The Leela Palace Hotel at Chanakyapuri in the heart of Delhi started with a bang with room-tariffs hitting the roof. Two high-end restaurants – Le Cirque and Megu added to the hotel’s reputation but you cannot fool a discerning customer for long. So what is it about Leela Palace that is misleading? It is the the address!
The Leela Palace states its address as Chankyapuri, Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi. It should say Netaji Nagar instead of Diplomatic Enclave and I have verified this information with the post and telegraph department. A squatter settlement just metres away housing more than 2000 people adjacent to The Leela Palace was demolished. Residents of the Netaji Nagar slum were furious at being thrown out of their homes and now The Leela Palace Hotel even shies away from using the very name – Netaji Nagar in its address. The words – ‘Diplomatic Enclave’ conjures an image of Delhi’s lush green environs that Maurya Sheraton and Taj Palace enjoys. What is the view from the rooms at The Leela Palace? Well all you get to see are the government quarters of Netaji Nagar and underwears and petticoats that are spread-out to dry from those quarters. The discerning customer who is willing to pay the mega-bucks can be fooled once but not twice and this has hit The Leela Palace at New Delhi very badly.
The other news that is making the rounds of the hospitality industry is that the Nairs are selling-off The Leela Palace Hotel at New Delhi. The groups sudden expansion has led to liquidity crunch and had often been bailed out by their influential industrialist friends. Buzz is strong that Peninsula Hotels Group of Hong Kong are the prospective buyer as the group is looking to spread its footprint in India.