Aloft Kathmandu Thamel triumphs over challenges with adaptability and guest-centric innovation.
BY Newbiz team
As Aloft Kathmandu Thamel approaches its highly anticipated 4th anniversary, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and gratitude within the hotel. As the first Marriott property in Nepal, it stands tall as a symbol of luxury, comfort, and unrivalled hospitality in the vibrant Thamel area. With its contemporary design, impeccable amenities, and exceptional service, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel has established itself as a preferred destination for discerning travellers seeking a seamless blend of style and relaxation. Unwavering in its commitment to serving guests, this five-star opened its doors in 2019, just before the pandemic's arrival. Despite turbulent times for the hospitality industry, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel triumphed over adversity by offering the best of hospitality. In an era of uncertainty, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel's unyielding dedication proved that true hospitality knows no bounds.
Vikram Singh, general manager of Aloft Kathmandu Thamel, says that the hotel has been able to establish its business standing in the hospitality industry in Kathmandu. “It has been a positive performance with steady growth in occupancy rates, revenue, and customer satisfaction. We have positioned the hotel as a contemporary and upscale choice in the market, attracting both business and leisure travellers,” he added. The hotel managed to exceed expectations in revenue generation, despite the adverse circumstances brought about by the pandemic, according to Singh. This achievement speaks of the hotel's ability to adapt to changing market conditions, implement effective strategies, and maintain a strong customer base. Aloft Kathmandu Thamel differentiates itself in guest experience and customer service by offering a vibrant and modern atmosphere combined with personalised attention to detail. It strives to create a memorable stay for guests through innovative design, engaging social spaces, and a range of amenities. Attentive and friendly staff, high cleanliness standards, unique dining experiences, and different events and activities ensure the hotel guests have a memorable stay. The hotel offers modern and stylish rooms and suites, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, an outdoor pool, meeting and event spaces, a business centre, and a 24-hour front desk. The hotel also features dining options such as the Nook restaurant, offering international and local cuisine. Likewise, the Re:Fuel by Aloft provides guests with the grab-and-go option, while the W XYZ Bar is one of the best places in town for socialising. The hotel's commitment to innovation and exceptional service has proven instrumental in successfully navigating challenges while consistently delivering a superior guest experience. With a strong focus on personalisation, the hotel goes above and beyond to create memorable moments for each guest, ensuring customer satisfaction remains at the core of everything they do. One of the unique features that set Aloft Kathmandu Thamel apart is its vibrant and trendy atmosphere, catering to a younger and more modern demographic keeping in mind its core pillars of music, design and technology, shares Singh. Aloft Kathmandu Thamel has had several notable accomplishments and milestones in its journey. These include being one of the first franchises of Marriott in Nepal, which has added value to the Marriott brand and helped attract more tourists to Nepal. ”Every Marriott brand brings its distinct value, and we are no exception to that. We have received recognition for our design and guest experience, winning awards and accolades for our innovative approach to hospitality,” Singh added.
