An Exclusive Interview with Priyanka Kothmire : Co-founder & COO Frotels

Travel these days is more about the enriching experience & memories and less about the hassles involved in planning. With so many travel startups booming everyday it’s really easy to pick the right hotels and right places that best suit your travel plans. During my recent travel to Rajasthan, I had a very sad experience of staying in a very expensive Camp near Sariska Tiger Reserve for a few hours, just to attend the Safari next day morning. Although we stayed there for few hours, we had to pay the price for the whole day and to top it all off the experience and the services offered were just horrible.

There are many situations like this when one needs to book a transit hotel for a short or micro stay. Sometimes its the delay on road and sometimes there are sudden itinerary changes that also lead to the requirement of sudden short hotel check-ins. I tried looking for something that would help many of us in our short stays while traveling and “Frotels” caught my eye. Frotels is a startup built on the much needed concept of Hotels by the Hour. I got a chance to interact with Priyanka Kothmire, the Co-founder and COO of Frotels and got some interesting details about her experiences, Frotels and more. 

Mother of 2 lovely kids, Priyanka is very inspiring & confident women who chose to follow her dreams and gave shape to a beautiful idea in her mind. Priyanka has had a solid Operations background in Travel & Tourism sector before starting Frotels, which kept her traveling across various cities. During her frequent travels, she also faced the need and requirement of hotels just to freshen up or relax for a while, for which she had to shell off a lot of money. The need and challenge to solve this real-time problem led to the creation of Frotels. 

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The name Frotels is made from Freshen-up Hotels, which is exactly what they are about. The hotels listed on their website go through a number of checks to fulfil all the criteria before coming up on their website. When asked about how will this idea of Transit hotels or Micro-stay hotels help the solo Women Travellers? Priyanka shared a story from one of their clients. A solo women traveler from Bombay had to reach Pune to attend a meeting at 9:00 AM. She took an early morning bus and reached Pune a few hours earlier than expected. She decided to try out a Frotel and was so influenced by the experience that she later on shared her story with the team. Priyanka believes that this idea will help many women as well as solo travellers like their client who are stuck due to delayed flights or trains or other random circumstances in random locations.

Using hotels by the hour doesn’t go down very well with many people, and the concept is often misused as well. Infact when I first saw the site, the scene from “Jab We Met” flashed back in the memory. And Priyanka also met some people in her journey who weren’t very supportive of the idea, but her faith in the concept never faltered.  Never was she intimidated with so many travel websites crawling up on the internet and neither did she allow anything or anyone bog her down. 

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She is very excited and happy that she decided to leave her job to start this venture, to see her dream come true. The transition from employee to executive was difficult but she is very confident, and learning at every step in her quest of building something that will end up serving a lot of people. When I asked her what keeps her motivated to get out of bed everyday and invest 14 hours work, she said “I enjoy every moment of it and just follow my heart. I do get tired everyday, but there is also so much to learn and look forward to and that’s what keeps me going”.

I hope her idea answer the travel woes of many fellow travellers and inspires many more to follow their heart and do what they really want to do.

XOXO!!
Soul Strokes…

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