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ITC goes for integrated hotel complex in Chennai

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Project is expected to cost Rs 800-1,000 cr; to begin operations in 2009

ARTIST'S impression of the Grand Chola
ARTIST'S impression of the Grand Chola

Ashwini Phadnis

Project plan


The hotel

has been designed by the Singapore based SRSS architects

To open

its doors to visitors in the third quarter of 2009

To act

as one-stop shop for large number of global companies

To provide

best value for money for all the services

New Delhi, June 2

The Chennai landscape is soon set to change forever with South India's largest integrated up market hotel complex and possibly the country's most expensive such project set to come up there.

ITC Hotels plans to open Grand Chola, a 550-deluxe-room hotel that would also offer 100 service apartments, 75,000 square feet of retail space and 100,000 square feet of conference and exhibition facilities at Mount Road in Chennai. The proposed hotel will come up over a million square foot area in an eight-acre plot that the Group acquired in the year 2000 for Rs 80 crore.

Project plan

The proposed project, that would reflect the State's ethos through the use of temples and gopurams in the design of the hotel, is expected to open its doors to visitors in the third quarter of 2009. The hotel has been designed by the Singapore based SRSS architects.

"The environmental approval process for the hotel project has begun and we hope to commission it in about three years time," the ITC LtdExecutive Director, Mr Habib Rehman, told

Business Line

.

Project cost

The project, which is part of the mega investment plan announced by the Chairman, Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, is expected to cost Rs 800-1,000 crore. The Group is to use its internal resources to fund the project, officials said.

Apart from rooms, the complex would also have a private multiplex capable of seating up to 100 guests and could be used as a venue for special viewing of films, documentaries or holding lectures. Similarly, in an effort to ensure that the service apartments cater to the needs of a larger cross section of local and international travellers, it would offer one, two and three bedroom sets.

Besides, a number of internationally recognised upmarket brands have already shown an interest in picking up space in the proposed retail area, officials claimed.

One-stop shop

The development of the hotel is being planned in such a manner that it could eventually become a one-stop shop for a variety of travellers including the large number of global companies that have already invested or were planning to invest in the State, industry analysts believe.

Although the hotel is not talking about its the pricing strategy as yet, officials say that the property would be priced in a manner that provides best value for money for all the services that are to be provided under one roof. "The risk in the project has been balanced in such a fashion so as to protect risk in a down turn and optimise returns in an up turn," Mr Rehman said when asked, which segment of the hotel was expected to be the largest revenue generator for the Group.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 3, 2006)
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