In the dynamic world of luxury hospitality, few names resonate as profoundly as Mr. Vishal Tony, a visionary leader who has redefined the sector through his innovative approaches and sustainable practices. As the CEO & Founder of Aratt Hospitality and the Founder & Managing Director of Ayatana Hospitality, Mr. Tony has carved a distinguished niche in the industry. His unique blend of environmental mindfulness and luxury has not only set new benchmarks but also positioned his ventures at the forefront of the hospitality landscape. Today, he shares his insights and experiences, shedding light on the philosophies and strategies that have shaped his successful journey in this competitive arena.
Ayatana Hospitality has carved a niche in the luxury hospitality segment within a short span since its inception. Can you share with us the philosophy behind Ayatana’s approach to luxury, and how it differentiates itself from other luxury hospitality brands in India?
Ayatana Hospitality has swiftly established itself as a distinctive player in the luxury hospitality sector, achieving remarkable success since its inception. Our philosophy revolves around redefining luxury by seamlessly integrating it with the unparalleled beauty of nature. At Ayatana, we strive to offer an experience that is as close to nature as possible, allowing our guests to immerse themselves in the breathtaking surroundings. What sets us apart from other luxury hospitality brands in India is our unwavering commitment to curating experiences that foster a deep appreciation for and connection with nature. We believe that true luxury lies in the harmonious coexistence of opulence and the natural world. By placing our guests in environments where they can truly value and embrace the proximity to nature, we create a distinctive and unforgettable experience that sets Ayatana apart in the realm of luxury hospitality.
The hospitality industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, particularly with the impact of global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. How has Ayatana Hospitality adapted to these challenges, and what measures have you implemented to ensure the safety and satisfaction of your guests?
In response to the challenges posed by recent global events, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, we have undertaken comprehensive measures to adapt and prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our valued guests. This includes heightened sanitation practices and regular disinfection of common areas. Our commitment to guest satisfaction remains unwavering, and we continue to monitor the situation closely, adapting our strategies as needed to uphold the highest standards of safety and service. We are dedicated to providing a secure and enjoyable experience, even in the face of unprecedented challenges in the hospitality industry.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the hospitality industry. How does Ayatana Hospitality incorporate sustainable practices in its operations, and how do you balance these practices with maintaining a luxury experience for your guests?
At Ayatana Hospitality, our sustainability goals center on preserving the natural ecosystem of our resort locations. We focus on minimizing disruption to flora and fauna, implementing energy conservation measures such as maximizing natural light in guest cottages and leveraging the natural cool environment to reduce the need for air-conditioning. Recycled water from gardening is used for non-potable purposes, decreasing freshwater reliance, and we’ve eliminated plastic water bottles, opting for glass bottles to reduce plastic waste. Our commitment to sustainability aligns with maintaining a luxury experience while actively exploring additional eco-friendly initiatives.
The design and architecture of a hotel or resort play a crucial role in defining the guest experience. Given your background in architecture, how do you ensure that the design of each Ayatana property aligns with its surroundings and enhances the overall guest experience?
Drawing on the architectural background of our founder and CEO, we integrate design and aesthetics into our properties to curate extraordinary guest experiences. Our guest cottages exemplify thoughtful design, strategically maximizing natural light to minimize reliance on artificial lighting during the day. This dual benefit not only conserves energy but also fosters a welcoming ambiance for our guests. Additionally, our cottages employ prefabricated steel structures, demonstrating a commitment to preserving the natural surroundings with minimal impact on local flora and fauna. This design ethos ensures a harmonious coexistence between our properties and their environments, enhancing the overall guest experience through sustainable and aesthetically pleasing architecture.
Ayatana offers a blend of tranquility, luxury, and nature. How do you ensure that the local culture and environment are reflected in the guest experience, and how do these elements influence the services and activities offered at your resorts?
Ayatana curates an immersive experience that seamlessly integrates tranquility, luxury, and nature while honoring the local culture and environment. Our meticulously designed cottages and chalets capture the essence of the region, offering guests a vibrant and authentic experience. In Ayatana Ooty, traditional soft furnishings crafted by local Toda tribe women adorn the rooms, celebrating the rich heritage of Ooty. In Ayatana Coorg, guests are immersed in the local flora and fauna through artistry displayed in rooms. Our restaurant menus are thoughtfully influenced by local cuisines, ensuring a culinary journey that complements the cultural tapestry of each location, enhancing the overall guest experience.
Looking ahead, what are the long-term goals for Ayatana Hospitality, and how do you plan to innovate and expand in the highly competitive luxury hospitality market? Can you give us a glimpse into any upcoming projects or initiatives that Ayatana has in the pipeline?
We are currently undertaking an ambitious expansion plan, aiming to introduce six new properties for each of our two distinct brands from 2023 to 2028. An exciting development on the immediate horizon is the launch of Azora Goa, a lifestyle property in Morjim, Goa, scheduled to open next month. This marks a significant step in expanding our reach and engaging with a new audience. Looking forward, our growth trajectory includes introducing Ayatana properties in Chikmagalur, Goa, Wayanad, Arakku Valley, Ranthambore, and Kumarakom. Simultaneously, the Azora brand is set to make its mark in Electronic City, Ranthambore, Shillong, Ooty, and Kodaikanal. These ventures highlight our commitment to expanding our footprint across diverse locations and providing exceptional hospitality experiences to a broader clientele in the competitive luxury hospitality market.