The Leela Palaces Launches 'Shefs at The Leela' Program

The Leela Palaces Launches 'Shefs at The Leela' Program

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on March 20, 2024

The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts have introduced an exciting initiative aimed at nurturing aspiring female chefs – the 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme. This structured culinary development program not only serves as a pathway to a career in the hospitality industry but also provides a solid foundation for long-term success within The Leela organization.

Launched on International Women’s Day 2024, the 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme was unveiled during the 5th edition of the event held at The Leela Palace Jaipur. The event featured a grand gala dinner curated by globally acclaimed women chefs, showcasing their expertise and celebrating culinary excellence.

Since its inception in 2022, 'Shefs at The Leela' has successfully hosted editions at various Leela Palaces locations, promoting equality in kitchen spaces and offering opportunities for aspiring female chefs to pursue their culinary dreams.

Anuraag Bhatnagar, CEO of The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts, expressed the organization's commitment to diversity and equity, stating, "We at The Leela are dedicated to creating an inclusive work environment that celebrates the achievements of women in hospitality. With the 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme, we aim to provide a platform for aspiring female chefs to excel and carve a niche for themselves in the industry."

The program, certified by The Leela, combines academic study with comprehensive on-the-job training, aiming to develop the next generation of culinary experts in various cuisines. Additionally, quarterly 'Shefs at The Leela' events will foster a vibrant culinary community, featuring masterclasses, panel discussions, and curated dinners prepared by celebrated women chefs.

Structured over two years, the program consists of two phases focusing on developing foundational culinary skills and advancing expertise. Graduates receive certification from The Leela, priority consideration for internal transfers and career advancement, and serve as brand ambassadors of the program.

Furthermore, The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts are expanding their commitment to gender diversity with initiatives like the Leela Leadership Development Programme (LLDP), aimed at strengthening competencies and skills across all organizational levels.

The 'Shefs at The Leela' Programme is not just about empowering female chefs; it's about creating a supportive and inclusive environment where culinary talent can thrive and flourish.


Gale Miami Partners with Stayntouch for Elevated Guest Experience

Gale Miami Partners with Stayntouch for Elevated Guest Experience

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 21, 2024

Gale Miami Hotel and Residences, a distinguished 51-story luxury hybrid aparthotel in downtown Miami, is gearing up for its grand opening on May 1, 2024. To ensure seamless operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences, Gale Miami has joined forces with Stayntouch, a renowned provider of cloud-based hotel property management systems (PMS) and guest-centric technology.

Gale Miami blends the best of boutique hotel luxury with upscale apartment living, offering guests modern chic accommodations, upscale dining options, and a premium spa experience. With 688 rooms spread across 51 floors, Gale Miami promises a unique hospitality experience for visitors to downtown Miami.

Stayntouch's flexible cloud PMS, customizable booking engine, guest-friendly smart kiosks, and secure ID-scanning technology were selected by Gale Miami to streamline operations and enhance guest interactions. 

With Stayntouch, Gale Miami aims to achieve:

Seamless Booking and Check-in: Guests can expect a hassle-free booking process and streamlined check-in experience, minimizing staff involvement and maximizing efficiency.

Effortless Training: Stayntouch's intuitive PMS interface allows staff to become proficient in just two days, enabling them to focus on providing exceptional service to guests.

Simplified Integration: Gale Miami benefits from simplified integration with 22 third-party platforms, including leading accounting, spa, and housekeeping management solutions, ensuring a seamless operational workflow.

Kevin Waldstein, general manager of Gale Miami, said "We chose Stayntouch for its feature-rich cloud PMS to make property management effortless for our size and complexity and seamlessly accommodate our unique hybrid service model when we officially open in May. Additionally, Stayntouch's innovative features, such as mobile and kiosk check-in, will streamline guest arrivals, and the front desk staff is excited by its ease of operation and new level of efficiency. We are thrilled and eagerly anticipate a growing partnership with Stayntouch.”

Priya Rajamani, VP of implementation and support for Stayntouch, said, "We're excited to announce our partnership with Gale Miami Hotel and Residences and extend a warm welcome to them into the Stayntouch family. Our cloud PMS and comprehensive technology suite are designed with flexibility and richness in mind, making them particularly well-suited for properties with diverse offerings and robust operations, aiming for a seamless guest experience. We're confident that our technology will not only enhance Gale Miami's guest experience and streamline their operations but also align with their goal of providing a dynamic hospitality experience for visitors to downtown Miami."

