Looking aggressively at the Indian market for expansion, the Vikram Chatwal Hotels, a division of Hampshire Hotels and Resorts, plans to open "Dream brand hotels" in various cities in the country, including Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi with a Rs 5,000-crore (Rs 50 billion) investment.
About Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) has already been invested in the country, which will go up to Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion), Hampshire Hotels and Resorts Chairman and CEO Sant Singh Chatwal told reporters in Kochi.
The group expected to add 2,000 rooms in Bangalore, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Mumbai by 2010, and was already exploring markets in Chennai, Kolkata and Goa, he said.
Setting up a Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) hotel under its 'Dream' brand in Kochi was truly a dream come true, he said. The hotel boasts of 15O guest rooms, three exclusive club floors, roof top pool and jacuzi, five world class restaurants and bars.
There were plans to open another at the nearby silver sand, which will have about 300 rooms, he said.
The group is looking forward to opening its Dream Brand hotels in Hyderabad and Jaipur also. The chain has taken a site in Banjara hills in Hyderabad and in Jaipur and plans to start work in 6-7 months, Chatwal said.
The group owns hotels in the US, Canada, the UK, Thailand with over 3,000 rooms in Manhattan alone. The Mumbai Palace chain of internationally renowned gourmet restaurants popularised Indian cuisine around the world's major metropolitan cities including Montreal, Toronto, New York, Washington, Beverely Hills, Houston and Kuala Lumpur, he said.
Asked if he felt any impact of recession, Chatwal said, world over the impact has been felt and it would take time to recover. But this was the best period for expansion.
Chatwal is also the Trustee of the William J Clinton Foundation, a charitable foundation led by former US President Bill Clinton to focus on global issues of health, security and economic empowerment.