Ankush Sharma, GM, Courtyard by Marriott

DSC_0076 fwWhat is the USP of the hotel?

Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai takes a place of pride in the business hotel category simply by creating an ambiance of genteel courtesy, efficiency in its offering of world class business facilities and a seamless transition from a business environment to an entertainment hub. The business traveller will appreciate the central location of the Hotel with ease of commuting within the city and to the airport.

Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai, as a select service concept gives power to the consumer. The consumer decides on the level and type of stay and service that they would like to enjoy or experience over their stay with us. If travelling on business – the priority is a quick check in, a comfortable bed, a decent breakfast, swift and efficient service and a quick check out. If on leisure – the priority is a stress free check in but at the same time they want the information about the hotel, area around, entertainment options and etc, the bed and room needs to be spacious with touches of luxury, the breakfast and meals to have a variety of options, the service to be friendly and relaxing and a fond farewell filled with good memories. The understanding and adapting to this concept by the Courtyard and then executing it to the consumers’ satisfaction are the key to the Courtyard’s success.

How does the hotel appeal to the business traveller? Please enumerate the features and the facilities that cater to the business traveller.

The business traveller will appreciate the central location of the Hotel with ease of commuting within the city and to the airport.

The business centre and executive lounge with its up to the minute corporate facilities, unlimited access to internet, the convenience of setting up meetings at meeting rooms of various sizes, smaller private meeting rooms that can accommodate a group of 5 and larger ones with bar and show kitchens that can accommodate up to 150 people add to the convenience.

Are you looking at moving to other cities? 

Yes, countries as well. Our planet is too big and beautiful to spend a life in just one place.

Who is your target audience and why? 

The target is predominantly the GEN X and GEN Y business traveller. Why, because the CYC due to its location, facilities and service concept is best suited to the business traveller. However, we do get a mix from many other markets but business is by the far the biggest chunk.

What is the strategy to stay ahead of the competition?

To stay ahead we invest in technology and innovation and our charged and energetic associates with customer service as their topmost priority. We adapt ourselves to the needs of our customers, whatever it may be.

What’s the hotel’s philosophy or business mantra?

Spirit To Serve – take care of our associates, they will take care of our guests, guests will be happy and come back.

Is there a focus on the MICE segment? If yes, what are the plans?

Definitely yes – MICE is the future of business travel and no one can NOT focus on it. We plan to have renovated meeting rooms, express check in for large groups, packages for groups, connectivity throughout the city with the travel desk with WiFi connectivity (on request) – the biggest plus for us will be the upcoming Metro rail which has the city’s biggest station right under the hotel, increasing our connectivity tremendously.

What are the hotel’s tech-friendly features? (Complimentary Wi-Fi?)

WiFi, Video conference enabled meeting room, HSIA, Flat screen TV, Universal sockets.

Please tell us about the green initiatives the hotel has taken.

We always try to keep our carbon footprint in check, use recycled products, reduce cost of printing and stationary year after year and support a whole lot more initiatives led by Marriott all over the globe.

Any unusual requests you have come across as an hotelier?

While working in one of my past resort hotels – I happened to receive a VIP guest at the airport who on landing mentioned that she was afraid of boats and would only go to the island on a bus and refused to leave the airport. You can see how that was a problem considering we were in an island nation and the resort was on an island.

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