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'Pure Room' offer is latest luxury hotel attraction
Business Standard - 05 May 2011

With luxury hospitality chains competing to offer intangibles like the best sleep in town and the purest air to breathe, a ‘pure room’ is one of the latest innovations to be marketed - as one enabling guests to sleep better and breathe fresher, by keeping allergens at bay!

A fairly recent concept, it is quite the rage across many hotel chains internationally. In India, ITC Maurya was the first chain to get the American patented technology - Pure -into the country. To begin, 76 of its 440 rooms in the New Delhi property are ‘Pure’, involving a six-step intricate procedure from disinfecting the air handling unit to high-ozone ‘shock treatment’, ionisation of bacteria and allergy-unfriendly bed encasements .

The group quietly introduced the Pure technology about a month earlier. So far, guests who’ve checked into the Pure rooms were not told that they were being given a value-add. Hotel staff say they were taken by surprise when a guest, a regular, told them she had slept much better and that the room felt different. A business traveller from Chennai is also said to have decided to install the six regulator-approved electronic air purifiers at his residence after experiencing it in the hotel.

“It has been our endeavour to consistently provide superior value and service to our guests. From the world’s best cuisines and accommodation to the Pure Rooms, ITC Maurya has pioneered several world-class initiatives,” said general manager Ananda Rao.

The chain has plans of a phased expansion of the ‘Pure’ rooms across the hotel and to other cities. At present, all premium rooms (ITC One), at a rate of Rs 14,000 plus taxes per night, have the facility. There’s no extra charge for the Pure rooms as of now. Internationally, there’s an additional charge of $20-30 for Pure rooms, it is learnt.

There is nothing tangible to describe a ‘Pure Room’, except that one can see the electronic purifier, one of the many things to keep the room bacteria-free, said ITC Maurya chief engineer, N Ramamoorthy.

The cost of making the rooms ‘Pure’ is something the group didn’t want to talk about. Estimates suggest the certified electronic air purifiers installed in these rooms would itself cost around $1,500 (Rs 60,000) apiece. With an estimated 25 per cent of the population suffering from allergy or asthma, hotels around the world have found good reason to go for the technology.

While company officials travelled from the US for the first time to install the Pure system. Indian dealers can handle the follow-up processes every six months. At Maurya, they call the initiative “responsible luxury”.

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