Besides, Singh and his team take the greatest pride in never closing the hotel for even a single day during the pandemic and not letting go of any staff. The hotel focuses on serving professionals, business travellers, and tourists seeking a contemporary and vibrant hotel experience. “Our modern design, trendy atmosphere, and convenient location in the Thamel neighbourhood make it appealing to this demographic,” he added. The hotel caters to both domestic and international guests, offering amenities and services that meet the needs of a diverse range of travellers. The hotel aims at providing a welcoming and lively environment that appeals to individuals looking for a unique and memorable stay in Kathmandu. Leadership Working as the pre-opening general manager since the hotel's inception has been an incredibly important part of Singh's professional career. It has allowed him to utilise his experience and leadership qualities to shape the hotel's vision and culture. “Through strategic decision-making, team building, and a focus on guest satisfaction, me and the team have strived to make Aloft Kathmandu Thamel the best, evolving with time. It has been a rewarding experience to witness the growth and success of the hotel,” Singh shared with pride. In his two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Singh said Nepal will always hold a very special place in his heart. According to Singh, Nepal is an exciting destination for the hotel business, with its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and a growing tourism industry. He added that a unique blend of tradition and natural beauty sets Nepal apart, making it an attractive choice for travellers seeking diverse experiences. “As a hotel professional with experience in various locations also due to its location between some of the best countries, I see Nepal as a destination with immense potential. However, it also presents distinct challenges due to infrastructure limitations and the need for consistent service standards across the industry,”
Singh added. Challenges Like any business, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel has faced its share of challenges. One of the challenges was the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that the hotel prioritised safety. Singh and his team were able to swiftly implement health measures, enhanced sanitation, social distancing, and contactless services. Likewise, intense competition in the market, maintaining high occupancy rates during low seasons, and ensuring consistent service quality were other key challenges that Singh and his team had to tackle. To overcome these challenges, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel implemented various strategies such as targeted marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and continuous staff training and development. The hotel's adaptability, innovation, and guest-centric approach played a crucial role in overcoming those challenges. “These accomplishments during a challenging period highlight the determination and success of Aloft Kathmandu Thamel in establishing itself as a reputable and resilient player in the hospitality industry,” Singh said. Unique collaborations Aloft Kathmandu Thamel has established unique collaborations to enhance its offerings and provide additional benefits to guests. It has entered into partnerships with the Charles Baudelaire Institute, Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) and many other notable organisations. “The partnership with Charles Baudelaire Institute and NATHM allows Aloft Kathmandu Thamel to offer internships to students from Lycée Hôtelier Savoie Léman of Thonon-les Bains, France,” shared Singh. The programme, possibly the first of its kind in Nepal, aims to provide culturally immersive professional experiences and promote cross-cultural exchange. Additionally, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel has partnered with local women's organisations to support women empowerment initiatives. These partnerships involve implementing women's leadership development programmes, mentorship programmes, and collaborations with non-profit organisations such as Hatti Hatti Nepal. These partnerships not only benefit the individuals involved but also highlight the hotel's commitment to education, cultural development, and social responsibility. “By fostering global connections and supporting local initiatives, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel actively contributes to the growth and enrichment of the hospitality industry and the community at large,” Singh added. Sustainability practices Aloft Kathmandu Thamel follows Marriott International’s Serve 360 policy which incorporates sustainability practices into its operations and contributes to environmental conservation. The hotel has adopted initiatives such as energy-efficient lighting and appliances, waste reduction and recycling programs, water conservation measures, and forged partnerships with local organisations for environmental preservation. The hotel also supports community initiatives or engages in corporate social responsibility activities to give back to the local community. Future Plan The hotel aims to continuously innovate and evolve its offerings to stay relevant in the evolving hospitality industry. “As technology and guest preferences evolve, the hotel will embrace digital advancements to enhance the guest experience and streamline operations. The vision for us is to be centred around providing exceptional service, fostering memorable experiences, and maintaining a strong brand presence in the hospitality industry,” shared Singh. Likewise, the hotel has adopted several strategies and initiatives periodically for a better future. Singh and his team are opening a new state-of-the-art gym, offering guests access to modern fitness equipment and facilities. It is focused on catering to the needs of health-conscious travellers and domestic guests, providing them with a convenient and well-equipped fitness centre. In addition, the hotel is relaunching its exclusive outlet, Nylgiri Skye Lounge, with an exciting revamped menu, exceptional service, and a distinctive ambience. This relaunch aims to create a unique and memorable dining experience for guests and local patrons seeking an upscale culinary offering. Furthermore, the hotel is planning to add a new and improved spa to provide guests with a rejuvenating and luxurious retreat. “With enhanced facilities and a range of wellness treatments, the revamped spa will cater to guests seeking relaxation and self-care during their stay,” shared Singh. Lastly, the hotel has plans to establish a club lounge shortly. This dedicated space, according to Singh, will offer guests a premium experience, allowing them to unwind, enjoy exclusive amenities, and receive personalised service. This addition will cater to the needs of discerning travellers, providing them with an elevated level of comfort and luxury. “These expansions and innovative projects aim to differentiate the hotel, attract new guests, and ensure the continued growth and success of Aloft Hotel in the evolving hospitality industry,” Singh added.