Category Archives: Interviews

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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Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen, opens with 325 rooms

SLXM Deluxe Sea View Room - Website

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has announced the soft opening of the 325-room Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen.  Situated in the city’s important newly developed business district, Guanyin Shan Business Centre, the hotel is less than 10 minutes’ drive to the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Centre and 20 minutes from the Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport.  The hotel will hold a grand opening celebration in November. Located in a new 22-storey building, over 70 per cent of the guestrooms and suites at Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen take advantage of the outstanding sea views and range from the 42-square-metre Deluxe Sea View Room to the elegantly styled Shangri-La Suite offering 168 square metres of living space.  The urban resort features unique Minnan-style architecture – that is often associated with the use of red bricks – to reflect Xiamen’s art and culture and complement the design theme of a botanical paradise in the hotel’s public areas. To mark Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen’s opening, an introductory offer priced from RMB1,000 is available until 31 December 2017 and includes daily breakfast buffet for two persons, as well as a 50 per cent discount at the restaurants and bar.  For reservations or details, call (86 592) 838 5888 or email  The daily room rate is subject to Value Added Tax and 10 per cent service charge. Guests have access to two restaurants and a bar including Café Amoy, an all-day-dining restaurant with show kitchens serving a blend of Asian and international fare throughout the day.  Fu Gong, a harbour-inspired Chinese restaurant offers authentic Cantonese and Minnan cuisine, and regional specialties.  The Lobby Lounge, with its indoor and outdoor spaces, epitomises relaxed living and serves local snacks and outdoor barbecues in the evening. …

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TBO launches 1st BOHO Hotel in Rishikesh


Travel Boutique Online (TBO) Group has launched its budget hotel chain under the brand name- BOHO Hotels. “The focus with BOHO Hotels is to cater to the budget segment of travellers. We believe there is a lot of demand for budget hotels in the market and especially with GST being implemented, we felt it was the right time to venture into the Tier-II and Tier-III cities. To begin with, we have opened the first hotel in Rishikesh. The second hotel will be launched in a few months in Delhi,” said Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group of Companies. The company will soon venture into other cities like Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad and Cochin, added Nijhawan.

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Dusit to manage two new resorts in Huizhou, China


Dusit International has signed a management agreement with Huizhou Yuetai Investment Company to operate two new properties in Huizhou, in China’s Guangdong Province. Opening under Dusit International’s luxury Dusit Devarana and upscale dusitD2 brands respectively, both properties will be located in Huizhou’s Shuangyue Bay, one of the region’s most popular destinations renowned for its scenic hiking trails, white sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. Shuangyue Bay is located approximately 90 minutes by car from Huizhou’s Pingtan Airport and 45 minutes from the high-speed train station. Huizhou city centre and Shenzhen can be reached in two hours by car, while Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, is a three-hour drive away. The deluxe Dusit Devarana Resort, Huizhou Shuangyue Bay will comprise 84 guest rooms and 64 villas, each exquisitely furnished and decorated. Dining and entertainment outlets will include an all-day-dining restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a lobby lounge, while a 900 sq m pillarless ballroom and three meeting rooms will cater for meetings and social events. The resort’s comprehensive recreational facilities include a well-equipped gymnasium, outdoor swimming pool, kids’ club, and Dusit’s signature Devarana Spa, which offers luxurious, Thai-inspired treatments. The beach is only a five-minute walk away. Situated overlooking the South China Sea in a 29-storey tower, the dusitD2 Serviced Residence, Huizhou Shuangyue Bay will offer 550 well-appointed apartments, an all-day-dining restaurant, and a lobby lounge. Designed to appeal to millennial-minded travellers, the property will feature creative, vibrant décor and high tech applications. “In line with our strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, Dusit Fudu was created to bring Dusit’s gracious, Thai-inspired hospitality to China, and these new projects in Huizhou really demonstrate the growing significance of our brands within the …

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Sheraton Bodh Gaya Hotel to open on March 1, 2019


Sheraton Bodh Gaya Hotel will be opening on March 1, 2019. Whether you are organising a business or social event, the event professionals at the Sheraton Bodh Gaya Hotel will ensure a memorable success. Ballrooms and meeting rooms can accommodate up to 400 people and feature beautiful yet cosy surroundings, state-of-the-art technology, and superb catering service. The hotel will have 200 rooms.

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DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi to open with 125 rooms

DoubleTree Logo

Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton ahs announced the signing of a management agreement with Trillion Real Estate & Properties for a new DoubleTree by Hilton property in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Scheduled to open in Q1 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi will be located at Shirdi’s historical town centre, marking Hilton’s entry into the popular pilgrimage destination. The latest addition increases Hilton’s pipeline of hotels in India to 19 properties. “With a fast-growing, global portfolio of more than 500 upscale properties, we are delighted that our award-winning DoubleTree by Hilton brand is gaining traction in India,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “With five DoubleTree by Hilton properties currently operating in India, DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi will mark the brand’s sixth property in the pipeline in this burgeoning market. As the first upscale hotel in Shirdi, we look forward to delivering exceptional experiences to guests beginning with our signature, warm DoubleTree Cookie welcome.” Shirdi, famously known as the home of late spiritual leader Sri Sai Baba, is a popular pilgrimage town and an estimated 22 million tourists from across the country and overseas visit the famous Shirdi Sai Baba temple annually. Most recently, the city saw the completion of a new Shirdi Airport, which will facilitate greater access for pilgrims to visit the destination — religious tourism is a key focus in India’s tourism planning. “Our partnership with Trillion Real Estate & Properties to manage DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi underpins our commitment to expand our footprint in India,” said Kaushik Vardharajan, vice president of development – India, Hilton. “Guided by our mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, we remain focused on …

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