Kempinski to Add Three Hotels in India by 2020, Ambience to build 2 hotels

NEW DELHI: German hospitality chain Kempinski Hotels plans to add three new hotels to its portfolio in India by 2020, a top official said.

"In India we will have three new properties- in Mumbai, Kolkata and Kochi, and we are in talks with several developers to set up the properties, including the real estate developer Ambience," Duncan O'Rourke, chief operating officer at Kempinski Hotels, told ET.

Kempinski, which snapped ties with The Leela Group of Hotels in India last year, currently has only one hotel in the country - The Kempinski Ambience in Delhi.

Each of its new properties will feature 150-250 rooms, said O'Rourke who is currently touring India.

The company, which owns and operates 73 hotels across the world, does not plan to invest in any hotel project in India. "We are going to be a 100% management contract company here, and will not invest in any hotel projects here," O'Rourke said. "We are, however, looking into managing residential complexes along with our upcoming properties," he added.

Kempinski had a 25-year old management contract with The Leela to manage its Delhi and Mumbai properties, which ended in October last year. O'Rourke said they never intended to renew the contract, and the two partners parted amicably.

Its existing Indian partner, The Ambience group, owns Kempinski Ambience Hotel in Delhi as well as The Leela Ambience Gurgaon.

The developer plans to invest Rs 2,000 crore in two 5-star hotel properties in Gurgaon and Udaipur, which will be ready  in the next four years.

Raj Singh Gehlot, chairman and managing director at The Ambience group, said the company will first develop the hotels and then offer management contracts to its current partners Leela and Kempinski. "If these two options don't work out, we will look at strategic partnerships with other companies. But these two companies are our first preference," he said.

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