Brij-ing the gap between modern and traditional

An epitome of perceptive luxury hospitality, Brij Hotels showcases finest highlights of a place from culture to cuisine, design to service and beyond, says co-founder Anant Kumar

Brij Hotels has been on a mission to create an ecosystem of sustainable tourism through exceptionally curated experiences at its hotels that keep the surrounding habitats intact while uplifting the local communities. With a total of six operational properties across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, the company is building new hotels across Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Nepal and beyond providing guests with similar experiences. A collection of bespoke luxury properties, Brij Hotels, endeavours to inspire travellers with exquisite hidden gems that can be experienced at various locations across India. Each property offers unique and immersive hyperlocal experiences, a prerequisite to their vision for sustainable luxury.

The founder of the Clarks Group of Hotels, Babu Brijpal Das was one of the first few industry veterans who believed and invested in the Indian tourism story. In 1947, amidst the chaos of Partition and the creation of a new India, the Clarks story began with the acquisition of Clarks Varanasi. Inspired by his life’s work, his great-grandchildren, Udit and Anant Kumar, formed Brij Hotels in 2021. The two travelled to some of the most exotic and far-flung regions to set up these specially curated hotels. One could be having tea with flamingos, kayaking in a private lake, having a picnic on a summit that was once inhabited by witches or learning to rear cattle with a shepherd over roti and fresh butter when visiting a Brij Hotel’s property.

“Our endeavour is to welcome guests with humility to the remote areas of South Asia and share its vibrant Nature with the travelling world. The mission is to create an ecosystem of sustainable tourism that keeps the habitats intact while economically uplifting its communities. It is achieved through employment creation, adapting sustainable practices in their daily operations, use of local materials and labour for construction, guest services; and a showcase of local arts, crafts and culture through the experiences,” says Anant Kumar, co-founder, Brij Hotels.

The Group imbibes the value of creating a sustainable ecosystem at all its properties through several conscious initiatives – 80 per cent of the staff at the hotel is hired locally and trained by experienced professionals creating employment opportunities in the surrounding areas. “Our curated experiences involve activities like pottery, breakfast at the farmer’s house, sheepherding and beyond, inculcating a direct involvement of the craftsman, farmer or the local artisan with the guests. At few of our properties, we follow the zero kilometre concept where everything is sourced locally -from raw materials for construction, food ingredients to the fabrics. This reflects the very essence of the place,” shares Kumar, adding that having a low inventory at each of our property aids us in maintaining the sanctity of the destination, especially the ones surrounding wildlife habitat and rural areas. 

The traveller today is quite mindful about his contribution to the environment and aims at exploring a destination more responsibly and consciously, feels Kumar. “At Brij Hotels, we endeavour at adopting environment-friendly ways in our day-to-day operations and service to our guests. Sustainability in our operations is at its forefront with minimal use of plastic – replacing pet bottles with glass ones, providing datoon instead of a toothbrush, wooden combs and beyond. We are reducing fossil fuel consumption and encouraging the use of solar energy at the properties. The traveller today appreciates these little efforts towards conservation of the environment,” he informs.

Sharing his views on the scope for growth in India’s hospitality sector, Kumar says, “The millennials and the Gen-Zs are influencing travel decisions and seeking offbeat luxury and experiential visits. At Brij Hotels, we aim at connecting the traveller to the very destination and believe in spreading the word with the personalised experience we curate for guests. A mix of culinary, nature, cultural, spiritual and much more. As we finally enter a phase where Indian hospitality is at a boom and people are travelling for immersive experiences, we forecast an immense growth in the industry through connecting with our customers directly and establish a strong digital presence.” He adds that they sign those management contracts where they feel the property matches with the brand ethos and specifications that fulfil the Group’s mission of creating a sustainable ecosystem. 

The co-founder of Brij Hotels opines that the last two years in pandemic has changed the way people perceive the hospitality industry. “Some of the major challenges we need to overcome together are – to adopt technology in operations, train human resource for new world of hospitality providing safe and experiential stays with and better remunerations for them,” he says. 

To continue on the path of consistently offering guests perceptive luxury hospitality and unique experiential hotels in immersive settings, Kumar says that Brij Hotels is in the process of opening three new resorts this coming winter in Bikaner, Kukas and Bandhavgarh. “Each of our upcoming hotels shall provide distinctive experiences and encourage guests to get deeply acquainted with local culture and heritage of the place. We are looking at robust expansion plans in the coming years while scouting for unexplored regions within India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and beyond to open our hotels,” he concludes. n

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER - THE WEDDINGS & MICE SPECIAL'


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