ZaraHutke.in is a venture that focuses on non-hotel accommodation such as Homestays, Farmstays, Nature Resorts, Bungalows, Villas, Eco Resorts and so on. They aim at offering holiday rentals where the experience is good and different from the usual run of the mill hotels and resorts.
Under the ‘Properties’ section they include all the holiday rental properties that they promote and book for their clients. For this, they ensure that the properties are reviewed before they find their place on the website. After some initial research, they started handpicking properties which have been recommended by friends and family to include on the website. Eventually, they travelled to the properties to review them themselves. Some of the properties even got in touch with them directly.
Launched in July 2011, their traffic is mainly Organic and comes from popular Search Engines. They are constantly optimizing their website for better Search Engine Rankings. They also have a facebook page, which is updated regularly and they believe that word of mouth is very imperative.
Talking about similar market players, Founder, Kasturi Wartikar Dave, tells YourStory, “Yes, our segment is quite big. I believe there are other players who focus more on experiences; hence they book only experiences. While at ZaraHutke.in, our focus is the experience of stays and the activities that one can indulge in. Our main competitors are bigger online travel portals like MMT or Expedia, where you could get a good deal for any hotel or resort.”
Kasturi and Co-Founder, Nirav Dave, have both lived in the UK and travelled around Europe. It was only then that they realised what a ‘bed & breakfast’ is and how it was different from staying in an impersonal hotel or resort. The home-made food, the local stories and the impeccable service made them recognize that this was probably the best way to enjoy a getaway!
“Of course, hotels have big swimming pools and spas and multi-cuisine restaurants, but they do lack a certain amount of personal touch,” says Nirav. “So, at ZaraHutke.in, we try to maintain a balance between a relaxed holiday and the personal touch. And when clients call us and say that they are now tired of going to huge hotels, crowded resorts and want to stay somewhere quiet, intimate and less jazzy; in cottages or tree huts, we know then, that we are on the right track!” he adds.
In the beginning, for around 2-3 months, Kasturi spent time in creating awareness and spreading the word, but eventually, the outcome was good and is now steady. ZaraHutke are now aiming to make the team bigger and better!