My travels started in a big way during my corporate career. Being a Learning and Development (corporate training) professional, I was constantly on the move across the length and breadth of the country. During the early days, budgets were a constant issue during travels. Every corporate has tie-ups with various hotels and one is expected to use the same hotels while traveling for work. Being a stickler about a few basic things that I need in the hotel that I stay in, I was always in a dilemma on whether or not to use the hotels we were tied up with. Very often I used to land up paying for my own accommodation while traveling for work, due to my own requirements, just because I wasn’t ready to compromise. Sigh! Sad isn’t it?
Those were pre-OYO times! With the advent of OYO rooms, most travellers who need to look at available budgets and make hotel bookings accordingly will now have it the easy way. I totally mean it when I say I encountered luxury in budget prices at the OYO rooms when some of us were invited for experiencing the facility in Mumbai. Not only was it a fun day with fellow bloggers, it was heartening to note that crucial budget travel needs had been taken care of by a great vision of becoming a household name for comfortable and convenient travel accommodation in India.
OYO rooms – a Gurgaon based company with a vision to become a large technology-enabled global network in the hotel industry, has already grown to over 200 hotels in 10 cities within a span of two years. The fact that they do a business of about 50,000 room nights every month is commendable and also a proof of how well the concept has picked up in India and is spreading by leaps and bounds. Aimed with the goal of becoming a friend to every business and budget traveller, the company has plans to expand its network to 1000 hotels in 25 cities in India by the end of 2015.
As a concept, OYO is fantastic and a complete win-win for the hotels that they have tie-ups with and the traveller. OYO maintains inventory in all the hotels it has tied-up with and leverages technology to help customers make hassle-free budget hotel bookings. Not only does OYO provide customers with an amazing range of hotel availability through its network, but the hotels/ guest houses also have access to a larger customer base thus getting increased occupancy for their booking nights. It is apparent that this concept will enable scalability in an unorganised market which has huge potential but is currently fragmented. This concept will lead to streamlining the industry and at the same time making a booking simple and convenient, at the click of a mouse.
To ensure that the good word spreads far and beyond in the virtual and normal world, bloggers from four cities were selected through the Indiblogger network for a fun-filled day at the OYO rooms facilities. We in Mumbai were invited to Hotel Atlantic where OYO maintains inventory. It is an amazing locale – Juhu and right opposite the beach. What more could a Mumbai-ite ask for?
The day began with ten of us bloggers checking in and getting acclimatised with the facility. We were ushered in and welcomed by Nijish – a representative from OYO. A special mention for Nijish for making the whole day work clock-like and also for making us feel at home! To be honest I was a bit apprehensive at first, but the moment I checked into the room, I felt at ease. It was immaculately clean – something that I am always worried about while traveling. I have done the madness of changing hotels when I haven’t felt comfortable, in the past. Thank god for OYO – I didn’t feel like that at all. The room was well appointed, though the linen etc was old, it was very clean and tidy. The bathrooms were spic and span and all the basic toiletries were in place. What I loved was that the important things were very well taken care of. The rooms had a good air-conditioner, television and free-wifi. Everything about the facility felt hygienic and that for me is a great feeling! At INR 999/- this was a steal!
After chilling for some it was time for us to be together and continue with the day’s proceedings. We were given memorable and lovely looking mementos by Nijish – a cap, umbrella and sipper (all OYO style) to combat the hot hot Mumbai day. Nijish also advised us about the facilities that OYO rooms offer to its customers and what one can expect. Did I mention complimentary breakfast as well? That for me was a total highlight and delight because a lot of hotels don’t offer it. Post that we were out for an outstanding day of crazy activities, tweets, roaming in the sun and enjoying the Mumbai roads with friends!
Here are a few pictures that will give you a glimpse of the fun we had. After the day’s events were over, we retired into the welcoming bed at the OYO room for a restful night full of sweet dreams.
Do make time to check out the hassle-free booking of the OYO rooms at http://www.oyorooms.com or call 08010044466.