Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Advani

Nikheel Advani

Chief Operating Officer & Principal, Grace Bay Resorts

Internationally recognized as one of the industry's most distinguished hoteliers, Nikheel Advani, Chief Operating Officer and Principal of Grace Bay Resorts, has established his reputation for hands-on management with more than 24 years of experience. In his role as Chief Operating Officer for Grace Bay Resorts, Mr. Advani oversees the operation of Grace Bay Club, the company's flagship resort, West Bay Club, The Residences at Grace Bay and The Dunes. He is also actively involved in the acquisition of new Grace Bay Resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America. Over the past decade, Mr. Advani has played an integral role in the resort's overall growth. He served as the top operational executive in the expansion and renovation of Grace Bay Club as it evolved from a $14 million, 21-room boutique hotel to a full-service luxury resort boasting 82 suites and residences now valued at over $250 million. He is also responsible for the acquisition and repositioning of West Bay Club, an idyllic resort located three miles from Grace Bay Club. Training and mentoring staff at Grace Bay Resorts is a priority for Mr. Advani who founded Grace Bay Club Hotel School. The school, a first of its kind in Turks & Caicos, is designed to train local hospitality staff in productivity and service. The school employs an experiential learning model with courses in table service, wine and customer communication. Prior to joining Grace Bay Club, Mr. Advani served as Hotel Manager at the renowned Raffles Hotel Singapore and led the Food & Beverage program for the entire Asia Pacific region. Additionally, Mr. Advani spent seven years with Ritz‐Carlton Hotels internationally where he specialized in hotel openings and operations, moving within the organization from Food & Beverage Manager to Executive Assistant Manager in Ritz‐Carlton properties spanning from Singapore to New York City. Highly respected with the hospitality industry, Mr. Advani has received numerous awards over the course of his career including two most recently from Island Destinations; ‘Ultimate Hotelier of the Year' in 2012 and ‘Ultimate Culinary Innovation' in 2014. Grace Bay Club is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, where Mr. Advani is currently a member of the Global Marketing Advisory Committee. Mr. Advani has also sat on the board of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association for three years, and currently serves on the board of The Bodhi Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization charged with mobilizing support from travelers and the tourism industry to protect places and people around the globe. He also teaches at the renowned Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Les Roches International School of Hotel Management. Mr. Advani graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with an honors degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration in addition to successfully completing the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School. A Singapore national, Mr. Advani is fluent in English and Mandarin and proficient in French and Hindi. Mr. Advani resides on the beautiful island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos with his wife and daughter.

Mr. Advani can be contacted at 649-946-5050 or nikheel@gracebayresorts.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.