Pioneering Modern Hospitality at Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai with Shilpi Khanna

Pioneering Modern Hospitality at Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai with Shilpi Khanna

Admin

Published on May 3, 2024

Shilpi Khanna, the General Manager of Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai, brings over two decades of expertise in the hospitality industry. 

As the General Manager of Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai since October 2023, Shilpi leads the hotel with dedication and passion, ensuring the highest standards of guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. Prior to her current role, Shilpi served as the Director of Operations at Conrad Bengaluru.

With a strong background in hotel management, Shilpi has also held significant positions at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar and The Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur. At JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, she served as the Director of Rooms, overseeing the entire rooms division operations with a focus on guest satisfaction and quality standards. Similarly, her role as Executive Housekeeper at The Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur showcased her expertise in maintaining hygiene standards, managing laundry operations, and overseeing landscaping activities.

Throughout her career, Shilpi has demonstrated a keen eye for detail, exceptional customer service skills, and a commitment to driving operational excellence. Her leadership has been instrumental in achieving success across various hotel properties, earning her recognition and accolades within the industry.

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What motivated you to join the team at Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai, and what aspects of the hotel's vision and ethos resonated with you as a hospitality professional?

The Hyatt Centric brand represents two key concepts: being at the center of the action and being well-informed. It's about immersing yourself in local shopping and dining, experiencing the vibrant energy of the area, and discovering hidden gems with the help of our knowledgeable staff. Located in the bustling entertainment hub of Juhu, our hotel caters to guests who are influencers and travel enthusiasts. While they may be well-traveled, they still rely on local insights to enhance their experiences and share with others.

I was drawn to Hyatt Centric because of its reputation and location. The brand's commitment to caring for its employees deeply resonated with me. At Hyatt, we prioritize the well-being of our team members, ensuring they have the support they need to thrive.

In-the-now: Hyatt Centric embodies modernity, sophistication, and global awareness. We aim to ignite curiosity, stimulate discussions, and cultivate a strong desire for exploration among our guests.

Lighthearted: Our approach is vibrant, carefree, and optimistic. We infuse every moment with joy and playfulness, incorporating unique elements and clever details to enchant our guests.

Adventurous Spirit: We foster a spirit of curiosity, spontaneity, and liveliness. While embracing local culture, we also encourage venturing off the conventional path to uncover memorable experiences worth sharing.

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As someone with extensive experience in the rooms division, how do you prioritize guest satisfaction while ensuring operational efficiency? 

As hoteliers, our primary focus is guest satisfaction. However, achieving this isn't solely about monetary investments. The attitude and training of our team are crucial factors, and often, small, thoughtful gestures can greatly enhance guest satisfaction. Being a small boutique hotel, we take pride in delivering personalized experiences tailored to each guest. Yet, operational efficiency remains paramount, especially in a smaller establishment. We constantly seek ways to optimize efficiency without sacrificing the quality of the guest experience.

Training and mentoring team members are crucial aspects of your expertise. How do you approach developing talent within your team, particularly in a fast-paced environment like the hospitality industry?

Today's Generation – Gen Z, has a plethora of options, unlike our own experiences upon graduation from hotel school. Their attention spans are shorter, and brand loyalty is less prevalent. What truly matters is cultivating an engaging workplace environment where continuous learning is prioritized. Personally, I place great value on building meaningful connections and take pride in mentoring numerous individuals over the years. While we may not communicate frequently, I am confident that whenever they face career challenges, I will be their first point of contact for guidance and support.

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Given your background in standardizing processes, can you discuss when you identified inefficiencies in hotel operations and implemented effective solutions to streamline processes?

I firmly advocate for implementing processes and procedures rather than relying solely on personnel-driven policies. This simplifies operations and provides the team with clear guidelines for handling various situations, empowering them to make immediate decisions without waiting for approval from senior managers. The true measure of success for any department lies in its ability to function seamlessly, akin to a well-oiled machine, even in the absence of direct supervision from department heads.

As the General Manager of Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai, what efforts do you employ to differentiate the hotel in a competitive market and attract discerning guests? 

As a modern luxury hotel, we embody contemporary hospitality, providing immersive experiences for curious explorers seeking adventure and authenticity. Located in the bustling Juhu Neighborhood, our hotel serves as a lively hub easily accessible from all parts of the city, including the airport, local railway stations, business districts, and iconic filming locations.

At Hyatt Centric Juhu, we treat every guest like a celebrity, offering personalized attention from our dedicated team. Our young colleagues are praised for their warm hospitality, and our rooftop swimming pool offers stunning views of the sea, with one of the city's best sunset vistas.

Our restaurant, Sesame, has garnered numerous accolades, including the recent Times Award for Best Newcomer Restaurant. Guests often visit specifically to savor our Japanese cuisine. Alongside our exceptional offerings, I am fortunate to lead a talented team dedicated to crafting unforgettable experiences for our guests.

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How do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in the hospitality industry, and how do you incorporate them into your hotel's operations?

