Travel Trade Journal
Star Shining in the East Summit Hotels and Resorts
An idea born in 2010, to offer quality, standardised service hotels at various hill stations of India, now stands as a shining star of the North East Hospitality sector. With a portfolio of 19 properties located at Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Lachung, Pelling, Rishikesh, Lachen, Shimla, and Kaziranga, Summit Hotels and Resorts has come a long way and made its presence felt in the hospitality sector. Even during the stressed COVID times, their properties have enjoyed great occupancies and ARR, thanks to the surge in domestic tourism and intra-regional tourism within the Northeastern region of the country. TTJ interacts with Sumit Mitruka, CEO and Founder, Summit Hotels and Resorts, to know more about the brand’s philosophy, the journey so far, and the path ahead.
“Success lies somewhere between patience and persistence”. This is what drives and defines Sumit Mitruka, the man and vision behind Summit Hotels and Resorts.
During his time working with hotels overseas, Sumit gauged the opportunity that existed in the Northeastern region on account of the inconvenience the tourist had to face. He estimated and realised a vast market gap that was created by the absence of factors like standardised service, lack of professionalism, and unreliable online booking systems in hotels located at various hill stations and Northeast India.
He believed that the potential of hill stations in terms of attracting tourists was immense and if he could give the customer an experience that was not available at the time, he had a Winner!
His belief slowly grew into conviction, and as a result of discussions and deliberation, Summit Hotels and Resorts emerged in 2010. “Today we stand as the largest Himalayan hospitality brand of the entire northeast region,” adds Sumit.
Sumit explains, “Hailing from the Northeast, my analysis and understanding of making a brand in the hospitality industry was no different from others, but I just did things differently. When rest of the hotel brands in my area were busy filling the vacant rooms, I, on the other hand, worked on the aspects of technology and personal aspect to present something distinct to the tourist.
“It all seems a dream as the journey we embarked upon from 2010 till date is nothing but a testimonial of exceptional value and exceptional service that we provide and is at the core of everything we do.
“The growth was humble. We tried to outdo the mistakes that the rest were unable to address. Our concept of circuit destination was taken positively by tourists. The loopholes of the itinerary were fixed and practiced in a way to offer the utmost convenience to the traveller. In those days, issues with online bookings were the talk of the town, and Summit persevered to create a seamless mechanism to connect with the customer and guest relations we standardised.”
With each passing year, appreciation and accolades kept flooding in from all directions and expansion continues to happen. Sumit adds, “Summit is now, not just a hotel, it is a brand and we are working to leave our footprints in every hill station of India. Our principal goal to mark our presence everywhere understandably is not easy, but we want to challenge ourselves and work consistently to redefine the idea of hospitality.”
Sumit reiterates, “Location is always fundamental to our business; it plays a crucial role in determining the course of the future. We firmly believe prime location enveloping major aspects such as picturesque sites, quick circuit locations, boutique nature of properties with an inventory of not more than 40 rooms combined with personalised service to be our success mantra.”
Exceptional value combined with exceptional service at a price point which is neither too expensive nor cheap is where Summit Hotels want to strategically place themselves, offering affordable rates and good value that strike the right chord to balance the consumers’ buying decision.
Sumit emphasises the role of social media for his brand and has been successfully using this medium to communicate and promote his business. They work closely with influencers, bloggers, adventure lovers, nature enthusiasts to expand their audience.
Talking about the brand’s expansion plans, Sumit envisages adding another 200 keys in the Northeast soon. He elaborates, “The region has a great potential, the beauty of the major part of the Northeast is still unexplored which gives us great scope for scalability and to promote the magnificence of Northeast as a whole. Plans are already afoot to create multiple brands under the Summit umbrella. The first one coming up is a high-end wedding destination resort in the foothills of the Himalayas which will be branded under the new upscale brand ‘Singalila’, besides that we have a dream to have a Summit in every hill destination of India.”