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Thai hotel chain Lebua to expand

Ruchika Chitravanshi  |  New Delhi 

Luxury hotel chain Lebua Hotels & Resorts is expanding its presence in India, after opening its first property in Asia’s third-largest economy at Delhi.

The Thai hospitality major is setting up a 14-room, 40-villa property in Goa that will open its doors to guests in May 2013. Also, it is scouting for land to build its third property, a resort hotel, likely to come up in Cochin. A deal regarding this is expected to be signed next year. While the Delhi property has been opened partially after a soft launch, it’ll be formally launched in September, along with restaurants Sirocco II and Breeze II.

Chief executive officer Deepak Ohri said Lebua was opening a new restaurant, Den, in Goa, “with a very Hare Rama Hare Krishna feel to it. We’ll also open Sirocco III in Goa”.

Lebua Delhi will have an Indian restaurant, which the company claims would be the world’s most expensive restaurant, costing $400 per head. The restaurant will have Michelin-starred chefs as consultants and a Hollywood producer choreographing the presentation by the service staff.

While Lebua Bangkok has been its flagship property, the company expects that to change with the launch of Lebua Delhi, since it has the highest number of rooms, 400, for Lebua worldwide.

Lebua is also planning to hire 700 employees for its current and upcoming properties in India. It has already hired some top head hunters and international search firms for this.

“We are matching international remunerations and benefits here, contrary to the usual practice, as people come to India for cheap labour,” said Ohri, adding the company had drawn flak from its peers in India for disturbing the existing salary structure.

The company also plans to expand by entering into management contracts with into diverse business, including hospitality.

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First Published: Tue, March 27 2012. 00:55 IST