|ITC’s hotel division was launched on October 18, 1975, with the opening of its first hotel - Chola Sheraton in Chennai. ITC - Hotels, Palaces and Resorts, is today one of India’s finest hotel chains, with its distinctive logo of hands folded in the traditional Namaste is widely recognised as the ultimate in Indian hospitality.
Each of the chain’s hotels pays architectural tribute to ancient dynasties, which ruled India from time to time. The design concept and themes of these dynasties play an important part in their respective style and decor.
With more and more hotels being added at strategic destinations, the group has joined hands with the Sheraton Corporation to strengthen its international marketing base.
Growth Under Five Brands
Perhaps in the topmost rung of India‘s hospitality business, ITC-Hotel’s properties are classified under five distinct brands.
ITC Hotels - Luxury Collection are super deluxe and premium hotels located at strategic business and leisure locations.
ITC-Hotels Sheraton Hotels offer warm, comforting services to the global traveller and a chance to connect.
WelcomHotels offer five-star hospitality for the discerning business and leisure traveller.
Fortune Hotels offer full service properties all over India, including smaller towns and cities, ideal for the budget traveller.
WelcomHeritage brings together a chain of palaces, forts, havelis and resorts that offer a unique experience. WelcomHeritage endeavours to preserve ancient royal homes and the historical Indian grandeur and opulence for the future Indian generations.
The exclusive Towers concept of a hotel within a hotel, with its own Towers Club and an unique service design is now available at six ITC Luxury Collection hotels. The Executive Club, a concept designed to meet the specific needs of the business traveller, pioneers a tradition in corporate hospitality, setting a premium on discreet efficiency and business related services. Executive Club services are available at nine ITC- hotels at key business locations. The recently launched ITC One offers a new dimension in Corporate Hospitality and is about discovering the‘Power of Personal Space’. ITC One is available at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi , ITC Maratha, Mumbai, ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, ITC Sonar, Kolkata, ITC Windsor, Bangalore and ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad.
Exclusive rooms dedicated for the single lady traveler. These rooms have amenities keeping in mind the requirements of a lady pertaining to her special needs in bathroom accessories, security, safety and comfort levels . Service in these rooms , is done by an all ladies team .
India’s culinary heritage has always been strengthened by the safe hands of the chefs of ITC- Hotels. The Bukhara and Peshawri restaurants give epicures the rugged, outdoor cuisine and the 1000 year culinary adventure of the Northwest Frontier Province.
Dakshin has brought together the highly evolved cuisines of the four southern states- Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Dum Pukht is a unique restaurant dedicated to a 200-year old culinary tradition of slow cooking food, in sealed‘deghs’. The fragrance of the meal becomes an invitation befitting royalty. Today the connoisseur can savour these delicacies across the country.
Rated high by food connoisseurs all over the world, the group takes exceptional pride in showcasing its internationally renowned cuisine. Distinguished for its ambience and unsurpassed standards of food and beverages, the list is a gastronomical journey starting with Dublin, the Irish pub; along with West View, an authentic grill that brings alive the Western in you; with the Pan Asian, serving specialties from China, Thailand, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
With branded Restaurants exclusive to ITC-Hotels, spread throughout the country, ITC-Hotels has created benchmarks in all areas of hospitality.
ITC-Hotels was perhaps the first hotel chain in the mid 1980s to foresee a boom in business travel and realised distinct needs of the corporate traveller.
ITC-Hotels has pioneered the concept of "Branded Accommodation" in the hospitality industry. Branding led to the creation of separate categories of rooms, each with a different service design, aimed at different target segments. The different room categories were branded Executive Club, The Towers and lately, ITC One. The Towers and ITC One introduced the winning concept of a ‘hotel within a hotel’. The Indian corporate world gave its unqualified approval to this segmentation.
Going beyond the corporate travellers, the chain’s flagship hotels, ITC Maurya, New Delhi and ITC Windsor, Bangalore have had the proud privilege of hosting many world leaders: from former US President Bill Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, to business tycoons like Bill Gates and Michael Dell.
These hotels received not just the stamp of approval not only from these leaders, but from their security chiefs as well!
There have been many other pioneering efforts at ITC-Hotels:
ITC Maurya, New Delhi is also the only one in India, to have won the British Safety Council’s ‘Sword of Honour’- Thrice.
ITC Maurya, New Delhi is India’s first hotel to be accorded the ISO 14001 certification for its Environment Management Systems.
Eight more ITC-Hotels followed in quick succession: ITC Mughal, Agra; ITC Windsor, Bangalore; ITC Hotel Park Sheraton & Towers, Chennai; Sheraton Chola, Chennai; ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad; Sheraton Rajputana, Jaipur; ITC Maratha, Mumbai and ITC Sonar, Kolkata.
ITC Maurya is the first hotel in India to be awarded the Golden Peacock Environment Management Award for 2001 by the World Environment Foundation.
ITC Maratha at Mumbai was declared to be the Best Luxury Hotel of the Year 2002, by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India.
ITC Mughal at Agra was Asia’s first winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Bukhara and Dum Pukht, both at ITC Maurya, New Delhi are amongst the first Indian restaurants to win the International Golden Fork Award.
Bukhara has been rated as the Best Indian Restaurant amongst 15 others worldwide, by “The Restaurant Magazine” (UK), successively in the years 2002 and 2003.
Most recently, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) in the April 2004 issue of its magazine Business and Travel, declared ITC Sonar, Kolkata as one of the best hotels in the world, Dublin amongst the top 20 bars and in a fitting finale, Bukhara was rated as the best restaurant in Asia and the finest Indian restaurant in the world.
ITC-Hotels won the PATA Gold Award in the Corporate Environmental category for its WelcomEnviron initiatives in April 2005.
ITC – Hotels was featured as a “Superbrand” - a status awarded to the organization by the Superbrands Council comprising of eminent personalities from the world of branding. For its distinctiveness in terms of historic evolution, marketing, advertising and design achievements, ITC – Hotels has been voted as one amongst the 101 strongest brands in India.
Promotion of India’s Cultural Heritage
WelcomTheatre was launched eight years ago, to provide guests with a complete experience through entertainment. Acknowledging theatre and art as integral to a country’s culture and tradition, Hotels offers Quality entertainment & theatrical experiences through WelcomTheatre.
While each hotel has its own vast collection of art and art objects, the group decided to brand all art activities, under the banner WelcomArt. Through the Srishti Art Galleries located at hotels, the best of Indian contemporary art finds a focus.
In re-deploying ex-servicemen it assists the national effort by offering a platform for their rehabilitation into productive civilian life.
WelcomEnviron defines hotels ’s active commitment to the environment. The need for maintaining an ecological balance and working towards that goal as a concerned "Corporate Citizen" is a high priority at hotels. Each hotel thus operates in harmony with nature. "Reduce, Re-use and Recycle" is the Environmental message sent out by every ITC-Hotels.