Contemporary Structure with Small Locally Inspired Design Elements are Prominent throughout the hotel: Swati Dhir, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton, Goa-Panaji

BW Hotelier spoke to Swati Dhir, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton, Goa-Panaji to learn about the hotel and its way ahead in the Goa market.


BEING ONLY recently opened, DoubleTree by Hilton Goa - Panaji - strategically located on banks of Mandovi River, is easily accessible to the Dabolim International Airport as well as to many of the landmark and popular traveller’s spots and beaches of Goa. With a mammoth 160 well-appointed guestrooms including nine suites, equipped with signature DoubleTree by Hilton amenities, the resort features environmentally friendly smart lighting with motion sensors. BW Hotelier spoke to Swati Dhir, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton, Goa-Panaji to learn about the hotel and its way ahead in the Goa market.

Being unveiled only lately, what are your expectations in terms of Occ., RevPAR, ARRs, etc., for the hotel by end of this fiscal year? How are you expecting to surge it in the following years?

Swati Dhir: We have recently started with operations and the festive season is going to be a game changer for us. Personalised guest experiences will continue to play an important role in attracting more guests. With in-house expertise and technological advancements, we are hoping to deliver tailored experiences which in return will help drive our growth.

What are the various offerings at the hotel, in terms of scenic views, places to visit in the vicinity, as well as in-room amenities and F&B options at the hotel?

SD: DoubleTree by Hilton, Goa-Panaji is situated a short drive away from the capital city of Panaji and is minutes away from UNESCO World heritage at Goa Velha, 15 minutes away from Miramar beach and in close proximity to shopping, dining and nightlife spots of Goa.

Our guests can enjoy views of the Mandovi River, infinity pool and nature from their private balconies. The160 rooms feature DoubleTree Sweet Dreams® Sleep Experience, smart lighting with motion sensors and custom-made Portuguese heritage tiles. Additionally, the hotel’s lobby with tall windows, the full-service spa with Ayurveda treatments, infinity pool and 24-hour fitness centre, all have one thing in common—they offer sweeping views of the forest and the river.

Our signature restaurant Feliz, serves authentic Mangalorean, Goan and Coastal delicacies. Comida, our all-day dining restaurant offers international cuisines, and Rio Salao is our lobby lounge to unwind over a mesmerising Goan sunset. Also, on offer is an outdoor terrace seating option for guests to eat while enjoying scenic views. Additionally, Rio Salao is a perfect destination for a quick bite. It serves an impeccable selection of international teas and coffees, along with an assortment of fresh sweets and savouries from the confectionary.

With high Demand and Supply for luxury hotels indeed sufficed by standalone hotels and other international hotels in Goa, how does DoubleTree by Hilton Goa Panaji stand above in the competitive hospitality market of the state?

SD: Over the years, Goa has become a destination most frequented by domestic and international tourists. The opening of our hotel has definitely been a game changer in this already dynamic market. DoubleTree by Hilton Goa-Panaji is the latest addition to the existing DoubleTree by Hilton portfolio in Goa. The hotel features state-of-the-art technology, elegant interiors, thoughtful touches and friendly yet exceptional services making it the preferred choice for leisure travellers as well as business conventions and special events.

How does technology play an important role right from PMS, Chatbots, etc., at DoubleTree by Hilton Goa-Panaji?

SD: Customer expectations are continuously rising with technology being essential for hotels to stay relevant and competitive, save time and money and to achieve customer satisfaction. Technology gives hotels the ability to understand customer wants and preferences, tabulate feedback, and enables the hotel to customise guest experiences. Integration of modern devices is crucial and at our hotel, we have a range of automated devices such as, smart lighting, digital key and room controls, which assist in making the guests’ stay even more comfortable.

What promotional activities are you looking to add to the hotel to attract more guests to the hotel?

SD: During the holiday season, Hilton globally offers unique travel packages across Asia. We are constantly in-tune with our guest’s preferences to enhance the experience. Some of our current special offers include advance purchase where one can save up to 20% on best available rate by booking with us in advance. Additionally, guests can benefit from our celebration package where they can enjoy sparkling wine, breakfast, and late checkout. The guests can also avail our special opening offer ‘Rediscover Goa’ where they can enjoy discounts on F&B, spa and laundry services. This offer is available for bookings and stays till March 31, 2019. We also have special plans for domestic travellers attending our Christmas and New Year’s Eve gala dinner.

With the modern-day traveller longing for localised experiences, how does DoubleTree by Hilton Goa Panaji cater to these needs in terms of in-room décor, restaurants’ ambience and upholstery, local delicacies, exterior façade, etc.?

SD: the Contemporary structure with small locally inspired design elements are prominent throughout the hotel. From the Portuguese custom-made tiles to the art sculptures and wall-paintings, the room captures attention the moment one steps in.

As mentioned above, the hotel has multiple dining options that include, an all-day dining restaurant Comida with an attached bar. Feliz is our Mangalorean, Coastal and Goan restaurant which is exclusively for an ambient evening dinner overlooking the serene views of the river. The hotel also serves guests responsibly sourced single estate Indian coffee. Chef recommends dishes like Kori Roti, Kundapuri Chicken, Prawn Ghee roast, Tarkari Gassi and the lip-smacking Elaneer Payasam for one who has a sweet tooth.

Being situated in close proximity to local attractions, the hotel specialises in curated experiences which showcase everything that Goa has to offer other than the beaches. Some of the highly recommended locations are Reis Magos Fort, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Goa Velha, Miramar Beach, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary to name a few.

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