The Oberoi, New Delhi closes 2 years for renovation

From ET Realty

NEW DELHI: The iconic Oberoi hotel a landmark in the heart of Delhi for the last 50 years will be shut down for major renovation from April 1. East India Hotels (EIH), the parent company of Oberoi Hotels, has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that the property is expected to reopen by April 1, 2018.

“The existing building will undergo thorough renovation. Its guest rooms, public areas and ‘back of the house‘ will be completely renovated,” said an EIH official. The group clarified that the existing structure wouldn’t be razed to make way for a brand new building in its place.

The Oberoi’s planned two year shutdown is one of the longest renovation period for a marquee hotel in the country. The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, which was attacked on November 26, 2008, reopened on October 15, 2010, after being restored at a cost of Rs 180 crore.

The capital’s Oberoi was the first hotel to be built by the late M S Oberoi, who founded the group in 1934. The first two hotels that he had acquired, one each in Shimla and Kolkata, were existing properties.

The iconic building on Dr Zakir Hussain Marg is one of India’s first luxury hotels and has many other firsts to its credit. It was the first hotel in the country to offer 24-hour in-room dining service, butler service and round-theclock laundry service. “The Oberoi introduced the concept of a 24 hour coffee shop Cafe Espresso in 1965,” said the EIH official.

The Imperial, which opened in 1936 on Queensway now Janpath was the city’s first luxury hotel. It was restored to its old glory around 2001.

The property is an important contributor to the revenue generation of the Oberoi Group which currently operates 30 luxury hotels globally, two luxury Nile Cruisers and a motor vessel in the backwaters of Kerala under the luxury Oberoi brand. The group is also into flight catering, airport restaurants, travel and tour services, car rentals, project management and corporate air charters.

Delhi Oberoi contributed Rs 186.9 crore to the group kitty in the financial year ended March 31, 2015, accounting for 13.7% of the total revenue. The property’s net worth on that date was Rs 134.4 crore, representing over 5% of the group’s total net worth.

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