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Friday, 19 July, 2019, 12 : 31 PM [IST]

‘We are a family-owned boutique hotel group which is passionate about art & craft’

The Bajaj Group of Hotels recently opened the doors of their third property and the world’s first handicraft hotel – The Andhra Art & Craft Hotel at Visakhapatnam. A digital walk event of the hotel was organised at The Le Sutra, Mumbai. Asmita Mukherjee was present at the event and spoke with Mitali Bajaj, Manager Corporate Affairs of the Bajaj Group of Hotels, to know more about the group’s properties and Le Sutra –the group’s first property, and the world’s first and only art hotel based on Indian philosophy and mythology.

Q How many hotels do you have under your portfolio?
Presently we have three art properties as a part of our portfolio. We started with our boutique hotel Le Sutra. Our second project was the Tribal Art Home at Union Park in Pali Hill, Mumbai, which is based upon tribal art of various types, such as, Bhil, Gond, Madhubani, and is a long term rental apartment concept. Our third project, Palm Beach Hotel which is known as The Andhra Art & Craft Hotel at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh has been the outcome of the extensive research we had conducted for our Tribal Art Home project. Palm Beach Hotel is the first hotel dedicated to Andhra art and culture through knowledge gained by our designers from various Andhra villages.

Q What was the reason behind the unique idea of Le sutra?
The planning for le Sutra hotel started many years ago. While we were penning down our imagination into the design, we used to wonder about the positioning of this small 16 room hotel on the world hospitality map. Fortunately, the idea of Le Sutra clicked with the new age travellers, who were looking for new experiences. The credit for associating the Guna philosophy with our Le Sutra hotel goes to my brother.

Q What is the USP of your properties?
We are a family owned boutique hotel group where everyone in the family is very passionate about art and craft. All our projects have some kind of art incorporated in them. For instance, our first venture Le Sutra is decked with décor based upon the Hindu Gunas – Tamasik, Rajasik, and Sattvik. Our second project Tribal Art Homes evangelises tribal art, conceptualised into service apartments. With Andhra Art Hotel we have taken inspiration from the dying crafts of Andhra. We worked with local artisans and craftsmen to create the Andhra Art Hotel. Each one of our property has its unique concept which conceptualises the story behind every artwork.

Q How has the response of Le Sutra been among customers?
Each of the hotels has its own proposition. The guests coming into Le Sutra, enjoy the concept so much, that they want to stay in a different room every night, and the best thing is that we allow our guests to switch rooms if it’s available. So, if a guest wants to shift rooms to experience the difference among rooms, we encourage them to do so. As all of our rooms are dedicated to different Gunas, and they all are different from each other. In Le Sutra, we have lots of foreigners, corporate clients, and media people coming in, while in the Andhra Art Hotel, we cater to mostly domestic holidaymakers and corporate executives.

Q What are the various price points of Le Sutra?
The Tamsik floor is quite famous among our customers, especially the Ravana room, so we charge a higher price for the rooms on the Tamsik floor. We thought that the Sattvik floor will be the most in-demand among the three floors, but it is the Tamsik floor, in which our guests really enjoy their stay.

Q Do you face any significant challenges for this unique concept?
The maintenance of this type of concept hotel is complicated, as it is quite difficult and expensive to maintain the property. We have lots of installations, and artworks in every room, and if any item requires repairs, we have to call a professional artist to fix it up. We had to specially train our housekeeping department, as the cleaning of the artwork and installations is really tricky.

We generally don’t allow kids into the property because of the damage they might cause to the artwork. But, we make sure that we cater to a clientele who will appreciate our hard work, and the quality that we are offering to them.
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