Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai’s Revamped Ark 2.0 Tunes into Being the Much-Anticipated Lobby Bar

Entailed with responsibilities of looking after the overall F&B operations at the hotel, Vaidya conversed with BW Hotelier to shed light on the hotel’s vision about their recently revamped chic lobby bar Ark 2.0.

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STARTING HIS career as a butler at Oberoi Hotels & Resorts - part of East India Hotels, Tanmay Vaidya, Director of Food & Beverage at Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport, is a graduate from The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD). His first stint after graduation was at Trident Nariman Point, where he was associated for six years. He then moved to The Oberoi, Mauritius where he spent three years. At Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Vaidya donned various hats, where his latest assignment was being the F&B Manager, following which he joined Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport about a year ago.

Entailed with responsibilities of looking after the overall F&B operations at the hotel, Vaidya conversed with BW Hotelier to shed light on the hotel’s vision about their recently revamped chic lobby bar Ark 2.0. Excerpts…

What aspects made Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport to upgrade the existing bar Ark?

Tanmay Vaidya: Ark had an identity of a nightclub previously. And, being a nightclub, there is only something that one can enjoy from the late evening hours to the early morning hours. But, with the hotel catering to a mix of international and domestic corporate clientele, we realised we need to have a place for our clients who would likely prefer a more casual and informal setting, be it just to enjoy an evening match after office hours with a drink handy, or their group meetings and get-togethers in the afternoon, or they want to entertain their corporate clients and don’t want to sit down in an all-day dining restaurant with a formal setting. These were the many reasons that led to the turnaround of the existing product and saw the relaunch of the lobby bar Ark 2.0, which also translates into a high-energy nightlife club towards the later hours of the evening. It was the need that we identified that rose by the people staying at the hotel, as well as demand increasing by the other outside prospective customer base that would generate more revenues for us.

What value additions in terms of ambience, F&B Options, etc., have been carried out at Ark 2.0 as compared to the pre-existing bar?

TV: What we have essentially done to Ark 2.0 is change the identity completely, about which I mentioned earlier. Secondly, when people go out, it is seldom that people go individually. Rather, people prefer going out in groups be it get-togethers, meetings or friends and family. Also considering the hotel’s strategic location with many corporates, families, as well as groups of international travellers traveling and staying at our hotel, to cater to which, we targeted the theme of Ark 2.0 with the introduction of #Squadgoals, which could be any squad that one is travelling with, be it a corporate group, family, friends, etc., accordingly for which we have designed our working hours as too. As the hours of the day change, the ambience in Ark 2.0 changes too. During the afternoon to early evening hours, the area is lit low making it ideal for corporates to have an after-work drink, etc. Accordingly, the furnishings and upholstery have also been introduced in a fashion that complements the ambience inside the bar.

On the F&B front, we have a large inventory of labels of spirits, be it Whiskies, Gins, Wines, Cognacs. Interestingly, we at the hotel, have ideated and introduced our own custom-made glassware for the cocktails such as the honeybee glass, reading-light bulb-shaped glass, among others, which have been appreciated by the visitors of Ark 2.0. Also, not just restricting to finger foods, we have introduced a proper meal option at Ark 2.0 too. Keeping in mind our theme #Squadgoals, the portions of the food and beverages are also set to cater to groups as well as individual likings.

With every development and renovation coming as an added cost to hotels, in order to reduce the ROI gestation period by increasing promotions through various channels, what strategies are you applying for Ark 2.0?

TV: Of course renovations bring in an added cost to establishments, where, to fasten the ROI from Ark 2.0, we have focussed majorly on keeping the prices affordable for the guests, where they will find prices of almost all offerings similar to that of any standalone restaurants. Hence being a brand, we would cash in an increasing footfall and in turn surge our revenues. Marriott Rewards are also applicable at Ark 2.0, where the patrons can enjoy various discounts and other add-ons at the bar. Furthermore, we are listed on various restaurant finding apps such as Zomato, EazyDiner, Nearbuy, etc., with attractive offers to welcome visitors from around the hotel’s vicinity.


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