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GMs of the East

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A much neglected but now emerging hospitality destination, the eastern region of India is home to many national and international hotel brands that have seen a surge in occupancies in recent years. On the occasion of FHRAI’s 50th Convention being held in Bhubaneswar, FHW spoke to some of the GMs of the region to get their perspective

Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati GM: Vikas Ray


Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati, the first – first class international hotel of the north-east, has recreated the definition of the term comfort and has taken it to a whole new level in this part of the country. An elegantly designed contemporary hotel, it is now an ideal destination for business and leisure travellers alike with its 196 guest rooms and suites, variety of specialty F&B options, state-of-the-art event facilities, rejuvenating fitness and spa facilities and all other key services.

Vikas Ray

Radisson Blu is Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s first class, full-service hotel brand, with services and amenities that were created specifically to be empathetic to the challenges of modern travel. The Radisson Blu brand delivers vibrant, contemporary and engaging hospitality that is characterised by its unique Yes I Can ! SM service philosophy. Guests can expect a 100 per cent guest satisfaction guarantee as well as complimentary internet access as part of Radisson Blu’s guest promise.

Management mantra

We are attentive to each guest and their requirements and our effort is to provide the finest experience to our guests each time they visit us and will continue to contribute to the growth of the region.

Hospitality market

The hospitality industry in this region needed the presence of an international hotel brand like ours. There are many more in the pipeline and I foresee a rapid growth in this region.

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)

VITS Bhubaneshwar GM: Subrat Dash


The unique selling point of VITS-Bhubaneshwar is its location, as it is in close proximity to the airport (five km), railway station (1.5 km) and is in one of the most happening commercial locations of Bhubaneswar. The hotel is close to the highway leading to Cuttack on one side and Puri on the other side. VITS-Bhubaneshwar is an ideal transit hotel for people travelling to other locations. Although the property has more number of corporate business travellers, but due to its location and amenities the property is a sought after choice for leisure tourists as well.


Management mantra

Our prime mantra has been ‘Looking beyond service – Hospitality.’ It is the emotional aspect of the guests that we touch upon and try to understand their needs.

Hospitality market

Subrat Dash

The eastern region specially Odisha has created many opportunities in the recent years for segments like MICE, destination weddings, water sports activities, festivals of international repute (Konark dance festival, sand art festival) which have created opportunities for both domestic and international tourists. The challenges include unavailability of skilled manpower (most of them like to migrate to other locations), few national and international brands of hotels operating in Odisha. There are marginal efforts shown towards promoting tourism at the national and international level. Due to limited flights, the city is not well connected with the major metros and cities of the country. People are choosing Bhubaneshwar, Puri and few other locations for marriages which have brought in the concept of destination wedding.

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)

Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino, Gangtok GM (Sales & Marketing), Mayfair Group of Hotels: Pradipta Mohapatra


Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino, Gangtok is the only five-star deluxe property of the entire north eastern part of India. This has a world class spa and we are also privileged to have the first on-shore live casino of the country. It is situated in the Himalayan foothills spread across 48 acres of land having villas, cottages, suites and deluxe rooms. The villas are luxurious having private heated dip pools. Deluxe rooms, which are base category inventory, are also quite spacious having an area of 600 to 700 square feet. It is considered to be the destination itself in Gangtok, Sikkim and we do attract lot of tourists. Located in Ranipool, the Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino is an ideal place for those travelling for pleasure or business purpose. Incorporating the design elements of Sikkim’s monastic theme, each and every corner of the hotel in Gangtok showcases the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Pradipta Mohapatra

The natural view of the area around the property will also lure you again and again to visit the destination. Whether you are coming to enjoy your honeymoon tour, family holiday, adventure tour, business tour or planning to spend some more time for an encounter with mother nature and the culture and traditions of Sikkim, Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino fits well for all your requirements.

Management mantra

We do emphasise on up-gradation of the property on a regular basis and ensure great experience to all our valued guests in terms of products. Our personalised service and the well trained staff have definitely an edge over the others.

Hospitality market

Government of Sikkim is committed to promote the destinations in Sikkim globally in all travel trade forums and the results are already showing in terms of high footfall of tourists in this region. Sikkim has a lot of potential and with the commitment from the stakeholders it will further grow in the future.

