Sunday, February 20, 2005

Builders’ towering plans a boon to hotel-starved city

Builders’ towering plans a boon to hotel-starved city
The Times of India

Bangalore: What started in Mumbai is now catching up in Bangalore. And for this “hotel-room-starved” city, this is one big stroke of luck.
Bangalore builders are constructing hotels on their own and handing them over to reputed hotel chains for running them under their own management.

Like their counterparts in Mumbai such as Hiranandani, Rahejas, Lokhandwala and Pride who had put hotel construction on a fast-forward mode, Bangalore builders like Prestige, Embassy, Gopalan and Adarsh are now drawing up plans for building hotels here and handing them over to branded hotel chains for management.

Prestige group, in its latest blueprint for hotels, is planning to come up with an independent five-star hotel project in Ulsoor. In the UB city, it has just completed a 200-service-apartment complex and handed over to Oakwood hotel chain for management. This is besides its joint venture with the Adhikeshavulu group in Whitefield, where the Radisson hotel chain is going to manage the show. Incidentally, in the UB city, the Mumbai-based Raheja group is also building a 300-room hotel which J.W. Marriott will manage.

While city-based Gopalan group has begun construction of its maiden hotel project in Whitefield and set to sign up with a global hotel chain later this month, the Embassy group is also coming up with a service apartment project overlooking the Karnataka Golf Association course. The Adarsh group, known for its Palm Meadows success in Whitefield, has not only built a service apartment complex there but is also coming up with its first hotel venture on Palace Road.

Sobha Developers had recently completed a 500-room service apartment complex, on the lines of a five-star hotel, for Infosys at its campus and is likely to look at more in future.

“The scarcity of hotel rooms in this city is becoming a nightmare. You just cannot get any rooms in hotels here even if you try to book three months ahead,” says Rezwan Razack, joint managing director, Prestige Projects.

City builders are realising this is a great option to embark on especially at a time when every enterprise is in a tearing hurry to kickstart its business. Says C. Prabhakar, director, Gopalan Enterprises: “Today, every company wants to drastically cut down the time-to-market. If we build a hotel with worldclass amenities, hotel chains are willing to immediately tie-up and take over the entire running of the hotel”.

Moreover, the builders are happy because hotel projects don’t have cumbersome processes like marketing their apartments, making changes as per their buyer requirement, registration and so on. By one stroke, the builder is relieved of these cumbersome processes. The completed building is handed over to the hotel chain which either pays a management fee or takes a part of the revenue.

ON THE ANVIL

Prestige group: An independent five-star hotel project in Ulsoor.
Gopalan group: Maiden hotel project in Whitefield.
Embassy group: A service apartment project overlooking Karnataka Golf Association course.
Adarsh group: First hotel venture on Palace Road.
Sobha Developers: Just completed a 500-room service apartment complex for Infosys at its campus.

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