Associated with some of the world’s finest hotels, MPS, or Manvinder Puri has dedicated his career to working in the hospitality industry for nearly 40 years.
As 2014 marks the fifth anniversary of Nira Hotels & Resorts, Luxurious Magazine finds out more about the seasoned hotelier and the boutique luxury hotel group.
LM: You founded Nira Hotels in 2009. What concepts have you created/implemented to improve its luxury status and appeal?
MPS: There are currently three resorts in the Nira Hotels & Resorts group and they are all incredibly diverse. From Nira Caledonia, a Grade 1 listed building in the centre of Edinburgh, to the beach resort of Shanti Maurice in Mauritius, to Nira Alpina, a ski-in ski-out hotel in the Swiss mountains. At each, it’s the core values of Nira that make the individual properties stand out. Those values are excellent service, relationships, value for money and our on-going commitment to culinary art.
Nira is based on the tenets of Asian-style hospitality, with an emphasis on personalised and heartfelt service. Through Nira we have created a hotel experience in which luxury is defined not by opulence and formality but by attentiveness and positive engagement. We are devoted to pleasure for our guests and achieve this by a simple philosophy: ‘Guests arrive as residents, leave as friends and return as family’. When they come back they are part of the Nira community.
LM: Nira Hotels expands its portfolio to five properties this year, as it marks its fifth anniversary. Tell us more about your exciting plans, the new properties and their special offerings.
MPS: In December 2014, Nira Montana will open as a boutique alpine hotel in north Italy, while Nira Yana will launch on the idyllic Indian Ocean island of Pemba. Situated in the picturesque town of La Thuile, at the foot of Mont Blanc, 55-room Nira Montana is just steps from the ski slopes and hiking trails of the Italian Alps. The reason why we chose to open here is because La Thuile retains an authentic mountain village feel, with beautiful views of the Alps. Built in the style of the valley’s traditional houses, the attractive, three-storey Nira Montana will be constructed of wood and stone, using energy saving systems and will be a member of Design Hotels.
Nira Yana, a new resort on the beautiful island of Pemba, Zanzibar, is surrounded by powdery silver sands and will be a private beach resort comprising 30 spacious and elegant bedrooms. Known as ‘The Green Island’, Pemba is set amongst the pristine Indian Ocean waters, off the coast of Tanzania. Just a 20 minute plane ride from Zanzibar, Pemba offers an elegant and authentic way to experience the natural beauty of Africa’s East Coast, with its lush terrain and outstanding coral reef.
We also have ambitious development plans for the brand and we have already earmarked sites in Africa, Asia and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.
LM: Why have you decided to launch your new properties on Pemba Island, Zanzibar and in the northern Italian Alps?
MPS: We choose locations based on how best we can provide the experiences our guests are looking for. We want to be able to offer variety, so guests automatically think of staying with Nira wherever they want to go and whatever type of holiday they desire. Whether it’s skiing or relaxing on the beach, we want our guests to experience it with us. Both destinations – La Thuile and Pemba Island – hold great potential for a range of international travellers. At each, it’s the core values of Nira that make the individual properties stand out.
LM: Which is your favourite Nira Resort out of the existing properties and why?
MPS: It’s impossible to pick a favourite as they are all very different – it’s usually the last one I visited! However on a personal level, I consider the Engadin Valley, where Nira Alpina is located, my home.
LM: Where is your favourite luxurious destination in the world and why?
MPS: Generally I would always choose to travel to the east rather than the west. In particular Japan is a wonderful place to visit thanks to its unsurpassed commitment to quality and service.
LM: What is your favourite type of cuisine? Do you have a favourite restaurant that you like to dine at?
MPS: I love to try out the latest restaurants that have opened in the places I visit, but I need to have Asian food on a regular basis. One of my favourite restaurants in London is Pitt Cue in Soho and for authentic Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist, Moti Mahal is a ‘must’. It showcases the best of Northern India’s culinary traditions.