Tête-à-Tête: Himmat Anand, Founder, Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels
(In conversation with Vishakha Talreja)

Everyone has a different definition of luxury. For some people it’s about amenities, for others its about privacy.
HIMMAT ANAND
Founder, Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels

If you are a discerning traveller chances are you would have heard about the enticing Tree of Life Resorts. A travel industry veteran, Tree of Life Jaipur was Himmat Anand’s retirement plan. This beautiful plan though soon transformed into a popular luxury boutique hotel chain.

Here is a freewheeling chat with the man who has the humor, wit and lots of experience in the travel industry. No wonder there is never a dull moment when you are interviewing Mr Anand. While his social media page is full of witty status messages, here is all you need to know about his hotel chain. He also shares some interesting booking tips. Read on:

After working for leading travel companies, how come you decided to become a hotelier? 

Even thirty years back I knew I will open a hotel one day. In 2007 I quit Kuoni and  launched my first property- Tree of Life Resort in Jaipur. I thought it will be my retirement plan and wanted to have just one property. But then my son joined in and said we should do more hotels. Tree of Life Resorts are a labour of love wherein I oversee everything right from the construction stage. I don’t leave it to the thekedars ( contractors). I am not a very ambitious man as long as my bills are being paid. It’s been a great learning experience and I am thoroughly enjoying every bit of being a hotelier!

What are the expansion plans you have for your hotel chain. 

We currently have four properties under Tree of Life umbrella- Tree of Life Resort & Spa in Jaipur, Tree of Life TarSaraasa Resort & Spa in Udaipur, Tree of Life Grand Oak Manor at Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tree of Life Jaagir Lodge in Dudhwa National Park. In 2017 we will be opening Tree of Life Resort & Spa in Varanasi and by 2018 in Agra. The new hotel in Agra is very important for us as most of the foreign tourist come to stay with us in Jaipur want to go to Agra as well to complete the Golden Triangle tour.

 

Tree of Life JAipur Reception Sitting

Tree of Life Resort & Spa Jaipur

So we can say you run a luxury boutique hotel chain…

Well I am a bit apprehensive about using the word luxury as everyone has a different definition of luxury. For some people it’s about amenities, for some its about privacy..For me view of the mountains from my hotel room is luxury. Also today the definition of luxury is very different from what it was 15 years back.

Though I would like to add that Tree of Life Resorts are all about space, time and sense of calmness. So if that’s luxury for you then yes we fit the bill. Its a personalized experience that we offer. For instance at a Tree of Life property the chef will personally go to every room in the evening to discuss dinner menu.

Tree of Life properties typically have just 15-20 villas or rooms. We will never be in the centre of the city but outskirts say 8-10 kilometres from a city, away from all the hustle-bustle.

 

Luxury of Time: Tree of Life Resort, Udaipur

Luxury of Time: Tree of Life Resort TarSaraasa Udaipur

You have been in the travel industry for so long and now a hotelier. What is the best way for a traveller to book a hotel? 

If it’s a small hotel you should definitely call up directly and negotiate but there is no point calling up a chain hotel. It is better to book through an online travel agent (OTA) if you are looking at a chain property as they have better deals. There are so many hotel booking websites today so its a good idea to book through a new website. Lot of them have a marketing budget of their own so they give great discounts on hotels as part of the promotion. I would also recommend using apps and websites that help you in comparing prices offered by various OTAs.

 

Tree of Life Grand Oak Manor, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Tree of Life Grand Oak Manor, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Tree of Life Resorts are pet friendly. That’s great! 

Yes! We treat pets just as other guests and provide any special food requirements that they may have. There are just few restrictions like we don’t offer pool villas to guests checking in with pets. Unfortunately, most hotels in India do not allow pets, which is a pity. I am sure more and more would want to take their pets with them if awareness is created about properties like ours.

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    The Hotel Explorer is a hotel discovery platform that features curated reviews, hotel trends and latest buzz from the hotel industry. What more? You’ll get to know about all exciting hotel deals here, so that you can make informed decisions. In other words, it’s your personal ‘digital’ concierge to the world of hotels. And by hotels we mean not just the popular chains but also boutique properties, home stays, camps, vacation homes, holiday villas and serviced apartments ... in short wherever you choose to stay when travelling. Gear up for all the hotel advice and travel inspir

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