new year: Party animals check in, hotels sold out for New Year’s eve

Still looking for a last-minute booking to ring in the New Year?

You may not get a room or may have to burn a big hole in your pocket, as accommodation providers across segments report sold-out or nearly sold-out inventory. Where rooms are still available, the rates are high.

“We are seeing tremendous demand… It shows that the energy to celebrate and spend time with friends and family among people is very strong,” said Kanika Hasrat, area director for Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand at Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL).

While the year has seen a great run so far, the New Year will be the icing on the cake, and December, a record-breaking month across the Tata Group-owned chain’s portfolio of hotels, said Hasrat, who is also the general manager for Taj Lakefront Bhopal. “While both our properties in Rishikesh are sold out, rooms are 90% booked at other hotels in the region and restaurants are sold out.”

According to hotel industry executives, the demand is not limited to resorts and leisure destinations, as properties in cities too are booked to the full. Vikramjit Singh, president at Lemon Tree Hotels, said the chain’s city centre hotels in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi were seeing very high demand. People may want to avoid being stuck on the roads after partying, he said.

Wyndham’s properties in Gangtok, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chandigarh, Chennai, Mussoorie, Kasauli, Jamshedpur, Bengaluru, Jalandhar and Gurgaon were close to being sold out, if not already, as on Friday for New Year’s eve, said Nikhil Sharma, regional director for Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

“We have seen bookings from guests who are locals for staycations as they prefer to party and stay at hotels. We have seen special festive packages selling out at our hotels in locations ranging from Aligarh to Chennai. Most hotels offer a gala dinner for December 25 and 31, that boosts overall occupancies and revenues,” he added.
Vibhas Prasad, director of the Leisure Hotels Group that operates properties in Rishikesh, Corbett, Dharamshala, Goa and Nainital, said the business would be better than the pre-pandemic 2019 and much better than last year when the chain had seen cancellations following the threat of the third Covid wave. “The average daily rates would be 20% higher compared to 2019. Some of our properties are operating at around 95% occupancy rates and people may still make last-minute plans,” he added.

Neemrana properties such as Neemrana Hill Fort Kesroli in Rajasthan, Deo Bagh in Gwalior and The Tower House in Kochi; Radisson hotels such as Radisson Goa Candolim; and The Leela Palace Udaipur are sold out for December 31 as per their websites.

Hoteliers familiar with the matter said room rates for The Leela Palace Udaipur were around Rs 1 lakh a night compared with an average of around Rs 60,000. Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts did not respond to an email seeking comment till the time of going to press Friday.

Amit Kumar Thakur, general manager, Pilibhit House – IHCL SeleQtions said

the tariff for new year’s eve celebrations which currently stands at Rs 30,000, has risen by 10% from last year.

“We have seen an upswing in both the occupancy and tariffs this year. Pent-up demand of domestic leisure travelers, particularly multi-generational travelers, is keeping us busy,” he said.

“At Pilibhit House-IHCL SeleQtions, the average occupancy has soared to 94% with our highest category suites being sold out on all three days,” he added.

While some hoteliers thought Goa may not see the kind of demand they were anticipating this week, with hotels and airfares being substantially high, Nilesh Shah, president of the Travel & Tourism Association of Goa was optimistic and said all the top hotels were 95% booked and should report among the highest average room rates in India.

“Based on our preview, the average room rates of top hotels are quite good, and all the star category hotels are almost sold out. We have also started getting charter flights from Russia, the UK, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. While sound restrictions are there, there has been some relaxation for New Year parties inside clubs and halls and we expect them to continue,” he added.

Deep Banka, chief operating officer at backpacker hostel brand Zostel, said nearly all of its properties had been sold out for this weekend.

“Average daily rate in line with seasonality is always higher during this time of the year, and there is a simultaneous surge in the number of travellers during this time. We are currently running at 100% occupancy,” he said.

SP Jain, chairman of Pride Hotels Ltd, said overall occupancy rates were up by 50% compared with last year.

Next Post

Why a $50M park planned for Toronto’s waterfront needs a donor

A huge, free and adventure-packed playground awaits kids on the waterfront … if wealthy Torontonians can be convinced to direct their cash from the hospitals and universities adept at landing the city’s super-donors. The playground planned for Villiers Island, a new island being created by Waterfront Toronto at the mouth […]