Category Archives: Interviews

Balanced budget by the Finance Minister: Krishna Kumar, GM, Radisson Hitec City Hyderabad

Mr Krishna Kumar, GM, Radisson Hitec City Hyderabad

According to Krishna Kumar, GM, Radisson Hitec City Hyderabad, “The Finance Minister has outlined a very balanced budget. In my views there is enough for all sectors to look forward to, although there was not 1 major big bang announcement that was expected after the demonetization process. Hospitality sector is expected to stay course with pointers in the budget that will spur of the growth as well as the spend up marginally. The decrease of tax structures for the 2.5 lac to the 5 lac segment is likely to increase spend power from this segment that will benefit the Mid Scale brand of Hospitality industry.” He further says, “The encouraging factor in this budget in view is undoubtedly 2 major areas. – Firstly the emphasis and allocation for infrastructure as well as highway allocation which greatly increases the efficiency of commuting which will benefit the sector. Secondly the emphasis on rural sector also holds great potential for hospitality sector as supply chains are expected to be more efficiently executed. Lastly, positive signals in the attempts by the Minister to stress on the point of controlling inflation – something Hospitality Industry would cheer for as our Industry has a high exposure to High inflation”.

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Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort gets a makeover

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Marriott International has announced a fresh chapter in the life of the Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort as it has refreshed its public spaces to better accommodate the needs of the modern traveller. From the moment guests arrive at the hotel near Disneyland, they will be greeted by friendly faces and revitalised spaces that provide a more welcoming experience. The welcome center’s check-in desks have been relocated to allow easier access to the elevators, making travel more streamlined. With updates from top to bottom, the space now features new paint, flooring and a light-up accent wall. Additionally, new furniture provides comfortable places to read or convene with friends, family or colleagues. Lobby bathrooms also received a refresh, and the kid’s center was enhanced to keep little ones better entertained when they aren’t visiting The Happiest Place on Earth. Corporate travelers will appreciate a more formal business center, complete with complimentary Wi-Fi and an ADA accessible desk. Also, new to the Anaheim hotel is a fully equipped fitness center, featuring the latest in cardio, free weight and stretch equipment including three treadmills, a recumbent bike and two cross trainers. A medicine ball rack and yoga mats are also available. A remodeled meeting room provides state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, accommodating up to 40 guests when there are room stays booked. During downtime, hungry travelers can grab a bite to eat at the on-site marketplace that features Seattle’s Best Coffee and Pizza Hut as well as kid’s arcade games.

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Aloft Hotels opens second property in Austin with 130 rooms

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Marriott International has announced the opening of Aloft Austin Northwest, the second Aloft in Austin. Owned by Pure Lodging Hospitality and managed by Lodgic Hospitality, Aloft Austin Northwest features 130 spacious loft-style rooms, 1,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and live music at W XYZ Bar. We are thrilled to expand the Aloft brand’s footprint in the vibrant city of Austin and expect that this vibrant new hotel will soon emerge as a popular choice among travelers due to its distinctive sense of style, innovative programming and buzzing social scene,” said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands. “Designed to meet to the needs of today’s hyper-connected global traveler, Aloft is now in over 100 dynamic destinations worldwide.” Aloft Austin Northwest is just steps from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Lakeline Mall, and close to the Lakeline station on Capital MetroRail, where visitors can catch a ride to the shops, restaurants and nightclubs of downtown Austin. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin offers an impressive array of live jazz, blues, rock and roll and country music performances and Aloft adds to this with their dynamic live music programming called Live At Aloft Hotels, the signature ongoing music series with live, intimate, acoustic performances and backstage moments by some of the hottest emerging artists at Aloft’s W XYZ Bar. The hotel is also close to numerous high-tech companies including Dell, Apple, Facebook Google, IBM and Oracle and 25 miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

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Lemon Tree aims for 100 hotels with 12,000 rooms by 2021: Patu Keswani

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Patu Keswani, Chairman and Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels shared his group’s expansion plans in Global Hospitality Conclave. He says, “Lemon Tree is planning to expand with 100 hotels with 12,000 rooms and 12,000 staff members by 2021.” Adding to this, he says, “By 2021, Lemon Tree hotels will consist of 25 per cent of mid-market space.” The Global Hospitality Conclave is an initiative organised by the alumni of the erstwhile Oberoi School of Hotel Management (OSHM), now The Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development (OCLD). The alumni include stalwarts like Rajiv Kaul, President – Leela Hotels, Ajay Bakaya, Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels, Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels. The world of hospitality, like many other businesses, is imperatively moving toward an era of extensive collaboration and partnerships. Every day, the rules of the game are being rewritten in response to a transitioning and evolving market and new paradigms are being set to accommodate newer players with new approaches. The conclave touched upon trends and opportunities in the current hospitality landscape of the country and the world at large.

