The Lodhi in New Delhi Keeps Its Iconic Status During the Pandemic, Emerges Stronger for all the Disruptions.

The Lodhi is a stand-alone super luxury property in the heart of Central Delhi. Run as part of the DLF Luxury portfolio along with the malls, the hotel keeps innovating, retaining its niche. Here, how it keeps its magic going is shared by Saurabh Khurana, Hotel Manager, The Lodhi.

This summer season – how is it looking, especially compared to 2019 summer, in overall terms?

Summer of 2019 is one that no one will ever forget as it was the last before the world went into a lockdown. That being said, summer of 2022 has so far been looking promising for us, and we are working hard on curating exquisite bespoke experiences for our patrons to make the most of the season.

Currently we are witnessing a tailwind in bookings and our average room rates have climbed above pre-pandemic levels. Leisure travel demand continues to lead recovery, with most demand coming from domestic travelers. The inflow of international tourists has been slower than what was expected when international flights opened up. At the beginning of this summer, we saw a surge in numbers of advance bookings, but the future demand seems to be impeded due to the rise in COVID cases.

What is your USP and how is it playing off?

The Lodhi, New Delhi has some of the largest rooms and suites in the city, with most categories featuring their own private plunge pool and balconies, which are exclusive offerings in the Delhi market. COVID has led to a massive shift in the daily lifestyle of people and also re-defined their way of traveling, and we have been able to cater to this change in demand with our unique products and services.

What were your losses during 2020 and 2021 and do you see yourself coming out of them in this year?

After the initial aftermath of COVID in March 2020, when we re-opened in August, the demand came back owing to the ‘revenge travel, and in fact the numbers were better than the previous year. Again, in April 2021, there was a complete washout in revenue due to the lockdown, but when the restrictions were lifted in May and we re-opened our doors, business rebounded.

Please share with us a sample of the luxury quotient at your hotel, a typical guest experience that you expect to provide.

An urban oasis centrally located in New Delhi, The Lodhi offers some of the largest rooms and suites in the city, with most categories featuring their own private plunge pool and expansive balconies. Our dining scene is considered amongst the finest, offering eclectic options ranging from local specialties to international delicacies. Additionally, the hotel offers a world-class spa with an exclusive Hammam, a stylist curated salon, state-of-the-art gym, 50-meter lap pool, three tennis courts and two squash courts, with personal fitness trainers available for assistance. The hotel’s dedicated Les Clefs D’Or Concierges can also create tailored excursions and experiences in and around Delhi. The Lodhi is all about personal journeys for guests, created through bespoke experiences of culture, cuisine, wellness, architecture, lifestyle and personalised service.

Going forward, have you planned any product updates? You have a huge un-utilised FAR, we gather. Is there any expansion plan, per se?

Yes, a lot more is in the pipeline. We are constantly reviewing ourselves to ensure that we deliver the best experiential and service one can provide from the moment you step into the property. We recently gave a completely new facelift to our in-house bakery, that is just being one of the key product updates we have planned.

Is there any client profile changes as a result of recent experiences?

The client profile changed for hotels as there has been lack of inbound tourism. Domestic travel and local travel surged due to outbound restrictions.

Where do you see The Lodhi as a tourism product in the capital?

We envision The Lodhi to continue to be an integral key part at the center of tourism in the capital. Being one of the most prominent luxury hotels in the region, the property attracts a large percentage of international footfall into the vicinity alongside our local patrons of the city, for whom The Lodhi always serves as a home away from home.

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