Direct Bookings See Exponential Growth During Off-Season With Simplotel Hotel E-commerce
Fateh Collection is a boutique hotel chain situated in the heart of regal Rajasthan. This exotic & renaissance hospitality chain offers travellers the experience of the Rajasthani and Indian heritage.
The hospitality chain was founded in 1990 and is conceived, owned and operated by the Kelwa family. Dushyant Singh Rathore, (a scion of the Kelwa family and Director of Fateh Collection), says, “Fateh Collection was named after my great-grandfather. The word ‘Fateh’ also means victory in Hindi, which completely resonates with everything we do in the modern sense.”
The first property built, Rampratap Palace Hotel, is nestled on the banks of the Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur and is also home to the Kelwas. Initially, only a six-room property, Rampratap Palace now boasts 30-rooms with Rajput-style interiors and is also accompanied by an august restaurant called Raaj Bagh (which translates to King’s Garden in English).
Fateh Bagh, based in Ranakpur which lies between Jodhpur and Udaipur, was then commissioned in 2004 and has been on lease with the HRH Group of Hotels. This was a path-breaking property as 65,000 pieces of stone along with concaves and pillars were transported from Bhilwara to preserve the original architecture and combine it with modern styles, resulting in a princely panache.
Fateh Garh (Udaipur), Fateh Safari Resort & Fateh Safari Suites (Kumbhalgarh), and Fateh Niwas (Udaipur) make up the portfolio. All the hotels are emblems of eco-friendly and sustainable development with solar panels, wind mills and other installations.
“We had decided to onboard Simplotel Hotel E-commerce (Hotel Website Builder & Booking Engine) as we received great feedback about the increase in direct bookings & customer support from various hoteliers around Udaipur. We wanted to experiment with our website as our direct room nights were close to nil, except for wedding inquiries. We onboarded Simplotel in February. The period from May to August is our off-season. However, we saw our direct bookings hit 20% of our total online occupancy. Honestly, we were hoping for anywhere between 5-10% in direct bookings,” says Rathore. He adds that the analytics dashboard has also been a valuable feature as it provides metrics on everything that is needed.
Rathore believes that the website and booking engine provides a state-of-the-art booking journey experience which has improved customer retention. This has helped Fateh Collection to differentiate from its competition operating in the heritage hotel category in Udaipur. “We were able to sell experiences by incorporating a lot of add-ons on the booking engine. This is not possible on online travel agencies (OTAs) as only your rooms and meal rates are listed. Today, if a family wants to visit our hotel, they know that we also offer activities such as zip-lining, archery, horse riding, and much more through our website and booking engine.”
Rathore believes Simplotel's most valuable asset is its customer support. “The team is extremely responsive, especially on WhatsApp which is our preferred mode of communication. Our concerns are answered well in time. The other great value about the team is that they are always keen to try new ideas put forth by us.
For people to wish to enter the hospitality industry, he advises them to hone their public-speaking and man-management skills. “Hospitality is about people!”