‘Our commitment to hospitality has grown stronger’
Neeraj Maharshi, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer, says he intends to participate in brochure programmes and prominent trade festivals abroad to enhance the property’s global presence
It was in October 2020, when the threat of Covid19 pandemic was looming large globally that DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer opened its doors for guests. With travel restrictions, lockdowns and health worries worldwide, the hotel management had to adjust its operational strategies, follow strict health rules and find ways to keep guests happy. And then there were economic impacts that heightened financial pressures, demanding careful resource management. “Despite adversity, our commitment to guest safety remained steadfast,” shares Neeraj Mahrishi, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer.
He adds that through strict health protocols, improved sanitation and open communication, the hotel earned the trust of its guests, resulting in positive feedback and loyalty. “We adapted to the new normal by introducing digital check-ins and services without physical contact. We partnered with local event and travel partners, contributing to broader recovery efforts. People loved the great experiences we offered, and that trust made us the top choice for weddings in Jaipur in a span of three years. This success is a big deal for us. This achievement occurred without extensive marketing efforts,” he says.
Now, after initial difficulties, Mahrishi feels positive about the future. “Over the past three years, our commitment to hospitality has grown stronger, and we look forward to building on this experience in the years to come,” he avers.
Ever-changing consumer behaviour
“One prominent trend is the increased reliance on digital channels for bookings and engaging with hotel services. The convenience of mobile apps and online platforms has become paramount for guests. There is growing emphasis on personalised experiences. Guests now seek tailored services, from customised room preferences to unique dining experiences. This reflects a desire for more individualised and memorable stays,” observes Mahrishi, adding another significant change is awareness of sustainability. “Guests are increasingly environmentally conscious and they appreciate eco-friendly initiatives and practices. This shift has led us to implement more sustainable practices across various facets of our operations. These insights guide us in adapting our strategies to meet the evolving expectations of our guests,” he says.
Key business drivers
Over the years, the property’s key contributors in business are weddings, MICE as well as leisure travel. “The enchanting backdrop of Aravalli Hills, combined with opulent wedding lawn that has the capacity to accommodate up to 1,500 guests has made us a sought-after venue for weddings. Our commitment to crafting memorable moments has resulted in a steady influx of wedding bookings, as couples choose our property amongst the most preferred wedding properties in Rajasthan,” Mahrishi shares.
The MICE segment has been pivotal, with corporate events and conferences finding a home in our well-equipped facilities, informs the GM. “We offer interesting corporate activities like fire walks, rock climbing, yoga sessions and outdoor games like cricket, badminton, etc. Recognising the growing preference for staycations, we have positioned ourselves as a premier destination for nearby getaways. Our focus on creating a relaxing and indulgent atmosphere has resonated with guests seeking a retreat. In addition to these, we want to position ourselves as a family-friendly and kid-friendly hotel. We offer engaging activities like Young Chef, Puppet Shows, dedicated kids' area – the idea is that while families enjoy their stay but even the children have a memorable time at our property. Looking ahead, weddings, MICE & staycations will remain our key focus areas and we will try our best to exceed the expectations of the guests,” he says.
Growth of leisure business
Mahrishi says he and his team envision further expansion by strategically targetting domestic guests. “We recognise the impact of social media influencers in shaping travel decisions. By collaborating with influencers who resonate with our brand, we aim to organically showcase the unique experiences our hotel provides. To enhance visibility and accessibility, we are investing in sponsored listings on popular travel platforms. This strategic placement ensures that our hotel is prominently featured when travellers search for accommodations in and around Jaipur. Time and again, we roll out special packages to attract our domestic travellers. Additionally, we are engaging with travel partners to showcase our hotel as an ideal destination for leisure travellers,” he avers.
Attracting inbound travellers
The hotel has partnered with travel agencies and tour operators to offer tailored packages to appeal to potential inbound guests. “We have plans to reach out to global audience by doing marketing in key international magazines. We intend to participate in brochure programmes and prominent trade festivals abroad to enhance our global presence. We are curating experiences that suit different nationalities. Also, we actively organise FAM (familiarisation) trips, providing travel industry professionals first-hand experience of our offerings. In addition to these, international cuisine options and thoughtful amenities make our hotel a home away from home for visitors from around the world,” Mahrishi says.
Sustainability is at the core of the hotel’s operations as it promotes responsible hospitality by encouraging guests to conserve energy and water through placards in the rooms. Changing linens every third day and reusing towels help minimise our environmental impact. “Our housekeeping team has transformed a dump yard into flourishing garden where we cultivate organic vegetables which find their way into our culinary offerings, embodying sustainability from garden to plate. We manage wastewater responsibly with a Sewage Treatment Plant, and our laundry operations use advanced technology to reduce energy consumption. Energy efficient vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters aid in environmental conservation. We've embraced digital check-in processes and offer a digital key option for room access via Hilton App, enhancing guest convenience. We are exploring avenues to minimise plastic waste by introducing wall-mounted, large bottles for shampoo, shower gel, and body lotion,” informs the GM.
Managing operational expenses in adverse situations
DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer continuously assesses its operational processes to identify areas where cost optimisation is possible. Renegotiating contracts with partners, adopting energy efficient practices to mitigate rising utility costs, implementing advanced systems for inventory control, cultivating relationships with multiple vendors and reducing dependency on a single source, ensuring a more resilient supply chain, regular and rigorous monitoring and prudent financial planning helps the property to navigate through the period of inflation. “In addition, we examine the menu prices in relation to what competitors are charging to ensure that our prices are competitive and help manage operational costs effectively,” he concludes.
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