In Conversation With Allen Machado, Chief Executive Officer, Niraamaya Wellness Retreats

We offer you a memorable stay with a promise of a relaxed & rejuvenated body, mind and soul through fresh air, good food and personalized services.

1.Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your past career, your leadership style, your personal triumphs, any challenges you faced.

Being a hospitality professional for over 22 years I have had the good fortune to be a part of various verticals of the hospitality business ranging from high-end luxury business hotels to Uber chic and ultra-luxurious resort brands like The Oberoi Group of Hotels, the Intercontinental Hotels Group and The One & Only Hotels and Resorts to name a few. This spectrum of experience has always given me the ability to deliver at the highest levels.

Through the years, I was humbled to have been recognised and rewarded with awards for exemplary work in Revenue Management practices that set records in the company. The IHG award for the highest system delivery in the region among 40+ hotels in the brand and their long service award as well as the Hospitality professional of the year; are a few of the ones I cherish. My leadership style can be described as collaborative. I believe strongly in my team’s ability and professionalism and encourage them to live their lives to the fullest and achieve what they have set out to do. I vehemently believe in the adage ‘Live with no excuses and Travel with no Regrets’.

2. Could you please describe briefly for our readers what the Niraamaya brand stands for and some unique must-have experiences that travellers can enjoy at the various properties?

Niraamaya Retreats are an embodiment of wellness and luxury, operating in India’s most sought-after destinations, designed with craftsmanship that offer the stillness and charm of a peaceful retreat and pride of experiencing contemporary hospitality, integrating a seamless blend of regional heritage and culture facets. Our Spas combine time tested age-old traditional methods and practices, with innovative techniques to provide luxurious wellness vacations for our discerning guests. Our full board Ayurveda Wellness Destination Programs are multi-day packages that combine Ayurveda therapies, Yoga and wellness diet along with guests’ stay at Niraamaya Retreats.

We offer you a memorable stay with a promise of a relaxed & rejuvenated body, mind and soul through fresh air, good food and personalized services. Our Inhouse Ayurveda physicians and Nurses at the Functional medicine centre, Doctors on call, access to the top 100 Doctors across the world who are on the board of advisors, availability of functional medical equipment inhouse –e.g., IV s, Ozone Bath, colon hydrotherapy machines, Infrared machines, etc. are some of the unique experiences which is a must-have during the visit to our retreats. We celebrate the destination that we operate in. So be sure to ask for some local experiences, wherever you stay with us. We have highly efficient and dedicated staff who are willing to go the extra mile and stop at nothing to ensure that every guest feels cared for and no challenge goes unresolved. This attitude of our staff helps us in keeping the high standards consistently and providing the best services to our guests.

3. What is your vision for the Niraamaya group, both short term and long term? Will you be ushering in any changes?

One of the philosophies of Niraamaya Retreats is to develop and nurture properties that provide a sense of space and well-being. The group is on the constant lookout for similar properties to build alliances and acquisitions and help smaller boutique properties leverage Niraamaya’ s expertise with respect to achieving high ARRs and attracting long stay guests. We have been setting the bar high and have been an inspirational brand for over a decade and we want to leave our legacy in the hospitality industry.

My vision is to turn these properties into showcases of wellness and bespoke architecture and transform Niraamaya into a global wellness and luxury destination with a worldwide footprint. My short-term focus is to expand the portfolio across key destinations like Jaipur, Udaipur, Darjeeling and other exotic locales and key cities abroad as well as strengthen the Niraamaya Private Residences portfolio across India. My Long term focus and vision is to diversify our enviable wellness quotient and expand it into other verticals of profitable business

4.Since wellness is Niraamaya’s forte, how do you plan to position the brand so that it benefits from the increased interest in health and wellness tourism?

At Niraamaya, our belief is to turn Niraamaya into global wellness and luxury brand. We package a very high-end model for authentic Ayurveda and Functional Medicine treatments. Bespoke in every way, Niraamaya Retreats specializes in creating individualized wellness immersions that combine focused diet routines, personalized wellness sessions and traditional Ayurvedic therapies, curative treatments in the most luxurious settings. The depth of these immersions is personalized to the preferences of every guest and tailored to their lifestyle choices. Functional Medicine is the future of conventional medicine, which seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialities. The programs are specifically targeted at addressing and eliminating the top chronic lifestyle issues faced by most of the world today, namely, Stress, Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, and a host of other ailments. We have received a good response to our introductory 3 nights programs which includes programs like – Detox, Gut Purification and Skin Radiance. Our long stay packages like the immunity rejuvenation program and post covid care program are also popular and are seeing a steady growth.

5.Do you feel domestic travellers are as attuned to wellness travel as international ones? While inbound tourism may be at a standstill for a while longer, is Niraamaya offering anything tailormade to attract domestic travellers?

I believe that the entire domestic traveller will pivot towards the unexplored and the under appreciated world of wellness going forward. Not only would this hold true for the hospitality industry, but it would hold true for all aspects of human existence. People traveling on business would also want their life or their travel to have some aspect of wellness, people going for leisure breaks with their family would want some aspect of wellness, people living at home and not traveling anywhere would start introspecting whether they are doing things that take them closer towards holistic wellbeing. Hence, I feel wellness in this post covid era is going to be one of the most significant pivots for humanity.

International travelers were all about confidence and yes, the business did take an impact initially. India a country with a 300 million-strong middle class, has thrived far better than ever before because the charm of going out for European and South-Eastern Asian holidays are diminished. People are finding virtue in the beauty of their own country and destinations like Goa, Uttarakhand, Kashmir, Himachal, and Kerala are predominantly popular among the travelers and is seeing a huge demand. India is the country where Ayurveda originated, and Ayurveda is the bedrock of all alternate medicine practices. With humanity forced to look inwards towards health, relationship, self-consciousness, wellness tourism will see a renewed resurgence and an even greater global acceptance and respect. We have introduced a whole range of wellness programs including Diabetes Reversal Program, Metabolic Obesity, Immunity Rejuvenation, Mindfulness, Stress Management, Gut Restoration, Aesthetics, Deep Detox Program and Post Covid Care Program– all in the lovely environs of Surya Samura, Kovalam and at our retreat in Solan.

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