The mere thought of a lemon sends a wave of freshness through the mind, a perfect equation formulated by nature to stand for everything rejuvenating.
It’s this equation that the multi-award winning Lemon Tree Hotels have adopted in all of their 14 operational addresses across the country. Their slogan proclaims ‘refreshingly different’, and they back up the first half of their promise with breezy, stylish hotels where the zesty smell of lemon grass fills the air, high glass walls and bursts of greenery conspire to usher the outdoors in and the staff is decked out in the characteristic colours of the fruit.
But what is it that makes the Lemon Tree Hotels so different, in this era of tall tales and false claims? Says Aradhana Lal, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, “We are a full-service, upscale hotel chain that offers our guests high quality accommodation at moderate prices. Our atmosphere is fun, lighthearted and spirited, and we believe in professionalism and efficiency without the customary ‘serious black jacket’ worn by the staff.” The fact that the senior executives of the hotels, men as well as women, sport tiny ponytails tied with yellow ribbons, punctuates her point.
This light-hearted and youthful vibe can be attributed to the fact that the Chairman and Managing Director of the hotels, Patanjali Keswani and his core team are young themselves. Putting their years of experience in the hotel business together, they came up with a unique brand designed to cater to the business traveller.
Lal elaborates, “We offer the complete package of a business hotel to our guests, who, on an average, are professionals between the ages of 40 to 45. Everything that they might require is available 24/7 here.” The hotels have business-related features such as business centres outfitted with printers, scanners, photocopiers and other tools of the trade, fully-equipped boardrooms and conference halls. Lemon Tree also offers WiFi connectivity at different speeds to meet individual needs, and all the rooms feature full-sized working desks with ergonomic chairs.
When there’s a little downtime between meetings and pitches, Lemon Tree has several entertainment options. Lal explains, “As a businessman, entertaining one’s team and clients is very important. Our signature coffee shop, Citrus Café, is open all day and night. Slounge, a combination of a sports bar and lounge, is perfect to unwind at after a long, hard day.” A few of the Lemon Tree hotels also feature the much talked about Pan-Asian restaurant, Republic of Noodles. Apart from the F&B outlets, the chain has high tech fitness centres, swimming pools and in-house spas.
The popularity of the Lemon Tree Hotels, coupled with the growth of the business travel sector, is evident in their rapid rate of expansion. Their latest hotel, located in Bengaluru, is already attracting guests in hefty numbers. Six new hotels are expected to open doors by December 2012, taking the total number of hotels up to 20, with 2800 rooms in 15 different cities across the country.