The Orchid Pune: Creating a Sustainable Vanguard Inside-Out!

The property, dubbed as Asia’s first ‘Ecotel’ (Environmentally sensitive hotel) with over 90 international and national accolades – under the leadership of its General Manager - Ayon Bhattacharya since December 2017 – has undergone a sea-change in terms of appeal and experience to the guests, right from the external fascia to the in-room touch points.

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PART OF Kamat Hotels India Limited (KHIL), The Orchid Pune in Baner- Balewadi is a 5-star property located strategically along the Pune-Bangalore Highway, and adjacent to the Balewadi Stadium. The property, dubbed as Asia’s first ‘Ecotel’ (Environmentally sensitive hotel) with over 90 international and national accolades – under the leadership of its General Manager - Ayon Bhattacharya since December 2017 – has undergone a sea-change in terms of appeal and experience to the guests, right from the external fascia to the in-room touch points.

Boasting of a large room inventory and 80, 000 sq. ft. of both lawn and indoor banqueting & conferencing space, The Orchid Pune’s core management team shared a sneak peek into the hotel and its sustainable operations. BW Hotelier reports…

The Novel Brand Mantra defined:

“Leading our guests to a calming ambience by soothing all their five senses is something we at The Orchid Pune have ideated as our cornerstone,” informs Bhattacharya about the rejig that the team at the hotel has brought within themselves.

The Revamping Dynamism:

Under Bhattacharya’s aegis, the 346-keys Orchid Pune has undergone a renovation drive with 90 rooms refurbished. Parts of the hotel are still being worked upon with a common aim of the management to make the best in terms of ROI while being environmentally sustainable. Notably, the hotel’s 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurant Boulevard has also seen an otherwise secluded space being reintroduced as a chic bar serving premium wines and spirits, informs Bhattacharya. Also, a new speciality cuisine restaurant is underway to be introduced at the hotel by end of this year which will attract the local as well as far-off guests to the hotel to experience the international gastronomy within the heart of Pune city. “We are also eagerly awaiting the launch of our new night club & bar, which will be a welcome addition to our existing offerings,” added Bhattacharya.

Sustainable Engineering:

A positive Bhattacharya says, we already have made certain value additions like the eco-wall which tells the tale about our striving commitment towards environmental sustainability. The bathroom faucets are now retrofitted with aerators to optimise water flow and check excessive wastage, informs Bhattacharya. Giving specifics about the aerators, the Chief Engineer at the Hotel, Mayur Modak said that with the installation of aerators, “We now save around 130 KL of water on an average daily, where previously the daily usage of water by the hotel was 200 KL.”

To further save the utility costs, which are responsible for a staggering 40% of a hotel's total operational costs, Modak says that Chillers in HVAC Systems which are responsible for maintaining the ambient temperature, are the major contributors to the surging energy costs in a hotel. “Hence, to save on that part, we integrated the previously present two chillers for two individual buildings to one main chiller – this, in turn, brought down the utility costs by about 45%,” says Modak. He also says that the Engineering team at the hotel has further replaced the boilers with heating pumps

which are more economical; installed a total of 12 Treated Fresh Air (TFA) Units, each at one floor of the 12-storeyed building; retrofitted all the refurbished 90 rooms with thermostats; and installed IoT (Internet of Things)-based equipment to communicate with the chillers to automatically optimise usage after a set temperature is achieved. Likewise, the conventional CFL lighting inside the hotel is fully replaced with LEDs to further tick the boxes of clean energy and reduced costs.

Amol Gund, the Housekeeping Manager says that it needs immense surveillance to keep a track of both the patron’s wellbeing and environmental sustainability. To move parallel without dampening out either of them, “We only use eco-friendly solvents for cleaning purposes and also plant a lot of plants both outside and inside of the hotel to check the indoor air quality (IAQ) - which is a major quest of discussion for the well-travelled guests now,” says Gund. Several batches of Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as ‘snake plant’ can be witnessed in the common space and restaurants throughout the expanse of the hotel. These plants are known for naturally purifying the air where they are present.

The Healthy Platter:

The Hotel’s Executive Chef Gulshan Kumar spoke about how the hotel’s motto is deep-delved into his culinary creations, where he told us about the replacement of all plastic-based cutlery being replaced with food-grade materials and use of organic materials sourced directly from the Herbs Garden in the premises of the hotel. He also told about the team’s vigilance to contributing to decreasing fuel utility costs by making all bakery preparations during the night time.

He says, the health, wellbeing and fulfilment of the guests after having their meal is at the core of the team, for which, they are always available to create custom-made dishes as per the patron’s choice and calorific needs. Interestingly, Chef Kumar, in the first attempt in Pune, will be using Ayurvedic ingredients to create a special menu of select dishes to promote and extend knowledge about Ayurved and its benefits. He says, he is excited about the menu and will roll out the same by the end of this year.

Chef Kumar says, “It is exciting here at the hotel, as it in the vicinity of the Shivaji Stadium due to which we receive large groups of athletes and sportspersons as our guests. Healthy food is dearest to them and serving them with our unique healthy creations is something that we enjoy here.”

The Food and Beverage Manager Soumitra Kundu also shed light on the hotel’s Herbs Garden in the premises to source fresh and organic supplies for the delicacies. They are soon unveiling the Nakshatra garden too, which comprises of plants and herbs of medicinal value with their information listed alongside to inform their guests about the health factor that the hotel considers as their utmost priority. Kundu further says, the hotel receives a healthy mix of corporates as well as leisure travellers, a majority of which belongs to the millennial age group. To promote their F&B, they roll out about four food festivals round the year dedicated to regional and seasonal delicacies & ingredients.


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