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Updated: May 21, 2014 18:04 IST

Brand plans

SHONALI MUTHALALY
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NEW IDEAS Priya Paul, chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels
Special Arrangement NEW IDEAS Priya Paul, chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels

The Park is all set to get a makeover

Rebellion takes work. The Park should know. When Indian five-star hotels were all about deferential service, hushed luxury and glamorous grandeur, The Park broke away. Their service was sassy. Their focus was on design. On reinventing luxury, and making it fun. This month they’re re-launching, with a newer, fresher, spunkier avatar. This brand revitalisation exercise, which has taken about two years and cost Rs. 12 crore is a combination of a new look for the hotels as well as the introduction of what they’re calling the ‘Anything But Ordinary’ experiences, all marketed under a fresh logo.

All about design

“We have thrived and grown because creativity and innovation are part of our DNA,” says Priya Paul, chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. On the phone from Delhi, she discusses why it’s time for a re-invention. “As we’re growing we want to communicate the strength of our brand boldly.” Stating that they represent contemporary India, she talks of how they changed the market by introducing “Hotels that are not really hotels — they’re all about design and lifestyle…”

“In a way we have a first-mover’s advantage. We don’t see anyone coming into our space,” says Paul. “We have the advantage of knowing our customers. And many of them are people who have grown with The Park.” She says they draw a certain type of customer. “I think people who stay at The Park have a more zestful attitude towards life — they see the hotel as an extension of their home. This is why we’re working on making our spaces more interactive.” They also intend to fill the spaces with more quirky art. “We believe there’s art and design in everything you see.”

Meanwhile, the brand expansion plans include a new line of hotels: ‘Zone by The Park’. Advertised as a brand of “social catalyst”, the concept is all about interactive spaces, contemporary design and an informal atmosphere.

Zone caters to the gap in the Indian hotel market for what they call the “burgeoning Indian middle class and international traveller looking for budget travel”. Priced around the 80 to 100 USD mark, these hotels will be in Tier 2 and 3 cities, and will primarily be managed properties. The first hotel in Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, will be operational by the end of this year. Four more hotels — in Dehradun, Coimbatore, Chandigarh and Raipur — will follow.

Upbeat mood

“Over the last few years, we saw a growing demand for a new kind of hotel — for a new kind of traveller. Someone who was moving up fast on life’s ladder, and at ease with him or herself,” says Paul. “We saw an opportunity to create a mid-segment brand that reflected this upbeat mood. Though different from The Park, we wanted to create a brand that would channel its spirit.”

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