It's that time of the year when festivities begin! Holi and Easter long weekends seem to prove to be a boon for India's hospitality stakeholders.
The gift hampers for Holi have signature goodies including chocolate brittle, whole wheat jaggery and apple crumble tea cakes, among others. (Image credit: Marriott International)
It’s that time of the year when festivities begin! Holi and Easter long weekends seem to prove to be a boon for India’s hospitality stakeholders. With the festive spirit, hotels and restaurants across the country are gearing up to woo travellers and guests with pocket friendly and irresistible deals they would find hard to resist.
Financial Express spoke to leading stakeholders in the hospitality segment to understand how they are now looking at these travel trends for the upcoming Holi weekend and Easter as well.
Jayakrishnan Sudhakaran, General Manager – Novotel Ahmedabad, tells Financial Express Online, “This Holi, The Square at Novotel offers a special Holi Drunch. We start as early as 5 pm and end by 9 pm, respecting the government’s regulations while not disappointing our guests who have been waiting to savour the Holi delicacies. One can expect more than 6 varieties of starters, 16 main courses, 5 types of Thandai, assortment of desserts and much more.”
For the Easter month, Novotel Ahmedabad is all set to celebrate the Goan Dinner Saga starting from 9th to 11th April on all days for dinner.
“Our very own Goan chef Mario is dishing out from his special recipe book where one could find the Goan native hit makers as well as Portuguese and Saraswat influence to make it the yummiest time during the three day festival at the Square, Novotel Ahmedabad,” informs Jayakrishnan Sudhakaran.
Travel surge in Ooty, Kodaikanal, Mussoorie, Nainital, Corbett
Vikram Lalvani, Chief of Revenue, Sales and Destinations at Sterling Holiday Resorts Ltd told Financial Express Online, “Since it’s a long weekend, we are seeing a positive trend in bookings across our major resorts. However, some drop is also being felt in destinations with travel restrictions.Destinations like Ooty, Kodai, Yercaud, Mussoorie, Yelagiri, Nainital, Corbett, Manali, are hopeful of seeing an 80% and above occupancy.”
Holi and Easter Weekend: Specially curated hotel offers
Meanwhile, Marriott International is set to pamper guests with irresistible offers for a ten day semi ‘permavacation’ in lieu of Holi and Easter. This comes with a limited time offer that is available at select hotels. Guests can choose a complimentary hour-long spa, a meal and two complimentary cocktails, besides breakfast for all guests. The specially curated offer will also ensure that all Marriott Bonvoy members will get an extra 1000 points to their credit.
For Holi and Easter, guests can enjoy the extra special celebrations as well while benefiting from the latest offers that are being rolled out. More booking details are available online. Guests can simply use the code ZJL to book their stay on the hotel website.
From Live Thandai Station to Traditional Desserts Selection
Adding festive hues to the Holi weekend with a live Thandai station, a Chaat station that brings together Samosa Chaat, Papdi Chaat, Dahi puri, Pani Puri and Kachori Chaat, ITC’s #GrandGardenia Brunch is rolling out a festive spread for guests. The traditional dessert selection includes Moti Paak, Zafrani Jalebi, Mava Gujiya, Gulkand Peda and more.
For those who want takeaway options, there are curated meals for two in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. For vegetarians, there are Aloo Shakarkandi Chaat, Kachori with Hingo Aloo sabji and Gujiya and Saufiyan Malpua Thandai. For non vegetarians, there is Murgh Pulao and Kheema Matar, among others.
To enjoy a wholesome Holi meal at ITC Gardenia, just make a reservation or place your order on the phone. Details are shared on the official website.
For those in Gurugram who want to enjoy a Holi feast within the comfort of their homes, ITC’s Biryani & Pulao collection can be ordered on Zomato, Swiggy and Eazy Diner.
One can also use the ITC app or place an order directly with the hotel.
Mumbai’s ITC Maratha is also rolling out a sublime Holi feast at its Peshwa Pavilion restaurant. Guests can call to make the reservations.
For Easter, ITC Maratha is set to curate a menu at the above mentioned restaurant on 4th April. The brunch will feature the Easter bunny at the heart of its fun filled festive fervour.
Announcing its Holi celebration package, Araiya Palampur has rolled out an “off-the-charts” Holi experience spanning two nights and three days for guests. Showcasing a bonfire night, unique flavours of Himachali cuisine and all day celebration of the festival using organic colours, Araiya Palampur is keen to indulge its guests with all day long Holi celebration.
“From local street food to Indian desserts like Ras Malai gateaux, Gulab jamun panna cotta, jalebi caviars with rabri and thandai options like Brahami thandai, aloe vera juice thandai, lemongrass coconut thandai, a never before culinary spread awaits guests,” Araiya Hotels & Resorts Executive Chef Suraj Prakash says.
Referring to the Holi package, Araiya Palampur’s Hotel Manager Sandeep Sanchihar expressed excitement at hosting their first Holi festivities while keeping the safety and demands of guests in mind. In his words, ‘We have curated an experience that has something for all. With a COVID-19 sensitive approach, we will ensure that all guests have a safe experience while enjoying themselves.”
Chocolate Brands with Traditional Flavours
With many people preferring to stay indoors, food brands and food startups look at this opportunity for innovating with festive food offers that also reflect Indianness.
Take for instance, the ‘Holi Bon Bon Collection’ in six flavours such as thandai, gulkand, kaju, elaichi, kesar, dalchini, toffee and nariyal. With this traditional twist to bon bons, Colocal has brought together an artistic curation of the traditional Indianness coupled with the diversity and richness of chocolates.
Not just chocolates, cakes are also being reinvented for Holi and Easter festivities.
Highlighting the festive makeover for cakes, Ankush Arora, Founder and Managing Director at Uncle Jack’s India shares with Financial Express, “Cakes and sweets are synonymous with celebrations and what better than a cake that screams colours for the festival of Holi. The cake jars are the perfect gift for your loved ones. You can send them a splash of delicious colours all locked in a jar.”
This Holi, smash cake, don’t cut it!
Rolling out exclusive Holi hampers with the first-of-its-kind Holi pinata cakes and chocolates, Honey & Dough brings a ‘hammer’ twist to the celebratory offerings where these cakes come with a hammer and a person has to smash the cake and not cut it. The gift hampers for Holi have signature goodies including chocolate brittle, whole wheat jaggery and apple crumble tea cakes, among others.
According to The Artisan Bakehouse’s owner Shivani Chauhan, “As the season of colours is just a few days away and Easter is also around the corner, everybody is zealously gearing up to celebrate the much-awaited long weekend. Like every Indian festival, Holi is a time to socialise with loved ones, partake in the vibrant gatherings and cherish the delightful desserts. And Easter is the perfect time to say thank you to loved ones, it’s also a great excuse to indulge a little. The Artisan Bakehouse (TAB) situated in Spectrum@Metro, Sector 75, Noida, is embracing this widely loved holiday with their new special Holi themed cakes and savouries.”
Their signature Chocolate Gujiyas claims to add a unique touch to a traditional dessert, besides Chicken and Mutton Keema stuffed Gujiyas is also a great savoury for non-veg lovers.
Another Holi special, Thandai Cake is their sweet offering, as it represents the heart of the ‘thandai’ culture that is so much a part of this festival.
As hotels gear up to woo guests, they are also sending out safety pointers with every activity. So, play this Holi safely and responsibly!