Interview with Roop Partap Choudhary, Executive Director of Noormahal Palace and Founder of Colonel Saab, London

Roop Partap Choudhary

An exclusive interview with Roop Partap Choudhary, Executive Director of Noormahal Palace and Founder of Colonel Saab, London

In the world of luxury hospitality and entrepreneurship, there are individuals who stand out for their exceptional vision and dedication to creating unique and unforgettable experiences. Roop Partap Choudhary, the Executive Director of Noormahal Palace and the Founder of Colonel Saab in London, is one such remarkable personality.

With an illustrious career in the hospitality industry and a deep commitment to preserving and redefining cultural heritage, Roop Partap Choudhary has not only created extraordinary destinations but has also successfully bridged the gap between tradition and innovation. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the insights and inspirations that have driven his remarkable journey.

Roop Partap Choudhary is a second-generation hotelier heading the Noormahal, a luxury palace hotel in Karnal and the Executive Director of Jewel Group of Hotels (parent organization of Noormahal Palace Hotel) and Founder Colonel Saab, London (UK).

One of the country’s most majestic palace hotels, Noormahal is a royal abode of modern kings and queens has become an extremely preferred destination for Leisure, MICE and Weddings. Representing the second generation of a famous hotelier family, he firmly believes in carrying on the rich tradition of the Jewel Group of Hotels dynasty. Jewel Group of Hotels has made a strong impact in the field of luxury hospitality and continues to do so.

Roop is a hotelier both by profession and passion. Before embracing the family legacy of heritage hospitality, he gained in-depth knowledge of the industry. He has experience of working with some of the most esteemed hospitality brands in the country such as ITC Maurya, Kingdom of Dreams and Galaxy Hotel.

His tenure with these organisations has helped in understanding the intricacies and the profundity of the hospitality world.

As an ode to his journey with his father who has had a decorated service as an officer of the Indian Army and his mother who supported him throughout, Roop conceptualised Colonel Saab. Colonel Saab is not only an expression of his journey with his parents but also his passion for showcasing the depths of Indian cuisine to the global food lover community.

Roop holds a Master’s degree in hospitality from the University of Ashland and specialization in Asian Tourism patterns from the University of Nanyang (Singapore).

Could you tell us about your journey and how you became involved with Noormahal Palace and the establishment of Colonel Saab in London?

Roop Partap Choudhary: My journey in the hospitality industry is a narrative steeped in family tradition, an unwavering passion, and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. As a second-generation hotelier, I’ve had the privilege of leading Jewels Classic Hotels Pvt. Ltd., a renowned organisation that encompasses the opulent Noormahal Palace in Karnal and Colonel Saab in London.

Before taking the helm of Jewels Classic Hotels Pvt. Ltd., overseeing Noormahal, and establishing Colonel Saab in London, I embarked on a journey of exploration and learning. Working with esteemed organisations like ITC Maurya and Kingdom of Dreams has fueled my aspiration to elevate an Indian luxury hospitality brand to global recognition.

Colonel Saab in London is a special project, inspired by my father’s Indian Army travels and my mother’s support. It’s a tribute to my family’s journey and my love for showcasing the depths of Indian cuisine to the global food-lover community.

Colonel Saab is a modern Indian restaurant, beautifully decorated with art and artifacts from our family’s travels across India.

Now, I’m excited to expand our success with the upcoming Colonel Saab in Trafalgar Square, continuing to celebrate India’s diverse culture and culinary traditions with humility and elegance.

Noormahal Palace is renowned for its rich history and opulent heritage. Can you share some of the unique features and experiences that make it stand out in the world of luxury hospitality?

Roop Partap Choudhary: At Noormahal Palace, our brand is deeply rooted in the essence of warm Indian hospitality, an integral part of our organisation’s identity. We believe in preserving the traditions of royal palatial concepts, and this extends beyond mere aesthetics such as architecture, decor, and cuisine. It permeates every aspect of our establishment, from the ambiance to the service and even our mannerisms.

We understand that true Indian hospitality is not something that can be taught, it must be genuinely lived and embraced. When you visit our Indian Palace Hotel, we want you to experience the authentic essence of Indian hospitality, distinct from the formal Western-style service.

Weddings and events are monumental occasions, and we have dedicated our efforts to providing the finest experiences for hosting such events. Whether it’s a traditional celebration or a large-scale banquet, we aim to exceed expectations and make these moments truly memorable.

Moreover, Noormahal Palace boasts an extensive collection of art and antiques, surpassing any other hotel in the country. Our exquisite array includes rare antiques and artworks, each with a captivating narrative deeply rooted in our cultural heritage.

Among these treasures are hand-painted frescos crafted by award-winning artisans, antique paintings embellished with 18-carat gold and precious gems depicting royalty, and antique Kanghis (combs) once used by royals, adorning the walls of our regal chambers, to name just a few.

As the Founder of Colonel Saab in London, what inspired you to create this establishment, and what sets it apart from other dining experiences in the UK?

Roop Partap Choudhary: Colonel Saab in London is a special project, inspired by my father’s Indian Army travels and my mother’s unwavering support. It’s a tribute to my family’s journey and my love for showcasing the depths of Indian cuisine to the global food-lover community. It’s more than just a restaurant, it’s a heartfelt tale, a love letter to India, and a tribute to my father’s journeys across the subcontinent.

