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 January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.