POKHARA, April 19: Dense Nirmal Pokhari forest on the top, Seti River flowing beneath, and chirping of birds all around make the whole ambience magnificent. Machhapuchchhre and Annapurna in the distance give a spectacular view when the sky is clear. For an outsider who reaches Mountain Glory Forest Resort and Spa, a luxury hotel built near Nirmal Pokhari jungle, it is almost a different world.
Obviously, work would not be easy for those who build the infrastructure for such resort. But for the guests who stay in the resort, the experience is mesmerizing.
At a time when hospitality entrepreneurs are complaining that tourist destination Pokhara is becoming a cheap destination for many, the resort has been opened at the entrance of the jungle with an aim to attract and provide hospitality services to high-end tourists.
“Pokhara should not be known as a cheap destination. It should cater to high-end guests. And to attract high-spending tourists, there should be services and infrastructures to match that level,” said Biswesh Shrestha, the resort’s director.
“We want to meet the infrastructure gap. To spend generously, they need such places. Cheap services do not increase tourist spending. There should be services and amenities where they can spend. Our aim is to provide adequate services to encourage them to spend more,” he added.
The resort was opened with an investment of Rs 1.25 billion by a group of entrepreneurs who have a long experience in the tourism sector, according to Shrestha.
“Pokhara has so far failed to attract high-end tourists mainly due to lack of adequate infrastructure. We have targeted high-end tourists. We prefer higher spending tourists over higher number of tourists,” he said.
According to the resort’s manager Dikshant Malla, the resort with 64 rooms is spread over 68 ropani of land.
Of the total rooms, 62 are deluxe, one suite, and one presidential suite. He said that the resort will come into full-fledged operation next week. The resort is already in operation for the last four months with 48 rooms, he added.
The price of deluxe room per night is US$250 while the double deluxe room costs $300. The suite costs $450 and the presidential suite $550 per night.
“Guests will be fully satisfied with the services that they pay for. Our services will be really good value for money,” he said.
The resort also has three seminar halls targeted for meeting, seminar and other events. The biggest hall will have a capacity to host up to 300 guests, according to Malla.
“The occupancy of the resort has been encouraging since it came into operation. We have already prepared our market strategy to attract guests since the day it comes into full-fledged operation,” he said.
“A team of the resort is in China to organize promotional activities of the resort and attract Chinese tourists,” he said. “There is a need for marketing of the resort. Our services are equivalent to a five-star hotel. We will go for an aggressive marketing after the resort comes into full-fledged operation. We have to do hard-work to attract affluent guests.”
Malla said that the resort targets luxury tourists who want to experience serene environment and beautiful scenery. “Those guests who want to get rid of the hustle and bustle of the city will enjoy in this resort. All services and amenities that are available in Pokhara will be offered to them,” he said.
The resort is about 5 kilometers from Lakeside of Pokhara. Each of the building in the resort comprises three rooms, while the suite and presidential suite are separately built. Malla said that tennis court, badminton court, cycling trail and other infrastructure were being built, whereas swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna facilities were already available.
He opined that more high-spending tourists will come to Pokhara after the regional international airport comes into operation. “The international airport will connect Pokhara directly with international cities when it comes into operation after one and a half years. After that, Pokhara will receive more affluent tourists,” he said.
“When the flow of high-spending tourists rises, we have to increase our capacity. We already have a plan for that,” he added.