Taj Airport Garden Hotel in Seeduwa will see a new face by mid January with a refining of its services and refurbishment of the hotel.
By Sunimalee Dias
The hotel’s new General Manager Shekhar Walavalkar speaking with the media yesterday said the main challenge was the ongoing product upgrading.
Walavalkar takes over as the new General Manager starting this week backed by his 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
He is expected to drive the transition of Airport Garden Hotel to The Gateway Hotel – Airport Garden in January 2011, following the announcement made regarding the new brand architecture of its properties in the country.
The new GM has been instrumental in the implementation of some of the best practices in the industry which will assist the migration of the hotel.
While the hotel previously had to contend with limited revenues that had a limited benefit to the country, today the situation has completely changed with increased competition and a shift in its customer focus.
Product upgrading is happening currently with its all day dining restaurant and pub set to get amalgamated in addition to other refurbishments, Walavalkar said.
He observed that while the hotel will continue to upgrade its standards it will improve on its service to be more modern and to be more relevant to international travellers.
This would result in the previous coffee shop that accommodated about 80 guests set to seat 165.
The service will change from its previous subservient attitude to being more personal with the guests, the new GM explained.
Moreover, Taj Airport Garden is currently focusing on the corporate business, MICE and holiday travellers compared to airline crews that were previously attracted for stays at the hotel.
In addition, a new taste in cuisine is also expected with a more international flavour and range with guests entertained with more food prepared to suit each one’s palette.
Airport Garden Hotel is one of the three properties managed by the Taj Group in Sri Lanka. The group remains the only international chain with three properties in the country at present.