Luxury does not have to be expensive – it is borne of simplicity and a focus on making the experience seamless

Deepak Ohri, the Chief Executive Officer of LeBua Hotel & Resorts, is a true hotelier, someone who passionately works to exceed guest expectations and finds great pleasure in delighting a guest and creating memorable experiences.

Some have described him as creative, inspiring, innovative but the word used by many of his associates and friends say he is “visionary".   He has won many awards, for himself and the hotel. Deepak modestly gives his opinion of being called a Visionary “the vision is only 5% or 6% but most important is in executing the vision day in day out."

The many properties of Lebua include Lebua Resort Jaipur, and Lebua Lodge Amer, Jaipur India. Lebua’s exclusive Lake Okareka Lodge Rotarua, New Zealand is expensive, exclusive and extraordinarily luxurious; it is by invitation only. An avant garde policy, done by screening guests. Flying from all over the world; the distance and time taken to get there is taken into account, hungry at 2:00am, a cook and butler is there on hand to cater to that growling stomach.

Earlier in 2016 Deepak opened Lebua Lucknow, a luxury boutique hotel in India, blending traditional with modern ethos that each guest is made to feel part of the Ganga-Jamuna culture of Lucknow, Deepak’s birthplace.   Nothing stands still for this hotelier; the first quarter of 2017 will see Deepak launching a new venture.

It is Thailand’s first Whisky Bar, on the 64th floor of Lebua Tower, set to launch on March 8 2017, called “Alfresco 64."   The panoramic view of Bangkok is spectacular. There is something special about sipping a single malt 64 floors high above Bangkok; perhaps being as high removes ourselves of the hustle of city life.

Chivas Brothers Custodian Master Blender Colin Scott, and Kevin Balmforth as Master Blender have specially blended The Lebua Blend. Since Colin Scott will be retiring soon, he is handing over his knowledge and expertise to Kevin Balmforth at this special event.

Great hotels are created and led by great hoteliers who have the ability to develop great teams. Hotels are complex businesses, they rely on all of the integral and interconnecting parts working all of the time. This can only be achieved when the hotel has a great team, who have ownership and empathy with the business. And Deepak Ohri is the man that leads this team. In Hindi, his name means light.

This success cannot be achieved without huge attention to detail in thinking through all of the processes that make the hotel work. It is more than just intuitive, it is in developing a team culture, a culture where the individual staff members have the opportunity to build and innovate in delivering the highest standards of customer service.

Developing a team culture takes time and effort and in some instances they leave. Deepak says, “Staff is like water, they move, you can’t stop the water, you can’t stop the staff from moving." Having said that he turns to the head-waiter and asks him how long he has been serving at Lebua, “Ten years sir". This was demonstrated along the same lines with a retinue of staff at random and it is evident from their length of service, the light that Deepak shines for them continues.

Great hotelier’s like Deepak are blessed with great observation skills, they move from the big picture to the minute detail almost in the blink of an eye. It is this innate professionalism that provides the leadership of the team that creates a great hotel.

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Published 24th February 2017