Great ambiance, grand room including Eva Rooms, par excellence food, excellent sports facilities - gym, squash, billiards room, swimming pool, even a kids games room, a world class saloon + spa, India’s first Playboy Lounge and an equally efficient and friendly staff makes Express Inn truly worth a National Tourism Award Winner.
One of the most innovative hotels that I have ever come across is Express Inn, Nashik. It is of the few hotels that keeps reinventing itself and every time that I visit it something new has been added. It was recently awarded The National Tourism Award – 2017-18 in the best Three Star Category Hotel across India - competing with some of the best known global brands and home grown luxury brands. "It’s a feeling of great pride for me and my staff. Winning the award in our first attempt is truly a feather in our cap. My team has put in great efforts and we have always believed in giving excellent service while maintaining our standards of luxury,” said Narayan Shelar, CMD, Express Inn.
And how true his words are. This probably is the only hotel (I have experienced 800 + hotels spread across 46 countries) in the world that I have visited over 25 times and have always found their service impeccable and par excellence quality of food.
Led by the dynamic youngster Vikas Shelar, Director, Express Inn, Nashik, he was also quite pleased with the award. “It’s not just a pride for Express Inn but for our city Nashik and state Maharashtra. On the other hand it has also increased our responsibilities towards guest satisfaction,” said Vikas.
The hotel recently added the countries first Playboy Lounge (Please note that there are plenty of Playboy Clubs but this was the first Playboy Lounge in India). As Vikas took me through the doors, I was pretty impressed by the décor of the hotels brand new acquisition. But for a first time visitor it will but naturally be the glamour of Playboy as the venue displays the historic timeline taking you down the memory lane Playboy globally. “That’s the whole idea. I think Nashikites and our guests truly deserve a glamorous place where they can truly unwind, chill and relax while partying till late. Add to this amazing atmosphere with some excellent cocktails, starters and naturally good and tasty food and you have a bunch of satisfied customers,” said Vikas. Playboy was inaugurated by Nushrat Bharucha and Sachiin Joshi actor and Chairman of Playboy. The adorable gig by the iconic bunny girls was an attraction and a photo op for guests.
With a total of 197 rooms and suites divided into different sub-categories the hotel is able to provide state-of-the-art facilities to its guests. Apart from being economically priced for the luxury provided the hotel has a unique offering of family rooms for a family or a group of four (one of the rare five star hotels to have family rooms). “Being a holy city we understand this need for family rooms where all of them want to stay close especially during religious events,” said Narayan Shelar. Another plus point for the hotel is serviced apartments, especially for expats who are more comfortable staying in fully furnished apartments with kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedrooms as they stay for long durations.
Another feather in the cap has been the introduction of Eva floors exclusively for women to provide them complete privacy and the assurance of 100% safety and security. The housekeeping staff for these rooms are all fairer sex assuring the comfort feeling to the lady guests.
The Presidential Enclave has become an envy for many hotels including the branded ones. It has been specifically created for the top end clientele who come from across the globe and look forward for the same luxury that they get in hotels world over. Built on the top-most floor of the property the Presidential Enclave provides a sprawling view of the city on one side and the famous Pandav-Leni on the other. The Presidential Enclave floor consists of five suites, one Chairman Suite, one Presidential Suite, Freesia Lounge with a library and a Smoking Lounge.
Dinning, Banqueting and MICE
Excellent F&B has always been a forte of Express Inn. Its signature restaurants and cafe's offer all guests a wide variety of food options – Aster, a 24 hours multi-cuisine Coffee Shop, Nashik's highest Sky Lounge - After Dark and Freesia: The Lounge, centrally located on the Presidential Enclave Floor.
Express Inn has some of the best banqueting facilities in Nashik and excellent F&B to back it. Express Royale, is ideal to handle traditional weddings and grand conferences for 800 + guests at a time. Grandeur is ideal for a corporate conference or a festive ring ceremony, high-end social get-togethers or kitty parties or any other kind of gathering upto 300 guests. On the other hand there are meeting rooms that cater to less number of guests making it a good option for short business meetings or seminar, an intimate engagement or birthday celebration. All venues are well equipped with latest technologies and gadgets.
This luxury hotel is fast becoming a wedding destination. In addition to stylish wedding accommodations, Express Inn provides free assistance from certified wedding planners who help the clients with everything from invitations to wedding cakes to decorations to memorable farewells.
The hotel has an excellent fitness center, a spa, salon, Club X which has billiards, table tennis, play station, nutrition parlour and the one and only squash court in Nashik. Another new addition was the Sohum Spa and I was pretty impressed by the massage as well as the saloon.
Unlike most hotels that outsource their transportation, Express Inn has preferred to employ their own drivers - 13 drivers for 12 vehicles. The management feels by doing this they have a control on the drivers – dressing sense, behavior etc and hence provide the best services to their guests.
Connecting with leading online portals, wedding planners, event management companies and PCO's is a regular process for Express Inn team. Banner promotion between Nashik - Mumbai – Pune as well as advertising in leading publications. The hotel has several corporate tie-ups, global tie-up with Preferred Hotels, member of associations like FHRAI, PATA, ICPB.
“Express Inn Nashik is a member of Preferred Hotels and resorts who market Express Inn for MICE in 60 countries through their Network. Having tied up with Preferred Hotels and Resorts guests who become members of iPrefer Hotel Rewards can earn points in over 600+ participating iPrefer Hotels within Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Finally I cannot miss to mention the personal touch you and your publication Global Destinations which has supported us from the start and helped us grow our business network both within India and globally,” said Vikas Shelar.
The hotel has won several awards and has been for long No. 1 Hotel in Nashik as per the guest reviews by TripAdvisor. They have also been ranked No. 1 in Swachh Hotel Ranking in Nashik under Swachh Bharat Mission. They have won LTG Award at London and also won India Hospitality award (west and south) as Best Luxury Business Hotel in western India. And now the National Tourism Award.
Talking on the future plans Narayan Shelar said, “At our existing property Express Inn, Nashik we are planning a 25,000 sq.ft. i.e., G+1 along with a nice terrace. It will be basically an upscale multipurpose venue. We will soon be starting work for a five star hotel in Aurangabad with 150+ rooms. Later we plan to add more hotels across Maharashtra and beyond.”
Express Inn wins National Tourism Award
It’s with great pride we share that Express Inn, Nashik, one of our regular partners for seven consecutive years recently won the coveted India’s National Tourism Award. It was awarded The National Tourism Award – 2017-18 in the best Three Star Category Hotel across India. The award was presented on World Tourism Day. It was a double bonanza as this year India was hosting the official celebrations of World Tourism Day with the theme ‘Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all”. So Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, World Tourism Organization was also present at the National Tourism Award ceremony. The award was received by Narayan Shelar, CMD and Vikas Shelar, Director, Express Inn Group at the hands of India’s Union Tourism Minister, Hon. Prahlad Singh Patel and Secretary General, World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili. The event was also graced by the presence of Vice President of India, Hon. Venkaiah Naidu.