Category Archives: Hotels

The Fern opens 40-room Viola Beacon Resort in Lonavala

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has added another hotel to its portfolio with the launch of Viola Beacon Resort, Lonavla, Maharashtra. This is the 56th hotel which is managed by the company. The other Beacon properties are located in Ajmer, Amritsar, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Mumbai, New Delhi, Rajkot and Udaipur. Beacon Hotels (a brand owned by The Fern Hotels & Resorts) are positioned as “Smart & Efficient” hotels in the economy segment, providing value-for-money accommodations and offering limited services with all the essential amenities for a comfortable stay. Located amidst sylvan green surroundings off the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway in the Waksai-Maval area of Lonavala, the 40 room hotel is just 6.5 km from the Lonavala Market. The popular weekend getaway (2 hours drive from Mumbai) offers guests a relaxed holiday blended with style, comfort and privacy. The rooms are designed with care and offer all essential amenities and services. The bright coffee shop and pillar less banquet hall for conferences, parties and events, complete the stay experience. Conversation Café is an all-day dining multi-cuisine restaurant, offering a wide range of local and global food and beverage selections. Located on the 1st floor, the 40 cover cafe serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and all-day snacks and savories. The COO of the group, Suhail Kannampilly said, “This is the first hotel opened by the company this year. We plan to open more than 20 properties this year.”

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts acquires WorldHotels to enhance its portfolio of offerings

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has acquired renowned global hotel brand, WorldHotels representing a collection of approximately 300 unique and special hotels and resorts in premier destinations around the world. The WorldHotels brand will play a critical role in enhancing Best Western’s portfolio of offerings to include the upper upscale and luxury segments. “There is tremendous synergy between Best Western and WorldHotels. By joining forces in this new partnership, we will create competitive advantages for both companies,” said David Kong, President and CEO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. WorldHotels will maintain its distinctive personality and individuality while benefiting from Best Western’s robust and scalable e-commerce platform, strong partnerships, award-winning loyalty programme, effective sales and marketing support, global distribution network and powerful revenue engines. “As we join forces, the combined power of our brands sets the stage for a bright future for both Best Western and WorldHotels. Through its established senior leadership team and regional presence in each market, Best Western brings a new level of expertise that will undoubtedly help grow the WorldHotels brand in key markets,” said Geoff Andrew, CEO, WorldHotels. In the last year alone, Best Western was named one of the world’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, expanded its portfolio to 13 dynamic brands reaching new guests in new segments, and won a record number of industry awards and accolades. The acquisition is a testament to Best Western’s commitment to growth, modernisation and continued progression, bolstering the company’s position as a trusted leader in the global hospitality industry.

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400 hotels in Mysuru boycott Go-MMT and OYO

In a latest development, the Hotel Owners’ Association (HOA) of Mysuru has decided that 400 of its hotel members will block their inventory to Goibibo and MakeMyTrip (Go-MMT) unless the OTAs agree to the terms put forth by the association. The association had recently convened a meeting of its members in the city to regulate terms of operation with the OTAs and hotel aggregators and put an end to exorbitant commissioning and deep discounting tactics. Last month, hotels in Sikkim under the Sikkim Hotels & Restaurants Association (SHRA) terminated their contracts with Go-MMT after the OTAs did not meet the terms outlined by the association. Since December of 2018, several hotels across the country have voiced concerns and in some cases stopped conducting business with the erring Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs) and OYO. “The OTAs and OYO are destroying the very fabric of hospitality under the guise of disruption. They are literally bullying hoteliers, flexing their muscles with seemingly unlimited funds, access to technology and consumer data. Hotels took their bait of increased revenues and rates which today has given them a free hand at employing predatory pricing policies. The indiscriminate discounts offered to customers, outlandish commissions and Performance Linked Bonuses (PLBs) demanded from hotels, hijacking their online and offline brand and business resources, misrepresenting the actual rate received from guests, pitting one hotel against another and other below the belt tactics have left many hoteliers desolate,” says Sooryah P, President, Association of Indian Hotels and Serviced Apartments, Bangalore. Hotels have alleged that the OTAs as well as OYO have no regard for a hotel’s operations, outgoing costs and sustenance. HOA has stated that the OTAs do not factor in the high …

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Average room rates of two-star hotels increase by 8.5 per cent y-o-y during FY18

Despite registering a decline in occupancy rates, two-star hotels witnessed maximum growth in average room rates (ARR) and increased by about 8.5 per cent y-o-y during FY18, according to a report by Hotelivate. This was followed by three-star hotels that registered a growth of about 5% y-o-y in FY18. 4 star and 5 star D hotels recorded a growth of 3 per cent y-o-y each in average room rates. Five-star hotels, however, registered the lowest growth about 1.8 per cent y-o-y in the group during the year. This may be attributed to the gradual escalation of commercial activity in Tier II and Tier III cities as well as increased domestic travel.

