Asia’s first luxury hotel, the erstwhile Great Eastern Hotel, is set to commence operations in its new life as The Lalit Great Eastern on February 1, after a seven-year long renovation and restoration. Till then, it held the distinction of being the continent’s longest running hotel.

In its new avatar, the hotel is an amalgam of different eras and there are two heritage blocks and a new block. One of the heritage blocks, comprising the hotel’s façade, is yet to be completed.

The part-renovated, part-newly built property, will offer 100 rooms in the new block, 95 in heritage block II and 49 rooms in heritage block I, which will open in the last quarter of 2014.

Morphing from a loss-making crumbling structure controlled by the West Bengal government to a luxury property, the new look hotel, was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in November last. She also took time to sit and paint a picture to mark the occasion.

The hotel has been refurbished at an investment of Rs. 375 crore by its new owners — the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, which acquired 90 per cent of the equity in 2005, following a divestment programme by the then Left Front government.

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