Redefining The Business of a Lavish Stay with India’s Sujan Luxury
India’s definition of a five star stay is no longer simply relegated to the margins of opulent buildings with impeccable service. Without losing a drop of that trademark extravagance the redefinition takes the business of a lavish stay to a whole new level by incorporating what the west may term ‘sustainable values’. Here’s how luxurious boutique hotel player SUJÁN Luxury does it.
“We’re authentic to the places we’re in,” say SUJÁN Luxury’s Owners and Creative Directors Anjali and Jaisal Singh, “the properties are true to their geographic history.”
Rajmahal Palace’s bubblegum pink exterior has been carefully linked to the historical painting of the entire city of Jaipur in pink in 1886. The luxury tents at SUJÁN’s Jawai leopard camp blend in with the dramatic shades of desert wilderness, while the nineteenth century colonial style ‘campaign’ furniture at the Sher Bagh camp hark one back to a bygone era of tiger-spotting in untamed lands.
Anjali, who holds degrees from London’s Central Saint Martins, and sits on the Rajasthan Crafts Council, is inclined toward working with the arts and crafts of each area, which influences the aesthetics of each hotel.
The properties are furnished with goods specially made in India by local Indian artisans – from the crockery to the linens, ensuring that no two rooms look alike. Yet the rooms remain modern enough for a luxury traveller looking for air-conditioning and private views over exquisite landscapes.
“We believe bespoke hotel rooms are the way forward,” says Jaisal.
“It’s not about selling a room,” says Anjali, taking the aesthetic point a step further “it’s about the experience.”
The experience includes the food. SUJÁN works with local farmers, encouraging them to grow chemical-free produce and raise local breed livestock. Sher Bagh has its own organic dairy and poultry farm raising local black chickens, which provides zero cholesterol eggs. In Jawai, home to a large pastoral community, they buy dairy and produce from the local ‘Rabari’ herdsmen.
Menus at the properties incorporate dishes specific to each location intended to not just please the average traveller, but give them something to remember for days to come, says Jaisal, who approves all menu changes, while Anjali checks off plating visuals.
Staff are all plucked from local environs and trained in-house at the SUJÁN School of Hospitality. At the Serai in Jaisalmer, medical and animal camps for inoculation of the local livelihood, livestock, are run by the SUJÁN group. And proceeds from the 10-room camp at Jawai have raised about $300 thousand for local schools over the past three years.
In fact two of the SUJÁN family of properties, Sher Bagh in Ranthambore, and The Serai in Jaisalmer, were accepted as members of France-based luxury boutique hotel association Relais & Châteaux in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
“We’re actually over-involved,” says Anjali, “we do love it – every one of our holidays we go right back to dividing our time between Jawai and Sher Bagh, because we’ve inherently built properties where we want to be.”
Source : Forbes