Oberoi adds four hotels to ME region

Ketaki Narain, director of communications, The Oberoi Group speaks to TTN.
An indoor swimming pool at Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas

Why in general have spas become so popular?
Awareness and experience of global standards in hospitality has increased amongst luxury travellers.

Today's luxury travellers are more demanding, discerning and focused in terms of what they expect from a luxury experience. 
Travellers have become more demanding not just in terms of technological requirements but in facilities that allow them to de-stress and unwind.
What is the USP of The Oberoi Spa?

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts offer a combination of breathtaking locations, luxurious environs and every modern-day amenity together with attentive and warm service, delivered with genuine care. 
Luxury as a unique, memorable and personal experience is core to the Oberoi philosophy and encompasses every element of a guest’s stay from the design of the hotel that takes its inspiration from the destination and interiors that showcase the local arts and crafts to a staff that is committed and inspired to deliver the finest service.  The same philosophy extends to the design, interiors, facilities and the service extended at the Oberoi Spas. 

Who are your major source markets and what are the new markets you are targeting?
While the United States, as a market, contributed the highest percentage this is followed by markets like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Middle East.  There is a lot of interest in India not only from the traditional markets but also from markets like Australia, Japan and Russia.

What percentage of revenue is driven by spas?
Revenue generated from the spa is not a consideration, as the spa is a facility which is an added value that is offered to the guest – In tandem with The Oberoi Group’s philosophy of offering luxury as a unique, memorable and personal experience.

Is there a difference between urban and resort spas?
The expectations of the leisure traveller are distinct from those on business. The leisure traveller has the luxury of time and is inclined to spend more time luxuriating in extended wellness programmes that are a combination of spa treatments and yoga and meditation sessions.  On the other hand the traveller on business is hard pressed for time.  The business traveller regards the spa as a facility to unwind after a busy work day.
Moreover, properties at leisure destination have the luxury of spaces, as against those within a city.  Therefore the design of the spa and the facilities on offer are distinct. That said, as city hotels brace themselves to meet the changing needs and expectations of the luxury traveller, the difference is likely to become less apparent.

What are your plans for the ME?
The Oberoi Group has announced four new luxury hotels in the region – one in Dubai, two in Abu Dhabi and one in Oman

How much are you investing into the region?
The Oberoi Group either owns or substantially owns most of its hotels.  As a consequence, the group has a large portfolio of investments in real estate. The Group has built a luxury brand which is being acknowledged amongst the finest in the world. The objective now is to extend the reach of this brand worldwide.
As a matter of policy The Oberoi Group is inviting investors to join the group in developing business and leisure hotels which it shall manage.