Smell the oranges (and the coffee!)

Mar 11 2014, 17:54 IST
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SummaryThe famous loose-jacketed mandarin orange was as much a part of the fabric of Coorg as the coffee alongside which it was planted

looks for experiences like this. He says, “We do not promote stays or even holidays. We promote Exclusive Local Experiences.”

Community is core

Orange County's Kabini property has been selected by National Geographic Traveller among the top 25 Eco Lodges in the world. The company takes guest feedback and suggestions very seriously. “This is evident from the feedback that you can see on sites like Tripadvisor. All these comes wrapped in highest standards of responsibility in tourism,” says the proud hotelier.

His brother Thomas Ramapuram, joint director, Orange County Resorts and Hotels elucidates on the sustainable hospitality measures the company has initiated. “The concept of responsible tourism comes naturally to Orange County Resorts. It is, after all, an extension of the vision and philosophy of the House of Ramapuram whose values are broad, contemporary and inclusive.”

The government has now made CSR mandatory part of a company's revenues. But Orange County has long supported community development. “Over 60 per cent of our staff at both resorts are from the surrounding local areas. We constantly strive to engage with local village heads in community development programmes. We also conduct Structured Community Development Programmes on an annual basis like for example, scholarships, toilets in villages, road work, etc,” says Thomas Ramapuram.

He adds, “We believe that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. So we have formally adopted the local school at Coorg in Karadigod Village. We are also in the process of adopting the school in Kabini (H.D.Kote Village), however we have not received a formal government approval for the same. Through adoption we have implemented various initiatives like computer facilities, better play grounds, hiring quality teachers etc. This is an ongoing continuous process and our vision is to develop these schools into world class institutions of learning.”

The brand has also adopted technological innovations to make the guest experience a seamless one. “Our indigenously developed central reservation systems compares with the best in the industry. It allows for easy storage, access and transmission of information. Our systems allow us to have an intimate knowledge of each of our guests even before they step into our properties.”

It is rare to find a two resort brand in the world today that has 60 per cent of their clients booking directly with us (as opposed to booking through a OTAs or a tour operator). We are able to achieve this through

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