Our job is to create experience: GM of JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata

Sunil Kumar wants the guests to have an exceptional experience at the property during Durga Puja celebrations

Our job is to create experience: GM of JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata

If you’re looking for Sunil Kumar, the new General Manager at the JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata and can’t find him anywhere on the property, make sure to check out the JW Lounge. It’s known as the perfect place to unwind and enjoy luxury, offering the best coffee and becoming a favourite spot for many guests. “Right next to the lounge, there’s a fantastic bar serving amazing cocktails. JW Lounge creates a wonderful indoor-outdoor experience,” he said.

Before coming to Kolkata, Kumar served as the General Manager of The Westin Goa. When asked about his transition from the party capital of India to Kolkata, he shared, “In Goa, I worked at a leisure hotel, while JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata is a business hotel. Each city has its own unique charm. When I’m in Kolkata, I don’t find myself missing Goa. As a hotelier, you know what you’re signing up for and I’m excited about the experiences Kolkata has to offer.”

With nearly 24 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Kumar is known for his exceptional leadership skills in the luxury hotel sector. Currently, he is dedicated to revamping the F&B segment of the JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata. He emphasised the unique dynamics of the Kolkata market and said, “In other markets, typically 40 percent of our business is derived from F&B, with the remaining 60 percent coming from room bookings. However, in Kolkata, an impressive 55 percent of our business is driven by catering, banquets and F&B, while 45 percent is from room bookings. My previous roles mostly involved properties where room bookings held a larger share, so in that sense, Kolkata presents an exciting challenge for me.”

The JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata has become one of the favourite destinations for weddings in the city. “Kolkata has a thriving wedding industry and alongside that, we also handle a substantial volume of corporate bookings. There’s never a day when our banquet is vacant,” he said.

When asked about the post-COVID-19 trends in the hospitality industry, Kumar mentioned how much the business landscape has evolved. “The pandemic brought about significant changes in how people approached dining. Five-star hotels were traditionally associated with fine dining experiences and luxury. However, in the post-pandemic era, there has been a surge in interest in five-star properties. Previously, we also didn’t consider home delivery a significant area to explore. But our outlook completely transformed after COVID-19. The introduction of ‘Marriott on Wheels’ has been a success,” he said.

Kumar also emphasised the group’s keen interest in expanding its presence in B-grade cities. “B-grade cities hold just as much potential as the big cities. Therefore, our primary focus is on establishing our presence in these B-grade cities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the JW Marriott Hotel in Kolkata is gearing up to celebrate Durga Puja with its patrons. “We are in the process of bringing in an expat chef for ‘Vintage Asia’ and revamping the menu. Our Sundays at JW Kitchen also hold special attractions for our guests,” Kumar said.

The experienced hotelier wants every patron to enjoy an exceptional experience when they step into the JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata. “We are a luxury hotel. Our job isn’t to serve guests and get business. Our job is to create experience and elevate the luxury quotient. I want every guest who walks into JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata to walk out with experience,” he said.

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