To celebrate its grand opening, Gale Miami is offering an exclusive room rate discount of up to 25% and savings of up to $200, including waived destination fees, a welcome gift, and complimentary early check-in and late checkout options. Guests can avail of this special offer by using promo code GRANDPRO during booking.


Rediscover Antwerp's Rich Heritage at Botanic Sanctuary

Rediscover Antwerp's Rich Heritage at Botanic Sanctuary

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 21, 2024

Nestled within Antwerp's botanical gardens lies a hidden gem: Botanic Sanctuary, a former 13th-century monastery transformed into a luxurious 108-room hotel. Spearheaded by Eric De Vocht and Maryse Odeurs, the restoration project, spanning eight years, honors the site's rich heritage while infusing it with modern sophistication.

The architects meticulously integrated original elements like wooden beams and brickwork with contemporary touches, creating a seamless blend of past and present. Former monastery spaces, including kitchens and a 19th-century pharmacy, have been repurposed into elegant dining areas and a modern apothecary, respectively. Each room and suite exudes individuality, adorned with warm colors, antique furnishings, and local artwork.

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Botanic Sanctuary boasts four Michelin-starred restaurants, showcasing Antwerp's culinary prowess. Hertog Jan, led by Chef Gert De Mangeleer, offers an immersive dining experience with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Fine Fleur and Het Gebaar serve up innovative dishes, while Henry's Bar caters to cosmopolitan tastes. The exclusive whisky club, The Unprecedented, offers rare single malts in a historic cellar setting.

Spanning 1,000 square meters across three floors, the hotel's spa offers rejuvenating treatments inspired by herbal healing traditions. Guests can unwind in a Finnish sauna, steam bath, or the glass-enclosed 18-meter pool, surrounded by lush botanicals.

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Beyond the hotel's walls, Antwerp beckons with its blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. From its cobblestone streets to Renaissance architecture, the city offers a myriad of experiences, including culinary delights, art galleries, and historic landmarks.

Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp stands as a testament to Antwerp's allure, offering a harmonious fusion of history, luxury, and natural beauty. Whether indulging in gourmet dining, pampering at the spa, or exploring the city's treasures, guests are sure to discover the essence of Antwerp's captivating spirit.


Leisure Hotels Group to Open New Boutique Resort in Kasauli by 2026

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 20, 2024

Leisure Hotels Group (LHG), a leader in experiential luxury resorts in North India, has announced a collaboration with Nature’s Heaven Group to establish a boutique resort in the picturesque hill station of Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. This project marks LHG's fifth property in the region, underlining its commitment to expanding its hospitality footprint in the state.

Set to debut in early 2026, the resort will be nestled within a sprawling four-acre estate in the serene Solan district, known for its breathtaking views of the Kasauli Hills and lush valleys. The property will feature over 30 aesthetically designed rooms and furnished cottages, catering to the sophisticated tastes of modern travelers seeking tranquility and luxury.

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Vibhas Prasad, Director of Leisure Hotels Group, expressed enthusiasm about the new venture, stating, "This partnership with Nature’s Heaven Group enables us to offer a high-end boutique resort experience in Kasauli, further enhancing our portfolio in Himachal Pradesh. Our focus will be on providing regional cuisines, curated hyperlocal experiences, and exceptional services to surpass the expectations of our guests."

Amit and Shikhaa Verma, partners at Nature’s Heaven Group, shared their vision for the project, emphasizing the dual benefit of lifestyle enhancement and investment opportunity it offers to discerning individuals. "We aim to create luxurious living spaces that are not only appealing but also practical, without the maintenance hassles typically associated with hillside properties," they added.

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The resort’s strategic location ensures easy access via air, rail, and road, being just 1.5 hours away from Chandigarh Airport. Surrounded by towering pine trees and scenic nature trails, the resort is positioned as an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

With a track record of providing distinguished hospitality experiences at 28 scenic locations across Uttarakhand, Leisure Hotels Group continues to commit to its mission of delivering traditional, award-winning services that delight customers. The upcoming Kasauli resort is set to be a noteworthy addition to their portfolio, promising an unforgettable retreat in the charming hills of Himachal Pradesh.

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