Leela aims to double its portfolio in India

The Leela Palaces and Resorts, the hotel group currently comprising four properties in India, is to double its portfolio over the next four years. With five-star hotels located in Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa and, as from 15 July, the beach resort of Kovalam in Kerala, the group has announced plans for properties in Chennai (formerly Madras), Udaipur, Hyderabad and New Delhi. The 80-room Udaipur property will cost £11m and will open in 2006 beside Pichola Lake. The 15-storey Chennai property, scheduled to open in 2008 following a £41m investment, will have 360 rooms and a 1,600m2 convention hall offering the largest meeting and banqueting space in the city. The Hyderabad property is scheduled to open in 2008, while 2010 will see the opening in New Delhi. "Over the next four years, we will be the premium hotel group in India," claimed Leela Palaces and Resorts president Peter Leitgeb. "The C&I market is a key target for us." British companies that have held events in Leela hotels include BT, Lloyds TSB and Tesco.

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