Grand Mercure Bangalore Caters to Both Business & Leisure Travellers, With a Focus on the Extended Stay Segment: Rayan Aranha, GM
While speaking to BW Hotelier, he shed light on the hospitality market dynamics over the years, Grand Mercure Bangalore as a product and the further value additions to be brought to the same in the coming years.
HEADING THE Grand Mercure Bangalore hotel, Rayan Aranha – a seasoned hotelier with about two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, while speaking to BW Hotelier, he shed light on the hospitality market dynamics over the years, Grand Mercure Bangalore as a product and the further value additions to be brought to the same in the coming years. Excerpts…
Being associated with the hospitality industry for over 20 years, what trend have you seen that changed over the years in terms of both traveller sentiment and the hotels catering to the guests within India?
Rayan Aranha: The hospitality patterns of the domestic traveller have changed over the last decade. With most guests being regular outbound travellers, they are gaining exposure to different trends in hospitality, hence creating a demand for world-class international standards and services. Not only are guests getting exposed to different trends through their travels but are also gaining insights via the Internet. With easy accessibility, the domestic traveller’s knowledge is increasing and therefore their expectations. Hence, guests today understand the finer details of luxury and seek those experiences wherever they travel. They have also extended their palate to a wider breadth of tastes, flavours, and ingredients, thus creating more discerning gourmands in the country.
Being a part of AccorHotels for over seven years, what were the challenges and opportunities that you witnessed of being assigned to various brands in different locations of the country?
RA: In my journey with AccorHotels, I have worked with Grand Mercure and ibis brands in Bangalore and Mumbai respectively, with a brief exposure to the Pullman and Novotel brands in Delhi.
These brands are unique yet share the same goal. Pullman, with its range of personalised services, is our brand for today’s executive lifestyle as a new generation premium hotel. Grand Mercure hotels are closely connected to their local surroundings in terms of design and style of welcome. Novotel hotels are state-of-the-art mid-scale hotels which blend business and leisure and ibis is our smart economy brand providing comfort and a consistently high level of service.
That said, across all our brands, we all share the same passion i.e. making our guests ‘Feel Welcome’.
How is Grand Mercure Bangalore positioned for easy accessibility of both Business and Leisure travellers?
RA: Grand Mercure is a product of local flavours and universal sense of hospitality. As an all-suite property, Grand Mercure Bangalore caters to both business and leisure travellers, with a focus on the extended stay segment. In addition to short stays, there is also a demand for relocation and project-based business with guests staying from three months to a year.
The location (Koramangala) also attracts leisure travellers visiting Bangalore, and also travellers with layovers to surrounding places such as Coorg and Mysore.
Grand Mercure Bangalore being an all-suite residence, how does it cater to the varied needs of a different set of guest profiles? What facilities does the property have for MICE & Social get-togethers?
RA: Bangalore as a market gets the larger part of its business through the corporate segment, and comparatively a smaller percentage as leisure travel.
Our all-suite hotel is tailor-made to suit the extended stay segment for business travellers as well as leisure segment due to the rooms’ sizes and facilities which include a kitchenette, private open balcony, and a separate living area. The hotel is also equipped with traditional 5-star amenities which include an outdoor pool, 24-hour gymnasium, spa and salon making it ideal for short or long stays.
Grand Mercure Bangalore has an elegant banquet space by the poolside with a dimension of 20*80 ft, which is ideal for social gatherings and can accompany up to 200 guests. The hotel also has a fully equipped, state-of-the-art meeting room which can accommodate up to 40 people.
What is on offer in terms of room categories, Restaurants and other amenities like Gym, Spa, etc., at the Grand Mercure Bangalore?
RA: The room categories at Grand Mercure Bangalore include Studio, One and Two Bedroom Suites. The hotel has two spectacular restaurants – 12th Main, which services global cuisine, and By the Blue, the award-winning poolside restaurant which serves inspired Indian fare. The hotel also has a large outdoor pool and a state of the art gymnasium which is open round the clock.
The hotel features a ‘Weekend Brunch & Getaway’ Package that runs throughout the year. This package includes accommodation, breakfast, dinner, Saturday or Sunday Brunch, a 30 minutes spa session and a late check-out option at a very attractive price.
Upcoming promotions include the Republic Day ‘Swadeshi Brunch’ which is a lavish spread of Indian delicacies selected from different regions of India. Further, for Valentine’s Day; the hotel will be offering a staycation inclusive of accommodation and a special dinner prepared by our Chef in the room for the couple, a spa session & breakfast.
What is the current Demand-Supply situation for an upscale category property in the Koramangala area of Bangalore city? How does Grand Mercure lead the competition on these lines? What is the age-group and guest profile that frequents to the area and Grand Mercure Bangalore simultaneously?
RA: Grand Mercure gets its fair share of business in the upscale segment. While the age group varies, guest profiles include senior management and business heads that stay at the property from companies of multiple micro markets including Bellandur, Electronic City as well as the CBD area. Also with the extended stay facilities offered by the hotel, many guests from other countries move in for longer durations on project-based business with their clients.
What is the Occ. and stability in ADR recorded by the hotel in 2018? What new updates are underway in the year 2019 under your leadership?
RA: While occupancy has been stable, the hotel has seen a growth in the ADR in recent years, with a 10% growth recorded in 2018.
We promise to have a very creative year in F&B, with a number of innovations through food festivals, events and a refreshing change in menus at both restaurants.
In 2019, the hotel will also begin renovation in a phased out manner, upgrading our food & Beverage outlets and rooms in line with the latest trends in the hospitality industry.
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