What does it take to run a five-star luxury hotel in India? C4 checks out the Grand Indian Hotel

​Monday: Grand Indian Hotel (Channel 4, 8pm)
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With its stunning array of landscapes, rich and vibrant history, and delectable cuisines, there’s no wonder India is increasing in popularity as a holiday destination.

The country is also home to some of the world’s finest hotels that are much more than just a place to sleep – they are an integral part of the journey and offer world-class amenities, exquisite dining experiences and personalised services, all wrapped in sheer elegance.

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But what does it take to run a five-star luxury hotel in India?

Welcome to The Grand Indian HotelWelcome to The Grand Indian Hotel
Welcome to The Grand Indian Hotel

With award-winning resorts in India, as well as in Indonesia, Mauritius, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, The Oberoi Group was named the best hotel brand in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2022.

And now, for the first time in its 90-year history, the chain is opening its doors to four of its most glamorous hotels in the cities of Udaipur, New Delhi, Jaipur and the wildlife park of Ranthambore to reveal life behind their gilded façades.

This series focuses on the challenges and successes of the hotels’ young and characterful staff as they strive to deliver luxury and perfection for their VIP guests who pay up to the £11,000 a night.

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Filmed in 2023, as tourism was booming once again following the Covid pandemic, cameras follow a raft of Oberoi’s new recruits.

Hospitality has become a well-respected career for a new generation of highly educated and ambitious young Indian people, and the hotels offer its trainees, like 19-year-old apprentice chef Saanvi Ghatak, a place to flourish.

Lucy Carter, Executive Producer at Voltage, says: “Whether it be discussing career progression, family sacrifices and online dating, or wrangling incontinent elephants in the build up to a dinner for the Maharaja of Jaipur, we see that these ambitious young staff are ready and capable of anything.”

We begin at The Oberoi Rajvilas, a hotel built in the style of a fort reminiscent of Princely India on the outskirts of the ancient ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur.

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Set in 32 acres of landscaped gardens, it has around 70 stylish tented rooms and villas, some of which have have marble baths and private pools.

The hotel even has a 250-year-old Hindu temple in its grounds.

Tonight, new recruits are preparing for the most important event of the year, a lavish dinner for the Maharaja of Jaipur.

And as managers work out how to deal with incontinent elephants, the young waiting staff are under pressure to put on the biggest show of their careers so far.

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Meanwhile, over at The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, which is inspired by the opulent caravans of the royal families, staff struggle to manage the expectations of wildlife-loving guests.

The hotel is situated on the edge of Ranthambore National Park, which is part of the Government of India’s Project Tiger conservation programme, and guests are expecting to see one of the big cats on safari.

But are the notoriously shy animals coming out to play?

Meanwhile, Neha Mungal is in charge of the hotel staff’s own Diwali party, but her last-minute preparations are thwarted by a troop of inquisitive monkeys.