Amid the increasing clutter of reality-based shows, Discovery Travel & Living aims to bring in, what is being touted as the first ever hotel-based reality series – ‘Hotel by the Bay’. Based in The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai, the series take a peek-a-boo look, juxtaposing the worlds that co-exist in a hotel – that of guests and the employees. The 10-part series is slated to premiere on the channel on Sunday, October 26, at 8.30 pm.
Nokia, Mastercard, Maruti Suzuki Ltd, Birla Sun Life Insurance and HLL (Vim) have joined the series as sponsors. Miditech Pvt Ltd is the production house behind ‘Hotel by the Bay’.
Commenting on the series, Rajiv Bakshi, Director-Marketing, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “Discovery Travel & Living has built a reputation to showcase the reality of the Indian and international contingent. In the past, the channel has covered Indian lifestyles and its various manifestations – marriage, travel, cuisine and fashion. But the behind-the-scenes of a hotel were an area of darkness and hence, we decided to explore this arena.”
Talking about the selection of the hotel, he said, “The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, was the apt selection of choice for the series as the hotel is resonant worldwide. Globally known, the hotel will be a testimony of the grueling life of the hoteliers.”
He further said, “The series has already been shot and was non-intrusive as far as the guests were concerned. There were no hidden cameras and we made it a point not to invade anyone’s their privacy.”
Niret Alva, Chief Creative Officer, Miditech Pvt Ltd, said, “The real challenge was to remain invisible in a high-end hotel while specialised operations were going on. From following a tomato soup from the kitchen to a room, to being present when a brother took his sister out for a special meal to observing protocol when the Deputy President of South Africa came calling, ‘Hotel by the Bay’ reflects one of the best forms of reality television – that of merely observing.”
In a press note released by Discovery channel, Karambir Singh Kang, General Manager, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, said, “The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower has acquainted guests with the living heritage of India. From Maharajas and Princes to various Kings, Presidents, CEOs and entertainers, the Taj has played the perfect host, supportive of their every need. When Discovery Travel & Living approached us to give the world a glimpse of what goes on behind the scene, we looked at it as a chance to show what really makes this hotel a great hotel. No retakes here.”
Elaborating on the promotional activities, Bakshi said, “We will communicate about the series through on-air promotions on our in-house channels. We are also looking at direct marketing through mailers.”
The show encompasses staff from all departments, including chefs, housekeeping, room service, chauffeurs and butlers. The series presents their meticulous planning and attention to minute details, while serving irate and challenging customers. At the same time, it also showcases the unseen chaos and goof-ups that are created in the process.