India Update


Banyan Tree Kerala’s 59 villas
Each of the Banyan Tree Kerala’s 59 villas has its own private pool.


India, always buzzing with tourism activity, has been stirring quite a bit lately, with luxury openings happening almost on a daily basis. Here is the latest from this great subcontinent.

Swissotel Goa has opened in the town of Calangute in North Goa, just an hour from the international airport. The resort, which debuted in March, has 135 guest rooms and suites, set in nine three-level buildings. The buildings are tucked in a tropical garden with lily ponds and a courtyard pool area. Dining options include an all-day venue, pool bar and café. There is also a fitness center, adult and children’s pools, Kids’ Club and a meeting space. Sun-and-surf seekers will flip over the exclusive Beach Club, slated to open toward the end of this year. Travel agents can direct any queries to Sales Manager Mark Barreto ([email protected]).

It’s been years in the making, and now The Leela Palace has finally opened on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in Chennai. This is the eighth property for The Leela hotel group in India, and the first five-star hotel in Chennai with sea-facing rooms. The region’s regal Chettinad Dynasty was the inspiration for the architecture—an opulent spread on six acres of urban beachfront. The 326 rooms and suites are the largest in the city and come equipped with up-to-date technology, luxury bathrooms with spa mood lighting, a gourmet corner and 24-hour butler service. There are five diverse dining rooms, including a rooftop Italian restaurant; a spa by ESPA; infinity pool; fitness center; and meeting and conference facilities. Reach out to Director of Sales Ranjith Reddy ([email protected]) with any questions.

Kempinksi has debuted the 480-room Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi in East Delhi. The luxury hotel has two towers, connected by a sky bridge. Each tower has its own entrance, lobby and check-in desk. Dining options include four specialty restaurants: Café Knosh offering all-day dining, Dilli 32 for Indian specialties, Mei Kun for Asian cuisine and Casaluna, which serves up Italian fare. We love the Cherry Bar, a glass-enclosed bar which ups the level of chic at this city hotel. There are also two business centers, a spa, ice fountain, a pair of fitness centers and two outdoor swimming pools. Travel agents should get in touch with Director of Sales and Marketing Aditya Singh ([email protected], +91-011-490-88-888).



Deluxe Suite at the new Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi
Deluxe Suite at the new Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi in East Delhi.


Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has made its debut in India with the launch of Banyan Tree Kerala. The resort is an all-pool villa retreat. Nestled on the private island of Nediyathuruthu in the Alleppey district of Kerala, Banyan Tree Kerala is an hour south of Kochi International Airport and a 10-minute boat ride from the resort’s private jetty in nearby Vaduthala. The setting speaks for itself: Beaches, canals, tropical greenery and Ayurvedic therapies.

Each of the resort’s 59 villas has a private pool and views of the surrounding waterways and canals. The villa interiors showcase indigenous materials such as coir (a natural fiber extracted from the husk of coconuts), ornamental wood carvings, paintings and frescoes as well as Kathakali art, which depicts the traditional classical Indian dance-drama of Kerala. Banyan Tree Kerala is also home to the group’s first Ayurvedic Center, offering personalized consultations. Guests can enjoy a variety of other wellness therapies from the Banyan Tree Spa in one of four Ayurvedic treatment rooms or one of six spa pavilions. The resort also has a gymnasium and a yoga pavilion.

The Activity Island, just five minutes away from the main resort, can accommodate groups of up to 150 guests for private events and functions. Banyan Tree has an array of dining options, as well. South Indian cuisine is available at The Watercourt, the all-day dining venue, while the group’s Saffron restaurant features Thai cuisine. Classical Indian dance performances are presented in the Bar Lounge, which is also the resort’s entertainment venue, and the Spa Café features a menu inspired by the tri-dosha concept of Ayurveda.

Special dining experiences include dinner aboard a local palak boat typically used by royalty, on which Keralan fish curry and other traditional dishes are served. Guests may also dine atop a specially built tower, the tallest point on the island, while taking in views of the resort. Reach out to Director of Sales & Marketing Jaya Mishra ([email protected]) with any queries.



Suite living room at the Swissotel Goa.
Suite living room at the Swissotel Goa.