As the first international branded hotel in Saurashtra, Mercure Dwarka has a unique positioning to offer a holistic hospitality experience to those visiting the holy city from India and overseas
Mercure Dwarka is the first international branded hotel in the whole of Saurashtra region. Mercure is a mid scale hotel brand for the Accor Group and a certified four-star property in Dwarka. According to Arindam Mukherjee, hotel manager, Mercure Dwarka, looking at the market dynamics and demands in the region, Mercure was chosen as the best fit for the hospitality scenario in Dwarka, which is a pilgrim destination. “We thought of coming up with the Mercure brand which will give safety, security, good clean environment, a good place to sleep and good quality sleep,” he says, adding that most people visit Dwarka come on a circuit including Ahmedabad and Somnath.
Located strategically on the Porbandar – Dwarka highway, Mercure Dwarka is currently the largest inventory in the city with 99 rooms. There are a few hotels in Dwarka, but Mukherjee believes that the overall holistic experience can come only from a brand like Mercure. Security is a key focus in the property – it is the only hotel in Dwarka with baggage scanners, CCTVs. The décor from the lobby to the restaurant to the rooms are themed around the presiding deity of the city, Shri Krishna. While beautiful paintings dominate the walls in rooms, the lobby has high ceilings with natural light coming in. “The décor is obviously Krishna themed as most of the people are coming for religious purpose and Dwarkadhish Temple. We would like people to have a good feel of the place as they are coming for pilgrimage. And, it is a vegetarian hotel. We serve a lot of Jain food as well, keeping in mind that people are on a pilgrimage,” mentions Mukherjee. Maakhan is an al fresco restaurant, which is also unique to the city.
Mostly groups come to stay at the property and also FITs. “When I talk about FITs, it is two/ three families coming together. What has happened in recent times is that Gujarat has got a lot of publicity because of its advertisement as a tourism destination promoted by Amitabh Bachchan. Gujarat is now on the travel map of most people. They come to cover a few places and Dwarka has a significant relevance,” states Mukherjee. The property has tied up with travel agents in Ahmedabad, and gets significant business from online also. There are also walk-ins and those coming from Accor hotels site.
Sharing how he sees Dwarka developing as a destination in times to come and how the hotel is positioned for this, Mukherjee acknowledges that Dwarka is developing. “We have positioned ourselves ahead of the time looking at the business which is going to come in one year and a half,” he says.
The hotel has hosted a few MICE groups from Ahmedabad. “We are going to promote Dwarka as a destination – beyond temple tour, with MICE groups, for a two-day conference we can have an itinerary for them – we have tied up with a certified scuba diving instructor for water activities near Gomti Ghat, along with snorkelling and day trips,” informs Mukherjee. Going forward he sees a lot of MICE groups coming, and trying out activities like beach camping, water sports, etc.
Mukherjee is looking at many international guests coming over during the winters, particularly those associated with ISKCON. For the followers of ISKCON there is a special package (discounted rate rooms, all inclusive package, special banqueting facility for large groups at no additional cost). The property has tied up with SOTC, Cox & Kings. NRIs from Gujarat are another market segment. Major movement of people coming to the city is from October to March.