A new era in hos­pi­tal­ity

Clar­ion Col­lec­tion, spread­ing over 4 plus acres of land, is the first to of­fer ser­viced apart­ments in South Delhi. got in touch with Ankush Sharma, Gen­eral Man­ager, Clar­ion Col­lec­tion to find out more.

TravTalk - India - - Hotels - KANCHAN NATH

Q Please shed light on the USPs of your prop­erty . What dif­fer­en­ti­ates the prop­erty from com­pe­ti­tion?

Lo­cated in Qutab In­sti­tu­tional area, it is just a five min­utes drive from Qutab Mi­nar.

The Ho­tel has 96 keys, com­pris­ing 66 rooms and 30 lux­u­ri­ous ser­viced apart­ments. Well-sit­u­ated in South Delhi, Ho­tel Clar­ion Col­lec­tion is 23 km from the high-tech city of Gur­gaon,14 km from Con­naught Place and within a 5 km ra­dius from shop­ping cen­tres like Se­lect City walk, DLF Em­po­rio, Am­bi­ence Mall, etc.

Q Tell us about your ser viced apart­ments.

Clar­ion Col­lec­tion-Qutab New Delhi has pi­o­neered the ser­viced res­i­dence con­cept since its in­cep­tion, of­fer­ing cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives seek­ing daily or long-term stay in a spa­cious and so­phis­ti­cated al­ter­na­tive to a ho­tel room. If you plan to re­lo­cate to the city or are on the look­out for a con­tented guest rooms and cor­ri­dors have been ren­o­vated along with re­fur­bish­ment of car­pets and fur­ni­ture. This year, we opened a new restau­rant called Zerzura which serves mid-east­ern, Moroc­can and Le­banese cui­sine. By Novem­ber 2013, a world cui­sine restau­rant named Hia­tus would be opened and would show­case molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy and e-som­me­lier. Mov­ing for­ward, the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the ho­tel would be changed to be a five-star cat­e­gory.

Q What are the ARRs and av­er­age oc­cu­pancy that you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing at present? How does it com­pare to last year?

We are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an av­er­age rate of ` 6,000 with an oc­cu­pancy of 60 per cent which is at par with that of last year. The mar­ket sen­ti­ments are not very bright for the com­ing sea­son. Ho­tels are strug­gling for oc­cu­pan­cies and av­er­age rates have gone down. In­bound busi­ness as per trends is ex­pected to be around 25-30 per cent lower than last year.

Cost cut­ting ini­tia­tives in the cor­po­rate seg­ment is

Our fu­ture strate­gies would in­clude cre­at­ing a healthy mix of all mar­ket seg­ments with a thrust on leisure seg­ments by con­tract­ing with travel agents

ac­com­mo­da­tion, Qutab Res­i­den­cies will pro­vide you with a con­ve­nient base for the in­terim—an ideal homeaway-from-home.

Each apart­ment has two bed­rooms, study room, kitchen, pri­vate lobby and a bal­cony. Our ser­viced apart­ments are well-de­signed and el­e­gantly fur­nished with ev­ery­thing from cen­tral air­con­di­tion­ing to welle­quipped kitch­enettes, WiFi In­ter­net ac­cess with a host of per­son­alised ser­vices.

Q Are you look­ing to ren­o­vate or add some new prod­ucts in your prop­erty? What are you ex­pan­sion plans?

At Clar­ion Col­lec­tion, up gra­da­tion in fa­cil­i­ties is a con­tin­u­ous process. Re­cently, all

Ankush Sharma

Gen­eral Man­ager, Clar­ion Col­lec­tion

fo­cussing on video con­fer­enc­ing rather than travel due to high ex­penses, re­sult­ing in de­cline in cor­po­rate travel in ho­tels. Till last year, the ho­tel had ma­jorly been cater­ing to the busi­ness trav­eller be it FIT, GIT, or con­fer­ences. Our fu­ture strate­gies would in­clude cre­at­ing a healthy mix of all mar­ket seg­ments with a thrust on leisure seg­ments by con­tract­ing with travel agents.

Q What are your rack rates dur­ing sea­son and off­sea­son? Are you of­fer­ing any dis­count pack­ages cur­rently?

A. Our rack rates for the cur­rent sea­son are in a range of ` 8,000 to ` 12,000 for dif­fer­ent room types. We have var­i­ous promotiona­l of­fers avail­able like Early Bird Of­fer, min­i­mum stay through, last minute deals, weekend of­fers etc. All th­ese of­fers have helped us achieve a good oc­cu­pancy. We, be­ing a ho­tel with ser­viced apart­ments, long stay­ers and ex­pa­tri­ates con­trib­ute to our oc­cu­pancy. We have a re­peat guest ra­tio of 25 per cent, the av­er­age length of stay be­ing 4 days.

Q What are the sus­tain­able prac­tices that your ho­tel is fol­low­ing?

At Clar­ion Col­lec­tion Qutab New Delhi, we strive to make op­ti­mum use of the en­ergy. The ho­tel has rain wa­ter har­vest­ing sys­tems which en­sures recharg­ing of ground wa­ter. The wa­ter col­lected from sewage treat­ment plant is used for hor­ti­cul­ture and in toi­lets. So­lar en­ergy is used for run­ning hot wa­ter boil­ers. Guests are en­cour­aged to re­use room linen with tent cards on wa­ter con­ser­va­tion kept in rooms. The ho­tel has LED lights which help in sav­ing elec­tric­ity by 50-80 per cent.

Q How do you see the present sta­tus of the In­dian hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor? What are the chal­lenges be­ing faced by the in­dus­try?

There has been a con­stant trans­for­ma­tion ow­ing to the volatile en­vi­ron­ment im­pact­ing the In­dian ho­tel in­dus­try con­tribut­ing to tourism. The stan­dards of fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices of­fered have evolved over the last decade to­wards the ex­ten­sive use of tech­nol­ogy, en­vi­ron­ment-friendly ser­vices, pric­ing, mar­ket seg­men­ta­tion, re­gional pref­er­ences, etc. The In­dian ho­tel in­dus­try has seen a sig­nif­i­cant growth in room in­ven­tory across cat­e­gories from up­scale lux­ury to lim­ited ser­vices and bou­tique and bud­get ho­tels.

The key chal­lenges that the in­dus­try faces to­day are in­fra­struc­ture, reg­u­la­tory bod­ies, tax­a­tion, ris­ing in­fla­tion, and the short­age of skilled man­power. Elec­tric­ity costs have in­creased by over 25 per cent over last year. To­day, most of the cus­tomers com­plain about var­i­ous taxes that are ap­pli­ca­ble on ho­tel fa­cil­i­ties wherein the over­all tax pres­sure in­clud­ing ser­vice tax, lux­ury tax, in­come tax and VAT comes to nearly 70 per cent. With ris­ing in­fla­tion, the ho­tel profit mar­gins have re­duced.

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