STEENA JOY – Mumbai
Orange County Luxury Resorts with two properties in Kabini and Coorg, is now expanding its footprint with two resorts being planned in Hampi and Karwar. Speaking exclusively to Express TravelWorld, Thomas Ramapuram, joint director – sales, Orange County informed, “The Hampi property will have 48 keys in the first phase and and we will add another 60 in the second phase. Since Hampi is a heritage site, obtaining the licences is a little difficult. But we expect to start work on the project by this month. The project will take about one and a half years to complete so we are looking at October 2013 for the opening.”
The second resort will be set up in Karwar to the south of Goa. “The resort will be an all-suite resort of about 50 to 60 suites. We have just purchased the land for this and expect to start construction by this year end. The investment in the Hampi project is around Rs 55 to 60 crore while the Karwar project is estimated at Rs 50 crore. They will be funded by a mix of debt and equity,” informed Ramapuram.
The Hampi property being situated close to the protected site of the ruins, will be designed on the Vijaynagar Empire Palace theme. “Our philosophy has always been to offer experiential tourism in every property. At Kabini it is experiencing wildlife the tribal way while at Coorg it is plantation life. At Hampi, we plan to offer our guests experiential tourism of the kingdom. We will have trained tour guides to take our guests to the ruins and experience the grandeur of the Vijaynagar Empire. Everywhere we want our guests to experience the local flavours,” expalined Ramapuram.
The architecture of the two properties like the earlier ones is all designed inhouse. “We have a strong architectural team that is all in the family. My father got the inspiration to design the Kabini resort from his visit to Africa,” added Ramapuram.
The company plans to use the all-suites approach for all new resorts in the future. In line with this strategy, the Coorg resort is being restructured (Kabini is already an all-suite property with 10 Pool Huts and 27 Jaccuzzi Huts). “Coorg has 27 private Pool Villas (which will remain) and 27 County Cottages (which will be converted into 14 Lily Pool villas, a concept new to India). The first phase of this revamp will be completed by June this year. Apart from this we will also have 13 Presidential Villas at 400 to 500 US$ per room night,” added Rampuram clearly indicating the company’s plans to brand Orange County as a pure luxury product.