Category Archives: Interviews

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham to open 20 hotels across India in a decade

Deepika Arora, Regional Vice President, Eurasia, Wyndham Hotel Group 2

India is a key market for Wyndham Hotel Group within Eurasia as well as globally. Deepika Arora, Regional Vice President, Eurasia, Wyndham Hotel Group,says, “We expanded our footprint in India and neighbouring countries with 11 new hotels. Two-thirds of the new hotel openings were in India thus re-enforcing our presence in the country’s rapidly growing mid-market hospitality segment. Our hotel pipeline in the region also grew with 15 new signings. We also signed a non-exclusive development agreement with Ahmedabad- based Nebula Infraspace LLP, to develop at least 20 hotels under the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brand across India over a period of 10 years.”

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Lemon Tree India plans big for this financial year

Rattan Keswani - Deputy MD, Lemon Tree Hotels - Director, Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd.

Lemon Tree to open five hotels in management and four in ownership space. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, says, “In management piece we are opening around five hotels in the next three and a half months and In the Ownership piece, this financial year, we are opening four hotels. We will be opening a hotel in Sohna Road, we have taken on two running hotels in J&K and there is another on in the build. So we are opening up in Srinagar, Gulmarg and Jammu. All these three should be ready in the first week of March. In the summer, we are opening in Aligarh and Coorg. Also, Siliguri, we will open towards the end of February or early March. In the owned piece, this fiscal we have Pune, we have our first hotel in Mumbai, Kolkata and then we have a hotel in Dehradun coming up. These are the committed pieces that will come along.”

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IHG to bring Hotel Indigo brand to India: Pascal Gauvin


IHG is going to bring Hotel Indigo brand to India in the coming years. Speaking on its expansion plans, Pascal Gauvin, COO, IHG, India, Middle East and Africa, says, “We hope to bring our lifestyle brand, Hotel Indigo in the coming years. Each time we launch a brand we look at mega cities, but with time, it can go to multiple locations. It depends on what our owners want to do with the brand. I am very hopeful about our Indigo brand for this market. This brand feature unique design at every turn without compromising guest comfort. A vibrant modern colour palette, complemented by natural light and locally influenced design and decor, make for an inviting, stylish and refreshing atmosphere for everyone.”

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Waldorf Astoria Cancun and Hilton Cancun Resort to open in 2021


Hilton has announced plans to welcome the luxury Waldorf Astoria Cancun and the all-inclusive Hilton Cancun Resort to the global hospitality company’s growing portfolio in Mexico. Developed by Parks Hospitality and set to open in 2021, the neighboring properties will feature distinct characteristics and amenities across 100 acres of Caribbean beachfront. “With more than half of our Latin America portfolio present in Mexico, we are proud to announce the plans for Waldorf Astoria Cancun and Hilton Cancun as we continue to introduce distinguished properties in the world’s most sought-after destinations,” said Juan Corvinos, vice president, development, Latin America and the Caribbean, Hilton. “Representing our luxury and upscale brands respectively, Waldorf Astoria Cancun and Hilton Cancun will offer guests a taste of Mexican culture fused with Waldorf Astoria’s uncompromising sophistication and Hilton Hotels & Resort’s flagship hospitality.” Set to deliver a truly unforgettable experience for guests, the Waldorf Astoria Cancun will feature 150 exceptionally appointed guest rooms and suites, with waterfront or mangrove-facing terraces and private balconies. The property will boast the signature Waldorf Astoria spa, integrating Mexican healing traditions with native ingredients for indulgent treatments, in addition to state-of-the-art fitness facilities, two plunge pools and two exquisite dining experiences. For an unforgettable taste of Mexico, guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy the locally sourced Yucatecan cuisine that will be offered at additional dining experiences throughout the property. A one-of-a-kind beachfront escape, the neighboring all-inclusive Hilton Cancun resort property will feature 600 stylish guest rooms offering stunning panoramic views. The Hilton resort will welcome guests to relax on the beach, lounge at the swimming pool complex, and experience curated adventures in local art, gastronomy and culture. The hotel will …

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MBD to open a property in Bengaluru in a JV with Steigenberger

Sonica Malhotra - JMD MBD Group

MBD will be opening a property in Bengaluru in a JV with Steigenberger. Sonica Malhotra, Joint Managing Director, MBD Group says, “We did JV with Germany’s largest luxury hotel operator, Steigenberger Hotels, which is a big breakthrough for the group. They made us the India counterpart for them. We are looking after the entire affair of managing the MBD Steigenberger India. With this, it’s not just about a brand name for hotels we own but we are also going to doing management of other people’s assets. We already have done four LOIs across MBD Steigenberger including Intercity Hotel which is the mid-market brand, also MBD Express which is going to be breakfast category in our hotel division. We will be opening a property in Bengaluru which is under construction and will take three years to open.”

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Sterling Holiday Resorts launches new brand identity


Sterling Holiday Resorts has launched its new brand identity in line with its new service philosophy of delivering experiences and discoveries. Ramesh Ramanathan, Managing Director, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, shared that with the new branding, they are looking to become the leading holiday brand in India. “Today, we are not just opening a new chapter for Sterling but one in the Indian holiday market. We have been working on developing our new service philosophy and brand standards over the last few years and are now ready to make our customers ‘holiday differently’.” He added, “At Sterling, we are look forward to being a part of this new India that is looking to have newer experiences and take away a little bit of what they see and feel when they holiday. Over the past few years, we have invested in the revamp of existing resorts and launch of new ones. Our focus will be on delivery and service for all kinds of holidayers. In the process, we would also be contributing to local economies, creating jobs and taking the brand abroad to places where Indians holiday,” Ramanathan added.

