Hotel Leelaventure Ltd is all set to foray into the entry-level business class hotel segment with a chain of hotels under the brand Essence by The Leela.

Vivek Nair, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Hotel Leelaventure, told Business Line that this chain will be developed on the asset-light model, where Leela will run the property under management contract, and not invest.

Designed for tier-II towns, the brand is likely to be launched in a couple of months. And, the company hopes to firm up contracts with property developers for at least six to eight properties in the next six months, Nair said.

These hotels will entail an investment of around Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore per room and each property will have anywhere between 100 and 150 rooms, and the tariff will be in the range of Rs 7,000-7,500.

Besides, it is also planning a 110-room Leela Palace in Agra, through a joint venture. The company will give its seven-acre parcel of land, and the joint venture partner will invest in the building.

All rooms to face Taj

“Designs are ready, and the construction work should begin anytime soon. All the 110 rooms will be facing the Taj Mahal,” he said.

There are a few other luxury hotel projects in Jaipur, Bangalore and in Noida being developed through joint ventures.

With all these projects on the cards, Leela hopes to take its total room inventory to 3,500 in the next few years. Currently, it has eight operating properties with a little over 2,200 rooms.

(This article was published on September 22, 2012)
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