Travel Trade Journal

Summit Hotels and Resorts: Where incredible hospitalit­y and tradition coexist amidst the mountains

- Prashant Nayak

As a premier leisure hospitalit­y brand, exceptiona­l value and service are at the core of everything they do at Summit Hotels and Resorts. Right from when guests book their hotels, they connect them with an ‘Incredible Himalayan Hospitalit­y’ they long for. When they walk into any of their hotels, they are greeted with a traditiona­l Himalayan welcome after which, a complete Himalayan experience is in store for them. Santosh Agarwal, Chairman, Summit Hotels and Resorts, shares more about the hotel group and the brand, which is distinctiv­e from the other hotel groups in India.

Summit Hotels and Resorts have their presence in the Eastern Himalayas of West Bengal (Darjeeling and Kalimpong), NorthEast (Sikkim and Assam), Uttarakhan­d (Rishikesh and Lansdowne), and Himachal Pradesh (Shimla). Summit Hotels is the first brand to have its hotels located all across Sikkim, be it Lachung, Lachen, or Pelling. The brand has a strong presence in this scenic state.

“We wish to introduce people to the incredible Himalayan hospitalit­y. To have 22 properties sprawled in the foothills of the Himalayas is not easy but as we understand mountains, terrains, hills, and the Himalayas more than anyone else that’s why we are the largest hotel chain in Eastern Himalayas,” explains Agarwal, the reason for having most of their hotels at a higher altitude.

With the pandemic ebbing, the current occupancy levels at their hotels are picking up well, but with inbound travel still on a low and not steamed up, they are focusing on domestic travel for the time being. Their focus is on the staycation circuits. Guests who arrive in Darjeeling almost always have plans to visit Kalimpong and Gangtok as well and Summit has properties in these places. Likewise, Rishikesh, Shimla, and Lansdowne complete the staycation circuit, which is why they have their properties stationed there too. With this advantage, it becomes easy for them to keep focus and flow with the domestic travel market.

Summit Hotels and Resorts operates in a hotel lease model, so its properties come under managed ones. They lease a property and then manage accordingl­y to carry forward their hotel business.

Each of their properties is distinct and

set at a different location covering the most beautiful places around. All their hotels have an in-house multi-cuisine restaurant and amenities that beautifull­y relate to Himalayan hospitalit­y.

In this context, Singalila Club, the flagship property of Summit Hotels and Resorts, is the first club in its league to amalgamate the concept of lifestyle, luxury, sports, and well-being. Besides that, the location, which is just a distance away from Bagdogra Airport, accounts for a perfect transit lunch for guests arriving or going to or from Bagdogra Airport. The club, apart from inducting one of the kinds of amenities, is also a regular ground for hosting events and functions. It is, in short, a perfect abode to enjoy a lifestyle that a guest dearly deserves. Also, all their properties are designed to offer guests exceptiona­l MICE services to host their itinerarie­s.

Speaking about marketing initiative­s and strategies for exploring new business and retaining their loyal customers, Agarwal says, “We use technology along with a personal touch to keep our customers with us. We have made great use of social media to share their experience­s and they feel satisfied seeing them on our page. The overall process is like adding value to their experience. We are the first brand to introduce the B2B website to connect with our trade partners. Also, our consistent participat­ion in national and internatio­nal travel fairs like BTM, OTM, SATTE, MICE Affairs, and TTJ reflects our will to connect with travel partners so our brand status gets due elevation. The initiation of coupon code, travel packages, and offers all are travellers and trade partners oriented that reflects our initiative to flow with the course of the market.”

Digital marketing is a great source for reaching the world and introducin­g ideas to stakeholde­rs and consumers alike, and that’s what they do at Summit Hotels. Email marketing and content have still not lost their importance. Hosting bloggers and vloggers during the cooling-off period as a part of brand promotion and awareness is also an aspect of their marketing strategy.

Regarding their upcoming hotels and expansion plans, Agarwal states, “We are constantly inspecting the ideas and till now have identified a few locations reflecting different relief of the landforms like Dooars - a magnificen­t location known for flora and fauna due to unspoiled beauty of the surroundin­gs, Sundarbans - an exotic land of mangroves and Royal Bengal Tiger, Deolo – the wonderful ridge of Kalimpong, Kurseong - a magnetic land of white orchids and Mirik - an inviting region within Darjeeling known for its humble hospitalit­y and inspiring lake.”

 ?? ?? Santosh Agarwal
Santosh Agarwal

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