Luxury Hotels


They put the music on high at the final dinner of the Hotel Association of India HAI dinner at, or rather outside on the main lawn of the Taj Palace New Delhi on Monday (12th February 2024). See above. The setting, indeed, was pure theatre. Another area of the well-grassed lawn was a stage set from a Neil Simon play, with, single storey, a library complete with well-upholstered seating and plenty of books.

It was here that Girlahead had fascinating tête-à-têtes with  Sudhir Barabari, CEO of Soulinaire, which does Michelin-star-level outside catering for two to 10,000, and later with Varun Chaudhary, one of the equally entrepreneurial sons of Mr Nepal hospitality, Binod Chaudhary (he was there, too – Varun, by the way, is Hon Consul for Kazakhstan in Nepal).

HAI President is Mr Taj, Puneet Chhatwal. He labelled this meeting, at  Taj Palace New Delhi, ‘Hospitality – The Engine for GDP Growth and Employment’. He attracted eminent speakers, led by Shri Amitabh Kant (AK), with whom Girlahead had such a fascinating dinner at Taj Mahal New Delhi a few years ago. AK created the brands God’s Own Country and Incredible India and it was he who really masterminded the highly successful G20 here in India last year, a country-wide event that kicked off at the Taj Andeman on Havelock Island, the stunningly-designed resort that Girlahead had the pleasure of visiting shortly after its opening.  Other speakers here at the HAI conclave included  Ms. V. Vidyavathi IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, who shared that her mother had been a housekeeper at Taj Mahal New Delhi and every evening at the end of shift a chef gave her a small sandwich for her little daughter back home. Speakers on panels that followed plenary words included Vikram Oberoi, and mega-owner Sanjay Sethi, MD/CEO Chalet Hotels.

Vikram Oberoi, still in mourning for his much-admired late father, was not sadly at the final dinner, but the many fascinating people there that evening included Sanjoy Roy, Producer of the Jaipur Literary Festival, that Girlahead must visit sometime.  Yes, there is a lot of travelling still to do.