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The Den Bengaluru: Blending luxury, sustainability, and expertise in bleisure

Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

The Den Bengaluru, a LEED Gold Certified property, is a prime example of how luxury hospitality can coexist with environmental responsibility. In a freewheeling conversation with Asmita Mukherjee, Vinesh Gupta, General Manager, The Den, elaborates on their eco-friendly initiatives.

The property is leading eco-friendly initiatives that benefit the environment and uplift the local community. Gupta sheds light on the establishment’s unwavering commitment to sustainability. “The Den Bengaluru was conceptualised as a responsible and sustainable business,” Gupta remarks, “keeping in mind our impact on the Earth and the local & hyperlocal neighborhood.” The hotel proudly holds the prestigious LEED Gold Certification and operates as a “Zero Discharge Unit,” processing all wet waste internally and independently of municipal systems. Furthermore, The Den champions energy efficiency with its use of eco-friendly equipment and appliances, with 80% of the kitchen being electric. Gupta emphasises the hotel’s collaboration with self-help groups and NGOs to bolster eco-friendly practices, such as recycling and promoting homemade produce.

Understanding the rise of ‘bleisure’ travel, The Den caters to the evolving needs of business travelers seeking a work-life blend. As Gupta explains, The Den positions itself as a Millennial Luxury hotel with the core philosophy of eating. Work. Sleep. Play. “Though the advent of Bleisure is an offshoot of Covid, we believed in this concept at least 5 years before. The idea is how the guest should sleep comfortably, work effectively, eat gloriously and play…well…we hope enjoyably. This is Bleisure is all about, and it is encapsulated in our DNA. Apart from the usual offerings that all hotels have, we at The Den have a Play House – a place where you can unwind and relax – Play station or Xbox, get on to the table games like Tetris and Monkey Kong, apart from the Carrom, Chess, Pool and the other board games,” he added.

Amid fluctuating market dynamics, the hotel has witnessed a significant increase in public rates and ADRs (Average Daily Rates), however, Gupta believes that Bengaluru still has room for growth compared to national averages. “This is an extraordinary year, where we have seen Public rates going upwards of USD 200 – something we are experiencing after a long time. However, though the ARRs and ADRs have increased by about 20% plus, Bengaluru and Whitefield still has catching up to be done vis-à-vis the national averages.” Gupta notes that weekdays witness high occupancy levels driven by corporate demand, whereas weekends present opportunities for rejuvenation and leisure.

The Den Hotel in Bangalore is the first venture of Israel-based brand Dan Hotels in India. It seamlessly combines the values of its parent company with the unique cultural and business environment of Bangalore. Gupta highlights Dan Hotels’ dynamic and innovative approach, “We believe in total localisation and minimal imports; and a classic example is that there is no Head Office representation in India as they believe in local talent and values. We were one of the few hotels that never shut during COVID-19, we did no layoffs and paid full salaries to the team. This very strongly demonstrates our core values and commitment to the team and understanding of local situations where the social security system is still in nascent stages.”

Setting itself apart as a top staycation destination in Whitefield, The Den sees competition as an opportunity for self-improvement. Gupta emphasises a philosophy of continuous enhancement, focusing on delivering honest service, stimulating experiences, and seamless efficiency.

“My constant endeavor is “How to Beat Myself”. When it comes to product, undoubtedly, it is incomparable, We respect our competition and always learn from them, but we believe that our guests want and yearn for True Hospitality, and that’s where we are different,” Gupta added.

In the face of Bengaluru’s water crisis, the Den leverages its experience as part of the Dan Hotels chain, known for water conservation practices in Israel. Gupta outlines the hotel’s initiatives, stating that he said, “We believe in sustainability and protecting our natural resources. We have been at the forefront of water and resource conservation from inception. Apart from Total Rainwater Harvesting and a Zero Discharge Unit; we use flow restrictors at all the Egress points. We have origins in Israel and the country is known for its water management and conservation. The learnings and inspiration come from the Head Office where we are very careful in handling Natural Resources and value every drop of water used.”

asmita.mukherjee@saffronsynergies.in

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