Part of my job profile as a trainer with the Park Hotels is to conduct induction for the new joinees at all levels, top management to the entry level. Its revisiting the vision, mission as well has brand philosophy and standards of the organisation. No matter how many times I do this; each time it's a different expereince and a new take away. As it's not just me talking about the Apeejay Surrendra Group that is 107 plus years but also touching base and exchanging information, sharing knowledge and learning about another brand the new joinee must have worked with. Infact a colleague of mine asked if I didn't get bored talking the same thing again and again. I told him that I meet a new group each time and what I do depends on them as well. Which job is not doing the same thing again and again! The beauty of what I do is that I meet people who have joined with renewed aspirations, bringing in valuable experience and energies with them. I just welcome them and their dreams into the company, the initial hand holding is always valuable.
One property that I had longed to visit was The Park Vizag (TPVZ), the second one to be added to the collection of luxury boutique hotels and the property that'll turn 50 next year, 2018. The pictures that I looked at kept inviting me. Finally, the opportunity arrived and I had to conduct training sessions at TPVZ, a week long training schedule and a day meant for exploring the city. I was there from June 5th to the 12th this year. Was super excited, felt like a school girl beacuse the city meant a lot to me. My dad did his Commando training there, husband had started his kindergarten and our hotel at Vizag had an impeccable history. And I love history, so there it was! I had to write this blog it's long overdue!
The flight was late from Mumbai itself but the amazing view as we landed made up for that initial hitch. The hotel car and the driver were waiting for me. The weather was pleasant, the driver said that it had been very hot and humid the previous week. I told him that I was bringing the rain with me as it happened in almost all 4 places that I visited during the vacation, a fortnight earlier. My first experince of Vizag was that it's such a clean and green city. The walls or barriers along the road were so aesthetically painted. They gave the city an elegant and green look. I was thoroughly impressed. Later I learnt that it was one of the cleanest cities in India, they had their municipal staff working in shifts, so the streets were kept clean throughout. Then we arrived at the hotel, as we entered the porch everything looked so familiar to me; all thanks to the numerous inductions. The property was more beautiful than what I had expected it to be. After the warm welcome, so what if I am a houseguest? we believe in treating our internal customers equally well.
I was taken to the room on the top floor, the 4th floor is the top floor here and another USP of this hotel is that all rooms face the sea. I was given a room that had the view of the sea, the swimming pool as well as the light house. I assumed this was the best view. Housekeeping had given their special touch to make the room; welcoming as well as comfortable. Beautiful flowers arrangements and all amenities meant for a single lady traveller. I couldn't have expected anything more. Everything seemed to be just perfect including the whiteness of the towels. I sat by the window looking out and immersing myself in the serenity of this place, just then it started to rain and I said to myself that Vizag became the 5th place where I took rains with me! Guess what? The hotel staff started giving me the compliments for the same as if I was the Rain Goddess! The weather changed for good, little showers in the morning and evening making it really pleasant. That continued till my entire stay, I guess then monsoons would have reached the city. Let me introduce to you The Park Vizag.
The Park Vizag - Sea, Sand and Clear Skies
Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, The Park Vizag (TPVZ) sprawls over 6 acres of spectacular private beachfront. Sandy beaches complete with a lighthouse underline the romance of the sea with breathtaking sunrises and lovely tropical gardens adorning it.
Staying there, sitting by the beach you can have a dialogue with the Bay of Bengal as the waves splash onto the sandy beach. The sea-facing five star accommodation allows for a breathtaking view as the breeze drifts over the waters of the bay. Take a stroll through the beautifully poised gardens with tiled pavilions and a giant chessboard or enjoy the sunset as it sinks into the horizon. TPVZ gives you an environment that encourages exploration and inner freedom and makes it one of the best leisure five star hotels in the city. This is a place of purity where the red soil connects with the golden sand, blending with the blue sea into the clear sky. You enjoy the sea, sand, sky, sunrise and sunset all alike.
The design of this luxury boutique hotel has been influenced greatly by local art and crafts. The craftsmen have used their skills to create the precise detailing that is unique amongst boutique hotels, the ambience reflects and befits the local culture. The Buddhist influence on this region of India has been a great influence to the features and to the tranquil atmosphere that lends an aura of serenity to this beautiful property.
Dining experiences at Bamboo Bay or Vista are enhanced by the orange sunsets in a tropical setting while candlelit tables give a dancing glow to the night -promises of an enchanting getaway linger at this boutique hotel. One can relax at the Someplace Else bar with a traditional drink or a heady cocktail or dance the night away at Tribe, the club. The Park Vishakhapatnam is a must experience for anyone visiting the beautiful city of Vishakhapatnam.
The USP of TPVZ
What I liked the most in this hotel was the vast landscaped gardens, beautiful flowers and local art all around in the hotel. It also gave a feel of the swinging sixties, the golden era of art and design, the decade famed for its iconic fashion, ground breaking music and significant moments in history. Found all of that at this hotel. The expectations I came with were met and exceeded. It also added to the sustainability part. All flower arrangements were done with the flowers and folliage from it's own gardens. They have beautiful well maintained gardens and lawns. The hotel was affected by cyclone Hudud that led to a lot of damange, many trees uprooted. The staff found a way to recycle the finds of Hudhud, they created art out of it. I saw some centre pieces for their restaurant tables as well as vases created out of that wood, being used in the entire hotel. Not just creating beauty but also nurturing a gentle reminder of the deadly cyclone. It brought the team together, everyone worked with one purpose and everyone was thankful for what he or she had. Each counting his blessings. Could feel that when I interacted with different staff in the hotel. The team that has one heartbeat is never defeated! this was one such team I worked with.
The training sessions were engaging and enjoyable, for the participants as well; can say so from the feedback forms. You see am not blowing my own trumpet! The challenge was, I had one participant in one of the sessions who couldn't read or write and wasn't too fluent in the language. Believe me he turned out to be one of the best trainees that I've met in my training sessions. He attended the Supervisory Development Program- a 2 day training session. He ensured that I got the best the remaining days at the hotel! He was the chef handling the Indian Halwai Section (Sweets section) so you can imagine.
I found the hotel team to be professional, had eagerness to learn something new and they had great hospitality attitude! Loved the training room too, it was my den for 5 days. The hotel General Manager took interest in taking feedback of the participants. That's a great attitude and I could see that it did filter down. A team that has a good leader is always motivated and it does well, almost always.
The last one and a half days were to explore the city, chose the weekend for that. Saw all the tourist spots and also the ancient Simhachalam temple. Vishakhapatnam is indeed a paradise, a city I felt people could think of spending their retired lives in. It's small, well connected, has every facility that one requires, clean, green and so very peaceful. A city truly blessed by nature beautiful gardens, beaches, hills and enchanting history.