Skift Acquire

You can find usually area for innovative business owners to build whitespace. Kapil Chopra, founder and CEO, thinks he is located some in the luxury boutique segment with his Postcard Lodge manufacturer. Look at out, Aman, 6 Senses, and One&Only.

The Postcard Resort is a brand with momentum powering it. It was named Asia’s top boutique lodge brand name at the Entire world Vacation Awards in 2022. Even although the India-dependent model only introduced in 2018, it already has 9 properties open up, with a further 23 beneath advancement.

When Kapil Chopra, founder and CEO, was on the lookout to invent a luxurious hotel manufacturer, he and his group scoured evaluation web sites, seeking for the most significant resort-associated ache details that irked guests.
“We researched all the top makes in the world, and we explained, what are the 3 issues people today really get upset about?” Chopra said.

“Our position of check out is that to be setting up the foremost luxury hospitality firm of the entire world needs to appear from the land of the Maharajas, it needs to appear from India, and which is what our sport is,” Chopra claimed.

His group discovered that, between other issues, luxurious vacationers really do not want to fear about what time they require to verify into, or look at out of, their hotel. Nor do they want to anxiety about what time the breakfast provider ends.
By addressing these and other troubles, The Postcard Resort has taken a systematic solution to customer provider.
The momentum is palpable. But at this speed, can they hold up the company that is offered them their early accolades?

Drafting the Postcard Model

Ahead of launching his model, Chopra was the president of Oberoi inns in India for above five yrs, and at that time recognized that a few manufacturers were foremost the luxury leisure vacation area: Aman, Six Senses, and Just one&Only.
“I saw these three chains as it’s possible the only men performing what I phone ‘transformative travel,’ which is further than experiential,” Chopra stated. “It’s vacation that stays with you significantly for a longer time just after you have left the resort.”
Nevertheless, he observed a issue with each and every of these big transformative vacation corporations.
“I was hunting at them extremely diligently,” Chopra said. “The prevalent component with these brand names was that the founders had missing regulate of the manufacturers they developed, which was massive.”
Regardless of whether they ended up bought or experienced new management, the three essential players no extended experienced the founder’s touch, which Chopra thinks is vital to creating a unique, forward-pondering luxury model. This, Chopra considered, was a gap he could fill.
He also found a change in the form of friends staying at certain Oberoi resorts. In the early 2000s at the Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, occupancy comprised 8 per cent of travelers from India and 92 % of foreigners. By 2018, he observed a significant shift, with 52 p.c of occupancy produced up of travelers from India and a mere 48 % foreigners.
“So, suddenly in India, which had now turn into a slightly richer place, individuals no longer felt responsible about expending on family vacation journey, even at very significant costs,” Chopra said.
The blend of far more investing on domestic luxurious getaways and attendees wanting a resort brand name with an owner’s position of perspective served Chopra uncover this luxury niche.
“It was a very clear sign in the marketplace that India was ready for a luxury hospitality model rooted out of India that was identity-led,” Chopra claimed.

A reception space at The Postcard Dewa, with views of the Khasadrapchu Valley in Bhutan. Resource: The Postcard Hotel.

Putting a Stamp on the Manufacturer

Chopra has designed a blueprint for The Postcard Resort that is clicked with company and has permitted him to charge high home prices (their new resort, The Postcard on the Arabian Sea in Karnataka, averages $700 a evening, he stated, whilst other people in the area demand about $70).
Very first, it’s the location. The Postcard Hotel attempts to obtain locations with either no, or not also many, rivals. They have been the initial to do a luxury home in Gujarat at the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary (so friends could get up close and personalized with the Asiatic lions). They’ll also be the 1st property to open up in the northeast condition of Assam, The Postcard in the Durrung Estate, with 12 rooms on major of tea gardens.
Mainly because The Postcard Hotel has an emphasis on leisure journey, Chopra is skipping huge town destinations (for now) and only deciding on a area if it’s a seaside city, in the mountains, at a wildlife reserve, in a historical palace, or in a wine or whisky states (he’s open to the concept of say, a long term Postcard Hotel in the Champagne location of France).
“In these 5 situations, the story of the location is greater than the story of the lodge, and is not that what vacation is about?” stated Chopra. “Our issue of see, when you believe of a leisure classification, is we require to be there, and we want to be there globally.”
Chopra also would make confident, of program, that there are loads of neighborhood, transformative activities. For case in point, visitors at the Assam residence will be ready to harvest their have tea, put it by way of the drying process, and pack the tea to take it household. Then, The Postcard Hotel has a tea membership assistance, so you have fresh tea every month.
“That’s transformative journey — prolonged just after you’ve gone, I’m nevertheless in a position to contact your soul,” claimed Chopra.
As portion of The Postcard Hotel formulation, Chopra is also likely to terrific lengths to steer clear of the essential ache details that bother higher-close tourists. 
“People don’t like to be explained to when to check in and verify out,” claimed Chopra. “At the best finish of the sector, men and women are creating billion-dollar conclusions in their daily lives, so they don’t have to have to be explained to like schoolchildren, examine in at 2 p.m. and look at out at 10 a.m.”
Also, he discovered that people today on holiday don’t want to be instructed when to have breakfast and that quite a few luxurious travelers really do not like when alcohol markups are far too large.
So company at a Postcard Hotel can check out in and verify out at any time of the working day without the need of getting charged extra. Friends can also have breakfast at any time. The food stuff claims to be reliable and regional, cooked with the local spices exceptional to that spot (so you won’t come across a basket of croissants sitting down out). As for the liquor?
“The area alcoholic drinks will also be from the area, and when you test in to the lodge, to make certain your mind is not burdened, you can have as a lot of as you want,” explained Chopra. In Goa, for instance, company are served cocktails with feni, the nearby liquor distilled from cashews.
As for his hotels’ patterns, Chopra attempts to use regional, sustainable components whenever achievable, restore structures with heritage, and integrate nearby layout features to prevent a copy-paste result.
“In the luxurious resort hospitality area, not much innovation has happened, except bogs have gotten larger and even larger,” claimed Chopra. “You can decide on up a room from Goa and set it in Singapore and Singapore back into Goa, and persons wouldn’t know the variation.” 

Sending a Message

When numerous newcomers in the hospitality place were being hit tricky all through the pandemic, The Postcard Resort discovered by itself at the appropriate spot at the right time.
The brand name keeps its properties little. No lodge is about 60 rooms, so company continues to be hugely personalised. For the reason that travelers didn’t want to stay at more substantial qualities all through the pandemic, The Postcard Hotel arrived out ahead and ran full right after the initially lockdown, with revenues expanding 55 percent year-about-yr.
Its most important get, while? Covid pressured domestic travel.
“The most essential people in India and the richest folks in India could not travel outdoors of India, so they were being compelled to come and encounter The Postcard hospitality in a way,” stated Chopra. “Everyone on the arrival record was really considerably India’s who’s who.”
Mainly because all those essential friends shared their activities on social media, it lifted model awareness — garnering it more PR and visibility than it would have gotten if there had been no pandemic.
Now, The Postcard Lodge has places not only in India but also in Sri Lanka and Bhutan and is all set to extend further more, regardless of whether that is in Austria or Africa.
“I realized that India experienced a significant ample domestic market to aid a super luxury brand name that commences from India and will take over the earth,” mentioned Chopra. The Postcard Resort, he hopes, will provide on that hunch.