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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018, 14 : 00 PM [IST]

Kapil Chopra throws down the gauntlet in luxury hospitality with own brand – The Postcard Hotels

Starts with 3 Postcards in Goa; announces 7 more in the next 12 to 18 months
Breaking the suspense over his next move after leaving the top President’s office in The Oberoi Group, Kapil Chopra today announced the launch of his “experiential and transformative” luxury hotel brand – The Postcard Hotels. The new brand and the first three Postcard Hotels were unveiled before the media by Chopra himself today.

 The first three Postcard Hotels are in Goa such as The Postcard Moira, nestled inside a Green Village in Northern Goa; The Postcard Velha, a boutique property surrounded by 300 acres of coconut plantation in old Goa; and The Postcard Cuelim on the south Goa which has a 350-year old Chappal inside.  

Announcing the dawn of a new brand in the luxury hospitality space in the country, Chopra said that The Postcard Hotels will be approaching luxury hospitality differently. He said that the attempt is to design small and intimate hotels with an inventory ranging from 8 to 50 rooms, with transformative luxury experience which is unregulated, world-class service offering a new way of seeing a destination with like-minded people around. There will not be strict check in and check out time in Postcard properties, no minibars, no set breakfast menus, no ‘sugary’ welcome drinks, etc. “The whole objective is to bring the romance of travel back,” he said. 

The Postcard Hotels will have a lot of focus on sustainability, wellness, etc., he said. For Goa properties, he will be working with 50 local women to curate the food offerings. While others are looking at sustainability in bits and pieces, Chopra said that The Postcard Hotels will look at sustainability in its entirety. “All our hotels will be curated to give a picture perfect ‘postcard’ look,” he said.

 Speaking on the investors, Chopra said that the new company has strong funding support by UAE-based Small Ventures and also backed by REIT for strategic buyouts into India. “The idea is to create a global hospitality company based out of India with luxury as the core,” he said. Although there are a lot of global players in the luxury hospitality space, Chopra said that there is no global player in the “sub-50-room space” as of now. As a business model, The Postcard Hotels will only have own hotels or long-term lease models with owners. All the three Goan properties are on long-term lease agreements, Chopra said. 

Apart from the three Goan properties, the company has seven more properties under development in different parts of India. These include destinations like Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Dhauladhar Mountain Range, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Sundarbans, Kanha, etc. Chopra said that luxury travellers by nature prefer mountains, sea and wildlife, and The Postcard Hotels will have representation in all such locations in the next 12 to 18 months’ time. 

The Postcard Hotels have tied up with real estate group, Ambuja Neotia for three hotels in East and North-East India. Chopra said that similar partnerships are expected in different parts of the country with trusted partners. Chopra informed that the ambition is to set up 50 intimate luxury hotels both in India and overseas destinations in the coming five years.  

“We are starting with INR 600 cr worth of assets under management. Looking at the response we are expecting ourselves to be a luxury hospitality player of USD 1 billion worth assets in next 5 years,” he informed. 

Chopra also stated that he will be a strong contender for the 9 virgin islands that the government of India and the NITI Aayog is looking to open up for resort development in Andamans and Lakshadweep. Chopra said that some of the provisions of the bidding document are prohibitive for investors, but the agencies are quite open to suggestions.
 
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