Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces on Wednesday ventured into the northeastern market by opening its first five-star category property, Vivanta by Taj, here. The hotel, which came up through a “unique” public-private-partnership (PPP), was a “landmark development” for the company, said Cyrus Mistry, chairman of the Tata group.
Built at about Rs 165 crore, Vivanta is the second hotel in the segment in the region. The first was Radisson Blu, by the Dharampal Satyapal Group, in partnership with the Assam government, opened here last year in Guwahati.
“This Vivanta by Taj will contribute to positioning northeast as hub for the region and Southeast Asia,” added Mistry. The land has been provided by the state government on rent for 60 years (which could be extended thereafter) and the hotel would be sharing a part of its revenue with the government.
The government has given five acres. Sources said the hotel has been paying a rental of Rs 30 lakh to the government since 2010 (the year the agreement was signed), with a 6.5 per cent appreciation annually.
Further, the hotel would be sharing three per cent of its revenue with the government. “This is a unique PPP model,” said Ranjit Barthakur, chairman Amalgamated Plantations, and also the investment advisor to the Assam chief minister.
The hotel has 150 rooms, in addition to 16 suites. It will have two restaurants, two bars, and a convention centre, claimed to be one of the biggest in eastern India.
“The Taj has a proud history of putting undiscovered destinations on the global map. This hotel is an ideal option for both business and leisure travellers as Guwahati is the gateway to both Shillong and the famous Kaziranga national park,” said Rakesh Sarna, managing director and chief executive officer of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.
The hotel has 150 rooms, in addition to 16 suites. It will have two restaurants, two bars, and a convention centre, claimed to be one of the biggest in eastern India. The hotel’s architecture and design has been done by Singapore-based eco.id. The design style is inspired by the unique architectural traditions of Assam. The main pavilion building is inspired by the famed Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.
The foundation stone of the hotel was laid on March 9, 2010 by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and was attended by Ratan Tata, the then chairman of Tata group.
With 31 hotels and resorts in India and the Indian Ocean region, Vivanta by Taj is represented across key metropolitan capitals as well as popular holiday destinations such as Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
“Each Vivanta hotel presents a few unique experiences rooted in the destination. At Vivanta by Taj in Guwahati, guests can take a tour of the Kellyden tea garden where Assam’s finest brew is created, take in the scenery while dining on a Brahmaputra cruise complete with fresh local dishes served up from traditional recipes from the Brahmaputra belt or immerse themselves in the rich spirituality of the region on a temple tour,” said a company press release.