One of Delhi’s most elite addresses, the exclusive DLF-owned Aman Hotel, has recently been re-christened The Lodhi (an ode to its earlier nom de plume when the place was owned by the Indian government). The move follows DLF’s decision to re-sell the hotel to its original owner Adrian Zecha for $300 million, and even as DLF will retain the marquee Delhi property, it will relinquish the “?man” brand name.
Originally a red brick-colored government hotel with a decidedly socialist design, the place underwent a marked social acclimatization by hosting the city’s crème de la crème during its stint with ?man resorts, with patrons that include the likes of political royalty such as Rahul Gandhi and Robert Vadra.
Armed to the teeth in luxury, the hotel also houses an apartment block where some of India’s most moneyed gentlemen including DLF promoter Rajiv Singh, reside. However, luxury aside, the hotel has not been faring well considering its sky-high price tags on hotel rooms and even general meals.
“It was seen as a very remote, very elitist hotel. The perception is that it is very expensive,” said Robyn Bickford, General Manager, The Lodhi.
Even as industry experts estimate that the property will lose its dedicated fan base of ?man loyalists, Bickford continues to remain positive about the overhaul and is keen to do away with hotel’s elitist tag.
The makeover will see the property’s dim lit restaurants become brighter and more appealing with the help of natural light as well as lush corridors speckled with artworks and installations.
The hotel, which has seen a positive change in the mix of foreign and Indian guests since the overhaul process began last year, has kept the rates for Indian residents 40% lower than their actual rates, and the coming summer might see that discount increase further, thereby attracting a more diverse range of Indian travelers.
Another interesting change will be the hotel’s decision to open its gates to the city’s gen Y by making extensive use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest to make the place more lively and accessible to youth.