(As told to Sudipta Dev)

Ramada Jamshedpur Bistupur GM: Manish Datt


The newest four-star luxury business hotel, located at the heart of the city, Ramada Jamshedpur Bistupur is located in close proximity to the business hub and tourist attractions. It is also mid-way between the airport and railway station, Adityapur industrial area, Bistupur main market, and Jubilee Park. It is the only hotel which provides a swimming pool for its resident guests in Jamshedpur and also offers 68 luxurious rooms categorised into executive rooms / club rooms and suites. Each of the guest room is designed with perfection and includes work table, tea-coffee maker, minibar, electronic safe and complimentary wireless and ethernet high-speed Internet providing surfing and browsing services.


Management mantra

Manish Datt

Maintain the quality on a constant basis. As a hotel is known to be a home away from home, it is important to offer the best quality comfort for esteemed guests. Goals for our team are set so that there is no miscommunication or wastage of resources. Being in an industry which is competitive we need to have optimum utilisation of each and every resource to keep ourselves in profits.

Hospitality market

Kolkata is a big market for us as it is the closest metro city. Kolkata has the nearest international airport connecting Jamshedpur with rest of the world. Moreover unlike other parts of India where the supply of rooms are higher than the actual demand, the average room rates of Kolkata is better than many other cities in India. Ramada Jamshedpur Bistupur is the first Wyndham brand to enter the eastern India market. The competition is about to rise in Kolkata between the hotels and many good leading hotel brands have just started their operations or they are about to start up in next six to eight months’ time. Jamshedpur is the first corporate city of India and it is dominated by TATA which is why it is widely known as Tatanagar. We have seen a three-fold increase in recent years from foreign visitors into this city.

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)

Ri Kyanjai, Shillong GM, Marketing & Operations, Centre Point Group: Ashley Dkhar


With a name that literally means ‘Serenity by the Lake’ in Khasi, Ri Kynjai – Serenity By The Lake offers the perfect getaway from the urban hubbub. Nature lovers can choose to luxuriate in perfectly appointed cottages, undergo traditional Khasi spa treatments and dine on local delicacies. This boutique resort is as perfect for families seeking the ultimate all-round getaway as it is for corporates requiring discreet and luxurious convention spaces. The USP of Ri Kyanjai is the location, the serene environment, the view, the architecture. Lovers of authentic experiences will be particularly pleased with the architecture – inspired by traditional Khasi cottages while incorporating the best of modern practices. In fact the INTACH-SATTE Award for Heritage Architecture was being awarded to us purely for the architecture and the heritage that it symbolises and recently we also won another prestigious award – the Best Hotel for Romance. The hotel is a part of Centre Point Group Enterprise, one of the best known hospitality chains in the North East.

Management mantra

Ashley Dkhar

Setting up high standards of personalised hospitality is my management mantra.

Hospitality market

The hospitality industry in Meghalaya has grown significantly in the last few years as travellers, both domestic and international, are willing to explore the North East. Meghalaya has a good potential given its natural beauty and favourable climatic conditions.

(As told to Sudipta Dev)

Hotel Acacia, Dimapur GM: Vikhonuo P


In the middle of a bustling city, full of sights and sound, Hotel Acacia offers the best of hospitality with a dedicated service and great location close to Dimapur’s business centre and shopping area. The hotel features 60 rooms – each of them designed in contemporary and spacious styles that ensure value and comfort. With the airport just seven km away and the taxi, train and police station within walking distance, Hotel Acacia’s location could not be any better with efficient service, smart clean rooms, guest amenities and warm hospitality. What makes this place special is its home-from-home ambiance with a management that goes out of their way to help.

Our all-day dining restaurant is perfect for those who want to gorge on delicious meals, further up, a rooftop restaurant makes it a great place to hang out. Guests can enjoy drinks and food from our carefully chosen menu of Indian and pan-Asian cuisine and experience the nightlife in this hidden rooftop gem.

Hospitality market

The hospitality industry in Nagaland has been growing at a fast pace, there are about 170 hotels in Dimapur itself which isn’t a big city. Individual entrepreneurs are willing to set up a world class hospitality industry, but there is lack of infrastructure such as good roads, transportation, etc. Also government’s inability to attract tourists is a setback. The only time tourist flow in is during the Hornbill festival which is celebrated in the first week of December, which has become a major tourist attraction. With more development, Nagaland has high chance of becoming a tourist state which will bring in revenue both for the individual as well as the government.

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)

Swissotel Kolkata Neotia Vista GM: Marco Saxer


At Swissotel Kolkata Neotia Vista, the biggest USP is the exceptional service. The property aims to bring the best of Swiss hospitality to Kolkata. Apart from that it is also the closest five-star property from the airport and has four award winning F&B outlets and a breathtaking infinity pool. It is the only five-star property in the city to have a private outdoor jacuzzi.

