Luxury travel needs innovation

(IANSlife) After three hotels in Goa, the Postcard Hotel goes international with the announcement of two new properties in Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The hotels will open their doors to guests in November.

In Bhutan, the Postcard Dewa, located at a 20-minute drive from the city’s sights and sounds, is perched atop a hill with a spectacular view of the Thimphu valley and surrounding forests. With 15 suites nestled in the only carbon negative country in the world, it aims to provide a sense of splendid seclusion.

The Postcard Galle, in the historic town of Galle in Sri Lanka positioned above a beautiful lagoon, offers 180-degree vistas of the Indian Ocean. Ten intimate suites cater to exciting water sports, including surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving; lively bars or complete relaxation on tranquil beaches. True Sri Lankan hospitality by passionate local experts is just the icing on the cake.

Kapil Chopra, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Postcard Hotel, has a vision of opening 50 hotels in the next five years. Globally no luxury brand has expanded this fast with international openings in its first year of operations. This is enabled with over Rs. 1,000 crores of assets under management today and projects underway across South Asia, The Postcard Hotel is looking at owning or managing over USD 1 billion (Rs 7,000 crores) of assets in 5 years.

“Accessibility is the key to any experience and we want to take hospitality one step beyond experiential to transformative tourism. When you go to a monastery and a monk blesses you following which you meditate for a few hours; it stays with you. When you watch the sunrise from the middle of the Indian Ocean, it stays with you. So transformative travel is what everyone is seeking and I think the Postcard is about transformative travel. We take a conscious choice as a brand, we need to be seen as a differentiating hotel and for this we also operate at a premium,” states Chopra.

Kapil, who also served as the President of Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, feels luxury hospitality has not evolved in the last thirty years, adding, “When we look at luxury hospitality and resorts in the last three decades there has been no innovation. The last innovation that we might have seen would have been Aman Resorts and Six Senses. So actually there has been no innovation in luxury for twenty years. Any property you go to is roughly the same in concept. How can the biggest market of leisure travel not evolve over time? Airbnb saw this and tried to fill in the gap, but they are not luxury. There is a new narrative to think of and I saw an opportunity to innovate.”

The Postcard Hotel is on track to open 50 hotels in 5 years in experiential destinations across the world. Chopra feels people are looking for a meaningful narrative, with value for money, and for this travellers will pick transformative holidays. He states, “There is new wave of travellers who want to explore, imbibe and truly experience a destination. They want to soak it all up. These are not tourists; we are catering to them.”

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