IN CONVERSATION WITH - "Kr. Roop Pratap Choudhary, Managing Director, Noor Mahal and Jewel Group of Hotels"
Q: What category of Travelers Noor Mahal is catering to?
Situated in the mystical land of Mahabharata, awe-inspiring Noor Mahal, the “Incredible Indian Palace Hotel” has been built on a monumental scale in Karnal. In a short span of time, this five-star luxury palace hotel, inspired by India's rich heritage, has become a royal abode for modern kings and queens of the world and an extremely preferred destination for Leisure, MICE, and Weddings. Noor Mahal emanates exactly what India has to offer when it comes to royalty, heritage and culture and is the much-talked destination amongst India’s millennial and Gen X travellers, corporates, celebrities and wedding planners.
Millennials quest for unique and authentic travel experiences are shaping up the future of luxury hospitality in India. With a refined and illustrious heritage feel, new world generation can now embrace and experience the lifestyle of Maharajas, amidst the backdrop of royal luxury at the Noor Mahal Karnal. We are an opulent venue of choice for corporate events, MICE Affairs, royal destination weddings, and staycations.
Q: Which all initiatives are being enforced for MICE Groups?
In a short span of time, Noor Mahal has become a one-stop-shop for all the MICE requirements as we follow an innovative approach in keeping up with the times and offering guests trending and personalised MICE experiences. Spread over 10 acres and 350000 square feet of carpet area, Noor Mahal boasts of 126 luxury rooms, including a Presidential Suite (Khwabgah), 11 Suites, 78 Club Rooms, and 31 Club Royal Rooms. From the architecture, design, and service to the intangible atmosphere and modern luxury they engender, the rooms and suites are a perfect match for any corporate offsite. We offer an unmatchable inventory of 13 banqueting facilities including state-of-the-art boardrooms to exquisitely designed banquets with pre-function areas and immaculately manicured lawns with an area of over 1,70,000 sq. ft. for impeccable planning and execution of MICE events and social gatherings. Our 5 unique luxury dining venues offer the best of gastronomic experiences. The property also offers mesmerizing poolside for boutique events along with ample parking space for mammoth size gatherings.
The Noor Mahal is a royal luxury set in a breath-taking, 10-acre oasis of beautifully landscaped gardens, filled with exotic flora and fauna. With ample opportunities for meditation and rejuvenation, Noor Mahal is a heaven of mystical peace and natural serenity. Environment conservation, rejuvenation, health, and wellness is at the core of Noor Mahal Offerings. We offer a wide variety of recreational facilities for guests to unwind such as Rock-climbing, Zip-lining, Commando Net, Wall Climbing, Table Tennis, Billiards, Snooker, Lawn Tennis, Basket Ball, Cricket, Hand Ball, Badminton and Volley Ball. For our health, rejuvenation, and wellbeing of our guests, we also offer cross-fit, weight training, cardio, and yoga sessions. We also encourage Nature walk and farm to fork concept to bring our guests closer to mother nature. Noor Mahal also engages guests with culinary trials from award-winning chefs to educate them on healthy, organic recipes and ingredients promoting sustainable and healthy cooking. Offering an array of pampering massages & therapies to choose from, our luxury Spa & Wellness Center is the sanctuary of tranquillity for all those who are seeking to rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. For those who want a little pampering to refresh their look, Noor Mahal also hosts Noor’s Makeover Studio by celebrity Make-up artist Tarun Kapoor. There’s also a distinct Outdoor Kids Zone within the premises of our hotel to keep our little guests busy.
Keeping pace with the ever-changing MICE trends, we are on aggressive expansion mode. To cater to the fast-growing demand for corporate and MICE events, we are adding more conventions and weddings spaces to the existing infrastructure. We are also incorporating future technologies for MICE along with enhancement of advance food services.
Q: Millennials or Gen X, who are spending more on luxury travels or the decision-makers in the category?
India is going to become the youngest country by 2022. Millennials are proudly entering into their prime spending years and are heavily influencing the emergence of new trends and industry patterns. They are certainly the shapers of the new face of luxury hospitality with an edge over Gen X in terms of spending on Luxury travels. They are the generation in-charge for business and growth, consider luxury stays and travel as a reward they deserve for their hard work and are restless to compromise with standard or non-authentic luxury experiences.
Q: Are travellers becoming increasingly conscious about environmentally sustainable practices before booking for their stay?
Many studies across the world revealed that travellers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their travel and prefer hotels following the best of environmentally sustainable practices. The findings from Booking.com’s global Sustainable Travel Report suggest 65% of global travellers expressed their intention to stay in eco-friendly accommodation versus 34% who stayed in one or more last year.
At Noor Mahal, we are committed to maintaining the beauty of the environment through recycling and proper management of five living elements i.e. water, waste, energy, food, and structure. Wherein only a few hotels have been awarded as green hotels by the Government of India, Noor Mahal has been able to bag a place in the category. The hotel is using bare minimum artificial powers whether it is in the form of air, light, and water. Be it Deewan-e-aam, Deewan-e-khas or any part of the hotel, it is all original sunlight and air. We are also the pioneers of Grey Water harvesting from the hotel industry in the region. For someone who has a long stay with the hotel and does not wish to clean their linen on a daily basis, there is an option at the hotel to conserve water and choose the option of not changing the sheets so as to contribute to our water conservation drive.
Q: Karnal being in close proximity to the Capital, Offsite Trips of Corporates should be the prime business for you. How true is that? Please share your experience.
With Millennials taking the charge, authentic, local, and experiential corporate retreats are trending in North India. Offsite corporate tours and Business Leisure Travel has grown exponentially in recent years and has become a huge opportunity for event planners, hotels, and event spaces in the country. Noor Mahal has been extensively focusing on this opportunity to ensure robust growth. Being the only luxury property with the capability of hosting flawless gala events and offsite tours of any size and a one-stop-shop for all the MICE requirements, we are witnessing a huge demand from almost every part of the country due to the close proximity to the national capital. We recommend MICE Groups for advance planning as the inventory at Noor Mahal gets locked ahead of time.
Noor Mahal has witnessed a growth of more than 25% in the MICE category in the last few years. So far the palace has hosted more than 400 premium events during the two financial years. The overall contribution of MICE business in the revenue of the company stands at 15%. Though the industry expects to double the existing growth rate of 8% to 16%, Noor Mahal is looking at a growth rate of more than 25%. Few of the renowned companies which have hosted their gala events with utmost trust in the last few years are DFHL, Deloitte, Genting, Magma, KPMG, Cox & Kings, Cargill, British Council, Medanta, Ernst & Young, American Express, Vodafone, etc.