Lemon Tree Hotels is planning to enter the luxury segment. The company is talking with two luxury brands in the US and Asia, which have no operations in the country, for its luxury venture. Lemon Tree will share the management fee with the partner brand. “Many international brands want to enter India but they need someone who they can partner locally.
We bring years of experience in the hospitality industry,” said Rattan Keswani, deputy managing director. The hotel chain is planning to launch its own luxury brand and has even finalised a name. “We want to go up the ladder. We don’t want to give up our customer right when one becomes most productive to us, having progressed from our budget to upscale brand and ready for a luxury product,” Keswani added. Started by Patu Keswani in 2002, the company runs 25 hotels under Lemon Tree Premier (upscale), Lemon Tree (mid-market) and Red Fox (budget) brands. The company claims to be the third largest hotel owner in India, with about 2,850 operating rooms and another 1,200 under development. Last year, the company, through subsidiary Fleur Hotels, and Dutch pension fund ABG had bought Inovoa Hotels and Resorts for Rs 64 crore. Inovoa owned and ran the Clarion hotel, a 78-room property, in Whitefield, Bangalore, which has now been rebranded as Lemon Tree Hotel, Whitefield after the sale. Lemon Tree has refurbished and upgraded it to a 130 room property by adding 52 new deluxe rooms to it.