What sets Colonel Saab apart is its fusion of old-style jazz music, museum-worthy artwork, and a modern twist on the flavours and textures of India. It’s a contemporary viewpoint with a nostalgic palate of memories, aromas, and flavours. Dining at Colonel Saab is a feast for the eyes, with a treasure trove of eclectic Indian art and artifacts collected by my family during our travels.

We’ve received accolades and recognition for our commitment to authenticity and excellence in Indian cuisine, making Colonel Saab a unique and memorable dining experience in the UK.

In the rapidly evolving hospitality and restaurant industry, what strategies have you employed to maintain the excellence and reputation of both Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab?

Roop Partap Choudhary: We’ve implemented a range of strategies to uphold the excellence and reputation of both Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab.

For Noormahal Palace, we focus on continuous staff training, maintaining the authenticity of our services, and leveraging feedback from guests to ensure that their experiences consistently exceed expectations. We’ve also embraced technology to enhance guest convenience while preserving the timeless charm of the palace.

At Colonel Saab, we remain committed to offering an authentic taste of India through a meticulously curated menu and unique ambiance. We regularly refresh our menu with innovative offerings to cater to evolving tastes, and we’ve also expanded with a second restaurant in Trafalgar Square, further showcasing the diversity of Indian cuisine.

Our dedication to quality, tradition, and innovation has allowed us to adapt and thrive in this dynamic industry while preserving our reputation for excellence.

What do you believe are the key factors contributing to the success of Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab, and how do you ensure a memorable experience for your guests?

Roop Partap Choudhary: The success of Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab can be attributed to several key factors. Our commitment to embracing the genuine warmth of Indian hospitality and preserving the traditions of royal palatial concepts sets us apart.

We cater to a diverse range of guests, from leisure travellers to those hosting grand events like weddings and MICE, providing them with an unforgettable experience.

To ensure a memorable experience for our guests, we focus on attentive service, genuine warmth, and a keen eye for detail. We also embrace technology and feedback to enhance convenience while maintaining our commitment to the timeless charm of our establishments.

In both Noormahal and Colonel Saab, we aim to exceed expectations and leave our guests with unforgettable memories of their time with us.

With your experience in luxury hospitality and fine dining, what trends do you see emerging in the industry, and how do you adapt to meet the changing demands of your guests?

Roop Partap Choudhary: In the luxury hospitality and fine dining industry, we are witnessing several emerging trends. One notable trend is the increasing demand for sustainability and eco-conscious practices. Guests are increasingly looking for environmentally responsible choices, and we’re adapting by incorporating sustainable practices and sourcing local, organic ingredients.

Another trend is the desire for unique, immersive experiences. To meet this demand, we create personalised experiences that go beyond traditional hospitality, offering our guests a taste of India’s rich culture and heritage. We embrace digital innovations, such as mobile apps for reservations and in-room services, ensuring a seamless and convenient experience for our tech-savvy guests.

Furthermore, health and wellness have become paramount, with guests seeking healthier dining options. We’ve adapted by offering a balance between indulgent and health-conscious cuisine.

Ultimately, our commitment to adapting to these trends is driven by our dedication to exceeding our guests’ evolving expectations while preserving the timeless charm and authenticity that make Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab truly exceptional.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in the luxury hospitality and restaurant business?

Roop Partap Choudhary: Prepare for challenges and setbacks. Education and experience are crucial. Acquiring a solid educational background in hospitality and gaining hands-on experience in established establishments will provide invaluable insights and skills.

Embrace your heritage and culture. Authenticity is a powerful tool that resonates with guests and sets you apart in a competitive market. Quality and service should never be compromised. In the luxury sector, excellence is not negotiable.

Build a passionate and dedicated team that shares your vision and values. A strong team is essential in delivering exceptional experiences. Perseverance and resilience are key to success in this demanding industry. Remember, success in luxury hospitality and fine dining is a journey of dedication, hard work, and a steadfast commitment to creating memorable experiences for your guests.

What are your future plans and visions for both Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab? How do you see these establishments evolving in the coming years?

Roop Partap Choudhary: My future plans and visions for Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab are rooted in a commitment to excellence and a celebration of India’s rich culture.

We aim to continue positioning Noormahal Palace as a top destination for leisure, weddings, and MICE events across the globe. We’ll further enhance the guest experience, ensuring that the palace remains synonymous with Indian hospitality at its best.

With Colonel Saab, our vision is to continue serving as a global ambassador for authentic Indian cuisine. We plan to expand our presence, including the second restaurant in Trafalgar Square, ensuring that even more people worldwide can savour the diverse and flavorful culinary traditions of India. We will maintain our dedication to offering a unique, immersive dining experience with a blend of tradition and innovation.

In the coming years, both Noormahal Palace and Colonel Saab will evolve while staying true to their core values, preserving their rich heritage, and adapting to changing demands. Our focus remains on delivering memorable experiences that showcase the essence of India and Indian hospitality.

Roop Partap Choudhary’s journey as the Executive Director of Noormahal Palace and the Founder of Colonel Saab, London, is a testament to his unwavering dedication to excellence and his ability to seamlessly blend tradition with modernity.

Through this interview, we have had the privilege of gaining a glimpse into the mind of an entrepreneur and visionary who has not only built extraordinary spaces but has also nurtured cultural heritage. His insights into the world of luxury hospitality and his passion for providing unique, immersive experiences serve as an inspiration to all who aspire to make a mark in the industry.

As he continues to innovate and shape the future of hospitality, Roop Partap Choudhary reminds us of the profound impact one individual can have on an entire industry and the world at large.

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