Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Advani

Nikheel Advani

Chief Operating Officer & Principal, Grace Bay Resorts

Internationally recognized as one of the industry's most distinguished hoteliers, Nikheel Advani, Chief Operating Officer and Principal of Grace Bay Resorts, has established his reputation for hands-on management with more than 24 years of experience. In his role as Chief Operating Officer for Grace Bay Resorts, Mr. Advani oversees the operation of Grace Bay Club, the company's flagship resort, West Bay Club, The Residences at Grace Bay and The Dunes. He is also actively involved in the acquisition of new Grace Bay Resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America. Over the past decade, Mr. Advani has played an integral role in the resort's overall growth. He served as the top operational executive in the expansion and renovation of Grace Bay Club as it evolved from a $14 million, 21-room boutique hotel to a full-service luxury resort boasting 82 suites and residences now valued at over $250 million. He is also responsible for the acquisition and repositioning of West Bay Club, an idyllic resort located three miles from Grace Bay Club. Training and mentoring staff at Grace Bay Resorts is a priority for Mr. Advani who founded Grace Bay Club Hotel School. The school, a first of its kind in Turks & Caicos, is designed to train local hospitality staff in productivity and service. The school employs an experiential learning model with courses in table service, wine and customer communication. Prior to joining Grace Bay Club, Mr. Advani served as Hotel Manager at the renowned Raffles Hotel Singapore and led the Food & Beverage program for the entire Asia Pacific region. Additionally, Mr. Advani spent seven years with Ritz‐Carlton Hotels internationally where he specialized in hotel openings and operations, moving within the organization from Food & Beverage Manager to Executive Assistant Manager in Ritz‐Carlton properties spanning from Singapore to New York City. Highly respected with the hospitality industry, Mr. Advani has received numerous awards over the course of his career including two most recently from Island Destinations; 'Ultimate Hotelier of the Year' in 2012 and 'Ultimate Culinary Innovation' in 2014. Grace Bay Club is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, where Mr. Advani is currently a member of the Global Marketing Advisory Committee. Mr. Advani has also sat on the board of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association for three years, and currently serves on the board of The Bodhi Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization charged with mobilizing support from travelers and the tourism industry to protect places and people around the globe. He also teaches at the renowned Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Les Roches International School of Hotel Management. Mr. Advani graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with an honors degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration in addition to successfully completing the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School. A Singapore national, Mr. Advani is fluent in English and Mandarin and proficient in French and Hindi. Mr. Advani resides on the beautiful island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos with his wife and daughter.

Mr. Advani can be contacted at 649-946-5050 or nikheel@gracebayresorts.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.