Management mantra

Marco Saxer

Having a clear vision is my biggest mantra – we should begin with the end in mind. Also, finding the right people and training them the Swissôtel way is one of the best ways to ensure great service.

Hospitality market

Previously, there were a few hotels but now guests are spoilt for choice with a number of international brands making its way into the Kolkata market. People have become more adventurous and one of the biggest examples of this is the popularity of our various international food festivals like the Kenyan and Hawaiian. Even at weddings, guests are looking for Swiss and Mongolian and other international cuisine live counters.

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)

Taj Bengal Kolkata GM: Samrat Datta


Taj Bengal Kolkata is located at the heart of the city surrounded by lush greenery and city hotspots; it displays artistic and contemporary design with an authentic local connection; and boasts of iconic restaurants which have been the city favourite over decades and above all, it has an unmatched service quality delivered by experienced, smart and warm-hearted staff.

Management mantra

Samrat Datta

The management mantra is to be driven by passion, pay attention to detail and never say no. It is important to create an environment which is professional and fun at the same time, that works best for both the guests as well as the associates. Managing a hotel is like a team sport hence it is imperative to keep the team energised and focused towards a clear direction.

Hospitality market

Kolkata is a city with immense possibilities. Be it leisure or business, there can be a lot more that can happen out of here.

I am seeing this potential. We have new hotels emerging across various hubs of the city. It is a good sign as it will bring about healthy competition, innovation and newness to the offerings. F&B will be a crucial factor for the success in this part of the world where people know their food and love to savour them.

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)

Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences GM: Jai Kishan


Novotel Hotel Kolkata and Residences is eastern India’s largest accommodation facility in the five star category with 347 guest rooms, suites and serviced apartments and introduces to Kolkata its first serviced apartments in a five-star set up. The hotel offers extensive banqueting options spread over 20000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor space with four meeting rooms including the city’s very first rooftop banquet – Le Jardin, boardrooms, ballroom divisible into three sections, terrace garden for 1000 guests and a pool deck. Another USP of the property is that it houses a rejuvenation space comprising cascading landscapes and water bodies featuring holistic wellness and recreation with a 24-hour fitness centre, spa, salon, outdoor swimming pool and other facilities. It is a Gold-rated LEED certified hotel operating several environment friendly processes.

Management mantra

Jai Kishan

Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences follows AccorHotels’ mantra of Feel Welcome where guests and employees alike feel accepted, unique and privileged. The mantra encapsulates the generosity and the very essence of hospitality. In accordance with the same, our values of guest passion, sustainable performance, the spirit of conquest, innovation, trust and respect are all crafted towards creating meaningful experiences for the community of travellers and new nomads all around the globe. At AccorHotels we want to be your best global hotelier and travel mate.

Hospitality market

Kolkata is considered as a gateway to the East. Once a commercial and political hub of British India, the city’s hospitality industry has had deep roots in the social fabric of the city. Though the hospitality market in Kolkata has mostly been dominated by a few local players, the big brands have now arrived to engage the city and enhance guest experiences. With the emergence of several new micro markets which have surpassed the central business districts of Kolkata, the corporate houses there have been a successful growth in realty in the city. This has provided a huge fillip to the hospitality industry in Kolkata. One of the major factors leading to this boom in the hospitality scenario in Kolkata has been the government’s focus on promoting Bengal as a tourist destination. A lot of international carriers also have begun operations in Kolkata, connecting it to some of the major international destinations. This clearly boosts the tourist influx into the region.

(As told to Sudipta Dev)

Toshali Sands Puri GM: Ashwani Khuttan


Toshali Sands is an ethnic village resort which is located right in front of a deer sanctuary and is attached to an exclusive beach. It is the only resort having lush green landscape of 15 acres which provides the guests a peaceful place to stay and feel nature’s tranquility. Toshali Sands is a certified organic cultivator and it cultivates 36 different varieties of fruits and vegetables for guests.

Management mantra

Ashwani Khuttan

I believe in leading by example, it builds a bonding with the team and they feel motivated. A huge part of leadership is to drive the culture into the team and ensure they understand and execute it.

Hospitality market

Demand side is the critical factor for growth of the industry within Odisha and eastern region of India. Puri is the highest room night selling destination in Odisha followed by Bhubaneshwar. However, the high end ratio is much lesser at Puri than in Bhubaneshwar. Hence there is a need for more high end resorts in Puri. The destination lacks in providing watersports activities for tourists which is in demand, and can be well capitalised if the administration takes it up on priority.

