Part of Marriott International, luxury hotel brand Sheraton which celebrates its 80th anniversary, has committed itself to continued focus on guest experiences, and taking care of its associates and staff. As part of the 80th anniversary celebrations, Sheraton recently launched its ‘Go Beyond’ initiative, highlighting the brand’s efforts in this direction. “We are celebrating our 80th anniversary, and the Go Beyond initiative is aimed at telling the world that we have been the leaders in global hospitality all over the world. Marriott is a hotel chain which is about 90 years old, and Sheraton is an 80-year-old brand. Sheraton is a brand that puts people first and pursues excellence. We condone the act of integrity and we also want people to accept change. In today’s world, if you want to improve your services and quality, you have to embrace change. We like to get involved in a lot of activities that help the local communities,” said Jaswinder Narang, complex general manager, Sheraton Grand Pune Bund Garden Hotel.
Sheraton Grand Pune Bund Garden Hotel, which was rebranded from Le Meridien in October 2016, has underwent an extensive renovation over a period of around four years. “We did the renovation in such a way that our guests were not disturbed, which is why it took us 3.5 to 4 years for the renovation. We have spent about Rs 45 crore on the renovation, and by the time we are finised with the renovation we would have spent over Rs 60 crore,” Narang informed.
The revamped property includes enhancements across the hotel. Highlights of the property include 137 classic rooms, 25 club rooms, 15 executive suites, seven meeting venues, business centre, fitness centre, outdoor pool, spa service, club lounge, recreation centre and concierge centre, alongside F&B venues, Feast, Chingari and Bene.
The ‘Wedding Studio’ was launched about a month ago at the hotel. Narang commented, “Weddings is a big segment in India. In our hotel, banqueting is the second highest revenue producer, after rooms. Shaadi by Marriott is currently a South Asia initiative, with a few hotels onboard, but it will gradually pick up because the wedding segment is a big business area. Our hotel has seen tremendous growth in the weddings segment. In December 2017 itself, we had 26 wedding bookings. We also incentivise our guests to bring in more wedding business.”
Shedding light on rebranding and the ‘Go Beyond’ initiative at Sheraton Grand Pune Bund Garden Hotel, Narang said, “The hotel opened in 1999. We brought the brand transformation about a year ago, October 2016, giving our guests the opportunity to come to a brand new hotel, wherein we have brand new rooms, public areas, spa, gym, club lounge, banquets – everything brand new. We have gone forward to bigger and better things with this brand transformation. The response in terms of business has also been phenomenal. At Sheraton, we want people to exceed guest expectations. Every hotel gives a service, but we want to give something niche and do something extra for our guests. That’s the reason we have been successful all these years.”
In terms of business, he informed that 2017 started phenomenally. However the liquor ban affected the hotel, but now it is back to performance. On an average, the property witnesses 65-70 per cent room occupancy. Being a corporate hotel, the business is higher during weekdays.
Commenting on the focus in 2018, Narang stated, “Our focus in 2018 is to continue providing excellent services to our guests, bring more revenue and profit for our stakeholders and owners, take care of our associates and staff – our associates are the backbone of the organisation. We can only pursue excellence when we have good associates and they are taken care of. We should also never ignore the community in which we live and work. We need to take a lot of initiatives and support numerous social organisations.”