Shangrila touch to good old Kanishka

Model for the new Shangri-la hotel.

Model for the new Shangri-la hotel.  

GOOD OLD Kanishka Hotel in the heart of New Delhi is finally ready for a complete overhaul. And while its ownership has changed hands from the India Trade Development Corporation to Hotel Excelsior Private Limited, a member of the Eros Group, it also heralds arrival of the world famous Shangri-La Hotel Chain to India as a management partner in the new venture.

To be opened in December, 2004, the deluxe Shangri-La Hotel will be a 17-storey hotel located centrally in landscaped gardens comprising 69 rooms and an exclusive lounge. The contemporary styled Shangri-La hotel will feature high-speed Internet access and wireless LAN throughout the hotel as well as three new meeting rooms and a 450-square-metre ballroom divided into three.

While the renovation of the erstwhile Kanishka Hotel is on at a rapid pace, the vision for the new hotel also encompasses an exclusive retreat for frequent travellers on the three top floors. In addition, there will be a brand new health club and spa featuring a gym, treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.

Commenting on the group's first hotel in India, Giovanni Angelini, Shangri-La's Chief Executive Officer, said the Delhi hotel will be the first of several hotels that it plans to open in India. Currently managing 41 hotels across the globe, the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La plans to add over 20 hotels to its kitty over the next three years.

"The tie-up with the Eros Group is a management agreement which allows them to use our brand name. Since Shangri-La is known for the quality of its hospitality, we will be extending the same to our hotel in Delhi. Needless to add, our emphasis has always been on training as it is the quality of trained manpower that decides the quality of services in a hotel," says Mr. Angelini.

Arguing that the Shangri-La Hotel will be another feather in their cap, Jagdish Rai Sood , Chairman of Hotel Excelsior Private Limited, says this will be their second hotel in Delhi, the first one being Hotel Intercontinental Park Royal at Nehru Place. The erstwhile employees of Kanishka Hotel, he informed, have been paid compensation amounting to Rs. 26 crores and while the hotel itself has cost them around 20 million dollars, another 30 million dollars is being spent on its renovation. ``We selected Shangri-La to operate out hotel due to the strength of the award-winning brand and its reputation for highly personal service,'' says Mr. Sood.

By Kannan K.

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