Dhaka : Despite several new five-star properties coming into the hospitality industry in the city in the next six to 12 months, Kelly Lewis, General Manager, is confident that "business will be as usual" for Amari Dhaka.
Kelly Lewis said, the country's economy is strengthening and so is the hospitality industry. The occupancy of Amari Dhaka is presently 82 to 85 per cent. Amari will soon attain 92 per cent occupancy.
The Amari Dhaka General Manager said, majority of the hotel's clients are corporate, diplomats and from United Nations bodies. Most of the guests at the hotel are from US and Japan and from other countries too.
Recalling that the hotel had just opened when he arrived, Kelly Lewis said, we had just opened and people in Dhaka still did not know the brand Amari. It was a success we were able to ensure the message was communicated in such a matter not to disrupt our neighbours, being the new hotel on the block.
It was then only known in Thailand and now we have over 50 hotels and six brands, not just Amari. We now have Ozo, Mosaic, Shama, Yoo Hotels, Oriental Residences.
Of course "Amari" has been the benchmark hotel for the company since the start.
Onyx has had a huge focus on the Chinese market opening different brands in almost all gateway cities. Onyx goal is to be the largest midsize hotel group in Asia focusing on having 99 hotels by the year 2022.
About the products and services that had gained attention in the city, Kelly Lewis said, Amaya Restaurant - the hotel's interactive buffet restaurant on the 13th floor that has four separate kitchens and ethnic chefs for Indian, Japa-nese, Chinese, Thai and Ita-lian_ was the first large project, we got off the ground.
It opened on July 1, 2015 by our Chef Jed Archdeacon, who was at Radisson and was behind Sublime. He has done an amazing job putting Amaya on the map with a total new concept of interactive cooking and service.
The chefs are all out on the floor interacting with the guests and actually taking their orders with the waiter staff to ensure a unique experience and a fresh approach.
Deck 41 on the 15th floor was there but had not really opened until we received our liquor licence. Now it has become the hot spot in Dhaka! We are actually in the process of upgrading it with a new bar and furnishing, which will include new wood decking as well.
As to how the guests had responded to Amari Dhaka as a whole and to its food, in particular, Kelly Lewis said, "Wonderfully." We have many guests who love to stay in property and eat many different varieties of food items.
The interactive Amaya gives them so many choices to chose. Besides room service, there is Cascade, which is open 24 hours and Amari Bakery for fresh baked breads and cakes as well as homemade pasta packaged and ready to go.
We connected another building that houses the Fit-Centre on Floor 16 and Onyx signature spa "Breeze Spa," which we currently have about 15 of them scattered around in different brands around Asia and China.
The spa facility is world class and maintains high standard of Thai luxury spa. The service providers are Thais with training experience at Onyx in Thailand to provide a wonderful "real Thai" massage experience.
The spa customers are 50-50, half of the customers being hotel guests and others being local customers.
The Fit-Centre houses all brand new Pre-Core equipment from the US. With 180 degree views of Dhaka, it is a wonderful place to release some energy, burn off some calories, Lewis said.
We are proud of our security set up. The world, not just Dhaka, is changing and our guests’ safety has become our first priority. We are considered the safest hotel in Dhaka and have received the Onyx Certificate level 10 security clearance.
We have the only 24/7 canine ordnance sniffing dog programme, two black large German Shepherds Blek and Gordon from Dog Detectives, UK and our handlers were personally trained by Ron Miller from the US State Department, the same person who set up the RAB canine programme in Bangladesh.
Couple with this, the new bollards at the entrance which can stop a 75-ton tank, our under-car camera scanners - the only one in Dhaka - and our private gunman and government Ansars as well as Dhaka police and 92 CCTV cameras including night vision cameras, I am happy to say that we have created a safe environment for our guests.
No new rooms
Kelly Lewis said the hotel has 134 rooms and that it has no plans to increase the number of rooms. The hotel has increased Deck 41 capacity and renovated the Den, added an outside Shisha patio and the Fit-Centre.