Say hello to the new Pune: An elevating experience
From a pensioners’ paradise to a place for the young, Pune’s changing demographics have made an impact on the city’s landscape and ethos. As we bid adieu to the past decade and get ready to step into 2020, we take a look at some of the newer facets that the city now boasts about
This quaint city, which mostly housed pensioners in days of yore, now bustles with college students, IT professionals, expatriates and so on. The change is evident in Pune’s skyline. With wadas giving way to high-rises, the city has been increasingly expanding its living space to welcome people. Besides affordable apartments, several luxurious residential complexes have also come up. Many luxurious hotel brands have also set up shop.
Giving us an insight into Pune’s market and how its luxury offerings have changed over the past decade or so, Vineet Mishra, general manager, The Ritz-Carlton Pune, says, “Pune was always known for its colonial past, culture and weather which made it a perfect retirement place or a city where many people longed to own a second home. The city has successfully lived through its past and has embraced its present and future. It has seen the growth of a lot of industries including telecommunications, automobiles and IT. This has attracted a lot of attention from the hospitality sector.”
However, this alone has not led to the increasing number of luxury hotels. As more and more Indians get an exposure to the global culture, they want a slice of the good life too. “The locals here too are on a journey of seeking new experiences — better than the last, be it in terms of food, spas and even stays,” says Mishra.
Be it for a wedding or a conference, hotels are now being used as destination hotels instead of travelling to another city or state. “Then there’s always food which appeals to people more than anything else so understanding and offering food that will elevate their experience is always a top priority for properties,” he adds. This trend was first experienced at JW Marriott Pune that saw an increase in travellers who belonged to both leisure and business backgrounds. What was different was the fact that locals were willing to check in and have a staycation while relaxing and rewinding in their hometown.
The clientele is vivid. “We’ve had women who come in for afternoon teas, youngsters who want to enjoy a fine dining experience at speciality restaurants and even a few who like to drop in to relax, so people from all age groups find a little something that appeals to them,” he says.