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Major brand announces its first resort in India

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its luxury portfolio with the opening of its first resort in India, the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa. The 115-room (below) property is located in the hill station of Mussoorie, at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, also known as the Queen of the Hills.

The hotel boasts a sophisticated style, amidst mountains and historic walnut plantations.

It has one of the largest meeting spaces in the city with 3,300 total square feet across the Grand Orchard Ballroom, three break-out rooms and a spacious pre-function area.

There are five restaurants for guests to choose from as well as a fitness centre and the Cedar Spa by L’Occitane.

CEI Asia interviewed the property’s general manager, Chandrashekhar Joshi to find out more.

Mussoorie is a popular holiday destination in India, what types of MICE business are you expecting at the resort? 
JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa is an ideal resort for senior management strategic meets or off-sites. Our hotel has one of the largest ballrooms in the city, the Grand Orchard Ballroom 3300 sqft which is ideal to cater to small to medium sized meetings.

We have observed that there is a growing trend amongst corporates for the need for unique locations to incentivise their employees. Testimony to this, the hotel already has a few corporate groups lined up in the coming months which is a positive indicator. The team is working towards positioning the hotel on this front and stands a good opportunity not only to gain from the primary markets North India but also from secondary markets such as Mumbai and Bangalore.

What percentage of business to you expect to attribute to business travellers and MICE business? 
Although these are early days for the property and we have very limited trends to fall back on, we foresee the ratio of leisure to MICE guests at a 80:20. These assumptions are in line with the trends in Mussoorie as a market. We foresee more contribution from domestic travel on this front. International travel for business in Mussoorie is pre-dominantly driven by senior management or delegation visits to various international schools in the city. Although the resort is targeting embassy and consulate business as well, the same will be more from the leisure perspective.

What will the JW Marriott offer in India that will be different to other countries?
JW Marriott is the luxury brand of Marriott International which focusses on delivering authentic and crafted services to guests. While the legacy of this brand has been maintained over the years and is cherished by JW Marriott hotels across the World, in India this has been combined with the rich heritage the country has to offer. Every location of JW Marriott in India draws on its local culture and is reflective right from the design of the hotels and the cuisines offered in restaurants to adopting the colloquial ‘namaste’ as the formal style of greeting to welcome guests. We believe in maintaining our global brand standards yet being focused in amalgamating the local elements to our service.

What other plans for India does JW Marriott have?
We will soon have the JW Marriott Sahar opening in Mumbai in the first quarter of 2015. The hotel is in close proximity to the new Mumbai International Airport. Apart from these, the company has a strong pipeline of JW Marriott hotels coming up in key cities such as Kolkata.

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Alexandre Hourdequin is the founder of the international entertainment agency Talents & Productions. Considered to be the expert of the event entertainment worldwide.