Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Jan 31, 2005
Variety - Resorts & Amusement Parks
Le Meridien's Appu plans Chennai resort
Chennai , Jan. 30
APPU Hotels Ltd, which owns Chennai's Le Royal Meriden property, is planning its second hotel property under the Le Meriden Hotels & Resorts banner.
The Chairman of Appu Hotels, Dr Palani G. Periasamy, said the company plans to invest Rs 55 crore to set up a resort and spa on nine acres of land near Mahabalipuram.
The proposed project will be on the beachfront, and the company is working towards attaining the necessary governmental clearances.
The property will be positioned as a boutique resort, and will have a convention centre, a water body, a health club and recreational facilities.
Le Meriden Hotels & Resorts will also manage this resort, Dr Periasamy said.
Appu Hotels' first venture is the 240-room seven-star Le Royal Meridien in Chennai. The company has 26 acres in Chennai, which could be developed into a recreation and convention centre, he said.
Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts plans to expand its presence in India with nine new properties. Mr Robert E. Riley, CEO, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, said the company sees India as an important market, as it is one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations. Besides properties in India, there would also be new properties in Karachi and Kathmandu, he said.
Mr Riley said by the end of 2005 there would be properties in Kovalam, in Kerala, and Hyderabad. There are also plans for hotels in Mumbai, Bangalore, Rajasthan and Goa. Le Meridien has a consultancy and management agreement with the owners of local hotels.
Mr Riley is on his first visit to India after he took over as the CEO of the company. He said that though there is immense potential for tourism, the lack of infrastructure is a major drawback. Visitors to India are struck by the hustle and bustle of the cities. The more tranquil places should be showcased, he said.
The London-based Le Meridien is a global hotel group, with more than 130 luxury hotels in 56 countries.
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