Vegas Is The Ultimate Stress-Buster’
only does Pooja Shetty, director, IMAX Adlabs Dome Theatre
and Multiplex, successfully run India’s first IMAX theatre
and multiplex but she is also counted among the rising entrepreneurs
of India. In conversation with Raadia Mukadam, she dwells
on issues that feature foremost on her travel itinerary
a theatre owner, which destination dominates your travel plan?
My line of work takes me frequently to USA and Canada, primarily
because the IMAX headquarters is based in Toronto and also
since most of the distributors from whom we lease or buy films
are based in Los Angeles, Utah or other parts of the USA.
The country therefore dominates my travel plans. I am required
to visit this part of the globe at least three times a year.
What do you like about Toronto?
As a destination, not much. Having lived and studied in places
like New York and Chicago, Toronto does not excite me as much
in terms of activities and night life, but what sets this
destination apart is that it is a very IMAX-rich city. There
are five IMAX theatres in Toronto alone and I get to view
at least ten films when Im there. No other city offers
is your preferred leisure getaway?
Without a doubt Las Vegas. There is no city that can match
the vibrancy of Vegas. At Vegas its carnival time everyday.
Though I am not an avid gambler and only experiment with slot
machines, I am passionate about the entire ambience and aura
that goes with casinos. Despite being very judicious with
the stakes, I have been fortunate enough to win most of the
times. I find that a visit to Vegas is the ultimate stress-buster.
My favourite casino is MGM Grand which has an artificial volcona
erupting every ten minutes or so.
But if I am in India and had only a short getaway to plan
it would definitely be Udaipur in Rajasthan. The ancient exotic
architecture of the havelis and palaces offers a totally unique
Which is the best international airport?
Frankfurt airport, not just because of its expanse but also
due to its perfect blend of modern day facilities and an aesthetically
designed ambience. I never get weary of this airport. Besides
plush lounges with state-of-the-art facilities, it has one
of the most exhaustive duty-free areas. Another impressive
feature is that while most airports have a few forex counters,
the Frankfurt airport has many forex counters located conveniently
for the business traveller.
What do you eat when travelling abroad?
I prefer Italian cuisine when I am abroad. Italian food is
good because even at your experimental best, it is a cuisine
that one really cant go very wrong with. Amongst my
favourite eateries abroad is an Italian restaurant chain in
the US called Olive Garden.
international airline tops your priority list and why?
From my early childhood, I have been flying Delta Airways
and have no reason to complain about its food or service.
But as a business traveller my best flying experiences have
been on British Airways and Singapore Airlines. According
to me, what contributes to a great flying experience are comfortable
seats, pleasant staff who can be caring without being intrusive,
commendable cuisine but, most of all, good in-flight entertainment,
which is an imperative on long-haul flights. If a business
traveller arrives feeling good, chances are his day will be
far more productive than otherwise.
influences your choice of hotels?
It is important that the interiors of the rooms are really
pleasing. If I have to stay away from home for a few days,
it is vital that the rooms are cosy and comfortable, and make
you feel at home. I do not particularly favour grand and imposing
interiors, they befit a lobby far more. There are several
boutique hotels today that have less rooms but have ultra
comfortable interiors, in fact they may look like an extension
of your own living room. Another important criteria that influences
my choice of a hotel is the presence of a spa. Back after
a long days work, I would not like to get onto the treadmill.
On the contrary, health and beauty treatments offered at in-house
spas can be very rejuvenating.
Being a lady often travelling alone, how important are
matters of security and do you take any special precautions?
Having lived abroad for the better half of my life, I am extremely
at ease when I travel. However, if you are travelling alone
it is vital to ensure that you are being picked up at the
airport by a known person, be it a colleague or affiliate
manager or your host. Several regional carriers in USA and
Europe offer special fares on midnight flights, but if youre
a single woman travelling alone, pay an extra buck but avoid
late night flights. This will ensure that you dont arrive
at any airport at an unearthly hour.
as much as you can on your flight, it will minimise
Try and stick to a vegetarian diet, which is much
easier to digest, while flying
Avoid coffee and alcoholic drinks, they can exacerbate
your jet lag. Instead you could substitute it with
plenty of water and juices
Women travellers must remember to use a moisturiser
as frequently as required depending on skin type to
avoid a totally haggard look on arrival
It is better to be cautious with co-passengers, more
so when you are a woman traveller. Be friendly,
not familiar is my motto.
Try to plan your agenda before arriving on business,
this would help you to manage your time much better
and extract much more out of your day.