A luxury property that is a great escape for both Nepali and international travellers
The Tiger Palace Resort owned by the Silver Heritage Group in Bhairahawa is the first of its kind, a 5-star integrated entertainment resort that offers tailor-made options that are simply amazing. With the Chitwan National Park and Lumbini only a few hours drive away, the resort offers a luxurious setting where tourists and those looking for a different experience can find respite in the subtropical Terai region.
BRETT MODEL is the General Manager who with his vast international hospitality experience in Asia is the man behind the operations of this relatively new and unique property. Nepaltraveller.com was hosted by Tiger Palace Resort and got an opportunity to interview him. Excerpts:
Would you like to share with us the vision of developing such a luxurious property in Lumbini?
Silver Heritage has been in Asia for over 10 years and the company is headquartered in Hong Kong and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The CEO, my boss has been coming to Nepal for over 10 years, and he wanted to bring something big and bold to Nepal. We wanted to create and develop something that was 5 star, luxurious and a great escape for both Nepali and international travellers. That was the vision and I came here in March because I know Mike for a while and I bought into the vision myself. I think this is a phenomenal property and a great opportunity for the country.
Since you began operations what has the feedback been like?
The feedback has been very positive and it’s very exciting to hear. I am just back from Kathmandu and had meetings all throughout the day. A lot of the feedback I was getting was about this recent party we hosted. We had the who’s who of Kathmandu and filled the hotel with around 200 people. So the word is getting out there among the elite and around the country about what we are doing out here. The feedback from our international guests is always very positive and I think this is such a great escape. I wish there was more awareness and I’m pushing the sales and marketing team now as well as giving my whole effort towards getting the word out there. I think it’s something that should be experienced by more people and not just in terms of profitability in terms of business because I believe that we have something unique to offer.
With the casino, you certainly have the Indian tourists here. What about the Chinese market and how are you looking at tapping into that market?
We are situated in a very special place where we are right between two UNESCO sites Chitwan and Lumbini. I would say that the most important part for us in terms of developing our business for the China market as well as for Nepal is the airport. It is the key factor and I just visited the airport and had a special tour of the tarmac and the building infrastructure, it’s very disappointing, to be honest. They have been trying to build this airport now for six years and it’s a critical issue for the country and not just for tourism. The country needs more than one international airport, it’s not just for convenience and has to do with emergency evacuations and if there is a crash, divert traffic to another airport. It’s absolutely urgent and I would absolutely beg if I had a chance to meet Prime Minister KP Oli myself, to treat this as an absolute priority number one. So in terms of developing the Chinese market, this is absolutely important and that will also open up the entire international market to Nepal. Lumbini is situated in the perfect spot right next to the airport where you will have Chinese, Thai, Korean and Buddhists from all over Asia flying in.
What is unique about this resort? What is that you want the world to know about this product?
I think this is a really fantastic escape. It’s a perfect ‘staycation’. If you want to go somewhere for 2-3 days and you don’t want to leave Nepal but want a feel of south-east Asia you can sit at Cabana down by the pool at night and the property transforms itself into a magical destination with palm trees and music. We have a live band on weekends and it’s a high energy entertainment destination that you will not find unless you travel to Singapore or Macau. There is nothing like this in Nepal.
There are a few things I always like to talk about… we have the largest pool in Nepal. The casino is part of our business and we need it to support our business model and it happens to be the largest casino in South Asia. So again you would have to travel to Singapore or Macau for this kind of experience. We have high-intensity entertainment every month and we’ve been bringing in stars from Bollywood such as Sherlyn Chopra and Rakhi Sawant, Poonam Pandey and other big names. They are coming and even the feedback from them is good. They never expected a place like this. So back to your question, I think the unique selling point is the product and the people. We have a unique product and amazing people working with us.