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Andaz Delhi Aerocity opens with a partial inventory of 401 guestrooms

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Andaz Delhi, marking the Andaz brand’s first hotel in India and 16th worldwide. Andaz Delhi opens with a partial inventory of its residential-style 401 guestrooms, including 45 suites. The hotel will also offer 129 serviced apartments, expected to open next year. Represented in world-class cities like London, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai, Hyatt’s luxury lifestyle brand celebrates local culture and the unique spirit of neighborhoods, and is now set to make its mark in India’s vibrant capital with the opening of Andaz Delhi in Aerocity. Similar to the brand’s other hotels, Andaz Delhi offers inspiring experiences through the neighborhood’s rich history and culture, helping guests get to know their surroundings more intimately and leave feeling like a local. “Andaz derives its name from the Hindi word for ‘personal style,’ and each location offers guests a fresh and stimulating hotel experience that fuels creativity and inspires them to engage in their own personal sense of luxury and style,” said Kurt Straub, Vice President of Operations, India, Hyatt. “The opening of Andaz Delhi marks a significant milestone for the brand.”

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Kairali’s ‘The Ayurvedic Healing Village’ joins hands with Lux Hotels

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Kairali Ayurvedic Group’s signature resort ‘The Ayurvedic Healing Village’ has joined hands with Lux Hotels. Speaking on the occasion Bhupesh Kumar, Director, Lux Hotels says, “We are elated to have partnered with Kairali Ayurveda for their global and national brand awareness and developing incremental business. Also, we want to increase the visibility of the brand in the global and national market.” Kairali Ayurvedic group, the epitome of a healthy lifestyle and fine living was founded in the year of 1989 with the aim of propagating the ideologies of Ayurveda throughout the world. The founders of Kairali passed down their vast experience and knowledge down through four generations of doctors who are equally committed to making Ayurveda relevant again.

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First Radisson Red to open in Mohali in 2017

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Carlson Rezidor and Bestech will invest USD 42 million in a joint venture to develop the first two hotels, Park Inn by Radisson Gurgaon Sector 88 and Park Inn by Radisson Chandigarh, Mohali. Speaking about Mohali, Rana says, “We are also very excited about our new hotel in Mohali at Chandigarh airport which is going to be our first Radisson Red in India. It will be a flagship property and is expected to open in 2017. Our growth has so far been North-heavy. So now we are expanding into other parts like South India. This year we will be opening a Radisson Blu in Coimbatore and a Radisson Blu conversion property in Bengaluru Atria. We also opened a hotel in Manipal as well as a Radisson Blu Plaza in Mysore last year. South India continues to be important for us.”

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Grand Mercure Shanghai Central is now Pullman Shanghai Jing An

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Following a year-long refurbishment of the former Grand Mercure Shanghai Central, the hotel is rebranded to the Pullman Shanghai Jing An. Located in the central business district, the hotel is only a three minute walk from the railway station and main metro lines with easy access to the commercial hub, shopping and entertainment district. Featuring 288 with guestrooms and suites which enjoy floor to ceiling glass walls and city view, the rooms are furnished with a flat screen TV, modern bathroom amenities and luxurious bedding. Dining options include Venu, an all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen concept serving an international buffet and a-la-carte menu; and a Chinese restaurant featuring 19 stylish private rooms that offers authentic Shanghainese cuisine. For meetings, private events and team building activities, the hotel has two ballroom and five meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 350 guests. Corporate travellers can choose to hold their private meetings at the executive club and lounge located on 27th floor. Leisure facilities include a Fit Lounge which features a fully equipped gym, a 20-metre lap pool, yoga studio and a spa which will be opening in 2017.

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First Radisson Blu opens in Coimbatore

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Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the opening of its first Radisson Blu in Coimbatore. Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said, “Radisson Blu Coimbatore is set to raise the bar on the city’s upper-upscale hospitality landscape and bring new standards to the city. We are honored to be partnering with GBJ Hotels and appreciate their trust in our brand and expertise. With 140 hotels in operation and under-development, this hotel will be a valued addition as we expand and grow our footprint in South India.”

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Carlson Rezidor signs a new hotel in Mumbai

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After canning its plans for a hotel in Mumbai’s Powai area, Carlson Rezidor is now pursuing a new hotel that will come up next to Mumbai’s international airport. Maharashtra and southern India have become huge areas of interest for the group. Speaking about the group’s plans for Western India, Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, reveals, “We are not pursuing the Powai hotel anymore. Instead, we have signed a new hotel next to Mumbai’s international airport. It is currently under construction and the civil structure has been built. We expect the hotel to open in the next two years. Mumbai is a very important market for us as are the places around Mumbai. This year we opened a Radisson Blu in Karjat and we already have an operating hotel in Alibaug. We look forward to adding more destinations in and around Mumbai as well as in Maharashtra.”

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