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We have plans to expand outside India in early 2022: Vishal Lonkar, General Manager, Renest Hotels & Resorts

Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 16:00 Hrs  [IST]
Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

Renest Hotels & Resorts is a mid to upscale boutique hotel chain focused on providing experiential and unique stays, which started its operations in October, 2019. Since the time the brand was introduced, they had to run their operations majorly in an unusual environment due to the pandemic. Despite that, the brand successfully launched several properties during this time of crisis.
Renest Hotels & Resorts is planning to come up with 12 new properties by the end of this year. In their upcoming properties at Leh, Goa, and Spiti Valley, the brand plans to focus on long-duration wellness programs.
Commenting about their upcoming projects, Vishal Lonkar, General Manager, Renest Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are currently operative in 6 locations across India and are planning to come up with 12 new properties by the end of this year. Our upcoming properties in Leh, Goa, and Spiti Valley will also be focusing on long duration wellness programs. Infact, for our hot properties such as that of Goa, we are also open to partner with existing F&B leading brands to co-run the operations of our upcoming restaurants.”
Lonkar thinks that despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, they had some advantages while launching new properties. “It has been advantageous to us in certain ways. Most of our hotels are either brown-field or conversion projects. The lockdown bought us time to complete these projects and take advantage of the domestic travel movement. Moreover, the government has also executed multiple initiatives in these times to further promote domestic travel & tourism.
Of course, the environment is challenging but is has also given hotel owners the option of exploring new brands and companies to collaborate with, rather than running as a stand alone hotel,” he said.
Informing about their focused customer segments, Lonkar said, “Our upcoming and current hotel properties are majorly focused on leisure travel. On the other hand, with the city business and offices now opening up, our average occupancy has also started picking up, even though the F&B still remains low. In the current scenario, weddings also have a good business on a few auspicious dates. However, our focus remains majorly on the leisure segment, as travellers are now preferring leisure destinations which also resonates with the essence of our brand and our USP of providing experiential stays.”
He also informed that though the hospitality industry is still facing challenges in certain destinations, however, at a destination like Manali, immense rise in both ARR, as well as, the average occupancy has been witnessed.
Being a new entrant in the hotel industry, Renest Hotel and Resorts, has introduced two new brands Renest and Flock, with plans to expand outside India. Lonkar said, “We have a very strong pipeline for both Renest and Flock for the next 18-24 months, in which we will be opening up multiple properties under both the brands. We do have ambitious plans to expand outside India in early 2022, however, that will depend upon the current scenario. We are also trying to create both Renest and Flock as a brand of choice both for our current and future guests, as well as, employees.”
Speaking about investment plans, he said, “Our investment plans are centered around building Renest as a leading hospitality brand in the mid to upscale boutique hotels segment. Even though we are an asset-light model, we invest a considerable amount in making sure every hotel is aligned with our brand essence and standards, as well as, in providing unique, experiential & memorable experiences.”

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