Category Archives: Hotels

Lemon Tree eyes Sri Lanka and Dubai for expansion

Displaying an aggressive growth over the last few months, Lemon Tree is now on an expansion spree. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, says, “As far as our expansion is concerned, we will go where a larger section of Indians tend to go. In both Sri Lanka and Dubai, the largest inbound is from India. We are focussing on these two locations because we know here the brand strength will create the guests for us, without having to work much hard.” Keswani reveals that the brand is chasing a few pieces in both these places. “Our strength is our loyalty programme and depth in the Indian customers. About 90 odd per cent of our customers are Indians. So, that’s our focus but we have not scored any goals that I can talk about at this moment.”  

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Yas Experiences appoints VFS Global as India representative

Yas Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions for trade partners across India. As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India respectively. The sales rep office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales & marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers. The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap. “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India representative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a unique destination renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers,” said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – China, Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global. Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International.  

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Gokulam Grand Hotel partners with Preferred Hotels for global presence

Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa Bangalore has been accepted as a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand that represents more than 700 hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries as the newest experience available within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection. Baiju Gopalan, Executive Director, says “As we step into one of India’s most dynamic and competitive hospitality/travel markets, we understand that we need strategic partnerships to leverage international travel markets, distribution systems and loyalty programmes. Preferred Hotels and Resorts was the ideal choice for us to go global.” Akash Gupta, General Manager, says, “We are excited to be in Bangalore to take the erstwhile MSR Hotel and Spa with its existing service and brand standards and market recall to newer heights. The hotel has grown from strength to strength, and with the new management team coming in, a new growth phase for the hotel is being charted out. In keeping with the international brand presence the hotel once enjoyed, we have judiciously decided to partner with Preferred Hotels and Resorts to connect with the overseas market. This strategic alliance is the first step for us to initiate and strengthen our brand presence globally, and benefit from the global sales, marketing and distribution network of Preferred Hotels and Resorts.” Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa has 182 rooms and suites with three F&B outlets, a pool, Sohum Spa and a gym.

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Indian hotel market to grow to around $13 bn by 2020

The Indian hotel market is projected to grow to around USD 13 bn by 2020, according to FICCI-Yes Bank Knowledge Paper titled ‘Tourism Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging Partnerships for Exponential Growth’. Further, as per World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2018 report, the industry contribution to capital investment in India was Rs 2706.1 bn in 2017 and is projected to grow 6.7 per cent per annum in next 10 years to Rs 5546.3 bn by 2028, higher than the global average of 4.5 per cent. Despite increase in private sector investment, the Indian hotel industry observed a decline in average room rate and room occupancy in 2016-17 which is largely attributed to lower participation of hotels in the five-star deluxe and five-star categories in India.

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Hotelivate hosts 6th Hotel Operations Summit India at Taj Palace, New Delhi

Hotelivate has kicked off its 6th Hotel Operations Summit India (HOSI) at Taj Palace, New Delhi with stimulating discussions on topics pertaining to the hospitality industry. HOSI, the only dedicated forum for hotel professionals in the region, aims to empower today’s hospitality leaders through enabling conversations on management and operations-related issues, the rapidly evolving marketplace, latest industry trends, benchmarking and best practices. With the focus on increasing the diaspora of the speaker by bringing in leaders from businesses that are intricately tied up with the hospitality industry, the programme encompassed a series of keynote addresses by distinguished speakers and thought-provoking group discussions. Notable speakers included industry leaders such as Anshuman Bapna, Chief Product Officer, Goibibo; Dilip Puri, Founder and CEO, Indian School of Hospitality; Jiggs Kalra, Mentor and Culinary Director, Massive Restaurants; Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer – South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group; Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels; Navjit Ahluwalia, Senior Vice President and Country Head – India, Hilton; Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms; Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and CEO, Indian Hotels Company, to name a few.

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Mana Hotels to open a resort in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan

Mana Hotels is set to open a resort in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. With 27 rooms; 16 Deluxe Tents and 11 rooms along with a conference hall, restaurant, game room and swimming pool, this property will be positioned as a three-star deluxe resort. With a location closest to Kumbhalgarh fort amongst this category of hotels and with amazing views of the hills, Mana at Kumbhalgarh will ensure a satisfying experience for guests. The bookings have already started from July 1.  

