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 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.