The Orchid Hotel: Welcome to the Abode of Unparalleled Warmth Infused with Indian Hospitality

The Orchid Hotel
The Orchid Hotel

Since time immemorial, hotels have been portable homes for avid travelers, which they can carry in their hearts wherever they go. Hotels have been more than mere accommodations; they are havens for explorers seeking comfort, luxury, and a taste of local hospitality. Nestled across India’s vibrant landscape and synonymous with exceptional hospitality, The Orchid Hotel is a beacon for travelers seeking extraordinary experiences.

The travelling flock of nationally and internationally touring birds on their journeys find solace in the cozy atmosphere and feeling of comfort in the cushy warmth of Indian hospitality, from Mumbai to Pune, Lonavala, Shimla, Manali, Jamnagar, from Puri to Goa, and across all the major destinations in India. Whenever adventurous touring spirits enter their next place of exploration, their legs turn towards The Orchid Hotel, India’s most spectacular chain of hotels, to have their life’s best experiences of lifetimes again, and again, always and forever.

Pan-India, The Orchid Hotel chain has carved its place as India’s most spectacular hospitality destination. Welcoming a diverse array of national and international travellers, this renowned chain encapsulates the essence of cozy comfort and unparalleled warmth infused with Indian hospitality. For adventurous and seasoned travelers, The Orchid Hotel has become the go-to destination, offering a treasure trove of unforgettable moments, ensuring each stay becomes a cherished memory to be relived time and again.

Taking great pride in sharing his insights about The Orchid Hotel and its associated properties, Vishal Vithal Kamat, the Executive Director, Kamat Hotels India Limited, says The Orchid Hotel, as Asia’s first Ecotel 5-star chain of hotels, exemplifies its unwavering commitment to eco-friendly practices in its daily operations.

In Mumbai and Pune, The Orchid Hotels are renowned for their exceptional offerings, catering primarily to business travelers. On the other hand, The Orchid properties in Lonavala, Shimla, Manali and Jamnagar have earned a special place in the hearts of leisure travelers. Each location offers a unique and immersive experience nestled in the heart of their respective cities.

The Orchid Hotel MumbaiAsia’s first certified 5-star Ecotel Hotel

The Orchid Hotel Mumbai stands as a pinnacle of luxury and environmental responsibility, holding the distinction of being Asia’s first certified 5-star Ecotel Hotel. Firmly rooted in the belief of “Atithi Devo Bhava”—where the guest is revered akin to the divine—the hotel extends gratitude and devotion to each guest. From the traditional ‘Namaskar’ greeting at the entrance, the experience leaves an indelible mark in the hearts of visitors, embodying a friendly approach to guests, staff, and nature.

Strategically positioned just a kilometer from the domestic airport and five kilometers from the international airport, the hotel enjoys seamless connectivity to key Mumbai travel and commercial hubs. It’s notably close to prominent locations like the Bandra Kurla Complex and Goregaon Exhibition Centre, catering to business and leisure travelers. The Orchid Hotel Mumbai boasts a diverse range of restaurants, each exuding a unique ambience, personality, and cultural influence, making them stand out in Mumbai’s culinary landscape.

Moreover, their culinary excellence is accentuated by their commitment to utilizing the finest, locally sourced ingredients.

One notable gem within the hotel is “South of Vindhyas,” a hidden culinary treasure in Mumbai. This establishment introduces diners to the diverse and delectable flavours of four southern Indian states. Master Chef Bala Subramanian and his team are dedicated to creating mouthwatering dishes and transporting taste buds to a culinary paradise. The dining experience at South of Vindhya’s is unique, offering a sit-down buffet in an ambience inspired by Mangalorean estate houses. The traditional attire of the hostess and the Southern instrumental music and culture infuse authenticity into the atmosphere.

Guests can savour dishes like the Spicy Kodi Vepudu Chicken and the aromatic Meen Biryani, leaving taste buds dancing with joy. The influence of Kamat’s family recipes, inspired by their matriarchs, adds a personal touch to the cuisine. This inviting estate house not only celebrates the culinary heritage of southern India but also immerses guests in its unique culture and ambience, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience at The Orchid Hotel Mumbai.

Fort JadhavgadhA Peek into Maratha Heritage with Unparalleled luxury

Fort JadhavGadh, a historic gem dating back to 1710, is a living testament to India’s rich heritage. It allows travelers to step back in time and relive the Maratha legacy. The meticulous preservation of managerial roles and unique features within the Fort ensures an authentic and culturally rich experience. Fort JadhavGadh in Pune also fulfils the dream of an authentic heritage wedding.

