Umaid Bhavan Palace
Umaid Bhavan Palace

Marketing Lesson from Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

During my visit to Jodhpur, I saw some amazing places and learned some secrets which the city holds within. Here I am sharing my experience of visiting Umaid Bhawan Palace.

On the first day of my visit to Jodhpur, I went to see the Umaid Bhawan Palace, an architectural marvel.

The palace is divided into 3 parts:

First part is a museum, open for public and tourists. It tells amazing stories and facts about Jodhpur.

The second part is the home to Jodhpur’s royal family. Yes, the royal family still resides in the palace. This is the restricted area.

The third part is the hotel. The IHCL manages the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel.

In the morning I visited the museum part, it houses amazing vintage car collection. The architectural marvel of Umaid Bhawan made me curious. I wanted to see the palace and learn more about it, there was an urge to see the palace from inside. So, I thought of visiting the Umaid Bhawan Hotel.

Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel:

I planned to visit the Pillars restaurant at the Umaid Bhawan hotel for dinner. At 8 pm I was finally standing at the doors of the grand Umaid Bhawan Hotel. The guard did not allow me inside the gates. He said — “Only hotel guests and no outsiders or local people can visit the restaurant.”

As I insisted, he gave me the contact of the restaurant manager. I requested the restaurant manager for a table at the Pillars restaurant, informing him that I am outside the hotel gates. He immediately instructed the guard to let me in.

Within no time I was standing at the corridors of Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel. As expected it was amazingly beautiful from the inside. “It’s built recently and not decades ago” I thought, admiring its immaculate condition.

To my surprise, the courteous restaurant manager offered me a palace tour before dinner. He told me amazing facts about the palace and its architecture.

“The palace built from Jodhpur rock, doesn’t need maintenance.”, said the guide. Which means that there is no need to clean or paint the walls and roof of the palace as the rock never gets dirty. Another amazing fact about the palace was that there was no binding material used for its construction. Interlocked rocks used to build the palace gave it the required stability and strength.

The lesson:

Soon I was escorted to the Pillars restaurant for dinner.

While having dinner I asked the manager — “Why are locals and other tourists not allowed in the restaurant?”

He politely said that we want to make the hotel guests feel like they are at home and not in a hotel. Hence the 2 restaurants inside the hotel are only operational for them.

I was blown away by this answer as I had never seen such a service where the business is so focused on delivering value to its customers, that they are ready to take decisions which are restricting them to expand the business.

I was not surprised when the manager told me that every year during the peak season (winters) the hotel is fully occupied.

Many luxury hotels and resorts, have courteous staff and great facilities, but to have something ingrained in the business model which delivers value to the customer is seen very rarely.

I not only had an amazing evening and dinner at Umaid Bhavan Hotel but also learned an amazing lesson in marketing.

If you have had any similar experiences, please mention them in the comments below. Thanks!

Read about Loyalty Marketing and improving customer experience at my blog on Loyalty Markreting.

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Palka Kejriwal

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