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Marriott International expands in Kerala with Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark

Marriott International has opened Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark, expanding the brand into Kerala. The addition of this property strengthens the Four Points brand presence in India to 12 hotels across key gateway cities and upcoming destinations across the country. Nestled in one of Kochi’s largest IT hubs and located within close proximity to several corporate parks, Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark is the ideal destination for any business traveller, while being accessible to nearby attractions as well for those spending a leisure holiday in Kochi. 218 spacious and well-appointed guestrooms including 23 suites reflect the brand’s promise of integrating timeless classics with modern details. Commenting on the launch, Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President—South Asia, Marriott International said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark. Business travellers to Kochi are assured of a seamless stay, the hotel’s spaces and facilities are smart and flexible, ensuring every aspect of the guest experience reflects the brand’s emphasis on uncomplicated comfort and simple sophistication.” Dining options include The Eatery, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant with an international spread, local specialties and an enticing dessert selection. All Spice is a casual destination to unwind and escape the nuances of the everyday life and indulge in coastal delicacies from Maharashtra, Goa, Karwar and Kerala. Deli is the Grab and Go – pastry and confectionery shop, along with Caper the high-energy lounge bar. “Thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of today’s traveller, our hotel has immense opportunity to deliver an unparalleled guest experience backed by comfort, great service and the amenities they need to stay productive on the road,” said Dinesh Rai, General Manager, Four Points by Sheraton …

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MakeMyTrip expects 70% of its revenue from hotels, accommodations by 2022

MakeMyTrip said it is looking at the hotels and accommodations segment to contribute around 70 per cent to its overall revenue by the end of 2022. Currently, hotels and accommodations account for around 54 per cent of the company’s total revenue. “By the end of 2022, 70 per cent of our revenue will come from the hotels and accommodations segment,” Deep Kalra, Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip. Currently, around 33 per cent of revenue comes from air travel and the rest is roughly from redBus, travel insurance and experiences, he added. “Going forward, the hotels and accommodations will contribute a bigger share of revenue, as there is still a lot of headroom in hotels. Still, only around 15 per cent of hotels are booked online, so there is a big market to be tapped,” Kalra said. On the trend of more Indians opting for overseas travel, he said, “The focus area for us and where Indians are going right now is overseas. Middle class has the money and is travelling overseas as it is aspirational.” The growth in international travel will be higher and it will grow faster than the domestic segment, he added. The company has recently posted its third-quarter results with a growth of over 30 per cent. When asked about the growth road map, Kalra said, “We are looking to moving on to twin path of growth and at the same time of reduction of losses.” He, however, did not provide any future guidance on growth numbers. Source: PTI

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ADR for Indian mid-scale hotels crosses Rs 3,000 for the first time

The Average Daily Rate (ADR) for Indian mid-scale hotels crossed 3,ooo for the first time in 2018, according to a latest report by Horwath on ‘India Hotel Market Review 2018’. Mumbai is the only market at the top right hand corner – unfortunately, it fell back from strong occupancy position, without materially gaining in ADR. Several occupancy shifts have been in the negative direction. Bengaluru, Goa and Jaipur dropped Occ between 2.7 pts and 4 pts. Bengaluru is particularly surprising because there is no supply growth in this segment. Bengaluru and Goa at least made up on the ADR front; the former added over Rs 300 to comfortable cross the Rs 3k level. Goa ADR growth was more modest but is now pushing the Rs 4k level. Jaipur dropped rate as well – only Rs 60 but that’s material when one is in the low Rs 2k level. Delhi, Gurugram, Pune and Chennai moved up to the right, gaining both Occ and ADR. Occupancy gains varied from 0.8 pts to 1.5 pts; while ADR gains spread significantly between 3.3 per cent and 12.6 per cent. Improving product quality at the mid-scale level (e.g. the revitalised Ginger and Park Inn by Radisson) could enable improve performance for this segment. It really needs Occ growth in key markets to compensate softer initial period results from smaller cities and towns in which this segment must penetrate.

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Sarovar to open hotels in Auxum in Ethiopia and Somaliland

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts is set to come up with a project in Auxum in Ethiopia and one in Somaliland. Ajay K Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, is extremely positive about the brand’s international presence, especially East Africa. He says, “Both the properties will start operating by mid-2020. With humble beginnings in Tanzania, we are now operating in Nairobi (Kenya), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Lusaka (Zambia).” Sarovar is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in India with over 80 operational hotels across 50 destinations in India and Africa.

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J&K Governor reconstitutes Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board; K B Kachru on board

Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik reconstituted the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) for a period of three years with immediate effect on February 5, 2019. Malik, who is also chairman of SMVDSB, nominated chairman of emeritus of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group K B Kachru, former IPS officer Ashok Bhan, Justice Permod Kohli, Major General Shiv Kumar Sharma, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, renowned educationist Vijay Dhar and chairman-cum-managing director of AIMIL Pharmaceuticals K K Sharma as board members. Source: PTI

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Taj forays into Himachal Pradesh with Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) is introducing the iconic Taj brand in Himachal Pradesh with the opening of Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said, “We are delighted to open our first hotel in Himachal Pradesh. This will be the company’s first mountain resort. With this new addition, we have expanded our resort portfolio which is the largest in India. The state has great tourism potential and we look forward to expanding our footprint to showcase the pristine beauty of this region.” Nestled amidst thick Cedar forests and spread over five acres, every nook and corner of the hotel offers mesmerising views of the mighty Himalayas. Taj Theog Resort & Spa’s design and architecture echoes colonial charm reminiscent of hill station appeal. Each of the 99 rooms, with warm wooden furniture, traditional rugs and tall French windows offer spacious balconies overlooking snow peaks and quaint villages. “Taj Theog Resort & Spa is a sanctuary amidst conifers, cedars and tiny hamlets with the stunning skyline of the Himalayan range as a backdrop. It serves as an ideal location for guests seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation coupled with Taj’s legendary service.” said Naveen Barthwal, General Manager, Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla. Guests have a choice of distinctive culinary options which include an all-day diner – Tragopan that offers the robust Pahari cuisine along with global cuisines and comfort food; Peony, the oriental restaurant offers Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines.

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