Ambuja Realty plans luxury hotels in Darjeeling (Lead)

July 27th, 2008 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 27 (IANS) City-based real estate developer Ambuja Realty Development Ltd will build three luxury hotels in northern West Bengal, including the sleepy hill town of Kurseong town in Darjeeling, the company’s top official has said. Two of the hotels would be in Darjeeling district - at Makaibari in Kurseong and Siliguri - while the third would be near Gorumara forest in Jalpaiguri district, company chairman Harshavardhan Neotia said in an exclusive interview to IANS.

The company has already acquired land for these hotels, and the project details are being worked out, he said.

“These will be luxury hotels with 30-40 rooms to begin with,” Neotia said.

The projects would be funded through both debt and equity.

The company has not been able to start the construction work yet due to the political turmoil in Darjeeling and the adjoining areas in the recent past, he said.

“The hotel in Makaibari will be located in the middle of tea gardens and enhance tea tourism in Darjeeling,” he said.

Ambuja Realty is primarily engaged in construction of residential and commercial projects, which includes information technology parks, retail malls, special economic zones, theme parks, hotels and banquets, education and healthcare centres.

“We will spend around Rs.50 billion over a period of five years in all the projects,” Neotia said.

Asked about the impact of soaring steel prices on his company, Neotia said: “Due to the hike, project costs have gone up 25-30 percent.”

Neotia said a hotel project at the satellite township of New Town, Rajarhat, would be complete by the middle of next year. A boutique hotel at Raichak in South 24 Parganas district is likely to be completed this September.

The total investment for these two projects is around Rs.1 billion, he said.

The company has acquired a heritage property, Basubati, in north Kolkata, which it plans to convert into a heritage hotel.

Ambuja Realty, which has forayed into sectors like real estate, healthcare and hospitality, is also eyeing the education sector. But Neotia refused to share details.

Keeping in mind the increased demand for quality healthcare in the country, Neotia has joined hands with Israeli hospital Elbit to develop and operate a chain of multi-specialty tertiary hospitals in India.

The first hospital in the chain will be a 1,000-bed multi-specialty tertiary hospital and biotech research centre in Kolkata, to be named The Neotia Elbit Healthciti.

The group also runs a multi-specialty hospital in Kolkata - the Bhagirathi Neotia Women and Child Care Centre - for pre-natal and post-natal care.

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