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Revamped,renamed,Kolkata’s Great Eastern Hotel returns Nov 19

Eight years after it was sold to Bharat Hotels by the then Left Front government for Rs 52 crore,the iconic Great Eastern Hotel of Kolkata is set to be reopened on November 19 in a new avatar — the Lalit Great Eastern Hotel.

Eight years after it was sold to Bharat Hotels by the then Left Front government for Rs 52 crore,the iconic Great Eastern Hotel of Kolkata is set to be reopened on November 19 in a new avatar — the Lalit Great Eastern Hotel.

Invite has been sent to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requesting her to preside over the reopening ceremony on the day — the 69th birthday of the late former chairman of the hotel chain,Lalit Suri.

“Work in the hotel is nearly complete and the date of opening is confirmed. We are working out other details of the programme,” Jyotsna Suri,wife of Lalit Suri,who now heads the group,told The Sunday Express.

The hotel has been reconstructed at the cost of around Rs 260 crore.

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The sale of the heritage hotel was one the biggest success stories of then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s industrial reconstruction programme.

His decision to sell the government-owned hotel — built in 1840 by a Briton,David Wilson — had faced stiff resistance from several quarters,including its own trade wing,CITU.

Asked if Buddhadeb would be invited,Suri said: “We are still working out who are going to be invited.’’

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The state government now has a 10 per cent stake in the hotel with principal secretary,department of industrial reconstruction,Moloy De,on its board of

directors.

The invite to Mamata mentions that the Lalit Great Eastern Hotel has 244 rooms and suites,bakery,spa,swimming pool,its legendary Maxim bar and a two-tier car parking lot with a capacity of 250 cars.

Celeb guests that the hotel has hosted over its 173 years of existence are Queen Elizabeth II,Mark Twain,Rudyard Kipling,Mahatma Gandhi,Nikita Kruschev,Bulganin,Ho Chi Minh.

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State Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee,who was once on the hotel board,said he was happy with the development. “It is a heritage hotel and its re-opening will give a huge boost to the tourism sector of the state,” he said.

First published on: 25-08-2013 at 04:25:43 am
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