The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts announced recently that it has won the competitive bid and management contract to operate India’s largest Convention and Exhibition Center – the 34-acre Mahatma Mandir – and launch Gujarat state capital’s largest hotel, the 300-room The LeelaGandhinagar, which is expected to open in January 2019.
The agreements, effective April 1, 2018, are signed with Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation (GARUD), a special purpose vehicle formed by the Government of Gujarat with the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd (IRSDC). Both the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Center and The Leela Gandhi Nagar will operate in a complementary yet distinctive manner, guided by The Leela’s brand promise of world-class operational excellence delivered with the warmth and grace unique to Indian hospitality.
Commenting on the development, Vivek Nair, chairman and managing director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts said: “The addition of Mahatma Mandir and The Leela Gandhi Nagar to our MICE portfolio reinforces our plans to expand further into the international conferences and events space, and underscores our asset-light growth strategy. The projects combine grand space with global standards of service and cater to the growing demand for world-class venues. Together with the government of Gujarat, our endeavor is to help transform Gandhinagar into the convention capital of India.”
Commenting on the announcement, R.K Beniwal (IAS), MD Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (GARUD) said: “Our tie-up with The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts will be a strategic one as The Leela has a very high brand value in the premium hospitality space. We are very confident that The LeelaGandhinagar and Mahatma Mandir Convention & Exhibition Centre will be ably managed for a wider global distribution and accentuated positioning in the International and domestic MICE market.”
The Leela Gandhi Nagar is located 400 meters from the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Center. It is the first luxury hotel in the country to be constructed at the airspace of a conventional railway station and will be built 25 meters above ground. With three wings of ten floors and two wings of eight floors, it will boast 300 spacious guest rooms and suites, two extraordinary restaurants, an elaborate lounge and Boardroom, and 800 sq. meters of flexible meetings, conventions and event space with sweeping views – all matched by the legendary Leela service.
The 34-acre Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Center, a world-class facility for national and international conferences, exhibitions and events, is designed to reflect the life and philosophy of the Father of the nation – Mahatma Gandhi. The environmentally-responsible complex is spacious enough to handle up to 15000 people and includes a Convention Hall boasting a seating capacity of 6000 people as well as state-of-the-art Exhibition Centers, hi-tech Conference Halls, and Seminar Rooms, among a wide array of features. It is a 25-minute drive from Ahmedabad international airport.
With this signing, The Leela has expanded its hotel portfolio to ten acclaimed properties across India. Upcoming projects include a resort in Jaipur, a palace hotel in Agra where every room will face the Taj Mahal, and business hotels in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.