Deepak Ohri is a name that has become synonymous across the globe with the ‘luxury experience’. By drawing on his unique vision of hospitality, which taps into a deeper level of exchange with guests to create a lasting emotional connection, Mr. Ohri has made lebua Hotels and Resorts a global luxury brand in just 18 years. In this Q&A with the hugely successful entrepreneur we discover more about the lebua offering and insights into the future of luxury travel. Read on to find out more.
Describe A Typical Day For You, If Such A Thing Exists!
A new day every day. The only typical thing is that the sun rises every day.
Building A Luxury Hotel Resort Is No Mean Feat, Tell Us About Some Of The Challenges You Faced And How You Overcame Them.
The biggest challenge is to make people believe that we are going to achieve it, and the day we can make people believe in you then every feat is a small feat.
The Award-winning Food And Beverage Offering At The Dome At lebua Is Internationally Acclaimed. Please Share With Us How You Create A Different Ambience, Menu And Innovative Flair Within Each Establishment Yet Maintain The Highest Level Of Service And Quality Across Each.
To create a different ambience and a different product is very easy, because we have created The World’s First Vertical Destination and the reason why we are so successful in creating The World’s First Vertical Destination is that we knew from day one who we are catering for. We knew who our customers are and focused on what they like and dislike and we just followed which made things easier after that.
lebua Is The Only Hotel In Thailand To House Two x Two Michelin Starred Restaurants Under One Roof (Awarded To Chef’s Table And Mezzaluna) What Does This Mean To You And Your Team?
It means to us that we are delivering the highest standard to all our customers and we are very proud of that and that it is reciprocated by our customers when they dine with us.
Please Tell Us More About What A Guest Can Expect From The lebua Experience.
What guests can experience at lebua hotels & resorts can only be experienced by lebua that’s why the number of repeat customers is very high.
With A Collection Of 5-star Hotels And Fine Restaurants In Thailand, New Zealand And India, There Are Plans To Expand lebua Brand Globally. How And Where Does This Expansion Plan Start?
The whole expansion started when the first customer walked in, in December 2003 when we first opened Sirocco. That was the beginning of the journey. This whole expansion by adding the restaurants and hotel is just forming part of our customers’ journey.
The Travel And Hospitality Sector Has Experienced Disconcerting Times In Recent Months, How Is lebua As A Brand Dealing With The Current Covid-19 Climate And The Challenges It Presents?
Before COVID, the hospitality industry knew that we are what we are because of our people, but when the pandemic struck, the most unfortunate thing that the hospitality industry did is to let the very same people, who are the foundation of their business, go. At lebua, we did not let a single employee go. The pandemic has shown how strong our foundation is, and the credit goes to the owners and all employees, I’m very grateful to them.
Please Tell Us More About The SHA Regulations And Guidelines You Are Implementing To Help Protect Your Team And Your Guests.
We ensure our guest and employees safety by making sure everyone cleans their hands regularly with the alcohol-based hand sanitiser placed in various sections, temperature checks, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks among many others measures too.
Other Than The Health and Safety Aspects Do You Think There Will Be Any New Travel Trends to Emerge Because of the Pandemic?
Many changes are taking place, and many have taken place. Some are temporary – travelling, corporate, MICE – these are temporary because business will come back. Some people are saying fine dining will disappear, but that’s not true. When people have money, they will want the time and experiences to enjoy it. The permanent change you’ll see is a new breed of asset management. The customers moving forward will be Millennials and the Gen-Z generation, and that’s why I want to be the first one in the world to create a hospitality brand for the post-COVID period for those generations.
What is your top tip for a first-time visitor to Bangkok?
There is a saying if you visit Rome you can skip visiting Vatican, but if you visit Bangkok and you skip visiting lebua it is a sin.
Luxury Means Different Things To Different People – What Does It Mean To You?
Luxury to me is a feeling and experience that you can cherish forever.
What Is Your Life Motto?
I follow Mark Twain’s quote: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”