Enterpreneur BeeInterview

Vista Stays: College mates turn hospitality trendsetters in Uttarakhand tourism

The co-founders of Vista Stays – Harshit Suyal, Shantanu Singh, Prakshep Bisht & Ankit Pantola were originally college mates from UPES Dehradun. The founders of Vista Stays come from diverse backgrounds. The startup aims to promote and contribute to the tourism in Uttarakhand.

Incubees: Can you tell us about your background and what motivated you to venture into the hostel/resort industry?

Vista Stays: The founders have all pursued MBA degrees in different specializations. Harshit Suyal moved on to working as a Business Analyst for 3 years whereas Shantanu Singh worked in the Business Development department in an Oil and Gas Firm. Prakshep Bisht is a certified mountaineer, and has worked as an Editor in a major global publication. Ankit Pantola, a banker by profession, and a graduate from Pantnagar University, joined Vista Stays during its inception.

Our affiliation from different professional backgrounds and a deep longing to move back to our home state, motivated us to set up something in Uttarakhand and contribute to its blossoming tourism sector.

Incubees: Tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur and the challenges you faced.

Vista Stays: Harshit, who returned after quitting a cushiony corporate job in Pune, had no prior experience or background in the hotel industry. Our journey started with Vista hostel, in Jeolikote near Nainital. The hostel was a traditional stone and mud house, distinctive to Pahadi culture. Shortly after, Shantanu joined, and we renovated the hostel to accommodate backpackers and travellers from across the world. However, the 1-kilometer hike to the hostel was a major logistical problem to manage back-end operations smoothly. It gave us an opportunity to involve the local villagers to come together and help us out in these areas.

Then came Hotel Vista in Bhowali, a luxury property with 22 rooms. Around the same time, we also realized the importance of brand building and decided to club both our properties under a parent brand – Vista Stays. Just like Vista means “pleasant view”, our vision pivoted to providing extraordinary experiences to travelers at beautiful locations across Kumaon.

Our third project was Upvan Inn, where Prakshep & Ankit joined Vista Stays as partners too. It was a lake side stay, with a mesmerizing view of Bhimtal lake, which is the largest lake in the Kumaon region. As we expanded our hotels and stays, in different places, we started to encounter challenges such as finance, inventory management, sales, marketing & human resource management. Expanding our team and outsourcing some of the departments helped us and we started to focus more on marketing to promote Vista Stays.

Another beautiful project we have recently added in the group is Viable inn, Mukteshwar, with a panoramic view of majestic Himalayas. We further added Neer Stays, in the serene village of Munsyari. Our next property is coming up in a quaint location, Kanatal, near Mussoorie.

Incubees: How do you envision your hostel/resort standing out in a saturated market?

Vista Stays: In this day and age of technology and apps, we are trying to blend both the traditional as well as digital marketing tools required for showcasing our offerings. All of our stays are located in prime locations, that slowly came up in different regions of Uttarakhand in the last 5 years.

Our vision is to find more serene locations that would allow travelers to breathe and take some time out their otherwise hectic schedules.

We are also observing how these spaces and properties we are building are conducive for community engagement and retreats. Therefore, we look forward for more such places where these aspects can be explored.

Incubees: What are some of the unique selling points or experiences you offer to attract guests?

Vista Stays: We focus on offering travelers a glimpse of authentic mountain lifestyle, amazing vistas with a cozy environment, without letting them feel homesick even once. We also ensure to give them a taste of local cuisine made with love and care.

Incubees: Tell us about your team, and how do they stay motivated?

Vista Stay: Everybody in the team realizes a sense of ownership, responsibility as well as accountability. Plus, we have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by team members who are not only professional but also have an understanding and mutual respect towards each other. As far as motivation is concerned, the happiness and satisfaction that we receive warmly from our guests due to our efforts, spring us back into action mode. So, we can keep creating & curating unique experiences for our visitors.


Incubees: In the hospitality industry, customer service is crucial. How do you plan to ensure a high level of guest satisfaction and create a memorable experience for your visitors?

Vista Stays: We ensure that every single person on our team has a sensitive demeanor, who can cater to the needs of our guests before they even say it out loud. We offer highly customized packages curated to the unique needs of every guest, which can sometimes be life changing in the form of wellness retreats, experiential workshops, healing sessions, and much more.

Incubees: Tell us about your marketing strategy for Vista stays, and how do you plan to reach your target market and build brand awareness?

Vista Stays: Our main marketing strategy is to provide exquisite experience to our customers, and give them a personalized experience. This has led us to generate an influx of guests who come to us through the word of mouth. We use social media as a vital platform to showcase all our properties & experiences we curate for them. We also invite celebrities & influencers to promote our properties and create innovative content for them. Recently, we have also started participating in exhibitions and events as sponsors to promote Vista Stays. These activities have also helped us in increasing more brand awareness and recall value.

We follow different strategies and tactics for different locations. Such as for Vista hostel, we target young backpackers, artists, people interested in workcations. For Upvan Inn, Hotel Vista and Viable Inn, we are targeting families, corporate groups, and big friend circles. We are also targeting the spiritual community as the Himalayas are known to house many sacred spaces.

Incubees: What message would you give to the upcoming entrepreneurs?

Vista Stays: Pertaining to our experience, we would like to encourage more and more of Uttarakhand’s youngsters to dream big and do something for the state they belong in, while maintaining a disciplined lifestyle and also enjoying the path they are following.

Using traditional methods of networking and connecting with the people on a personal level are other qualities that definitely help in the long run.

To know more, visit: https://vistastays.co.in/


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