Unflinching desire to travel and unwind after 2-year break in people is reassuring, says Ronan Fearon, General Manager, JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa.
What key challenges and opportunities do you see in India?
We opened a luxury resort at the foot of the Nandi Hills amid a pandemic, so it is difficult to foresee any challenges. As one of Marriott International’s first fully-integrated resorts in our portfolio, we see this as an opportunity as the property combines luxury, leisure, and long, lazy evenings overlooking the golf course. Local Bengaluru residents can escape for weekend breaks, lavish family celebrations can be held on our 60,000 sq. ft., Savannah lawns, and corporations can gather their teams in a state-of-the-art 35,000 sq. ft., convention centre.
With the relaxation of travel restrictions, is there a full recovery in sight?
Absolutely. Inquiries for our resort are way above expectations. There has been pent-up demand in the last couple of months. The property has so far hosted five weddings and two corporate meetings. We have also hosted plenty of eager travellers looking for a resort-style setting to experience something new. We have a pristine golf course, and with golf being more popular than ever, it is going to be a major attraction for all our patrons.
What has changed between 2020 and 2022 for the brand at large?
I would say a lot and also not so much. Personally, I have had a change in scenery since arriving in beautiful Bengaluru less than six months ago. Professionally, the industry has been incredibly hit, but firms and their people have proved to be extremely resilient. Our guests, too, are quick to put the pandemic behind them and get back to enjoying unique experiences with their loved ones or even just time alone to be one with nature after a challenging two years.
How would you reach out to corporates?
Initially, all conversations were online, but as a new hotel as well as being associated with a leading luxury brand, corporate companies are reaching out to see what we have to offer. The companies are eager to bring their teams together face-to-face again after a 2-year hiatus.
What are the unique offerings?
Golf and spa at the same location make for a luxurious and one-of-a-kind combination. All our guests will experience complete mindfulness as they set foot on the property, and the surroundings will help bring out the best version of themselves.
What are the lessons from 2020 and 2021 that you will stick to in 2022?
Look after your people, they will take care of the customer, and the customer will take care of your business.