Nestled atop the scenic Saswad hills in Pune, Maharashtra, Fort JadhavGadh – A Gadh Heritage Hotel offers a captivating window into the opulent Maratha legacy spanning centuries. Situated at 2,511 feet above sea level, this unparalleled Fort Heritage Hotel sprawls over 25 acres of lush greenery and hillocks. Pioneering the concept of a Museum Fort Hotel globally, it immerses visitors in the regal Maratha lifestyle of yesteryears while providing modern amenities and luxurious comfort.

A highlight of this destination is ‘Aai’, the transformed horse-stable-turned-museum. The personal collection of Dr Vithal Venkatesh Kamat, Chairman of Kamat Hotels India Ltd, gives a peek into Maharashtra’s rich and cultured past. Each artefact within echoes a four-century-old history, making this museum a captivating attraction.

Vishal and his team swear by the hotel’s commitment to preserving historical significance and heritage charm while curating exceptional experiences for their guests. At Fort JadhavGadh, the rooms, referred to as ‘Kholis’ in Marathi, seamlessly blend modern comforts with the Fort’s historic walls, ensuring heritage preservation. The Deluxe Rooms exude heritage essence in their interiors, satisfying the expectations of discerning patrons.

The Premium Rooms with Hill View offer a majestic panorama of lawns and surrounding hills, evoking a regal sensation akin to overseeing a kingdom. For a romantic touch, the Premium Rooms with Rain Shower are popular, letting guests enjoy a starlit bathing experience. The Maharaja and Maharani Suites blend old-world charm and modern luxury, providing a unique royal stay. The Royal Tents, fully air-conditioned and surrounding a 300-year-old pond, offer an adventurous yet elegant experience.

Fort JadhavGadh presents an array of culinary delights, taking guests on a gastronomic journey. Chhajja, an all-day dining restaurant perched on the upper level, allows guests to dine like kings while overlooking the fields. Payatha, the Ethnic Foothill Restaurant, serves authentic Marathi and Indian cuisine.

The hotel’s stunning swimming pool amidst the serene natural beauty invites guests to unwind and relax. The spa offers rejuvenating treatments, enhancing the overall experience. Engaging fort tours, exploring ancient dungeons, and participating in farm activities enrich the historical and rural experiences available.

Guests are also treated to captivating traditional Marathi arts such as ‘Danpatta’ and ‘Lavani’. These vibrant performances showcase the cultural heritage of Maharashtra and provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the region’s rich traditions and art forms.

The Fort was originally built in the 17th century by Pilaji Jadhav Rao, a Maratha warrior from the Jadhav dynasty. The Fort played an important role in the Maratha empire and was used as a military stronghold during various battles and campaigns.

One of the most famous events associated with Fort JadhavGadh is its connection to Bajirao-I, the legendary Peshwa who served as the prime minister of the Maratha empire. Bajirao-I is said to have visited the Fort several times and used it as a base for his military campaigns.

Today, Fort JadhavGadh has been restored and converted into a luxury hotel, offering guests the opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of the region. The Fort’s architecture, with its grand gates, ornate carvings, and spacious courtyards, provides a glimpse into the grandeur and splendor of India’s royal past.

Lotus Eco Resort Konark, Odisha 

Lotus Eco Resort, Konark, is a serene oasis in the heart of the Konark Marine Drive. This eco-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of luxury and sustainability, providing guests with a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The resort’s contemporary design seamlessly blends with the natural surroundings, creating an elegant and earthy ambience.

Guests staying at Lotus Eco Resort can indulge in various unique experiences showcasing Odisha’s culture, wellness, and cuisine. The resort’s Ayurvedic spa offers treatments and therapies to rejuvenate and revitalize the mind, body, and soul. Guests can also participate in yoga and meditation classes conducted by expert instructors, providing a peaceful and serene environment. Food lovers will be delighted by the resort’s culinary offerings, which showcase Odisha’s authentic and diverse flavours. From local seafood delicacies to traditional Odia thalis, the resort’s restaurant is a culinary delight for guests.

The resort also offers a range of activities and experiences that allow guests to explore Odisha’s rich heritage and culture. Guests can tour the nearby Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or participate in traditional dance and music performances. The resort also offers nature walks, bird watching, and cycling tours, providing a unique way to explore the region’s natural beauty.

Lotus Eco Resort, Konark, is a haven of luxury and sustainability that offers its guests a range of unique experiences. From wellness and culture to food and nature, the resort promises to create unforgettable memories for those seeking a peaceful and enriching retreat.

Top five attractions for travelers:

*Puri – Shree Jagannath Temple: Pay homage to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra and experience the intricate artworks of the ancient Ganga Dynasty.

*Konark – Sun Temple: Witness exquisite Kalinga architecture devoted to Lord Surya, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

*Chilika Lake: Explore an untamed beauty with rare species, migratory birds and enchanting sunrise/sunset.

*Raghurajpur: Visit a small hamlet showcasing vibrant houses and Pattachitra art, one of the oldest art forms of Odisha.

*Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary: A dense forest with a diverse ecosphere offering a stunning view of the coastal dunes, sandy beaches and exotic cashew plantations.

Mahodadhi Palace in Puri, once a summer palace, now seamlessly combines old-world charm with contemporary luxury, transforming it into a world-class heritage hotel. And let’s not forget the enchanting Lotus Eco Beach properties in Konark, Goa, and Murud. They are a haven for leisure travelers, offering stunning locations and outstanding services that captivate the senses.

Lastly, IRA by Orchid Hotels, our latest edition of the newest upper mid-market hotel chain, presents a unique blend of tradition and innovation,” says Vishal. This chain is specifically designed to cater to the modern Indian traveler with a taste for adventure, exceptional cuisine, and top-notch banquet facilities. The Orchid Hotel and its associated properties truly offer diverse experiences, catering to a wide spectrum of travelers.

The Big-Hearted Leadership of Greatness

Vishal is the Executive Director at Kamat Group (listed on BSE/NSE) and Kamat Hotels India Ltd, a prominent player in India’s hospitality and food service industry. A graduate of IHMCTAN Mumbai, he boasts over 15 years of experience in hospitality. With expertise in national and global hospitality, Vishal directs operational functions, management portfolios, and overall performance at both corporate and property levels. He leads a team of industry experts, driving the flagship brands of Kamat Hotels India Ltd: ‘The Orchid,’ Asia’s pioneer 5-Star Ecotel Hotel; ‘Fort JadhavGadh,’ Maharashtra’s sole fort heritage hotel; and the recent launch, IRA by Orchid Hotels—a new mid-segment hotel chain. His responsibilities encompass fund management, human resources, acquisitions, structuring, and strategic business planning. Vishal’s vision, approach, and leadership have invigorated the group’s standing in the industry.

Vishal’s journey in the hospitality sector commenced at the young age of 13, actively engaged in his family’s restaurants until graduation. Immersed at the grassroots level, he imbibed business intricacies from senior staff, eventually kindling a passion. Post-graduation, he expanded his culinary horizons at ‘Vithal Kamat’s – Original Family Restaurant.’ Guided by his father, Dr Vithal Venkatesh Kamat, he played a pivotal role in transforming the restaurant chain into one of the country’s revered brands, focusing on kitchen standardization and centralization.

Under Vishal’s guidance, Kamat Hotels India Ltd established Maharashtra’s sole Heritage Hotel, ‘Fort JadhavGadh,’ in Pune. Renowned for innovative planning and implementation, he has successfully overseen the completion of various projects. Vishal actively collaborates with state tourism boards to establish hotel properties in leisure destinations and promote tourism, such as in Odisha.

As an engaged leader in the hospitality industry, Vishal is associated with multiple travel industry trade associations and hospitality federations. He is a sought-after guest lecturer at premier institutes and colleges, a testament to his reputation and leadership qualities. His achievements have earned him several recognitions, including the ’Young Achiever 2013 Award’ from the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce Industry, among other accolades.

Moreover, Vishal’s leadership style is recognized as a driving force behind the success of The Orchid Hotel. Shedding light on his approach to leadership, Vishal says, “For me, true leadership isn’t defined by the title ‘leader. I find value in presenting a project or task in a way that inspires the team, turning it into a challenge they eagerly embrace and excel at. Delegating responsibilities and empowering team members to make key decisions is a fundamental aspect of my approach.”

Vishal maintains an open-door policy, encouraging his team to approach him freely with ideas or challenges and fostering open discussions to find thoughtful solutions. For him, being a leader entails delegation, approachability, and cultivating an environment where team members willingly engage, setting it apart from merely being a boss. “I prioritize embodying leadership over a boss-like role,” he states.

The Widest Spectrum of Indian Hospitality

According to Vishal, in today’s global hospitality niche, to ensure The Orchid Hotel remains a hallmark of Indian hospitality, there are distinctive aspects which he completely focuses on. “I believe food plays a significant role in every hospitality business. It helps strengthen a deep connection with guests and is an essence of our Kamat brand.”

At Orchid Hotel Mumbai, their ‘South of Vindhya’s’ restaurant offers authentic Vindhya’s cuisine, fostering a deep bond with their guests, including both travelers and long-term patrons from Mumbai.

Similarly, Fort JadhavGadh’s ‘Payatha’ serves traditional Maharashtrian cuisine, creating a unique dining experience for Punekars and greatly cherished by leisure travelers visiting from across the country and beyond, leaving lasting memories. Their Rooftop Bar – ‘Mostly Grills’ at The Orchid Mumbai, is renowned for its breathtaking airport runway view and diverse cuisine, “Especially during November when we run a special Kebab Festival – a highly anticipated event for Mumbaikars and our loyal repeat guests.”

Sustainability and environmental responsibility are crucial aspects of the modern hotel industry.

As an Ecotel Hotel, The Orchid Hotel places great importance on foundational aspects like an efficient waste management system and employing colour-coded bins for effective waste segregation. Wet waste undergoes decomposition and is transformed into vermicompost, used for gardening, with dedicated cold storage to mitigate unpleasant odors.

Vishal further informs, “Energy conservation is one of our central focuses, incorporating natural sunlight in the hotel lobby through a glass dome atrium and implementing motion sensors for lighting in public areas. Each room in our hotels features Pumba panels, allowing guests to regulate room temperature and control electricity consumption. We emphasize eco-friendly practices such as extensive tree plantation drives, EV vehicle adoption, and efficient water usage through tap aerators, reducing water flow while maintaining pressure.” Sewage water is treated in a dedicated plant and repurposed for gardening and air conditioning.

Vishal and his team’s commitment to the three R’s—Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce—is steadfast. “We use recycled wood for interiors and in-room amenities such as hangers, toothbrushes, combs, and writing tables,” he mentions. During banquet events and weddings, only green plants are utilized for decoration, avoiding the use of flowers.

Tech-Improvised Personal Connect 

In today’s world, Vishal recognizes technology’s paramount role in ensuring customer satisfaction. The modern traveler is tech-savvy and frequently on the move, which has heightened their expectations for world-class amenities wherever they go. “Leveraging the capabilities of AI and ML, we can maintain comprehensive records of guest preferences and favourites, providing a significant advantage in catering to our frequent visitors. Given our substantial base of repeat customers, these features truly set us apart in effectively serving our brand loyalists,” reveals Vishal.

Furthermore, at The Orchid Hotels, they are committed to employing cutting-edge technology to enhance the overall consumer experience. Their use of advanced cameras, baggage scanners, and Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD) ensures the safety of their guests within the hotel premises. Their express check-in and check-out options offers the convenience of settling payments online, sparing the guests from waiting in lengthy lobby queues during these processes.

Inside their rooms, they have incorporated Pumba panels, which simplify the control of lighting and air conditioning, adding to the comfort and ease of our guests. “Despite these technological advancements in our hospitality operations, I firmly believe that maintaining a personal connection and genuine guest interaction remains paramount to us,” says Vishal.

The Fountain of an Everlasting Joy

The Orchid Hotel has achieved remarkable success. Highlighting a transformative project that showcases their commitment to excellence and innovation, Vishal says one of their most innovative ventures was creating a 72-foot tall fountain inside The Orchid Hotel Mumbai—an awe-inspiring sight for anyone entering the hotel. It never fails to captivate visitors, who eagerly capture it in photos and take selfies, often sharing their experiences on social media. Remarkably, the water flowing in this fountain is recycled and purified internally by the hotel, adding to its appeal.

In our commitment to sustainability and organic practices, hotels like Fort Jadhav Gadh, The Orchid Pune, Mahodadhi Palace, and Lotus Konark cultivate their vegetables organically, ensuring pure organic food for our guests. At The Orchid Mumbai, our in-house STP plants recycle wet waste into nutrient-rich compost, adorning our Main Porch with vibrant greenery, creating an inviting atmosphere for our guests.”

Furthermore, the transparent glass at IRA by Orchid, Mumbai, allows ample sunlight, demonstrating Vishal and his team’s dedication to energy efficiency. “Our team’s innovative initiatives have significantly impacted the industry and resonated strongly with travelers.”

The workforce is the cornerstone of any successful organization. Thus, to foster a culture of growth, skill development, and empowerment among its employees, The Orchid Hotel has created EK-Lavya. This program is a 15-month training and development initiative designed for fresh graduates from hotel management colleges. This comprehensive program provides an in-depth understanding of their respective departments and goes beyond by offering exposure to various departments, enabling a holistic comprehension of hotel operations.

