"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

Views & Interviews

Q&A: In conversation with hospitality professional, Ullas Abraham

March 2020

Ullas Abraham is a young hospitality professional based in Mangalore. He runs two transit guest houses in the city –a 64-room property and a smaller 12-room establishment. He also has hands-on experience in running a standalone restaurant - which means he knows what it takes to keep his guests happy, comfortable and satisfied.

Before he ventured into the world of hospitality, Ullas worked with Thomson Reuters as a content analyst, and says working within the rigid framework of the corporate world was not what he had in mind as a long term career path. More importantly, “hospitality” was something he always had a passion for – to be with guests, to anticipate their needs, and make them comfortable.

In this interview Ullas talks to us about his vacation at Sterling Resorts in Wayanad. He also talks about the one good reason he was forced to take a break from his hectic work schedule.

We now share some excerpts from that interview with Ullas Abraham and his young wife, Pavithra Abraham.



What was that one good reason that forced you to take a break?

Over the last few years, I just haven’t had the time to even think about a vacation – I guess this happens when you’re running your own business and need to make sure things are running smoothly – 24/7.

But when I got married in February, I thought it would be nice to take that break for a really special reason. My wife and I thought we would start our journey together at a place that’s really close to nature. Sterling Resorts, Wayanad turned out to be just that and more.

It was a holiday to remember.

How did you like your stay at Sterling Wayanad?

This resort benefits from a wonderful location – almost surrounded by dense forest cover. I was told that the Bandipur Tiger Reserve was not far away and there was a good chance to see wild life from a close, but safe distance.

During our check in, we were welcomed like royalty in the traditional Kerala Style with a refreshing welcome drink. And if there’s one thing that you notice early, it’s the friendly atmosphere – the people here are always smiling, and always helpful.

Our room was nice, cozy and comfortable and had a little balcony that was just right for early morning coffees and late night chats with my wife. I even managed a candle-lit dinner with some help from the staff to make things really special.


What were your wife’s comments on the overall experience?

Here’s what she had to say: I must say that I was really swept off my feet – our vacation was made really, really special by the staff at the resort, and the wonderful ambiance that they create and present to you. Three words come to mind when I want to describe it: peaceful, serene and magical.

Our room was nice and always looked clean and looked after – even the washrooms were spic and span. I was also happy that the room had some very useful appliances and accessories – including a TV, mini refrigerator, electronic safety locker, electric kettle, hair-drier, and things like that. (What women guests find particularly useful.)

And like my husband said, the small balcony was delightful – to enjoy the sweet aroma of flowers in a lush green setting.

Please tell us something about the restaurants at the resort

I have nice things to say about the food. You get varied options in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and the menus include South Indian and North Indian fare. Even the regular items like dal makhani, paneer lavabdar and dal tadka had a special touch to it.

I must add here that the friendly restaurant staff helped us choose from an elaborate menu – which included regional delicacies and rare specials like bamboo biriyani for instance, which is a treat in itself.

I would love to go back for the breakfast buffet, the lunch spreads and the specially laid out dinners. Good food is always a big draw when you think of a vacation.

Please tell us something about the quality of service

I would rate the quality of service at a welcoming high. The people are always smiling, helpful and seem to know exactly what you might need or be looking for. Room service was prompt and helpful, and the housekeeping staff made sure our room was always tidy and clean.

The front office staff was also helpful when it came to sightseeing - giving us information on what to see, where to go and how to get there. Another thing that I noticed was an extremely helpful valet parking person who also took the trouble to clean and wash the cars of the guests at the resort.



Please tell us something about the activities planned for guests

Within the resort you can get spoiled for choice - pool, sauna, gym, activity-areas, herbal garden, children’s play area, and more. That’s enough to keep you going, but there’s more. From what I noticed – though we did not check these out – you could go cycling and zip-lining as well.

And there’s a lot happening in and around the resort – including sight-seeing trips to a dam, tea garden and a beautiful waterfall.

Another highlight is the cultural event that they organize for guests in the evening, which is beautifully choreographed and stage managed. I did hear about a really merry DJ session that we couldn’t go for because we chose to go for a really long walk. Another item we missed (and a good reason to go back) was a bird-watching session by the general manager at the resort.

One final question – what do you think of timeshare as a vacation platform?

I have heard of timeshare from my brother who is in the industry – but this was my first experience. And both my wife and I really enjoyed our stay at this wonderful resort. If this is the experience timeshare promises, it’s a wonderful vacation format.

I also found the customer-facing employees taking a lot of trouble to assist guests at the resort - in order to make their stay comfortable. You get the feeling of being cared for and looked after.

If this is what timeshare is all about, I loved every minute of it.


 

Stroll Through God's Own Backyard

Sterling Wayanad is surrounded by scenic landscapes in all corners. The verdant rice paddies, spiky ginger fields, and the picturesque plantations make for a refreshing experience. Situated near Sultan Bathery, the drive to the resort is through beautiful landscapes in Bandipur Forest. Sterling Wayanad is just 15 km away from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see exotic birds like the Malabar hornbill on an early morning walk. Wayanad has many trails for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Sterling Wayanad with its 61 well-appointed rooms, is the place to unwind and gorge on scrumptious local delicacies. Each room is inspired by the three legacy trees of the region - bamboo, neem, and peepal. Take a stroll in the green lanes, take a dip in the beautifully designed swimming pool, visit the waterfalls in the area and walk through lush paddy fields. Go on the house special birdwatch trail or experience pottery within the resort itself. The discoveries at Wayanad are endless.

 

Sterling Wayanad Website

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