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India is a key priority market in 2022: Oetker Collection’s Hugues Miranda

India is a key priority market in 2022: Oetker Collection’s Hugues Miranda

In a conversation with Business Today, Hugues Miranda, Vice President Sales, Europe, Russia, CIS & Asia Pacific, Oetker Collection talks about the importance of India as a source market, conducting Indian weddings at its properties, plans for Asia, and many more.

Hugues Miranda, Vice President Sales, Europe, Russia, CIS & Asia Pacific, Oetker Collection Hugues Miranda, Vice President Sales, Europe, Russia, CIS & Asia Pacific, Oetker Collection

Germany's the Oetker Collection comprises of hotels, estates and villas in Europe, the UK, Brazil and the Caribbean. With properties located in some of the world’s most desirable destinations, each property is a landmark. What started as a collection of four hotels in 2009, today has 11 hotels and more than 150 private villas and estates around the globe. 

The group’s exclusive portfolio currently includes Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, Le Bristol Paris, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, Château Saint-Martin & Spa in Venice, The Lanesborough London, L’Apogée Courchevel, Eden Rock-St Barths, Jumby Bay Island in Antigua, Palácio Tangará in São Paulo, The Woodward in Geneva and Hotel La Palma in Capri. 

In a conversation with Business Today, Hugues Miranda, Vice President Sales, Europe, Russia, CIS & Asia Pacific, Oetker Collection talks about the importance of India as a source market, conducting Indian weddings at its properties, plans for Asia, and many more. Edited Excerpts  

 

 

BT: How important is India as a market for the Oetker Collection? 

HM: India is a very important market for Oetker Collection and one which we very much value. We were delighted to be the first luxury hotel brand to return recently to visit our key partners and friends in Mumbai and Delhi. It is a key priority market in 2022. 

BT: What percentage of your guests come from India? 

HM: The percentage is dependent on the property, but we are seeing growth from pre-Covid numbers which is very encouraging. 

 
BT: Your hotels are all high-end luxury. Which are the most popular ones for Indians? 

HM: Oetker Collection has 11 properties, or Masterpiece Hotels as we call them, in total, including Eden Rock – St Barths, Jumby Bay Island in Antigua, Palacio Tangara in Sao Paulo and then in Europe, we have two hotels in the South of France with Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes and Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa in Provence, along with our most recent opening; The Woodward in Geneva and our forthcoming property and our first hotel in Italy with Hotel La Palma in Capri which opens this summer. 

Our remaining properties: Le Bristol Paris, The Lanesborough in London and Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden Baden in Germany are currently the most popular with the Indian clientele. We are, however, seeing bookings pick up for The Woodward in Geneva. 

BT: It's often seen that a lot of Indians prefer to eat Indian food even when travelling? Do you get such requests and are you able to cater to them? 

HM: Yes, that can be the case, but over the last few years, many of our clients from India have expressed interest to experience local cuisine and enjoy unique dishes, tied to the destination. However, we can always provide a list of premium Indian restaurants in close proximity to our hotels and we can, of course, arrange deliveries and elegantly serve them so guests can enjoy a restaurant experience without leaving their room! 

BT: Are any of your hotels popular destinations for Indian weddings? If yes which one? 

HM: I would say that 8 out of our 11 properties really lend themselves to weddings. Le Bristol Paris, The Lanesborough London, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes and nearby Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa, as well as the Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, are the most popular wedding destinations with the Indian market. 

BT: Are you targeting the Indian wedding market? 

HM: Yes, we are. We view it as an exciting market for weddings. We also know globally that many weddings had to be postponed so we are seeing uptick now. 

 
BT: Oetker is primarily a European and US brand. Will we see an Oetker property in Asia anytime soon? If so, which destination is probable? 

HM: Yes, I’m sure we will at some stage, however, our expansion plan is one of slow, measured growth with the strategy based on finding the right opportunity and ensuring the property can fulfil the criteria of being a Masterpiece Hotel. The last 12 months has witnessed our biggest expansion with two hotel openings. We are currently focussing on our new masterpiece Hotel La Palma in Capri due to open on July 1, 2022. 

As mentioned, last year, we opened The Woodward Geneva, a fantastic all-suite hotel overlooking the lake. It’s the city’s first suite only property – offering just 26 suites and it features Switzerland’s first-ever Guerlain spa and it boasts outposts of two New York Michelin-starred restaurants; L’Atelier Robuchon and Le Jardinier. It’s very special because it marks a new hotel class as it offers the feel of being in an ultra-chic private home with world-class amenities. 

Rather than become a chain, we really want to remain a Collection and create a real sense of place where you always feel the soul of the destination and that a special emotional bond is made between the guests and our hotels. This is very important to us –at Oetker Collection, we want our guests to come to see our hotels as their home. 

 
BT: Which is your largest source market? 

HM: Europe and the US 

 

BT: Within Asia which is your largest market?   

HM: Pre-pandemic in 2019 it was Japan and mainland China, with India and Singapore growing year-on-year. I would say India and Singapore are the Asian markets performing the best. 

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