Our room and food and beverage pricing is intuitive. We price rooms individually and never price it higher than what we would be comfortable paying for it," Sonavi Kaicker, CEO of Neemrana Hotels told CNBC.
She added that revenue has grown 25 percent year on year in the financial year ended March 31, 2015. "While we are committed to restoring Indian heritage and hiring locally, our properties have to be viable. We are a debt- free and profitable company," she said.
A privately held company that has "not borrowed a penny" or allowed any outside investment, Neemrana hotels' success is puzzling for some.
Uttam Dave, an expert who has been associated with the hotel industry for the past 30 years said, "It is hard to put a label on them, they have built a brand but are not a serious player in the hotel business, they haven't been driven by profit, the profits have been a result of a job well done."
Cashing in on well-heeled Indians
Just as Nath and Wacziarg were experimenting, taking a risk way back in the 90s, they were helped along by the liberalization of the Indian economy. India was now opening its doors to foreign investment and jobs that resulted in greater disposable incomes and international exposure for the country's middle class. This in turn had a positive impact on the hospitality sector.
Still in a nascent stage with just 1,13,000 rooms, the Indian hotel industry has the highest profitability rate – at 30-45 percent it is above the global average of 15-25 percent, according to hospitality consultancy firm HVS.
"Over the last 8 to 10 years the driver of growth for the hospitality sector has been the domestic tourist who is also high spending," Achin Khanna, managing director consulting and valuation, HVS South Asia, told CNBC.
While an increase in foreign arrivals, which is likely to touch 10 million in three years is likely to boost the heritage and luxury hotel segment, adds Khanna, the Indian traveler is going to be consuming most of the 45,000 new rooms which are expected to come online in the next 5 years.
"Indians have become richer, and why should they not enjoy their own heritage" said Nath. Neemrana hotels started at the right time when these well-heeled Indians were looking for places to splurge on, said experts. Today 75 percent of Neemrana hotels' guests are Indians compared to 40 percent in the early 1990s.
Now what does the future hold?
"People tell us to go abroad, no need…we have to be through with India first," Nath, who continues to scout for ancient, charming properties and supervise their makeover, told CNBC, sitting in his tastefully done apartment in a fashionable Delhi neighborhood.