The hospitality industry in India is evolving rapidly, especially with the integration of technology. I take pride in being part of the Hyatt team, where we have access to Hyatt Ideas, a platform for learning and training among colleagues across the continent. We exchange best practices and innovative ideas that enhance operational efficiency and guest satisfaction. Additionally, I am involved in various professional groups where we share insights on emerging trends and innovations. Staying updated with changes in the hospitality sector is crucial, so I frequently engage in discussions with industry peers and explore ways to adapt and implement new ideas in my current role.

Your anticipation for welcoming guests to the new Japanese restaurant, Sesame, at Hyatt Centric Juhu Mumbai, is palpable. Could you share more about the unique culinary offerings and ambience that guests can expect at Sesame, and how you aim to elevate their dining experience to make them feel #LikeACeleb in the vibrant city of Mumbai?

At Sesame, our specialty restaurant offers a modern take on Asian cuisine, mainly Japanese. We aim to create an exciting experience for our guests with flavorful dishes. Since launching our new menu in October, we've received fantastic feedback and even won three awards. Led by Chef Rahul Shrivastava, Sesame guarantees a culinary adventure with dramatic food presentations and crafted cocktails at the bar.

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Currently, we're celebrating the Sakura Matsuri festival, showcasing cherry blossoms' season in Japan with special décor and menu. We also host various monthly activities like sushi rolling classes and painting workshops to combine food and art uniquely. Next month, we're introducing a special mango menu with a Japanese twist for summer.

Our Sesame bar offers an intimate setting to enjoy drinks while watching live sports. Our team is always ready to provide insider tips and engage in great conversations over well-crafted cocktails. If you prefer fresh air, our alfresco area is perfect for enjoying chilled beer and refreshing summer cocktails.

Our entire food and beverage experience is designed to bring the #theatreofflavours to life, ensuring a memorable dining experience for our guests.


Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season

Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season

Shreenidhi Jagannathan

Published on May 20, 2024

This summer, Nisha Sharma, Operations Director – India at Eight Continents Hotels & Resorts, delves into the growing trend of digital detox vacations. In her insightful article, "Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season," Sharma explores how hotels and resorts are offering innovative packages to help guests disconnect from their devices and reconnect with what truly matters. Read on to learn how stepping away from your screens can lead to a more balanced, rejuvenated, and fulfilling summer experience.

Read the full article below.

In our hyper-connected world, the allure of a digital detox is becoming increasingly compelling. As summer approaches, many hotels and resorts are seizing the opportunity to offer guests a chance to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with nature, family, and themselves. These digital detox packages are designed not only to provide a break from the constant barrage of emails, notifications, and social media but also to foster a deeper connection with the environment and personal well-being.

The Concept of Digital Detox

A digital detox involves refraining from using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. The goal is to reduce stress, improve mental health, and enhance the quality of life by disconnecting from the digital world and reconnecting with the physical one. For many, the incessant need to stay connected has led to burnout, anxiety, and a sense of constant distraction. Hotels and resorts that offer digital detox packages aim to combat these issues by providing an environment that encourages relaxation and mindfulness.

The Rise of Digital Detox Packages

The trend of digital detox vacations has been on the rise as people seek refuge from their demanding digital lives. Leading the charge are luxury hotels and resorts that offer bespoke packages tailored to help guests disconnect. These packages often include a mix of activities designed to engage guests physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Activities Promoting Mindfulness and Well-being

Central to these detox packages are activities that encourage mindfulness and present-moment awareness. These activities often emphasize the importance of being present and appreciating the natural world. Popular options include:-

  • ·         Nature Walks and Hikes: Guided tours through scenic trails allow guests to immerse themselves in nature, promoting physical activity and a sense of tranquility.
  • ·         Yoga and Meditation: These practices help guests center themselves, reduce stress, and improve mental clarity.
  • ·         Art and Craft Workshops: Engaging in creative activities like painting, pottery, or knitting can be therapeutic and foster a sense of accomplishment.
  • ·         Culinary Experiences: Cooking classes and farm-to-table dining experiences not only educate but also connect guests with the local culture and cuisine.
  • ·         Wellness Treatments: Spa treatments, including massages and aromatherapy, offer deep relaxation and rejuvenation.

The Benefits of Digital Detox

The benefits of a digital detox are manifold. Physically, guests often report better sleep and less eye strain. Mentally, they experience reduced stress levels, improved mood, and a greater sense of well-being. The absence of constant notifications allows for uninterrupted thoughts and deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Socially, guests find that they connect more genuinely with those around them. Without the distraction of devices, there is more room for eye contact, active listening, and heartfelt interactions. Additionally, being in a serene, natural setting often leads to a greater appreciation for the environment and a desire to protect it.

Encouraging Digital Detox: Tips for Hotels and Resorts

For hotels and resorts looking to implement digital detox packages, here are some tips:-

  • ·         Create a Device-Free Environment: Encourage guests to hand over their devices at check-in and provide a secure place for storage.
  • ·         Offer Engaging Alternatives: Design a variety of activities that cater to different interests and promote relaxation and engagement.
  • ·         Educate Guests: Provide information on the benefits of a digital detox and how it can improve their stay.
  • ·         Train Staff: Ensure that staff are supportive and knowledgeable about the digital detox concept, helping to foster a device-free culture.
  • ·         Promote the Package: Use marketing channels to highlight the unique benefits of a digital detox vacation, attracting guests who are seeking respite from their digital lives.

