Hotelier India

Interview: Anuraag Bhatnagar, COO, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

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Anuraag Bhatnagar, Chief Operating Officer, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts talks about how hospitality is making sweeping changes in the post pandemic world.

The Leela, a pure play luxury brand was voted as the World’s Best Brand by Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 and the Best Hotel Group in India by Travel + Leisure India’s Best Awards 2021 for the second year in a row. We catch up with Anuraag Bhatnagar, COO whose 26 years’ experience in hospitality includes stints in Starwood, Marriott, The St Regis, W Hotels, The Ritz Carlton Hotels and The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.

A country of culture and historical heritage, India showcases significant potential due to the varied natural beauty spread across land, offering travellers with a plethora of lifestyle experiences that range from heritage palaces, wellness, wildlife, cityscapes and resorts. As travel opens up, we are sure to see growth in international travel, with a renewed demand for what India has to offer. The Leela Palace Trail is one such unique offer that is quintessentially Indian presenting the best of India to the world with a distinctive sense of The Leela. 6 Magical Palaces across 6 stunning destinations and India at its luxurious best is indeed an offering that is very compelling.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts
The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Domestic travellers are also induced with a new sense of urgency to hit the road, looking to stay within their safety bubbles with all-inclusive offerings that take care of their complete stay. Right from the best wine in town to epic eats followed by the most tranquil stays, resorts and hotels need to ensure pioneering collections and experiences. Families and Friends are eager to seek experiences that deliver a sense of learning, truly devouring local areas and experiencing the most of it. Solidarity with local culture and a sense of purpose is driving new demand and The Leela is geared up to harness this with their ESG initiatives.

The Leela is the epitome of true Indian hospitality imbued with a distinct aesthetic that celebrates the essence of India and is rooted in its offering of India’s rich heritage to the world. The brand promises to delight each guest by curating authentic and desirable experiences. While JLF, year on year brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest minds from various fields and genres to express and engage in thoughtful conversations.

Leela Leadership Development Programme is a tailored Management Training programme that takes into account the necessary skills and competencies specifically nuanced to cater to the needs of the hospitality industry and the expectations of a luxury consumer today. It facilitates functional training including knowledge, skills and behavioural aspects through a combination of classroom and on the job training with blended learning modules on global hospitality competencies.

The Leela is committed to providing its guests with memorable and magical stays, exuding warmth and reverence that stems from the timeless Indian tradition of delighting and honoring guests and curating meaningful experiences. Inspired by the ancient Sanskrit word that describes ‘a sense of joy and happiness’, Tishya by The Leela is a manifestation of this promise.

Read the full story that first appeared in the September 2022 issue of Hotelier India here:

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