Sprawling through the rough and tough roads of Bhairahawa, lies a secret garden of heaven; Tiger Palace Resort. The resort is a blend of nature and modern architecture. The amazing greenery and peace will make you forget the hot weather and you’ll dwell in the city’s beauty. The remote abode, secluded from the urban hassle is spread across 22 acres of land. The integrated resort is the largest FDI investment with a whopping $52 million investment. “The resort is evolving as an entertainment and a luxury hub for the present and coming generations,” said Mr. Prabhakar Khadka, Director of Marketing and Communications.
A tour with Mr. Prabhakar around the property was well worthwhile. He showed us around the deluxe rooms, executive suites and villas which have direct pool access from the luxurious private balcony. The resort boasts of the longest swimming pool in Nepal, a movie theatre, gym, spa, basketball court, a world-class casino for foreigner, an arcade and a cub’s kingdom for children’s entertainment.
The General Manager of this piece of luxurious heaven is Mr. Brett Model. With over 10 years of experience in the hospitality business Mr. Brett led the hotel operations division at the first and largest casino resort in Vietnam, as part of the opening team with MGM Grand.
Mr. Brett sees great opportunities and some challenges for the operation of the resort. When I put forward my query about the remoteness of the resort, his response was, “Remote is just relative to how you see it. We are remote to the country, but not to the state that’s larger than many countries in the world, i.e. Uttar Pradesh which has 205 million people. Prior to the completion of the international airport, we are heavily reliant on the border traffic for our casino. It will eventually evolve to be more Asia-centric after the completion of the airport. But it’s not just for casino goers. The resort is a 50-50 spilt between Nepalis and foreigners.”
The biggest hurdle for the resort is the ever-constructing road. Mr. Brett added to this dilemma, “The highway if you have seen it, is one of the worst roads I have ever been on in my life. The airport is a close second. The completion of the international airport in Bhairahawa was targeted last month, but looking at the pace of road construction, we are doubtful about the state of the airport now. The completion of the airport is not only prospers to our business, but also upgrades the image of Nepal which currently has one international airport. It’s high time the government puts extra attention in upgrading the general infrastructures of the nation.”
The major attraction of Tiger Palace Resort as of now, is the casino, which is the largest casino in South Asia. “The management has been constantly working on its toes to add more to the entertainment and attractions of the resort apart from the casino business. In the past 7 months, there’s been dramatic changes in the food course, cocktails and mocktails and general well being of the building itself. We’ve hosted the largest pool party in the recent months, 8 destination weddings, MICE’s events and will continue to add more of the events in the future. With the continuation of such events and consideration of occupancy, we plan to expand our business by adding 200 more rooms with extra facilities for our beloved customers,” added Mr. Brett. On being asked the uniqueness of the resort, he adds, “Tiger Palace Resort is the first resort to initiate the first ever Kid’s Cooking classes with the in-house chefs, which is included in room cost.”
What makes a hotel stand out is its Product and People. On a first visit to Tiger Palace, one can most definitely say it offers the best facilitated product and people than other hotels. The ‘Product’ side of the resort has the nicest rooms, best food and best pool. “The ‘People’ side offers the best service staff potentially in the overall country. We have hired people who have worked abroad in the hospitality industry and decided to move back to our middle level management. These are staffs who’ve worked in Dubai, Oman, Maldives, Sri Lanka, India. All these staffs and the ground level staffs receive separate in-house trainings with respect to the hotel norms and values,” confirmed Mr. Brett.
Top 3 most activities to do when you are at the resort
Managers recommendation 2 Nights stay
Day 1: After arriving at the resort, have lunch at Ramro Chowk. Beat the heat in the swimming pool, enjoy the spa, steam, and sauna. Have dinner at Cavana Avenue. If you have kids, Cub’s Kingdom is the place to be. You can also enjoy kid’s cooking classes. Our pastry chef Amid welcomes all kinds of custom-made foods and pastries. So, you’re open to designing your food.
Day 2: On your second day, Palpa is a great place to go. In the evening, you can go to the water park or beer factories.
Day 3: On the third day, go for a tour of Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini or go for a tour of Chitwan. Either destination is convenient as the resort is a 30 minutes drive to Lumbini and about a 1.5 hours drive to Chitwan National Park.