Category Archives: Interviews

Westin Hotels & Resorts debuts in Kolkata, Rajarhat, with 314 rooms

The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat

Westin Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its portfolio with the opening of its eighth hotel in India, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat. The second hotel in Kolkata & East India under the Marriott International portfolio and the first under the Westin Hotels & Resorts umbrella, the property is set to bring the brand’s signature well-being offerings, empowering guests to be their best selves on the road. Located 8 kilometers from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport and a kilometer away from the International Convention Centre, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat distinguishes itself with the globally-acclaimed Westin experience of superb facilities, delicious cuisine, innovative wellness initiatives and tailored services, offering an invigorating environment and personal tranquility. The Face of Spirituality, a 105 ft mural by the lobby, intricately captures the spirit of the ‘City of Joy’, Kolkata, allowing guests a sense of calmness and serene energy. Built over 8 acres, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat features 314 well-appointed guestrooms and suites. Each room boasts of an unobstructed view of the Kolkata skyline, and features the Westin brand’s signature Heavenly Bed® and upgraded Heavenly Bath® amenities, ensuring restful nights and blissful mornings. Mr. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said, “The opening of the second Marriott hotel in Kolkata, and the first under the Westin brand, marks a great milestone for Marriott International. After tapping the luxury market, it was but a matter of time before we presented one of our premium brands to the city of Kolkata. The hotel will offer a restorative retreat in the heart of the new business district of Rajarhat with Westin’s signature offerings that will fuel and energize our guests’ experience.” For an enriching culinary …

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Jumeirah Hotels concludes 2-city roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi

Linda-Lewis-Vice-President-Global-Sales-Middle-East-Asia-Pacific-Jumeirah-Group-480x640-220x165

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts organised a two city roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi to strengthen the brand’s ties with the Indian travel trade fraternity. The roadshow was part of Jumeirah’s newly enhanced focus on India as a source market for its hotels in the UAE, Europe and the Maldives. Speaking at the Mumbai roadshow, Linda Lewis, the Vice President for Global Sales Middle East and Asia Pacific, Jumeirah Group, said, “The India market has witnessed a considerable rise in outbound luxury travel in recent years. Given that this demographic seek superior travel and stay experiences; our current portfolio includes hotels and resorts within a number of favoured locations; and we are one of the world’s most awarded luxury hotel brands, Jumeirah is well placed to fulfill the requirements of the Indian luxury traveller, including families, couples, the MICE industry and those seeking destination weddings and honeymoons.” Jumeirah recently signed a direct connectivity partnership with Make My Trip India, providing a easy booking channel for Indian consumers who wish to book Jumeirah hotels around the world. Lewis added, “India is a key source market into the UAE and into a number of our other destinations including the UK and Maldives. We are focusing on expanding and consolidating our ties with the FITs and the luxury travel segment to reach out to a larger audience and gain a higher market share. MMT’s reach and presence in India goes above and beyond Tier-1 states. With this in mind, our visibility on this platform will help to increase brand awareness and gain new consumers.” Jumeirah Group has 11 hotels in the UAE and a presence across Europe, Middle East and Asia. While the Burj Al …

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The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts to open hotel in Okinawa, Japan, with 57 rooms

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The Luxury Collection has announced the signing of IRAPH SUI, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Okinawa, Japan. Owned by The Mori Trust Group and slated to open in late 2018, the new island resort will be will be located in the city of Miyakojima, in Okinawa Prefecture and will be the third Luxury Collection hotel in Japan. “We are thrilled to welcome this island resort to our portfolio in Japan,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “The luxury vacation market in Japan is a well-established one, and sophisticated travelers are always looking for exciting new destinations and authentic experiences wherever they go. This latest addition to The Luxury Collection in Japan will enhance the brand’s position in the global hospitality market and provide an exceptional indigenous experience to global luxury travelers.” The new Luxury Collection resort will be located on an elevated headland on the southwestern coastline of Irabu, a small island in the Miyako Island group, where its 57 guest rooms will enjoy stunning sea views. In addition to nine suites with private plunge pools, the resort will also feature 10 luxurious Junior suites and one Executive suite. Amenities will include a 72-foot outdoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa. IRAPH SUI will also feature an all-day restaurant, a relaxing pool bar and beach club. “Together with the Mori Trust Group, we look forward to bringing another prestigious Luxury Collection hotel to Japan,” said Raj Menon, Chief Operating Officer, Marriott International Asia Pacific, excluding Greater China. “With over 100 hotels in 32 countries, each Marriott International Luxury Collection hotel celebrates the distinctive character of its locale with beautiful settings, exquisite décor and the impeccable …

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The Eros Group to double its inventory by 2020

Mr. Prashant Rai Sood

The Eros Group has big plans for the next two years. Prashant Rai Sood, Director, EROS Group and proprietor, Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi, says, “The Eros Group hopes to expand its footprint in India and internationally as well. We are currently focusing on exploring properties in Europe, London as well as major cities in India, developing existing land banks, developing hotels and commercial properties. We are looking at doubling our inventory by 2020.”

