Today's Traveller Interviews

Sascha Lenz: We have seen unprecedented growth in the last 2 years

Sascha Lenz, General Manager, Park Hyatt Chennai
Sascha Lenz, General Manager, Park Hyatt Chennai

TT Bureau: What factors have contributed to the success of Park Hyatt Chennai?

Sascha Lenz: I believe that many factors make Park Hyatt Chennai so loved by our guests. It is after all one of the most luxurious hotels in the city located just 15 minutes away from the Chennai International Airport and overlooking the Guindy National Park. It is a silent retreat in the midst of this bustling metro city.

We were fortunate to have decided to renovate the hotel and its guest rooms during the pandemic and throughout 2022. This allowed us to come back to market with a fresh product at a time when the business started to come back to India.

Today our 200 indulgent newly renovated guestrooms include 20 lavish suites with elegant interiors and beautiful views of the city and the forest reserve. The rooms and suites are amongst the largest in the city and are thoughtfully designed to delight our guests with comfort, world-class amenities and personalized luxury. The architecture, Art collection, location, unique F&B and wellness offerings all add to the appeal of staying with us. All of this is underlined by Park Hyatt’s signature personalized service culture, which brings the hotel culture alive.

I am fortunate to work with some of the most talented colleagues in the business, who have been contributing to the hotel’s success for many years now.

TT Bureau: Could you describe the journey and milestones of excellence achieved by your hotel?

Sascha Lenz: Park Hyatt Chennai opened its doors in October 2012 and made a name for itself very quickly owing to its unique architecture, great location and brand offerings. At the time Chennai had not seen a product of this sophistication and stature.

Our signature restaurant The Flying Elephant opened with a bang a few months later and again it offered something the city nightlife had never seen before. Over the years the hotel and The Flying Elephant both have gained a loyal following and continue to attract new patrons.

One of the largest rooms in the city, a rooftop infinity pool, Antahpura Spa and well-known restaurants have contributed to the success. In February of 2022, we added a brand new culinary venue, Ong – the flavours of Singapore, to the mix. Again a first in the city offering guests authentic Singaporean cuisine in an outdoor setting. This venue has been a favourite from the start for our guests as well as locals.

To round up our facilities, the unique residential-style event venues are a favourite among socialites who prefer intimate gatherings with ultra-personalization in food, drinks and service.

As mentioned before, in 2022, on completion of a decade the entire hotel was renovated into a refreshed product and we were able to position ourselves as the preferred luxury hotel in the city.

Multiple award wins are also a testament to the hospitality and service standards we are known for.

TT Bureau: What are your views on the current growth and prospects of the market?

Sascha Lenz: For our micro market, I can say that we have seen unprecedented growth in the last 2 years. Our hotel enjoys a very healthy and balanced mix of domestic and international guests, so we are less prone to economic downturns in any particular market. Nevertheless, India of course remains our biggest market. In this regard we have seen tremendous growth; and while we anticipate this rate to somewhat flatten in the next 2 years, we are confident that domestic and international travel into Chennai will continue to grow.

TT Bureau: What is the one activity that you consider essential to include in your daily routine?

Sascha Lenz: I think I speak for many of my colleagues when I say that a leadership role in hotels has become a lot more technical in the past years with more data-driven decision-making and enhanced market insights. I however consider it essential to stay in touch with our guest personally to understand their experiences, needs and wants during a personal conversation. The same applies to the team I work with.

On a regular basis I meet with colleagues of all levels and departments to understand what our guests are saying and how we can make their work experience better, more efficient and potentially better for our guests. At the end of the day, that is what we all work towards To care for people so they can be their best.

Read more: Today’s Traveller Interviews