Ranjit Phillipose’s professional achievements include overseeing multiple hotel openings and rebranding projects across IHCL hotels, resorts and palaces in Asia, UK, the USA and the Middle East.
His distinguished career background and full immersion in the brand’s philosophy, has been key to the successful launch of the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai, and his extensive experience allows him to truly understand what both international and local guests are looking for when it comes to an exceptional resort stay.
What makes Taj stand out from other hotels on The Palm?
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai, is a distinctive island oasis located on the East Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah with incredible panoramic views of the Dubai skyline. We are one of the only resorts offering views in two directions, which really gives a full ‘island oasis’ feel.
The stunning new 6-story resort comprises of 258 rooms and 67 suites, all featuring balconies with incredible views and designed with the guests’ comfort and enjoyment in mind. Guests are taken on a sensorial culinary journey across the resort’s seven dining and bar options. With everything from contemporary Indian fine dining at Varq, a unique gastropub experience at the Roaring Rabbit, and the stunning lifestyle destination Raia Rooftop Bar & Lounge offering panoramic views, there is something for everyone to appease all their senses.
When you step outside, you are greeted by the largest pool on the Palm Jumeirah, measuring just over 70m, which comes complete with not one but two swim-up bars. Along with that, you can enjoy your own personal paradise with the private 230-meter exclusive beach with pristine golden sands and uninterrupted views of the glorious sunsets.
The hotel features the award-winning spa, JIVA. Inspired by traditional healing methods, the ethos of the carefully curated Jiva treatments is drawn from the rich and ancient Indian wellness heritage. One of the signature treatments available is the Imperial Dahab, an indulgent experience for deep nourishment and glowing skin. You will indulge in an aromatic footbath, heavenly scalp massage, and a unique camel milk bath followed by a luxurious massage using 24k gold oil.
A major attraction for our young guests is the Popsicle Kids club, where they can enjoy a variety of activities to keep them engaged and energized. In addition, our Game Room provides teens and the young at heart with entertainment options such as air hockey, board games, billiards, and a foosball table.
The resort features two expansive Royale ballrooms and multiple meeting rooms that are ideal for conferences, social events, and timeless weddings. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai is truly a resort that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic or family getaway or wellness destination to truly unwind, we have the immersive experience to suit your needs.
How much do you depend on word of mouth and social media?
Word-of-mouth and social media have become intertwined in modern society. While organic word of mouth is still valuable, in the digital age when most of our information is accessed online, we plan our communication strategy with heavy emphasis on social media. As a resort, we are always ensuring that we penetrate the market through all channels.
Which of the hotel restaurants do you recommend the most?
Each one of them offers something different. Depending on your mood and ambiance preferences, you can choose from seven dining options at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai. As an award-winning hotel brand, Taj has always taken pride in providing memorable stays and dining experiences. Each concept is unique and inspired by a mix of cultures and countries, with modern twists on traditional dishes prepared with the highest quality ingredients.
What is your vision for the future of the hotel?
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai, strengthens the Taj brand portfolio in the UAE and complements the other two city hotels as an upscale luxury resort. With our three distinctive hotels in the region, we are now able to cover all segments of business and leisure. The new F&B offerings at the resort complement and enhance the variety of cuisines and experiences that the city has to offer. Our main goal is to establish ourselves as the ultimate resort lifestyle destination in the region and globally.
What was your first opportunity to be a General Manager?
In 2009, I was appointed as the General Manager of the majestic Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, India. My responsibilities included overseeing the ambitious USD 50 million restoration project of the brand’s fourth heritage hotel and positioning Taj Falaknuma as an epitome of luxury reminiscent of a bygone era.
What do you find inspiring about working in hospitality and being a general manager?
I am a firm believer in the philosophy that “Excellence is a journey and not a destination”. On a journey you continuously learn new things about the world, about people and about yourself. I learn every day from the people around me and from an ever-evolving industry. Working in hospitality and being a general manager means that two days are never the same, you never know what to expect, and the only constant is change. It certainly keeps you on your toes and there is never a dull moment.
My greatest satisfaction comes from seeing people grow and being able to bring out the best in people to benefit both them and the business. I like to give my team freedom with responsibility, and when I see someone blossom and outperform everyone’s expectations it gives me a sense of satisfaction. I strongly believe that if I take care of my associates, they will take care of the guests, and I have seen this backed up again and again by great guest satisfaction scores and financial results.
How did you or your role differ in each destination? Did you have to adjust to different cultures?
My philosophy is that if I take care of my team, they will take care of the guests, and business and revenue growth will follow. I have seen this proven in financial and performance-related achievements again and again. As a leader, I focus on providing direction and laying out a clear vision, clearly communicating the company’s vision and goals to mobilize my team, and creating a culture of fairness and transparency. I believe a leader should be visible, inspire others by his or her own example, and be able to recognize and act on both the weaknesses and strengths of his or her team. That never changes from destination to destination.
We see so many huge hotels in Dubai so do you expect a trend to limit the capacity, or will we still see lots of large luxury openings?
Dubai is a playground for the luxury market, and it manages to outdo itself with each passing year. Trends in the future will be directed towards innovative, creative, and exceptional hospitality. In a saturated market where guests are spoilt for choice, the goal will be to stand out and offer reliable, unique, and yet outstanding service.