A deep dive into food and heartwarming hospitality

The joy of experiencing staycation in renowned luxury, five-star properties is unparalleled. When we talk about a global luxury hospitality player in Kolkata that is at a proximal distance of 8 km from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, it is none other than The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat. The iconic property is from the house of Westin Hotels and Resorts and forms a part of Marriott International.

 Spread over 8 acres of land area, the iconic hospitality set-up stands tall in having the largest number of rooms in the city. Equipped with 304 elegantly done-up rooms with 8 layers of mattresses, one can get breathtaking views of the city skyline from each room.  The luxury property comprises a 32-storied tower that is incidentally the highest building in the city rising to a height of about 146 metres. The chief attraction is the lobby which has the largest mural measuring around 105 feet and depicts the Face of Spirituality or Goddess Durga. The glitzy interiors flaunting Sanskrit shlokas have the largest indoor and outdoor ballroom. The property has the largest swimming pool in the city.

The luxury player has Nori, the 64-seater fine-dining Japanese set-up on the 31st floor that serves authentic Japanese, Chinese, Mandarin, and Thai delights to tingle your taste buds. The unique selling proposition of the outlet is the presence of a buffet brunch with live Sushi and Teppanyaki counters on Sundays. This is incidentally the only food outlet that has three private dining areas called Tatami. With its interiors done up in bamboo poles, the décor is a fusion of Japanese and Far East, and an average meal for two is priced at Rs 4,500. One can begin with appetizers like Edamame and Truffle dumplings, Tom Yum soup, Vegetable roll with plum sauce, and the Thai delight- Tod Man Khao Pod made of corn and kernels and served with herbs and cheese.  The main course has quintessential Chinese flavours like Stir-fried Asian green, Burnt garlic and scallion fried rice, and Spicy Mapo tofu to name a few. Nori is open for both lunch and dinner.   

Set up with the concept to provide traditional, vegetarian, and forgotten recipes of India, the 48-seater Vedic on the 31st floor serves out-of-the-box dishes that are not only tantalizing but have a number of health benefits. The outlet offers sound dining options with its set menu that is based on season and is from diverse regions of India. There is a hydroponic garden at the outlet and merchandise stocked with antiques, health spices, and cooking oil.    

The menu keeps on changing every three months. One can start off with appetizers that stimulate the diet like Kashmiri soup including Kavak Galvani raab made of rare mushrooms found in higher reaches of the valley after snowfall. One can savor other munchies and appetizers like Khakra served with pickles. One can try Dakshin Vindhya or raw banana kebab which stands out on the menu. The main course comes with Malai guchhi kulcha and Organic black rice savoured with Dal Vedic and Dum ka anjeer kofta, a typical Patiala delight. There is Gajrela shakara or black carrot Halwa dipped in Rabri to round off your meal. A meal for a single person comes for Rs 1,500 plus taxes.

A visit to Seasonal Tastes, the all-day dining 56-seater outlet offers the widest array of buffet options in the city. The outlet provides panoramic views of the city. The menu on offer includes Continental, Asian, and Indian. There are live cooking stations including South Indian and Asian for breakfast. The tea counter is a strong pull for beverage lovers. The outlet has separate counters for chaat, grill, Asian, and street food for lunch buffet. The buffet spread offers a variety of scrumptious delicacies with an extensive list of desserts. There are separate options for those fasting. A buffet lunch is tagged at Rs 1,550 plus taxes per person while a buffet dinner is priced at Rs 1,699 for a single person.  Those non-resident guests looking to savour buffet breakfast will have to shell out Rs 950.

The global hospitality group lays special emphasis on health and wellness and has a wellness floor comprising Heavenly Spa by Westin. Wellness is highly essential to soothe the tired nerves of a weary traveller. Heavenly Spa specializes in a host of body massages using white tea oil and the common massages on offer are Heavenly Spa signature massage, Relax Swedish massage, jet lag reliever, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, revitalizing, and detox massage. For those suffering from insomnia, dark circles, and puffiness around the eyes, the spa .provides one-of-a-kind treatment therapies that include opti-firm eye treatment. A 60-minute massage session is priced at Rs 4,400 while a 90-minute therapy comes for Rs 5,500. Besides, all the treatment facilities have 18 percent taxes.   

The luxury business property witnessed a quantum jump of 57 percent in its revenue last year. Subhash Sinha, General Manager, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat commented, “Our property has surpassed all pre-Covid figures in terms of revenue last year. We have not forgotten the difficult times during the pandemic and we had to figure out ways to survive and overcome the challenges. We were able to generate new business ideas that are relevant to earn more revenue. Our property has recorded around 30 percent growth in market share. We have our inward thinking strategy and the biggest challenge was to take care of our manpower since they look after our business. We are keeping with the basics of hospitality. We stress the satisfaction of our guests and believe in retaining our employees in order to provide consistent service. We believe in changing ourselves.” The hospitality player hosts familiarization trips for MICE groups every quarter.

The hospitality player begs to differ from other luxury properties in many aspects.  Sinha said, “We have the most number of rooms, pillarless banquet spreading over an area of 14,000 sq. ft, a lawn of 21,000 ft area, the largest swimming pool, and the highest tower in the city. Our hotel has a great fitness center, spa and offers one-of-a-kind dining options.”

In the context of growth, Sinha further said, “Our property stood at 79 percent occupancy last year and we are eyeing about 30 percent more growth in revenue in the existing period. Being the biggest hospitality chain in the country, our group will be the market leader two years on.”    

by Swaati Chaudhury

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