Of Glitz, Glam, And Sustainability

The first Outlook Traveller Hospitality Awards honoured the finest in the hospitality industry
Outlook Traveller Hospitality Awards took place on March 4th at Hyatt Regency. Photo credits Vikram Sharma and Suresh K. Pandey
Outlook Traveller Hospitality Awards took place on March 4th at Hyatt Regency. Photo credits Vikram Sharma and Suresh K. Pandey

The very first Outlook Traveller Hospitality Awards celebrated such trailblazers from this sector. Hosted by actor Swedha Bahal, the gala night took place on the eve of March 4th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Delhi. The theme of the night was "Transformation through Innovation." The event had many big names from the hospitality industry. People's favourite cookbook author and Chef, Suvir Saran, Aashish Gupta, CEO of Faith Tourism, and Nawab Kazim Ali Khan of Rampur, were among the many notable guests who attended the event.

In the words of Herve Humler, President of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, the hospitality industry is both "timeless and evolving very rapidly." This evolution is only possible through conscious innovation. The next generation of travellers is setting new expectations with each passing moment. Whether it is about architectural innovation or heritage factor, a new table is being set. Accordingly, the hospitality industry is going through significant transformations. Among many such transformations, there are those who have exceeded expectations and set a benchmark.

Our sponsors are as follows

The event was powered by sysotel.ai

Travel Experience partner Klook

Inspired Living Partner H & R Johnson (India)

Culinary Partner Weikfield

Digital Partner NIXI

Sustainability Partner Sunfuel Electric

Venue Partner Hyatt Regency, Delhi.

The event also featured an incredible performance by the tabla player and singer Shariq Mustafa Thirakwa.

"Our purpose is sustainability. It is the core of our work at Outlook," Meenakshie Mehta, publisher of Outlook Traveller, stated in her opening address.

The thought was carried over in the "Transformation through Innovation" panel discussion. This panel explored how innovation can transform traditional industries, such as hospitality, and how sustainability-led innovation can shape its future. The panel also discussed the opportunities digital and technology innovations could create for up-and-coming hotels and hoteliers. Sudhir Nayak, the founder of Sunfuel Electric and Aashish Gupta, CEO of FAITH, were key members of this panel. Shreya Cheema moderated the panel from Outlook Traveller.

The second panel, "Behind the Design", deeply delved into hotel architecture, from grand arches to magnificent chandeliers. Anindita Ghosh, editor, Outlook Traveller, moderated this interaction. Architect Rahul Kumar, principal architect of Rajinder Kumar & Associates, and architect Sanjay Bhardwaj, partner at Team3, were key members of this panel.

Finally, a fascinating fireside chat became the last discussion of the evening. Raj Sahu, CEO of sysotel.ai and Vivek Gangishetty, VP of Sales & Marketing, RMS Cloud, India & South Asia, led the discussion on the role of AI in hospitality.

After an insightful round of discussions on hospitality and its future, the much-awaited awards of the event were announced. The awards are divided into 18 different categories. The winners are as follows

Wellness Resort of the Year  Amal Tamara
Ananda in the Himalayas
Heritage Hotel of the Year  The Tamara Kodai
Excellence in Hotel Architecture  The Leela Palace, Chennai
Boutique Hotel of the Year  Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond
Business Hotel of the Year  Jehan Numa Palace
Economy Hotel of the Year  Fortune District Centre Ghaziabad
Homestay of the Year (Editor&rsquos Choice) Svanir Wilderness Ecostay, Bhubaneswar
Hostel of the Year Zostel Manali (Old Manali)
Luxury Hotel of the Year  The Leela Palace Udaipur
Resort of the Year  Taj Holiday Village Resort and Spa, Goa
Wildlife Resort of the Year WelcomHeritage Cheetahgarh Resort
Tour Operator of the Year &ndash Domestic Southern Travels Pvt. Ltd.
Chef of the Year  Aditi Handa
Travel Blogger of the Year Hungrycruisers
Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa
Standalone Restaurant of the Year  CHO &ndash Vietnamese Kitchen and Bar
Excellence in Sustainability Practices  Grand Mercure Gandhinagar Gift City

The jury consisted of 11 industry experts tasked with assessing the nominees and selecting the award winners. Their discernment and expertise were anessential part of the awards process. The jury process was facilitated by Ernst & Young.

Madan Prasad Bezbaruah is retired as the Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and was recently a Member of the North Eastern Council (in the rank of Minister of State). He is also an honorary Permanent Representative of UNWTO.

Diwan Gautam Anand is the former Executive Vice President of ITC Hotels and the Founding Trustee of the Cuisine India Foundation.

Raj Sahu is the Founder and CEO of sysotel.ai. He has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has worked with some of the top names in the industry, like Royal Orchid, ISTA, Cambay etc. Raj's expertise lies in Sales & Marketing, Hotel Operations, and Data & Marketing Analysis.

Dinesh Vyas is a senior management professional with vast experience in new product development, marketing and training. He started his career as a university lecturer. Later, he joined the corporate sector. He has worked for Ambuja Cement, Larsen & Toubro and H & R Johnson. He currently holds the position of Marketing Head at H&ampR Johnson (India).

Berivan Birkan is currently leading EMEA/US/IN Marketing for Klook. She utilises her expertise to drive the company's success. She has valuable experience in various industries, such as green buildings, IoT, FMCG, and hospitality.

Nishith Upadhyaya is the Senior Director of Advisory Services, SHRM India, APAC & MENA. At SHRM India, Nishith leads a growing advisory practice that enables business goals for clients through better alignment of people practices.

Savi Munjal and Vidit Taneja are travel bloggers and creators of the travel website and blog "Bruised Passports."

Shivya Nath is a travel blogger, author, and founder of "Climate Conscious Travel."

Shipra Khanna is an Indian celebrity chef, restaurateur, author and television personality.

Joy Mitra is a celebrated fashion designer. He retails at some of the best multi-designer stores in India and abroad, like Samsaara, Ogaan, Aza, Fuel, etc.

Priyam Chatterjee is&nbspbest known for revisiting the traditional dishes from his native state of West Bengal and giving them a French twist. He is the first Indian chef to be awarded France's Ordre du Merite Agricole.

The event, which also saw the product launch of sysotel.ai, concluded with the Sunfuel Sustainability Trophy award. Sunfuel Electric is a fully integrated solar power engineering company. With their efforts in the direction of clean fuel, they are contributing to the sustainability conversation around the world. After careful consideration, the Sunfuel team presented the award to Zubin Saxena from the Radisson Hotel Group for adopting renewable energy technology and continuing the conversation around a planet-friendly fuel.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller