Thursday, January 03, 2008

More Room(s) in Pune

The Le Meridien PunePune has catapulted to the forefront as a business destination during the last five years. At the beginning of this decade, the only foreigners I saw in Pune came here for spiritual enlightenment or yoga. Many wore robes of the Osho commune or stayed as paid-guests near Pune's famous yoga institute. Now, most visitors are here clearly for business reasons: Americans, Europeans and Koreans with their laptops and Blackberries.

Until recently, upscale lodging options for business travellers were limited. The city got it's first five-star hotel when the Blue Diamond opened in 1970. At this time, there are only three five-star hotels:

>> The Le Meridien: The most lavishly built of the three; the food in their restaurants have gotten better too; the rooms haven't been refurbished in some time.
>> Taj Blue Diamond: Smaller in size, but great service; good Chinese restaurant; newly refurbished rooms.
>> Sun N Sand: Not part of a well-known chain; good service and good restaurants.

There are a few other four-star hotels that are good enough (if you can't get a room in the five-star category):

>> Pride Hotel (now part of the Best Western group, has been recently prettied up)
>> Gordon House (boutique hotel; problem: it is located within a Cineplex; only works if you are a movie addict)
>> Aurora Towers (good location in the middle of Pune's MG Road shopping center; recently prettied up too)

Sun N Sand PuneIn the last few years, demand has outstripped supply. Bookings have to be made months in advance and room rates have gone sky-high (up by 40% in 2006 alone). Together the five-stars in Pune only have about 500 rooms.

However, change is in the air. The following hotels are under construction and will open in the 2009-2010 time-frame:

1. Hyatt Regency, 325 rooms, Kalyaninagar
2. Holiday Inn, 175 rooms, Balewadi
3. The O by Orchid (new luxury boutique brand), 112 rooms, Koregaon Park
4. Westin, 277 rooms, Koregaon Park
5. Courtyard by Marriott, 210 rooms, Sasoon Road
6. Courtyard by Marriott, 153 rooms. Hinjewadi
7. Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 426 rooms, ICC
8. JW Marriott, 250 rooms, Airport Road

Le Meridien PuneThere are new options for the budget traveller too:

>> Lemon Tree - In addition to their hotel in Hingewadi, they are building another one near the Railway Station (they have taken over the old Amir Hotel here).
>> Taj's Ginger is building their second hotel in Hinjewadi. They already have one in Pimpri.

And now there are some good Serviced Apartments too:

>> Oakwood Residence
>> Royal Orchid Golden Suites
>> Seasons Apartments

Overall, Pune will add 4500-5000 additional rooms in all hotel categories by 2010-11 according to Knight Frank Research.


Unknown said...

Another awesome post. I immediately shared it with my business partner in US who was looking for some cheaper options than le meridien when she comes down in mid 2008.

Anonymous said...

Also add the Leela as an upcoming 5 star hotel in Pune

Anonymous said...

@vishal: Glad to be of help. If she does choose another hotel, I would like to hear about the experience too.

@ed: Thank You! I missed that one altogether. :-)

Anonymous said...

Never been there but I heard of Pune quite a lot this year. Seems to be a popular destination!

Anonymous said...

@zhu: All of which is probably due to me. :-)

Anonymous said...

Best Sushi at the O hotel , finally a hotel that also offers rooms unique in its style , not the boring std ones .

Anonymous said...

@manan: That's what I have been hearing. Finally Pune gets some Japanese food. The only other sushi place was Silk Route in Koregaon Park, but I have steered clear so far.

Anonymous said...

Pune city of beautiful tales and stories of old maratha times to new upcoming and devloping it and infrastructure city...

pune coimg up with 42 new hotels, another addition in the town is by-Welcomgroup budget business chain - Fortune INN Jukaso, 2 kms from Airport, nice cosy hotel with all the necessary requirements of a business travellers..

amtonio said...

I'm always looking to try out new places to eat. Stumbled across your blog accidentally and I must say there are lot of places which I haven't tried out yet ... my forthcoming weekends are booked :) Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Can any one guide me if The O Hotel is a good choice for one night in Pune. Our (me and wife) main purpose is relaxing for one night, while coming for Dagduseth Halwai's Ganpati Mandir.


Anonymous said...
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River rafting in Rishikesh said...

Wow wonderful accommodation....