Blue-blooded by birth, Prince Digraj Singh Shahpura, Director, Shahpura Hotels, has made it his mission to establish an empire in the world of hospitality. From a company comprising one heritage hotel, set up by his father on the family heirloom property, he expanded this domain to 15 uber luxe hotels.
He claimed a unique niche by offering patrons a regal experience at heritage properties that he meticulously restores to their original magnificence. While showcasing the royal culture, heritage and traditions of Rajasthan, these hotels are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, world-class luxury and comforts that enhance guest experiences. Proudly elaborating on the modern touch that he has infused into these magnificent edifices, he assures, “We are the only chain which has introduced automation in hotels in the heritage sector. This makes us stand apart from our competition. When we reach out to the agents, we tell them that we have introduced tablets in the rooms, dock stations and allow guests to give instant feedback digitally. The same technology will be seen in all the new properties we are signing, including fast internet across the property.”
Offering a quick overview of this foray, he explains, “The new properties are a mixture of weddings, boutique, heritage and business hotels. We cover everything now because that’s the demand in the market. One needs business and MiCE hotels as much as wedding hotels to cater to all kinds of business opportunities. So, we conceived this expansion route.”
While the first two properties were his own – Shahpura Haveli on the Delhi-Jaipur road and Shahpura House in Jaipur – he has now scaled up the business by entering management contracts with other property owners in the state. Ensuring that these properties qualify as four-star and above, he has strategically chosen wedding properties in Jaipur and Udaipur and business hotels near the airport in Jaipur.
In terms of marketing these properties, he says, “We will be adopting the same marketing strategy we had for our previous hotels. While we will be engaging with travel agents and undertaking online promotions, we will also feature in magazines, both trade and consumer. Some of the hotels we have signed up are all existing hotels but for the new properties, the marketing strategy will be different.”
The Shahpura Group has been hailed as having some of the finest historic hotels in the world, two of which were included in the Historical Hotels of the World list. Shahpura House was adjudged a Luxury Heritage Hotel by World Luxury Hotel Awards 2018 and the brand was included in the Lifestyle Member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
The brand has already added 7 hotels in cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh & Ranthambore and few more. Looking ahead, the dynamic prince looks forward to expanding the geographical boundaries of his business. ““By 2020 we will be able to cover four to five more cities apart from the ones in Rajasthan, “heshares.“ We are now signing new hotels in Mumbai, Goa, Gurgaon and Agra. We are also looking at leisure destinations like Manali and Varanasi to have heritage properties by taking over old havelis and refurbishing them. We are also looking forward to going global with the launch of our first international hotel in Dubai and thereafter, hotels in London, China, Paris and Santorini."
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