KEMPINSKI Hotels will open the 480-room Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi on November 26, its first Indian property independent of Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.
“We were in partnership with Leela for a long time, and both companies have done so well. Leela wants to expand overseas and we want to expand in India, and that’s why we decided to move apart. From a commercial perspective, that was the right decision,” said Vella Ramasawmy, general manager, Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi.
In a press release earlier this year, Kempinski stated that the opening of Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi would not affect the 25-year partnership between it and Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, which will only end in 2015/2016.
The two firms are undergoing a progressive and controlled phase out that will be implemented over the next few years. At present, Leela continues to benefit from Kempinski’s sales and marketing network.
Owned by the Ambience Group, Kempinski’s maiden hotel is primarily targeting the MICE segment with its state-of-the-art conference and banquet facilities, including a 5,000-pax ballroom. It is expecting 70 per cent of its business to be MICE-generated, with an average occupancy of 60 per cent.
“Delhi in the past has faced stiff competition from cities like Hyderabad and Pune as far as hosting MICE events is concerned. I believe Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi is going to be a landmark iconic property in the Delhi region,” said Ramasawmy.
He revealed that Kempinski was looking to open another six properties in India by 2015.
“We want to position ourselves in the right city, right place. We are open to collaborating with partners besides the Ambience Group, and are looking at areas including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kerala and Goa. Our focus is to have a mix of products,” said Ramasawmy.