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Sarovar sees 500% growth in revenue from direct bookings

Rooftop Pool at Night Hotel - Bangkok

Night Hotels hits 8% in direct bookings with Simplotel

The chain of 5-star hotels scaled a milestone of 200 monthly room nights in three months after onboarding Simplotel Hotel E-commerce.

Most of us do not take the road less traveled. But then you have Sarovar Hotels and Resorts who did, and they became trailblazers in the Indian hospitality industry.

Sarovar operates 96 hotels across 55 destinations worldwide. One of the leading hotel chains in India, Sarovar was founded by Anil Madhok (Executive Chairman) and Ajay Bakaya (Managing Director) nearly a quarter of a century ago. Sarovar Hotels was the first mover in India to adopt the asset-light model, where it manages and services other hotel properties through strategic alliances with other chains.

Sarovar started operations when it took franchises of Park Plaza and Park Inn brands for India. A decade later (circa 2005), Sarovar began promoting its own brands: Portico, Hometel and Premiere. Fast-forward to another decade and the Louvre Hotels Group, one of Europe’s leading hospitality brands, purchased a stake in Sarovar in 2017. Another milestone in this impressive growth story.

Night Hotels, formerly part of the Dream Hotel Group, is a chain of five-star hotels across multiple cities — New York City & Bangkok.

Night Hotel Broadway is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, which provides easy access to popular attractions such as Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Lincoln Center, and more via the subway.

Night Hotel Bangkok was known as Dream Hotel Bangkok when it started its operations in 2006. Located in the heart of Thailand’s capital, Night Hotel Bangkok is a five-star hotel that offers 195 stylishly-designed rooms and suites across eight categories to its guests. Just a stone's throw away from the BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, Shopping Mall Terminal 21 & Korean Town, the hotel is also the perfect gateway to Bangkok’s nightlife and night markets.

Shatabdi Dutta, General Manager (Marketing) at Sarovar, believes that Simplotel’s USP is its digital marketing service. “Simplotel helped us rank in terms of traffic generation across online channels and drive conversions. We received great technical support from the team, which we lacked earlier. The website design is great and user friendly. We have received positive feedback from guests that the booking journey does not take much time, is hassle free, and most importantly, the mobile site is responsive!”

Matthieu Reynaud, General Manager of Night Hotel Bangkok, has nearly three decades of experience in hospitality. Starting at the age of 21, Matthieu opened his own restaurant among many other ventures. He has worked in various countries including France, Canada, Qatar, Maldives and Thailand. “When I began my career, I always wanted to work for an international organisation. I was never afraid to take risks. My career provided me with learnings of various cultures. Most importantly, I learned how to deal with the expectations of guests of different nationalities.” Matthieu has been recognized as one of Thailand’s Best General Managers at CMO Asia 2023. He has been associated with Night Hotel Bangkok for the past seven years.

Lobby of Night Hotel Bangkok

Night Hotel Bangkok decided to onboard Simplotel Hotel E-commerce after witnessing a tremendous jump in direct bookings at Night Hotel Broadway. “We first let Simplotel design our website. We love the user interface, designs and content — which showcases our brand well. We then onboarded the Simplotel Booking Engine. Honestly, the backend of the booking engine is powerful yet simple to use. We are leveraging its features to drive more direct bookings with customisable rate plans and promotions,” says Matthieu.

“Our previous booking engine was quite complicated to use. Their support was not consistent and everything had to be configured by our team. With Simplotel, the support is consistent and I would even go on to say over-proactive. We get constant feedback on our promotions, rate plans, SEO and various other concerns that have helped us hit phenomenal numbers. If there’s an issue, we get responses instantly via WhatsApp, email or call,” adds Matthieu.

Living Area of Gold Suite at Night Hotel Bangkok

Within three months of onboarding Simplotel, Night Hotel Bangkok scaled 200 monthly room nights, which has been their highest since they started operations. Currently, Night Hotel Bangkok generates 35% of its business online, and has scaled 8% of its total occupancy through Simplotel. “Our aim is to double these room nights in 2024. Although, it’s still early to comment on our overall improvement, Simplotel Digital Marketing has helped us improve our conversions on our website by optimising our content, page titles, meta descriptions, keywords, alt-text and other techy issues.”

Matthieu believes that to succeed in hospitality, one needs to take risks. He recalls a Nelson Mandela’s quote, ‘I never lose. I either win or I learn’. The second important quality is patience to deal with pressure. “In hospitality, you need to face various challenges and still have a smile on your face. The only way to ensure this is through consistency and constantly excelling in your work and service.”

Within a year of onboarding Simplotel, Sarovar had hit over 3x growth in revenue from direct bookings. In another year, this growth doubled to 6x since it went live with Simplotel. “We were able to use Simplotel’s technology to begin promotions and campaigns that gave us a major boost”, says Khan. The average monthly organic traffic also nearly doubled for The Louvre Hotels-backed hospitality chain. However, this was only possible as Sarovar had managed to put their vision into action and achieve the almost impossible in such a short span of time.

On personal learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, both Khan and Dutta agree that they have learned to live life more passionately and prioritize family. On the professional front, they have learned to think out of the box to jumpstart Sarovar’s operations and forge deeper connections with their partners.

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