‘Need to remain flexible and adapt quickly’
The hotel industry will have to accept the new realities of doing business, says Sunil Verma, General Manager, Novotel Lucknow Gomti Nagar
With its rustic charm, lip-smacking cuisine and Awadhi culture, Lucknow never fails to amaze the discerning traveller, be it domestic or international. The historic city, of late, has emerged as one of the most important financial hubs in northern India. Set amid the most bustling corner of the capital of Uttar Pradesh is Novotel Lucknow Gomti Nagar that boasts of a scenic view of the city along with state-of-the-art amenities. The hotel offers 106 spacious rooms with virtual concierge, high speed internet, swimming pool and an interactive kitchen.
Leading the charge at Novotel Lucknow Gomti Nagar is Sunil Verma, the General Manager of the property who comes with over 22 years of experience in leading high-performance teams. “Lucknow has grown and developed in terms of all modern infrastructure and amenities. This has allowed space for the hospitality industry to grow and we have seen immense branded inventory evolve in the last few years. The last two years have been very challenging due to the pandemic but it has been a time of learning and transformation. I feel blessed to have a strong team and with everyone’s collective effort, we have been able to bounce back stronger and remain optimistic for future,” says Verma.
BUSINESS AND LEISURE TRAVELLERS
By virtue of its location, the hotel is an ideal destination for business as well as leisure travellers and offers a multitude of services including spacious modular rooms with natural and intuitive design; 24x7 catering with nutritious choices; dedicated meeting spaces; attentive and proactive staff; family zones for younger guests; multipurpose lobbies and accessible fitness centres. “We offer easy access to business hubs, government offices and popular tourist attractions. Airport connectivity is superb through a freeway. We also have multiple dining options including a rooftop dining lounge bar, EDGE, and the all-day dining, The Square,” he shares.
AUTHENTIC REGIONAL CUISINE
Highlighting the food offerings at Novotel Lucknow Gomti Nagar, Verma shares, “Being an international brand, we feature an extensive menu comprising international cuisines like European and Pan-Asian, along with a balance of the local cuisine. As we all know, Lucknow is home to the famous Awadhi cuisine and many of our room guests look forward to exploring the local cuisine but are hesitant to venture out, given the current situation. So, we offer them the same as a part of our buffets and a-la-carte menus. We source all ingredients locally and our chefs strive to maintain the authentic taste of Awadhi and Lucknowi cuisine for our guests.”
ADAPTING TO CHANGES
Verma feels the hotel industry will have to accept the new realities of doing business. “Over the last two years, we have reinvented and created different templates to operate, to keep the business continuity alive. On a brand level, we have created Vivaah by Novotel and Shagun by Novotel, a service that allows guests to enjoy the wedding menu delivered at home. ALL Connect Hybrid Meetings allow events to take place with restricted numbers. We have customised our F&B for delivery and have been catering to our local guests in partnership with the delivery partners. The need of the hour is to remain flexible and adapt quickly. We anticipate the demand to come back soon and remain extremely optimistic,” he puts in.
The rise of domestic tourism since the onset of Covid19 has remained a strong business aggregator for the industry, opines Verma, adding it is critical to implement the highest standards of safety and hygiene. “What will set you apart is the assurance you can provide to the customer about the steps your property is taking. As a brand, we have implemented a multi-pronged approach to meet the health and safety requirements through our ALL SAFE label which represents our new cleanliness and prevention standards and provides assurance that these standards have been met in our hotels. Guests are opting for premium-branded hotels and are ready to pay higher room rates as they are assured of a clean and hygienic environment,” he says.
This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022 ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL'
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