The international hospitality industry is a versatile and competitive industry, positioning its valuable customers at the core of its functional services as well as striving to deliver the smartest and finest range of services. Today, millennial travelers are seeking a positive experience, flexibility/options, and memorable moments. Furthermore, these modern-day travelers are technologically savvy and expect similar services as those they are using at home. Therefore, the contemporary service providers of the travel and hospitality industry have to continuously adapt and evolve to these cutting-edge technological changes to meet their guests’ expectations.
Headquartered in Irvine, California, DKN Hotels is a leading hotel and hospitality management company, offering comprehensive hotel management services ranging from property development to revenue optimization.
Since its early beginnings in 1984, DKN Hotels has grown into a fully-integrated owner, developer, and manager of wellregarded hotels – a trusted leader that has cultivated the ability to achieve steady, sustainable growth among its portfolio of primarily select-service hotels.
DKN operates a portfolio of hotels predominantly serving guests in the upper select service market, where most of their hotels are branded with Marriott, Hilton and IHG flags. Keeping up with times, the premier hotel management company has developed its own proprietary software to use available technology to its advantage and is also leveraging current social media and digital marketing capabilities to reach its guests and prospective customers. Presently, DKN has a healthy pipeline of hotels in the developmental phase, where two are under construction and six are in the design phase of development.
Discovering DKN’s Foundational Roots
In 1984, Kiran Dahya (Co-founder & CEO) started working in the travel and hospitality industry with his family members. They later acquired a motel in Carlsbad and another on a long-term lease in Anaheim. Both these properties were family run with all of them working at every position in the hotel. Eventually, they repositioned these hotels by renovating them and focusing heavily on the guest experience and marketing. These two ordinary motels soon delivered world-class service at a fantastic price point. Once this enthusiastic bunch of family turned working team were successful in turning these two motels around, they then began acquiring distressed properties, repositioning them and operating them more efficiently. This became their core mantra for a few years after which Kiran, along with his team, started acquiring hotel sites to build them from the ground up.
Today, with over 30 years of experience and 46 property acquisitions, repositionings, and re-brandings later, DKN is a thriving company with a strong portfolio of well positioned properties and a knowledgeable team of experts guiding the hotels from its central Support Center.
Linchpin behind the Hotel Empire
Sharing his roles and responsibilities as well as the rich culture driving DKN Hotels to great heights of success, Kiran states, “My responsibility starts and ends by making a difference. Whether it’s ensuring our DKN culture and values permeate our entire organization or that we continue to grow and create, my work is to always move us in the direction of our vision. I started in accounting and quickly decided that I did not like the career path I had chosen. Jumped ship, took the risk of managing family finances and got into the hotel business by acquiring 2 hotels. Since 1984, we’ve bought, sold and developed over 40 hotels. And I firmly believe that we’ve gotten to this place because of our culture and our people.
Comprehensive Portfolio of Services
DKN Hotels’ operational services include performance benchmarking, competitive analysis, sales and marketing effectiveness, management contract compliance, brand relations, physical property review, capital expenditure planning, operational assessment, financial performance analysis, operator reporting practices, mitigation and risk assessment, management team oversight, and property meetings/calls. The Californian-based hospitality service provider also provides hotel management and development services in the areas of hospitality revenue management, lodging information technology, accounting, human resources, sales management and training, hotel development and construction, and hotel investment and vision.
Strategies Employed for Understanding and Fulfilling Guest Requirements
At DKN Hotels, Kiran and his team strive to provide more than just a hotel room. Acknowledging the fact that guests are away from their homes and in a new, unfamiliar environment, DKN’s primary goal is to ease the discomfort of travel in a bid to make guests feel genuinely at home. This means delivering an experience beyond that of a standard hotel and offering extraordinary, truly welcoming and exceptional services. This means hotels greeting each guest with open arms, and also creating value for its guests by providing a true ‘Home Away From Home’ feeling.
The Home Away From Home is the hospitable way of inviting guests into ‘the experience’ that pillars DKN Hotels. Whether it’s a welcome amenity to celebrate a special occasion, recreating a school band’s junior prom after finding out how devastated they were to miss it for a competition, providing comfort when a guest is in distress over an ill family member, or dressing up as Santa and passing out toys to celebrate the holidays, Kiran along with his team endeavor to recreate a feeling of home for their guests.
DKN has also integrated technology at its hotels in a way that makes the travel experience seamless. This includes a guest text messaging service, allowing guests to immediately communicate with the hotel teams in order to fulfill guest service requests and give them what they want when they want. Business guests utilizing meeting space are also provided with technology such as Clickshare to help make their meetings more successful. In terms of leading the industry shift, DKN’s value-rich culture is its brand. Kiran and his team have seven core values that drive everything they do – value & respect, innovation, teamwork, financial success, leadership, customer service & fun. These values and its team have been the cornerstone to DKN’s success. It has a unique culture that, in turn, fulfills its purpose by making a difference in the lives of the people with which Kiran and his team interact.
Holding Turf during Thick and Thin Times
2007 deep recession was a test of DKN Hotels ability to get through one of the most difficult times in Real Estate. It brought out the true essence of its team and business partnerships developed over the years. Through the recession DKN Hotels, did not default on a single payment to its creditors.
Anticipating a Desirable Future
In the long haul, DKN’s strategy is to develop hotels at the right locations and brand them with Marriott and Hilton. With 8 projects currently in the development and construction stage with goals for these properties, DKN believes in focusing more towards growing the right way instead of growing simply for its own sake and doing so with a passion to make a difference.