Furthermore, each brand of The Orchid Hotel adheres to a rigorous training calendar, ensuring that essential training is meticulously provided to all team members. “Additionally, we prioritize staying informed about relevant industry conferences and make a point to send our team to these events, keeping them updated on the latest industry trends and advancements,” reveals Vishal.

Triumphing Over Cyclones of Challenges

As a leader in India’s hotel industry, The Orchid Hotel has faced its share of challenges. Sharing instances where his team’s resilience and ingenuity triumphed over adversity, Vishal recalls that in 2019, Odisha endured the devastating impact of a powerful cyclone.

Our properties, Mahodadhi Palace and Lotus Beach Resort in Konark were not spared and suffered significant damage. The beloved beach resort of Konark witnessed the destruction of all its wooden floorings due to the cyclone’s force. However, our dedicated team’s unwavering support and unity played a pivotal role in an impressive recovery, with the property being fully restored in a remarkable 17-day timeframe. The entire restoration process was handled internally, with the team willingly choosing to stay and actively contributing to the hotel’s rapid resurgence, highlighting the exceptional teamwork that defines our brand,” says Vishal with immense pride and gratitude.

Furthermore, as a proactive step to support reforestation efforts in the cyclone-affected areas of Odisha following Cyclone Fani, Orchid Hotel Pune and Mumbai took the initiative to dispatch 10,00,000 seed balls in aid of the cause. “I firmly believe in our role as stewards of this planet and recognize the moral responsibility of safeguarding it for the well-being of future generations,” he states.

Dedicated to Journeying Spirits

In his advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the hoteling space, Vishal says that the hotel industry thrives on passion. This profound passion has given birth to some of the most unforgettable brands. Venturing into this industry should only stem from a genuine passion for it. “In my firm conviction, crafting hotel brands necessitates envisioning the experience from a guest’s perspective and engineering optimal solutions to meet their needs and desires.”

On envisioning scaling The Orchid Hotel’s operations and offerings in future, Vishal says that whatever they do, they do the best embedded with culture, brand ethos and social responsibility towards the environment.

We want to live in our patron and travelers’ memories forever. It could be seen from the love and praise we receive in client testimonials.” Amidst the numerous testimonials that leave a lasting impression, one remarkable story shines brightly – the story of Mrs and Mr Rao Saheb. “This elderly couple, aged 65 and beyond, have been our loyal patrons since our establishment. They are the first to reserve their table at Orchid Mumbai whenever a new promotion is announced. Their loyalty extends to all our various properties, and our staff warmly greets them by name, ensuring they receive special attention and care during each visit.”

The renowned Orchid Hotel brand has earned its acclaim, amassing an impressive collection of over 100 prestigious awards. “These accolades celebrate our steadfast dedication to delivering exceptional service, delectable cuisine, and our unwavering commitment to environmentally conscious initiatives,” concludes Vishal.

Dr. Vithal Venkatesh Kamat’s Eco-Hospitality Legacy Flourishes: Son Vishal Kamat Champions Sustainable Growth in The Orchid Hotels across India

In 1997, The Orchid Hotel Mumbai emerged as a beacon of sustainable hospitality, thanks to the visionary efforts of Dr Vithal Venkatesh Kamat. Driven by an unwavering commitment to societal and environmental contributions, he established the hotel, setting new benchmarks in the industry for eco-friendly practices. The Orchid Hotel Mumbai Vile Parle, under his leadership, achieved the distinguished Ecotel Certification, marking a significant milestone as the first hotel in Asia to accomplish this esteemed recognition.

This commitment to sustainability continues to thrive through the leadership of Vishal Kamat, Dr Vithal Venkatesh Kamat’s son and the current Executive Director of the Kamat Group of Hotels. Vishal has embraced and advanced his father’s legacy by steering the Orchid Hotels’ expansion across India. From Mumbai to Nashik, Goa, Pune, Shimla, Manali, Jamnagar, Bhubaneswar, Dapoli, Konark, and Lonavala, each establishment echoes the principles of warmth, hospitality, and unwavering dedication to eco-friendly initiatives established by Dr Vithal Venkatesh Kamat.

Vishal Kamat takes pride in Kamat Hotels’ continued leadership in environment-friendly initiatives. These initiatives encompass unique construction designs that prioritize natural light and ventilation, innovative water reuse strategies, and stringent waste reduction practices, ensuring a continuation of the family’s enduring legacy in sustainability.