Novotel Hyderabad is one of the only few five star hotels and resorts near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Hyderabad is known as an IT hub, what unique amenities do you provide to your corporate guests?
Rubin Cherian: As rightly mentioned, we are the only five-star hotel near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and are set in the lap of nature with expansive views and a resort-like ambience. The hotel comprises of 292 spacious rooms and suites, 70,000 sq. Ft. of flexible banqueting space, sports arena, state-of-the-art gym, spa, and multiple dining options. Novotel Hyderabad Airport is an ideal destination which is safe and hygienic for transit stays, corporate events, conferences, and day outings. The idealistic location of the hotel is perfect to conduct your meetings and simultaneously gives you a chance to relax and unwind. There are multiple recreational activities which can be utilised during your stay with us. Our unique selling point is an expansive sports arena which comprises of a tennis, basketball, and volleyball court. This is perfect for organizing team activities or for a workout session in the morning midst nature.
The hotel is also surrounded with lush green and manicured lawns which are perfect for a leisurely walk or to enjoy a cup of coffee in the company of chirping birds. We also have a herb garden called ‘The Patch’ where the hotel grows its organic vegetables and various other herbs. Next to the herb garden, we have a site which is ideal to pitch a tent and camp under the starry skies. This can be accompanied with live barbeque, some music along with our impeccable service and hospitality.
Hyderabad is one of the startup hubs of India so do you see any change in hotel sectors and does the increase in the startup culture enhance the hotel revenue in any form?
Rubin Cherian: Currently, we see some movement related to start-ups only when there are VC pitch meetings or reviews. We await larger traction as they are more concentrated in the city centre. Additionally, we are certain to witness more traction once the Aerocity develops. My sales team at the hotel is always aware on all the developments happening in our vicinity to ensure maximum market penetration.
Novotel Hyderabad Airport is situated near the only International Airport in Telangana, What strategy do you implement to keep your property updated with the international trends?
Rubin Cherian: We at the hotel are extremely agile and nimble in following the international trends. The teams are constantly updating their service levels and offerings bearing the latest international trends in mind. Also, our room rates and various packages are customised after understanding the booking trends made by travellers. The team, with a very scientific approach, has also managed to grow our pie of business from all channels.
We also are exploring newer avenues to generate revenue such as working on flexible day-use packages that could double up as office space and other pocket-friendly experiences. We at Novotel Hyderabad Airport are structurally also blessed to have a unique layout where we would be one of the only hotels in the city that could well become a hotel with the largest capacity for meeting rooms and venues.
In the social media era how important it is to keep updating the interiors of the hotels according to the trends?
Rubin Cherian: The hotel is surrounded by natural scenic beauty which also makes it a very social media-friendly environment. We also have open-air venues which can be customized to create diverse experiences. The elements of service across all guest-facing areas are constantly evolving to match the requirements of our guests. We have augmented our fitness centre offerings wherein our guests can order various health drinks, immunity boosters etc. as part of their pre/post-workout diet. We also offer a herb garden called ‘The Patch’ where the guest can go for a walk and select fresh produce which is then cooked by our in-house chefs. This is truly a blog-worthy and Instagram worthy experience.
There is a saying ‘First impression is the last impression’, in hotels lobby is the first thing that customer witnesses before experiencing any other services, so what are the unique elements of your lobby which makes it out of the league?
Rubin Cherian: Very rightly said, lobby for the hotels is an extremely important and prime space. Our hotel boasts of a sprawling lobby which is a harmonious blend of modern architecture infused with various elements of nature and coupled with warmth and hospitality. Our lobby is spread over an expanse of 834 sq.m and is a culmination of various elements right from the reception counter to lounge seating’s clubbed with few retail shops. You can also hear the serene sound of water flowing next to the fish pond which is perfect to relax and unwind with a refreshing drink dispensed from The Bar- an integral part of our lobby and adds a lot of character to the entire space.
The brand believes in the concept of family at Novotel which gives equal emphasis to the family and kids of business travellers. To pamper the kids at our hotel we have created a corner in the lobby which is perfect to keep the kids engaged with various board games and play station.
What is the first thing you do when you receive negative feedback or grievances from the customer, in this digital age how important it is to manage these type of crisis as it can be lethal for a brand?
Rubin Cherian: Being with Accor welcoming, and taking care of our guests is at the very heart of what we do and who we are. In an event of receiving negative feedback. our endeavour is always to meet the guest immediately to capture his feedback and understand his/her grievance in detail. Post the feedback, we ensure a service recovery is done and the remarks are captured in the guest profile for future reference. The guest relations team at the hotel is extremely proactive in their engagement levels with the guest to understand their preferences and likes which helps us in customizing our service styles accordingly. We have also created a robust digital mechanism to capture feedback from our guests at every touchpoint which helps us in ensuring that there is no loop missed.
It was highly appreciable and remarkable that one of your hotel guests had forgotten his jacket in your hotel and realized the same when he reached the airport, then your team had managed to return his jacket to the airport. Please more similar experiences in which you and your team had gone out of the way just to deliver world-class hospitality?
Rubin Cherian: I am blessed to have an extremely impeccable and dedicated team at the hotel. I remember an instance where a guest forgot his wallet on the sofa in the lobby after he checkout from the hotel.After he checks out, one of my employees noticed his wallet and informed the security. We then checked the security camera and identified the guest along with his room number. By the time we contacted the guest on his phone, he had boarded the flight. The team at the hotel co-ordinated with our airport representative and airport authority and was able to have the wallet delivered to the guest inside the aircraft. This was a true Heartiest moment for all of us and we also awarded the employee in the town hall.
While curating a menu what are the main points on which you keep your keen eyes?
Rubin Cherian: The menus are designed to suit all palates. It needs to have a right balance of flavours, colour textures and most importantly nutritional value. The food served on the table should be invigorating to all our diners.While designing the menu we take into consideration the nuances of the local cuisine as well as the preferences of the global traveller. As mentioned earlier the hotel also has an herb garden where we grow our organic produce, which perfect to curate comfort dishes for diners who believe is simple and healthy eating.
You are associated with ACCOR from the last 16 years, what is the best part of the Accor which makes it a class apart brand for the employees.
Rubin Cherian: It has been a resplendent journey with Accor, and it is great to work with a company which is so rich in culture and its values. We value our talents because they are the greatest strength of the company. We also believe in diversity and are trying our level best to create a healthy balance. Accor offers a culture of inclusion to let each individual shine.
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