‘Good business, an eventual reality to a good relationship’

Dinesh Rai, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Kochi, aims to make the property recognisable for personalised services and quality standards

Known for his leadership qualities, Dinesh Rai had started his career with IHG Hotel & Resorts and over the years, he has been a part of leading hospitality brands while climbing the ladder of success. Starting with hotel operations, Rai has worked with room division, reservations, revenue, sales, finance and starting taking up leadership roles. “The opportunity to work with diverse segment of hotels such as luxury, large complex, convention centres, international resorts and selected brands in India and Sri Lanka helped me build a robust understanding and to make well-informed and educated decision when faced with challenges,” says Rai, who is currently heading Crowne Plaza Kochi (CP Kochi) as its General Manager.

Rai has been instrumental in opening two five-star hotels with different brands and successfully establishing them too. During his assignments, he has focussed on recruiting and engaging a winning team that is brand conscious, committed to delighting guests and delivering superior performance. “Delivering growth to all stakeholders and profits to investors has been of paramount importance but the same has been always been a result of well-established team’s performance that drives the brand ethos. I have been fortunate to accomplish numerous corporate milestones and goals,” he shares.


Nestled along the banks of the panoramic backwaters and strategically located in the new business district of city, NH-47 Bypass, Crowne Plaza Kochi is 45 minutes away from Cochin International Airport and provides easy access to major sightseeing areas including Museum of Kerala, Bolgatty Island, Hill Palace, Kerala Folklore Theatre & Museum, Jewish Synagogue, Durbar Hall Art Gallery and Maritime Museum inside INS Dronacharya. “An hour’s drive from the hotel is Alleppey or Alappuzha where one can indulge in a houseboat cruise exploring the Venice of the East or Kumarakom for small picturesque islands, landscapes and lush greenery. One can get to Munnar for a blissful view of the tea gardens. The hotel’s central location and convenient access to major business arenas, city centre and Fort Kochi, making it an ideal hotspot for vacation and family getaways,” he adds.

With an inventory of 269 keys, Crowne Plaza Hotel is designed for the comfort of every traveller and caters to business and leisure travellers with spacious guest rooms that offer modern amenities and multiple outdoor spaces to enjoy the panoramic views of the backwaters and the city. “Our rooms with an inviting décor and an uninterrupted view makes us the most preferred choice,” says Rai. The hotel extends exclusive recreational activities like snake boat race and lakeside weddings to its guests.


CP Kochi has strong food and beverage offerings with seven outlets including two specialty restaurants. During the pandemic, the hotel adopted the concept of delivery that included ‘Brunch in a Box’ to replicate a brunch or a buffet spread. Also introduced was ‘Healthy Meal Box’ that offered nourishing and innovative food choices loaded with nutrition and taste as well as refreshing juices. Rai shares the hotel tied up with food delivery partners which gave them additional revenue during the lockdown period.  “It took a while for people to accept the new services but they began warming up to them eventually. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to revamp our culinary experience during weddings as well by introducing packages which include theme-based lunch and dinner tailored to wedding styles and dietary needs, mesmerising décor, mandap and more which resulted in incremental driven average APC for weddings. The services follow the highest level of hygiene and better packaging so that food safety is never compromised,” he adds.

CP Kochi has revamped the menu offering of its specialty restaurant, SkyGrill. “Our second specialty restaurant, Trilogy, which represents the authentic culinary delights of Travancore, Malabar and Kochi offering traditional and novel signature dishes, is scheduled for a facelift in Q1 2022,” shares the GM, adding the F&B industry has experienced significant changes lately and with life getting back to normal, they expect F&B to drive revenues for the hotel.


Crowne Plaza believes in ‘quality downtime’ through ‘Dare to Connect’, an IHG initiative, wherein the hotel’s team thrives on developing a human connection. “We take a lot of pride in personally connecting and interacting with guests, unravelling the history and culture of the area and educating them on what Kerala offers,” informs Rai, adding the hotel has tied up with various forums organising cultural activities.

Spread over 25,000 sq ft, CP Kochi’s Sohum Spa showcases Kerala’s heritage and has adapted Ayurvedic therapies and treatments by integrating lifestyle, herbal medicine, Vedic astrology and yoga. “Here we take pride in educating our guest that Ayurveda is a way life and not just medicine,” he informs.


Rai aims to make the property as the preferred choice of every business traveller by delivering exceptional hospitality. “At Crowne Plaza, we believe in making business travel work and take a lot of pride in knowing our customers up close and personal. It’s that ethos I would personally want my team to imbibe as the culture. I do believe that good business is an eventual reality to a good relationship,” he says.

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'INVESTMENT SPECIAL ISSUE VOL 7, ISSUE 6'

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