 700 rooms and this will be Sarovar’s sixth hotel after La Marvella Sarovar Premiere, Davanam Sarovar Portico Suites, RBD Sarovar Portico, Radha Hometel and Radisson Blu. Shravanthi Sarovar Portico is special by way of decorative themes that run through each of the four floors of the property. From Scandinavian to Spanish country to Manhattan to the Royal highness, the hotel’s theme floors and rooms leave the traveller with a signature experience akin to none. Commenting on the development, Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels says, “After covering the IT and commercial hubs of Koramangala, ORR, Whitefield and Jayanagar, we are delighted to sign our next hotel in the heart of JP Nagar. The Shravanthi Sarovar Portico is centrally located and will appeal to the business as well as leisure traveller.”

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FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice to protect the interest of stakeholders

In response to grievances expressed by its members, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has put Online Travel Aggregators (OTA), MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice. A number of its members had brought to the association’s notice that the OTAs’ business practices which were exploitative, unethical and divisive led to predatory pricing and other market distortions that had the potential to harm both hoteliers and consumers in the long term. FHRAI has written a letter to the OTAs outlining the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which includes the issue of distortion of market price, demand for exorbitant commissions and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario. Ironically, the OTAs have a clause in their agreement that forbids hotels from discounting their own rates but are themselves free to do so. This disparity is not just unfair but is clearly intentional and is done with the objective of market cannibalisation,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President – FHRAI & President – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). Hotels have alleged that the OTAs charge commission that range anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent. The exorbitant commissions have been adversely impacting revenues, business and the livelihood of hoteliers. The Federation has written to MMT and Goibibo in the hope that they will understand the ground level situation of hotels. However, based on the previous experience of hoteliers whose attempts at negotiations were neglected …

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The Suryaa New Delhi organises Christmas cake-mixing ceremony

The Suryaa New Delhi recently organised a Christmas cake-mixing ceremony, along with novelist Advaita Kala. The fun and frolic evening began with the invitees mingling with each other and marking the welcome of the festive season. Later, the invitees donned their aprons and gloves and began to pour in the large decanters of authentic ingredients into the big bowls, hence experiencing the fruitful fantasy marking the beginning of traditional cake-mixing ceremony. Everyone enjoyed mixing dried fruits from one end to the other end of the table and ran their fingers through it to ensure that the fruits were ready to be preserved for baking the Christmas cake.

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Sarovar Hotels announces Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, Lusaka in Africa

Sarovar Hotels announces the opening of its first hotel in Zambia – Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, Lusaka. With three operating hotels in Tanzania and Kenya, this will be their fourth in the African continent. Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere is an all-suite upscale development in the vibrant Manda Hill area of Lusaka. It offers a splendid guest experience with 82 all-suite, an all-day-dining restaurant, poolside grill, bar, lobby cafe, fitness centre and spa. The hotel has large banquet and conferencing facilities to accommodate up to 600 people. All suites in the hotel are equipped with best-in-class modern amenities and supported by Sarovar’s distinct service standards. Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, says, “I am delighted to welcome guests to Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere in Lusaka. For us, marking our presence in the capital city of Zambia is in line with our long-term focus on our growth plans for Africa. The elegantly-appointed interiors, along with our prompt personalised services, will ensure our guests have a memorable stay in Lusaka.”

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IHG strengthens footprint in Chennai with Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam. This marks the opening of the third Holiday Inn Express hotel in India this year, adding to the brand’s accelerated growth in the country. Strategically set amidst the city’s commercial hub, Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam is located along the Old Mahabalipuram Road, within 3-5 kms distance from major technology parks and dedicated Special Economic Zones. Featuring 149 keys, Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam offers well designed, contemporary rooms with a range of in-room amenities and a great service culture, promising unparalleled comfort, and convenience to the guests. For an enhanced experience, the hotel is equipped with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access in all rooms, hot breakfast with a wide offering (included in the rate), an on-site self-laundry facility and a meeting room for business requirements. Commenting on the announcement, Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, SWA, IHG said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam under our partnership with SAMHI. Chennai is one of the leading business and leisure hubs in Southern India and therefore an important market for us. We have a strong presence in Chennai across our brands, and this latest addition to our portfolio will further strengthen our offering to the travellers visiting the city.” Ashish Jakhanwala, MD and CEO, SAMHI added, “With its excellent location, design, and a great service culture that the brand is known for, we are confident that Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam will emerge as a popular choice amongst the business and leisure travellers alike.”    

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Hilton launches ‘Namaste’ programme for Indian MiCE

Hilton has unveiled an exclusive  programme ‘Namaste’ for its Indian groups designed to deliver a tailored experience for those travelling from India to Europe. The programme caters to three major segments—destination weddings, meetings and incentives, and film shoots giving guests the confidence that Hilton will meet all their needs and expectations every time, no matter the occasion or destination. Fiona Robson, Senior Director— Sales Operations Europe, Hilton, said, “Huge population, rising incomes and improving infrastructure, among others offer a strong growth opportunity. India is one of the biggest growth markets, with Indians now preferring luxury and overseas stays with their improving financial status. Exceptional quality, impeccable service and always the warmest of welcomes, no one knows hospitality like Hilton. We pride ourselves in understanding the needs of our Indian guests and ensuring that we deliver a truly memorable stay; this precisely is the thinking behind ‘Namaste’, our uniquely designed programme for group travel.”

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