Conclusion

As the demand for mindful travel experiences grows, digital detox packages offer a refreshing way for guests to disconnect from their screens and reconnect with what truly matters. By promoting such initiatives, hotels and resorts not only enhance the well-being of their guests but also contribute to a more balanced, mindful, and connected world. This summer, embracing a digital detox could be the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life, offering families and individuals a chance to recharge and create lasting memories.


Discover Tranquility at The Brigadiers Cottage: Your Ideal Summer Retreat

Discover Tranquility at The Brigadiers Cottage: Your Ideal Summer Retreat

Nishang Narayan

Published on May 4, 2024

This summer, as the bustle of city life grows ever more demanding, find your sanctuary in the tranquil hills of Mussoorie at The Brigadiers Cottage. Known as the Queen of the Hills, Mussoorie offers a refreshing retreat with its cool breezes and misty mornings, setting the stage for a perfect getaway at one of India’s most unique homestays.

The Brigadiers Cottage is not just a place to stay; it’s a journey into a slower, more thoughtful way of life. Owned by Neetu and Aseem Varma, former corporate professionals who traded city life for the mountains, this cottage offers guests a rare blend of luxury and natural beauty. Their commitment to sustainable living is evident in every aspect of the cottage, from its organic farms to the free-roaming poultry and the melodious sounds of a nearby brook.

Guests at The Brigadiers Cottage can experience the joys of farm life with a modern twist. Imagine starting your day collecting fresh eggs for breakfast or taking part in milking the cows. The farm’s produce, including fresh milk, ghee, and honey, is not only organic but also embodies the essence of Himalayan purity.

For those looking to explore beyond the cottage, the Varmas suggest delightful local excursions. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic by the Yamuna River, with tables set up in the shallow waters, or exploring the vibrant Sainji village, known as the corn village of India, there is something for everyone.

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The cottage itself, nestled in lush greenery and designed with an eye for elegance, has hosted a variety of distinguished guests, from diplomats to Bollywood stars, each seeking a slice of peace away from the public eye. Its exclusivity and personal touch make it a preferred retreat for those in the know.

If you're seeking a summer escape where you can unwind, explore, and reconnect with your loved ones, The Brigadiers Cottage in Mussoorie offers an unmatched experience. Plan a stay of at least three days to fully embrace the serene surroundings and the vibrant life of Mussoorie.

Call to Action: Ready to experience the serene beauty and organic luxury of The Brigadiers Cottage? Visit our May issue of the e-magazine for a closer look at this enchanting destination and start planning your perfect summer escape. For more details and bookings, follow us on Instagram @brigadierscottagemussoorie or visit www.brigadierscottage.in.

This article aims to entice readers with the charm and unique offerings of The Brigadiers Cottage, encouraging them to explore further in your e-magazine.


Sweetening the World: Shwetha Rajashekar’s Vision at India Sweet House

Sweetening the World: Shwetha Rajashekar’s Vision at India Sweet House

Nishang Narayan

Published on May 4, 2024

Meet Shwetha Rajashekar, a dynamic entrepreneur who has transitioned from a successful corporate career to revolutionising the desert landscape with India Sweet House. With over a decade of experience at prestigious companies like Goldman Sachs and Tesco, Shwetha brings a wealth of knowledge to her latest venture, aiming to make India Sweet House a globally recognized brand for authentic and sustainable Indian sweets.

In an exclusive interview in our May e-magazine, Shwetha shares her inspiration for starting India Sweet House. The idea was born from her desire to celebrate and preserve India's rich culinary heritage by bringing traditional sweets made with organic ingredients to a broader audience. India Sweet House stands out for its commitment to quality and sustainability, sourcing ingredients from its own organic farm, Karma Farms, ensuring that every bite not only tastes good but also contributes to a healthier planet.

Shwetha discusses the significant role of Karma Farms in maintaining the purity and freshness of their products, from dairy to ghee. This dedication to organic farming highlights a broader commitment to environmental stewardship, which is woven throughout their operations.

Empowerment is also at the core of India Sweet House’s ethos. Shwetha proudly leads an all-woman team, ensuring that the company not only produces delicious sweets but also champions gender equality in the workplace. This empowerment extends to nurturing their talents and fostering an environment where women can thrive and advance.

The article also touches on how India Sweet House balances tradition with innovation. While they cherish traditional recipes, they are not shy about introducing modern twists to suit contemporary tastes, ensuring their delights meet the palates of today’s diverse clientele.

Curious about the blend of tradition and innovation that Shwetha Rajashekar brings to the table with India Sweet House? Learn more about her unique approach to preserving culinary heritage while advancing sustainability in our exclusive May feature. Discover the full story and get inspired by her vision in this month's issue of Hospitality News e-magazine. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @indiahospitalitynews to stay updated with the latest trends and inspiring stories from the world of hospitality.