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IHG debuts in Agra with 150-room Holiday Inn Agra MG Road

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has signed a management agreement with Hotel Marina Agra for Holiday Inn Agra MG Road. Expected to be operational in 2018, the 150-room hotel marks the company’s debut in Agra and also completes IHG’s presence in the Delhi-Jaipur-Agra Golden Triangle tourist circuit. Just 15 minutes’ drive from Agra Fort and Taj Mahal, Holiday Inn Agra MG Road offers stunning views of the Taj from the upper floors. Sudeep Jain, Vice President – Development, South West Asia, IHG said, “We are delighted to partner with Hotel Agra Marina to introduce our first hotel in Agra, under the Holiday Inn banner. With excellent location, facilities and best in class amenities, we are confident the hotel will be a great choice for varied guest profiles with diverse requirements. The Holiday Inn brand family is our growth driver in India, and this signing underscores our commitment to further strengthen our position in the midscale hotel segment.” Shashank Bhagat, Managing Partner, Hotel Marina, said, “We are delighted to partner with a strong, global player such as IHG to bring the Holiday Inn brand to Agra. We are assured that the hotel will benefit from the company’s robust distribution systems, top revenue management tools and best in class loyalty programme.” Situated on MG Road, the hotel is in close proximity to the business district and key government offices, making it an ideal choice for corporate travellers, as well.

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72-room Nataraj Sarovar Portico Jhansi opens doors

Sarovar Hotels has announced the opening of Nataraj Sarovar Portico Jhansi, consolidating the group’s foray into Uttar Pradesh. The 72-room hotel is also the first branded hotel in the smart city. The hotel was inaugurated in the presence of Sanjay Khanna, Managing Director, Nataraj Mobiles and Ajay K Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts. Owned by Nataraj Sai Hotels, Nataraj Sarovar Portico is the city’s first contemporary hotel in this evolving city. The well-appointed rooms and suites with all modern amenities complemented with personalised services, offer a truly memorable stay. The hotel also offers fully equipped conferencing and banquet spaces and facilities for up to 500 guests. Commenting on the development, Bakaya said, “We are glad to open the first branded hotel in this historic city of Jhansi and the fifth hotel in Uttar Pradesh. With its significant development, Jhansi is an important destination with rising number of visitors from across the country. This is set to be the best hotel in the city and will cater to the needs of corporate, groups, leisure and conferences.” Sarovar Hotels is targeting to have 100 hotels under its portfolio by 2020. Expected openings in 2018 include hotels in Jaisalmer, Somnath, Dibrugarh, Junagadh, Gorakhpur and Lusaka, Zambia.

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Tree Leaf Kipling Lodge, Ranthambore to open doors on July 1

Tree Leaf Kipling Lodge in Ranthambore, is set to open doors on July 1, 2018. The property is the latest addition to the brand’s portfolio, which already operates two properties—Tree Leaf Vantara Resort & Spa in Udaipur and Tree Leaf Marari Sands Beach Resort, Marari-Kerala. The latest property will be the first one to offer a unique wildlife experience to patrons and is named after the famous Mumbai-born British poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling, who wrote The Jungle Book. The property allows guests to unwind in a sanctuary close to the Ranthambore forest reserve and offers a personalised hospitality experience amidst natural surroundings.

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Hilton appoints Matt Fry as Senior Vice President of Development in Asia Pacific

Hilton has announced the appointment Matt Fry as Senior Vice President—Development in Asia Pacific (APAC). Effective August 6, 2018, Fry will oversee the team responsible for the overall development strategy for APAC. “We are thrilled to have Matt join our team and oversee the strategic growth in APAC,” said Ian Carter, President—Global Development, Architecture, Design and Construction, Hilton. “His appointment represents our commitment to building on our tremendous success and achievements there. Fry’s extensive experience in the real estate and development industry will be invaluable as we continue to expand our global footprint in this region.” A seasoned professional, Fry brings with him to Hilton over 20 years of experience in the real estate and development industry with nearly 18 years leading diverse teams at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Fry served as the head of global real estate operations and America’s real estate at WeWork, a company growing rapidly around the world to provide shared workspaces with a strong emphasis on community for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises. “I am excited to be joining the world’s most hospitable company and overseeing the development efforts for APAC,” said Fry. “Hilton has had incredible growth and the best-performing portfolio of brands in the business. This is a testament to the incredible global development team, which I am eager to work with during this exciting time for the company and industry.” Fry will be based in Hilton’s APAC regional office in Singapore and will report to Ian Carter, president, global development, architecture, design and construction.

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