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Revenue growth for the Indian hotel industry to improve to 6%-7% in FY2018: Bakaya


Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts expects the revenue growth for the Indian hotel industry to improve to 6%-7% in FY2018. He says, “The revenue growth for the Indian Hotel Industry is expected to improve to 6%-7% in FY2018. The muted supply pipeline across several markets coupled with steady demand uptick will be the driver for the next up cycle in the industry over the next couple of years. The implementation of GST brought in a positive change to the sector by reducing costs for customers, harmonizing taxes, and reducing business transaction costs. With steady occupancy across markets, we are expecting a healthier growth in the coming years and higher movements of business as well as leisure travellers.”

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Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Shanghai Hongqiao CBD open


Hyatt Place Shanghai Hongqiao CBD and Hyatt House Shanghai Hongqiao CBD open in Shanghai Hongqiao’s Central Business District. The openings of these hotels mark the first Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in Shanghai, as well as the first combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in Shanghai, creating an experience that enables guests to enjoy the benefits of both brands in one location. The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands are rooted in extensive consumer research indicating that guests seek stylish, comfortable, seamless experiences that accommodate their lifestyles and familiar routines. To embody this, the two brands offer casual hospitality and purposeful service in a smartly designed, high-tech and contemporary environment. “We are excited to introduce the first dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels to the Shanghai area,” said General Manager Katharine Li. “Our guests can appreciate the contemporary design and spacious layout of our guestrooms – from the separate spaces to sleep and work, including the Cozy Corner at Hyatt Place hotels, to the apartment-style suites with real kitchens at Hyatt House hotels – our guests can choose the space that fits their needs.” Located in the heart of Shanghai Hongqiao CBD, Hyatt Place Shanghai Hongqiao CBD and Hyatt House Shanghai Hongqiao CBD are minutes away from the National Exhibition & Convention Center and Hongqiao Transportation Hub – one the largest in the world – connecting Hongqiao International Airport and the city’s high-speed and inter-city railways, Metro system and public bus network. Hyatt Place Shanghai Hongqiao CBD offers: 252 spacious guestrooms with separate spaces to sleep, work and play, as well as a Cozy Corner with sofa or sofa-sleeper Free Wi-Fi everywhere 24/7 Gallery Menu with freshly …

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Carlson Rezidor signs 12 new hotels in 2017


Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has accelerated its expansion plans in India by signing 12 new hotels in 2017. The signings add to Carlson Rezidor’s robust pipeline in India where it currently holds a portfolio of 140 hotels in operation and under development across 60 Indian cities, including 16 state capitals. The hotel group is actively pursuing opportunities through management and selective franchising contracts in emerging cities of India. “The signing momentum is indicative of the strength of our brands and the value we bring to our owner relationships. We are a dominant international brand in India and our robust pipeline is targeted at state capitals and regional markets with efficient connectivity. We have 85 hotels in operation in the country where we continue to sign a new hotel every four weeks and open a hotel every six weeks”, said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The new hotel signings are focused across Carlson Rezidor’s global brands Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. With the announcement of Radisson RED in Mohali, Chandigarh last year, Carlson Rezidor’s South Asia portfolio now constitutes six well-established and differentiated global brands. Hotel City Expected date of opening Radisson Blu Dehradun Dehradun, Uttarakhand 2021 Radisson Jodhpur Jodhpur, Rajasthan December 2017 Radisson Mumbai Goregaon Mumbai, Maharashtra December 2017 Radisson Bengaluru City Center Bangalore, Karnataka Q1 2018 Radisson Zirakpur Zirakpur, Punjab Q2 2018 Radisson Mumbai Andheri MIDC Mumbai, Maharashtra 2019 Radisson Goa Baga Arpora, Goa 2019 Radisson Bhopal Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 2020 Radisson Kufri Kufri, Himachal Pradesh 2020 Radisson Rewa Rewa, Madhya Pradesh 2020 Park Plaza Kaushambi Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh Q4 2018 Country …

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IHG partners with SAMHI to expand Holiday Inn Express portfolio in India


InterContinental Hotels Group has partnered with SAMHI to rebrand approximately 2000 rooms (operating and under construction) within its India hotel portfolio, to Holiday Inn Express hotels. The recently signed portfolio comprises 14 hotels, including ten open hotels across key cities such as Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. The additional four hotels are under construction. The signing sees IHG grow its pipeline by 41 hotels, positioning IHG as one of the largest players in India’s growing midscale hotel market. All hotels in the portfolio will be closed while they are being refurbished and upgraded with the latest design directives, to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn Express brand globally. The hotels will feature the next-generation design, several additional public areas and feature brand hallmarks to enhance guest service delivery. Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG said: “It is with great pride and excitement that we are announcing our partnership with SAMHI for conversion of their existing mid-market hotel portfolio in India to Holiday Inn Express. This is a significant move towards establishing IHG as a leading player in the midscale hotel segment in India, while we continue to build on our upscale and luxury offering in the country with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.” Jain added: “With this signing, we now have close to 60 hotels open and in the pipeline, across the Holiday Inn Brand Family. SAMHI is keen to accelerate Holiday Inn Express’ highly efficient operating model and engage the brand’s growing familiarity in the country. Holiday Inn Express is the rest and go hotel brand that delivers a …

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