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Orange County Resorts Announce the Opening of Orange County, Kabini

Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd., a brand symbolic of luxury resorts in India, today set another benchmark in luxury by announcing the opening of its new luxury resort, Orange County, Kabini. Retaining Orange County’s values of respect for the purity of nature and culture of the land, this resort, inspired in design by the mud-walled Hadis (Village) of the Kadu Kurubas, is built on the banks of the Kabini River, in the land of the Kadu kuruba tribe of Nagarhole forest in Karnataka, India.

The property is spread across 20-acres of land and has been built in 16 months, with an investment of Rs. 20 crores (US $5 million). Truly tribal in character, the cottages have been built using a high degree of local environment friendly material, to blend-in with the surroundings.

Orange County - Kabini offers two kinds of tribal themed suites, 26 Jacuzzi Huts and 8 Pool Huts. Both feature a spacious bedroom, en-suite bathroom, a separate living room and two sit outs designed in the inimitable style of the Hadis (Kadu kuruba homes). Private Pool huts – offer a private space of 2332 sqft, inclusive of a private pool with a built in Jacuzzi in an open-to-sky courtyard. Jacuzzi huts – offer the finest comforts in 1233 sqft of private space. They come with a private Jacuzzi in an open–to–sky courtyard. The comforts and conveniences provided help in enjoying very luxurious live-in experience.

“Our resort at Kabini is our second offering to our patrons. With this, we have once again accomplished our motto of developing luxury without disturbing the nature and maintaining its sanctity”, said Mr. Abe T. Ramapuram, Vice Chairman, Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd. He further added, “Keeping with the brand’s key values of eco-sensitivity, plastic mineral water bottles are discouraged at the resort. A Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant, installed in each room, provides 100% safe drinking water while reducing the negative impact of over 50,000 plastic bottles every year. State of the art sewage treatment plant, with an output of stream water standards, ensures least impact on the environment. A dedicated windmill at a cost of Rs. 3.2 crores ensures that our resort uses clean environment friendly power”.

About Orange County, Kabini

The resort is surrounded on two sides by Kabini River. The resort is in line with the Kuruba Village theme. Hence the d├ęcor is in line with the atmosphere. The palm thatched mud-style huts are well complemented by the comforts of modern day air conditioning, lamp shades made of dried bottle gourd, light up the thoughtfully laid out interiors of the huts. In addition, a village well and a haystack add to the distinctive village flavor.

About Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd.

“Orange County” is a brand name created by Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd., which is a Public Limited Company and part of the Ramapuram Group. In the year 1994, the company had launched its first luxury resort, Orange County Resort - Coorg, a holiday resort targeted at the discerning traveler. In the year 2000, the Resort added a state-of-the-art "Ayurveda Village", a beautiful Ayurveda center in ethnic Kodava architecture, to its facilities. From the days of its Founder (a lawyer and a planter) and spanning three generations, The Ramapuram Group has built up a strong reputation for ethical business practices and uncompromising values. Today, the group has over Rs. 100-Crores in net assets. The Ramapuram family has a rich tradition of accomplished personalities such as the first Speaker of the Kerala State Assembly, a Director of Medical Health of Southern India, a Chief of Medical Division of the Indian Army, a Vice Chancellor of The Mahatma Gandhi University (Kerala), apart from one of the earliest accomplished professional planters of that time.

Some salient awards and recognition captured by this group and its resorts:

Orange County, Coorg has been widely covered by the national and international media including the TIME magazine, Conde Nast Traveller and more.

The Resort Condominiums International has bestowed the award of "Resort of International Distinction", for five consecutive years, a feat achieved by no other resort in India.

Every year from 2002, the resort at Coorg has consistently achieved the "RCI Gold Crown Award", RCI's highest accolade for surpassing international standards of excellence in Resort Quality and Hospitality.

Five-star hotels allowed to operate casinos in Goa

The state government has permitted managements of five-star hotels to operate casinos, wherein only slot machines were allowed, but somehow the authorities failed to tap the source of additional income that could have flowed from them.

Though the state is a global tourist destination, it does not have enough infrastructure or amenities to retain tourists for a longer duration as such the authorities allowed setting up of casinos that would help the hoteliers retain tourists for longer period as well as it would generate some income for the state.

In order to prevent misuse of such facilities, the state authorities allowed only five-star and above category hotels to set up these “gaming” facilities so as to prevent the common man from ‘squandering’ his earnings.

Initially the operators were permitted to operate the casinos on payment of licence fee of Rs 10 lakh and they had to pay an annual recurring fee of Rs 40,000 for the mother machine and for every additional machine Rs 30,000 each. The casino operators are permitted to install as many as 20 machines in each property.

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Oberoi and Hilton part ways

Written by Anurag on Thursday, September 27, 2007 · India, Corporate

Trident HiltonThe 4 year long marketing and co-branding agreement between East India Hotels and Hilton International has been terminated effective April 2008. As such 8 ‘Trident Hilton’ properties in India having 1900 rooms would be rebranded as ‘Trident’ while the ‘The Hilton Towers’ in Mumbai would be known as ‘Trident Towers’.

The existing properties were mostly situated at leisure destinations and positioned at 5-star segment. The alliance was primarily setup wherein EIH was responsible for management and marketing in India while Hilton was responsible for the sales and marketing of the hotels worldwide.

Inspite of Trident Hilton properties accounting for 45% room inventory of East India Hotels, the occupancy rate was low and there wasn’t any significant improvement after alliance with Hilton.

As such Oberois wanted to develop ‘Trident’ brand on their own and expand their reach in business destinations such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Calcutta.

On the other hand, Hilton is also expanding itself and has tied up with DLF for building 75 hotels across India. It is also bringing its mid-market brand such as Garden Inn to India which Oberoi felt could have diluted their brand image since it is perceived to be an up-market brand.

Fearing this equity dilution, Oberoi earlier had parted its alliance with “The Leading Hotels of The World”.

The parting of two hotel giants could pave way for better infrastructure and more room inventory catering to different markets. However, having brand such as ‘Hilton’ could have given Oberoi hotels an edge in its international expansion.


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Stay in India for free

Hotel rooms in India tend to be expensive and hard to find, but a new Web site is helping visitors find a bed, with a warm conversation thrown in, all for free.

While most hosts on www.extrabed.in offer a spare bed and an Internet connection, some offer sightseeing tours, endless cups of coffee or even a game of Scrabble to add that personal touch.

The Web site was born after its founder, Kiruba Shankar, randomly contacted bloggers in Mumbai to see if anyone would put him up. He found several.

"The blogger I stayed with had a small house and he could only offer me a mat to sleep on," said Shankar, 34, who had tired of staying in hotels during his travels.

"But we had a lot of fun and ended up playing videogames all night. I preferred sleeping on the ground at this guy's place rather than stay in irritatingly clean and inhuman hotels."

Shankar floated the Web site in January and immediately found takers for the free hospitality network service. The site is similar to www.couchsurfing.com, which also offers travelers the use of a spare bed or couch for free and which has more than 300,000 members globally, with thousands more signing up weekly.

Indian hotel industry officials say a booming economy has led to a severe shortage of hotel rooms across all price brackets and an exponential rise in tariffs as well.

ExtraBed is only for bloggers, and hence users wary of giving strangers access to their homes can read the potential visitors' blogs to understand them.

Source: Reuters