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Star hotels in Chennai give premier wedding halls a run for their money

Chennai star hotels register about 20% surge in their bookings for weddings & receptions

S Bridget Leena  |  Chennai 

Star hotels are making inroads into the premier 'kalyana mandapams' (wedding halls) business in Chennai.
In the past one year, the star hotels in Chennai have registered about 20 per cent surge in their bookings for weddings and receptions, from the last year's 200 such events.
Hotels such as Taj Connemera, Taj Coromandel, Park Sheraton, GRT Grand, the Park and charge only for the food they serve and not for the place.
Depending on whether the food is vegetarian or non-vegetarian the cost of food ranges from Rs 300 to Rs 475 per plate excluding an additional 10 per cent tax.
Speaking to Business Standard, K C Tharayan, executive director of Residency Towers, said that the convenience, ambience and hassle-free service offered by the star hotels has led to the increase in number of weddings.
Premier such as Rani Meyemmai, AVM Rajeshwari, Raghavendra, Andal Azhaghar and Vijay Seshmahal charge separately for the marriage hall, miscellaneous charges and for food service.
The cost of hiring these halls would be anywhere between Rs 62,000 and Rs 1 lakh and an additional miscellaneous charge of about Rs 35,000 for a day. Miscellaneous charge include electricity charges, service charges and water charges etc.
The cost of food per person depends on the budget of the customer. An advantage of hosting a wedding in as compared to star hotels is that the former offers couple of rooms for the marriage party for its disposal inclusive of the marriage hall cost.
Prem Anand, food and beverages manager of GRT Grand, said that on the one hand the income levels of people have gone up while on the other such services offered by star hotels are competitively priced.
Tharayan pointed out that star hotels are looking at this segment of business very seriously as even in the case of weddings held elsewhere, the receptions are hosted in the hotels. The business hotels offer value additions such as a simple mandapam arrangement and welcome refreshments.
Interestingly, the business is also losing its seasonality. Earlier, it was considered as inauspicious to conduct weddings from July 15 to August 15, but now it is slowly changing among Tamilians, he said.
kicked off the publicity to grow the wedding hospitality market. Now, Taj Connemara has also joined the fray.
Anand said that the income generated for the hotel from hosting weddings and wedding receptions as directly correlated on it publicising cost. GRT Thangamaligai gold jewellery shop, promoter of GRT Grand, has also helped the hotel garner customers.
Hosting five-star weddings is no longer the exclusivity of north Indians as their south Indian counterparts are fast catching up. North Indians account for 65 per cent of the market and the rest is being contributed by south Indians weddings.
In terms of space capacity fare better than business class hotels as they can accommodate a crowd of 1,000 people. While in the case of star hotels only buffet are served and the leaf service used for south Indian weddings are unavailable.

First Published: Wed, June 16 2004. 00:00 IST