Lemon Tree to come up with mega hotel project in Mumbai
The Lemon Tree Hotel Company will add a sizable 900 rooms inventory to the Mumbai hospitality market in the next three and half years. The first to open will be a 300 keys property in Andheri within the next two years followed by a 600 keys Lemon Tree Premier project in the vicinity of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The second project will be operational by 2018. “It will be our own property, along with which we are planning a commercial space of about a 100,000 sq feet and meeting space of approximately 60,000 sq feet. This is still on the drawing board,” said Rahul Pandit, president & executive director, The Lemon Tree Hotel Company. These projects will also make The Lemon Tree Hotel Company one of the biggest hotel operators in India’s financial capital.
The company that currently has 26 hotels in 15 cities, is re-strategising its expansion plans across the country. “If you see the map of India and bi-sect it into two, we are currently predominantly in the left of the map – in the north, west and south. We have been where the services economy is happening. Now we realise that as the mineral wealth of India is called for deployment; resources, people and travel will also start happening in the right of the map. East will become more prominent. So that’s one major shift in the fulcrum which will happen,” mentioned Pandit. He pointed out that the leisure segment will also become more important for the company. Another focus segment is single lady travellers who currently comprise almost 16 per cent of the company’s guests. “If you start winning their loyalties right now, then we win it for the long run. All these factors will drive our growth area,” stated Pandit.
The upcoming projects include a resort in Udaipur, a hotel in Rajarhat area of Kolkata, and in Sector 60, Gurgaon a Lemon Tree Hotel and Red Fox Hotel together. “We have three hotels in Gurgaon. The second inventory we are demolishing and rebuilding as the FSI norms have changed. We can now do a bigger hotel, it is becoming more upscale and will be a Lemon Tree Premier,” informed Pandit. Recently, the company started its third hotel in Hyderabad. “We are doing a second hotel in Pune, a resort in Shimla, another in Baroda, a greenfield project in Coimbatore is two years away. We are also speaking of Bhubaneshwar but it will take some time,” added Pandit. The newer projects will also see more allocation of meetings space than the existing hotels, as the company is now more focused on the MICE segment.