Odisha is still unexplored by most of the domestic and international travellers due to lack of information and unknown opportunities which can be capitalised by making good packages and educating the travellers across the country and globe. The state needs to make a tourism friendly policy which will bring good promising investors. There is a need to work hard to make an integrated destination and strongly market them nationally and internationally.

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)

Sinclairs Bayview, Port Blair GM: Swajib Swapan Chatterjee


Located right on the waterfront, Sinclairs Bayview is Port Blair’s only hotel providing a spectacular 2700 view of the Bay of Bengal from the guest rooms. It offers a perfect beach experience. The hotel houses a bunker built by the Japanese during the World War II. The canon is still in place, a rare attraction not to be found in any other Port Blair hotel. The multi-cuisine restaurant at the hotel arguably offers the best food in town. Tiger prawns prepared by our chef in typical home-cooked manner win plaudits all the time. On special request, meals are served on the terrace offering unhindered view of the Indian Ocean.

Management mantra

Swajib Swapan Chatterjee

The Sinclairs team believes in doing the right thing at the right time. Timely and friendly guest services with an eye-for-detail is part of our management mantra. Also, we are committed to offering our guests a clean and hygienic atmosphere to ensure they have a happy and stress-free stay.

Hospitality market

There is immense potential for growth of the hospitality industry in Port Blair as it is an international tourist destination. Its exotic beaches, coral beds, diverse flora and fauna and water sports are a major draw for tourists. Port Blair is a haven for nature lovers. Havelock Island which is 90 minutes away from Port Blair is ranked amongst the world’s top 10 beaches. Andaman Islands has a rich history. Cellular Jail, Ross Island, Chatham Island and Viper Island are testimony to India’s freedom movement. Visits to these places invoke patriotism.

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)

The Panache Patna GM: Pranav Kumar


An unparalleled location with vast culinary craftsmanship is the unique selling point of The Panache Patna. Panache is a French word origin that carries the connotation of a flamboyant manner and reckless courage. True to its meaning ‘Sunny Star Hotels’ has brought a bouquet of grandeur to the people of Bihar. While envisioning this dream we ensured it was ideally located with a magnificent view. Just a 20 minutes drive from the airport and 10 minutes from the railway station, this premier hotel is situated in the heart of Patna with a beautiful view of the Gandhi Maidan and an easy access to most of the business houses and destinations.

Pranav Kumar

The Panache boasts of 73 well appointed rooms with premium lifestyle amenities and world class services to cater to the high rising demands of the upcoming corporate industries in Bihar. It has one of the first presidential suites in Patna which makes it the highly preferred destination for our elite guests. The property offers state-of-the-art facilities like the business centre, in house travel assistance, Wi-Fi hi-speed internet access, express laundry service, a restaurant – Silk Route, a bar – Webbed Oak, and a coffee shop – Green Eye. Other value added services include round the clock in-room dining, doctor-on-call, electronic safety locker, mini bar, direct outward dialing, and satellite TV. The property caters to conferencing, private functions, get-together and meeting needs through its four banquet halls which can host 40 to 1500 people.

Management mantra

To define a new dimension of luxury.

Hospitality market

The hospitality industry in the eastern region is growing rapidly.

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)

The Classic Hotel Imphal GM: Salam Sachhidanand Singh


The Classic Hotel is located in the central part of Imphal city. It overlooks the historic Kangla Fort, which was the ancient administrative capital of Manipur in the heydays of the Maharajas of Manipur, until it came under the British rule in 1891. Bestowed with modern amenities and pleasant surroundings, the hotel welcomes guests to host special meetings and rest and dine as well.

Salam Sachhidanand Singh

The Classic Hotel is the only star category hotel in Manipur. It endeavours to provide premium hospitality services and world class food and stay. The hotel also offers a traditional handloom and handicraft boutique from where souvenirs can be bought. The hotel is just eight km from the Imphal International Airport and it is only a few minutes’ drive to government offices, cultural centres and the inter-state bus station.

Management mantra

Providing a homely atmosphere and affordable rates for all segments.

Hospitality market

The Classic Hotel has played a significant role in bringing up the standard of hospitality in this region. It has a huge potential for business travellers as the business houses have started to open their franchises in Manipur. As Manipur is going to be the gateway to South East Asia, the tourism in this region is going to grow and with the natural beauties of Manipur still unexplored, this is going to complement it further. Because of market demands, the quality and standard of the hospitality industry in Manipur are improving and meeting up to international standards.

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)


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