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The Oberoi Group to open a brand new property in Marrakech, Morocco next year

Mr Kapil Chopra, Chairman WTTCII & President, The Oberoi Group

In a recent interview, Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi Group says, “2018 looks a better year than 2017. We will be opening our iconic property Oberoi New Delhi on 1st January. We will also be opening The Oberoi, Marrakech, Morocco. It’s going to be great year for us. We are re-opening India’s one of the most iconic hotel property and then we are opening an international hotel.” The Oberoi, Marrakech is unique amongst luxury spa resorts in Marrakech. Located just 20 minutes south of the city centre and the international airport, it is nestled within twenty five acres of fragrant citrus orchards and ancient olive groves. Its beautifully landscaped gardens are punctuated by water bodies and its fantastic architecture pays homage to the palaces of ancient Morocco. The resort offers magnificent views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. The Oberoi Spa in Marrakech is an oasis within an oasis. Situated on a private island on a lake within the orchard, it is a relaxing, light filled space, spanning 2,000 square metres (21,530 square feet). Guests can experience Ayurvedic and Moroccan-inspired treatments as well as Balinese, Western and Oberoi signature rituals. Facilities also include Moroccan hammams, a temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool (65 feet/20 metres long), a temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pool (100 feet/30 metres long) and a fitness centre. We also offer yoga sessions in our gardens, or under the shade of the citrus trees. Guests looking for a luxury dining restaurant in Morocco will be delighted by the wide range of authentic, traditional Moroccan and international delicacies served in our Mediterranean restaurant, our specialty Moroccan restaurant, at our poolside restaurant and bar. The Oberoi, Marrakech affords spacious, modern accommodation, adorned with handcrafted …

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WelcomHeritage to open properties in Amritsar and Nainital

Mr. Sunil Gupta

In a recent interview, Sunil Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, WelcomHeritage, says, “In the year gone by, we had 38 operational properties, and two properties were added; one at Kasauli and one at Ahmedabad. These are helping us in bridging the gaps. Overall room nights at the Brand Properties are experiencing a growth of 18%. We soon will be opening a property in Amristsar and Nainital.”

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HRAWI elects Dilip Datwani as President for the second term

Mr. Dilip Datwani,President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India

Dilip Datwani has been re-elected as President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) at its 67th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently in Mumbai. Datwani has been serving in the role of the President for the year 2016 – 17 and will now continue to serve in the same capacity for the term of 2017 – 2018. Mr. Gurbaxish Singh Kohli also will continue to serve as the Senior Vice President for the same tenure while Mr. Pradeep Shetty takes a sabbatical for this year and Mr Sherry Bhatia replaces him as the Hon Secretary. Datwani is also the Vice President of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), the apex body of all the regional associations of hotels and restaurants across the country. He has been an active voice and part of the hotel and restaurant fraternity for over two decades. Datwani has previously served as Chairman of the Membership Committee, Chairman of the Classification Committee, and Senior Vice President of HRAWI. He is Chairman & Managing Director of Datwani Hotels Pvt. Ltd. and owns and operates Shatranj Napoli, a landmark restaurant at Pali Hill, Bandra. “Firstly, I thank all our members for re-electing me as the President. The last one year has been an eventful time for the hotel and restaurant industry, be it the recent issue of liquor ban along the State and National highways, GST, demonetization or service charge. I must mention that through all these tough times HRAWI petitioned, engaged and diligently followed up with the concerned authorities and ministries to resolve the issues faced by hoteliers and restaurateurs. The introduction of GST brings forth both opportunities and …

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Sarovar Hotels & Resorts signs a 72- room hotel in Jhansi

Mr. Mansoor Adil, Sr. Executive VP, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts (L) during the signing with Mr. Sanjay Khanna, MD, Nataraj Sai Hotels L.L.P

Sarovar Hotels has announced the signing of a new hotel deal in Jhansi, marking the group’s farther foray into Uttar Pradesh. One of the fastest growing hotel chains in India with over 75 operating hotels across 50 destinations in India and Africa, the group has signed an agreement for a 72 room hotel, Nataraj Sarovar Portico Jhansi. Owned by Nataraj Sai Hotels LLP., Nataraj Sarovar Portico is expected to open in January 2018.  With a prime location, the hotel under development has 72 Keys with All Day Dining, Bar, Banquet Halls, Conference & Meeting Facilities, Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Salon and rooftop open air banquet space. It is located in the center of city about 2 KM from Railway Station. Commenting on the development, Mr. Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are happy to open a Sarovar Portico hotel in this historic city of Uttar Pradesh. With its significant development and rich antiquity, Jhansi is an important destination with rising number of visitors from across the country. It is an important location for us and a significant addition to our portfolio. This will the best hotel in the city and will cater to the needs of Corporate, Groups, Leisure and MICE.”   Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd. is focused on strategic expansion throughout India and Africa. Some of the expected openings this year include hotels in Amritsar, Raipur, Mahipalpur, Somnath and Jaisalmer.

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Bars, permit rooms re-open within city limits in Maharashtra

Mr. Dilip Datwani,President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India

Maharashtra State Excise Department has issued a notification to all concerned authorities to begin reissuing or renewing licences of bars and permit rooms affected by the highway liquor ban, which had come into effect from April 1, 2017. The move comes on the back of the Supreme Court’s clarification regarding the non-applicability of ban on sale of alcohol in hotels and restaurants within municipal limits. The notification states, effective September 4, 2017, any liquor vend or liquor serving establishment that may have been affected by the ban can apply for renewal of their licences after providing the required documents and paying the necessary fees. Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), reveals, “In the last five months, the industry has suffered a loss of roughly Rs. 5000 crore and this is only in the State of Maharashtra. The notification will provide relief to approximately 25,000 restaurants and 5,000 hotels operating on the State and National Highways and which fall under either Municipal Corporations or City Councils or Cantonment Boards or Town Municipalities. HRAWI will continue to work in the best interest of the industry and wishes all its stakeholders a speedy recovery.”

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Taj first Sales Mission concludes in Delhi today

_I3A2163 Renu Basu

The first road-show by Taj kicked off in Delhi yesterday. The two day event in Delhi brought various Taj hotels under one roof. Renu Basu, Global Vice President- Sales, says, “This initiative will be an annual event. It will be happening in Delhi and Mumbai as they are our key source markets where most of our customers are based. I believe it’s a great platform for all our General Managers and DOSMs to meet our customers on enhancing business and engaging in building relationships.”

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