VADODARA: For about three decades, Vadodara’s Surya Palace has been a home away from home. Whether an intimate ceremony or a lavish wedding, celebration in this cultural capital of Gujarat meant going to this iconic hotel.
In keeping with changing demands, the hotel has now introduced some changes. It is now Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace, after signing a management contract with a global leading hospitality chain Accor Hotels.
“We are delighted to associate with AccorHotels. The hotel has always resonated with Vadodara, its people, art and culture. An appreciation of craftsmanship and a commitment to elegance are woven throughout the hotel,” said Piyush Shah, Managing Director, Jindal Hotels Ltd.
For Shah, the hotel has been a labour of love. Unusually for an owner, rather than expand, he has lavished care and attention on this hotel. “We are the most popular hotel in the city, and people walk in here as if they own the place,” he points out with pride.
Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace is evocative of Gujarat’s rich cultural heritage, combined with the stylish elegance and design attributes of an upscale Grand Mercure, thus making it a local brand rooted in the destination.
Through narratives, stories and anecdotes, the property brings the distinctive culture and traditions of Gujarat to life, with local interpretation of the four brand signatures: Sense of Welcome, Sense of Food and Beverage, Sense of Wellness and Sense of Culture and Discovery.
For AccorHotels, on an expansion spree in India, “the rebranding gives us an opportunity to showcase the property as our 48th hotel in the country and highlight AccorHotels’ growing network in the region,” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India & South Asia, AccorHotels. “It further strengthens our presence in Gujarat as AccorHotels’ first upscale property in the state and West India,” .
Cassé described Grand Mercure is a cultural touchstone in each destination, capturing guests’ imagination and bringing local stories to life.” For the group, whose focus on expansion has been on midscale (ibis) and upscale (Novotel) brands, this hotel was perfect for a Grand Mercure. “The brand is perfect for soft customisation.”
While Shah has run the hotel successfully over the years, with both his children involved in their own ventures, he felt the need for a partner, and chose Accor has he felt “the culture was more conducive – they were a natural partner for us”.
Yes, given Piyush Shah’s personal interest, which coincides with the considerable artistic heritage of the city, the hotel is veritable treasure house of art. From the sculptures by Nagji Patel in the porch, works of Jyoti Bhatt in the restaurant and the mesmerising ceramic works of P. R. Daroz in the Ballroom, along with display of Padma Vibhushan Prof. K G. Subramanium’s paintings, numerous other artists who have been connected with the prestigious M. S. University’s faculty of Fine Arts have been prominently displayed at the property.
The hotel, long regarded as Vadodara’s go to hotel, has had a four year refurbishment.
Strategically located in proximity to Vadodara’s business district and corporate hubs, the hotel is the first Grand Mercure in Gujarat.
The hotel has 146 well-appointed guest rooms including five suites. Each room features modern design aesthetics, in-room amenities and wi-fi access. Interiors for the rooms have been thematically, evoking Indian seasons and festivals.
Dining options include Azure, an all-day dining restaurant,and Vanilla a delicatessen.
The hotel has added an outdoor pool, a fitness and wellness centre.
The hotel is also an important venue for banqueting and conferencing and is also home to one of the city’s largest pillar less events space spanning over 19,000 square feet, with six meeting rooms ideal for conferences, weddings and social gatherings of all sizes.
The hotel is a mere 2 minute drive from the railway station and 10 minutes from the airport. Popular city attractions like Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (M.S. University), Sayaji Garden, Baroda Museum and Laxmi Vilas Palace are a 5 minute drive away and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagarh is a 50 minute drive away from the hotel.
This is Accor’s third hotel in the state, after two in Ahmedabad. The group will further augment its presence in the state with the opening of a Mercure hotel in the divine city of Dwarka in Gujarat later this year, outlining the importance of West India as a market for AccorHotels.
Additionally, through the setup of a new Global Sales Office structure in the country, AccorHotels has consolidated its brand portfolio under a single window operation with multiple brand choices and offerings for the global market.
Rajesh Gopalakrishnan, General Manager, Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace said, “We look forward to setting the benchmark of service excellence with the launch of Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace and provide a unique dimension for guests staying at the property. With a distinctive portfolio of accommodation, dining destinations and MICE facilities, we are set to define new standards of hospitality and look forward to cater to the city’s growing tourism and business activities.”
AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,100 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 3,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. This is the group’s 48th hotel in India, and it is target to achieve its previously announced target of reaching 55 hotels and 10,000 rooms this year.
Musafir Namah Bureau