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Rediff.com  » Business » NRI converts court into 5-star hotel

NRI converts court into 5-star hotel

Last updated on: April 20, 2005 12:37 IST
An NRI entrepreneur has successfully converted an old court house in the heart of London into a five-star hotel, providing a luxurious haven for those wishing to enjoy the best that the capital has to offer.

The court house, the second oldest court in the UK on the Great Marlborough Street, where Oscar Wilde had his 'Queensbury' case hearing, was closed in December 1999.

NRI hotelier Joginder Sangar acquired the place after tenders were invited from developers in April 2000.

After nearly five years of renovation and development, it is now a unique 116-room five star hotel – The Courthouse Kempinski – which has started operating in its place to near full-capacity.

Sangar said that out of the 30,000 sq ft area, they had retained much of the splendour of the original, with a number of quirky features.

The court where the judges used to preside has now been converted into a posh restaurant named 'Silk', the hotel's destination restaurant, retaining most of the original features including the witness stand and the dock. Lord Buddha's statue now adorns the judge's seat of justice.

Three of the 22 prisoners' cells have been retained as 'samples' and have been beautifully blended with the new look granite-floored building. Elsewhere in the hotel, glimpses of former use can be seen - such as the iron bars that separate the lobby lounge from the Bar.

Facilities include a 100-seat private cinema hall, conference suite, business centre and health spa, a pool with jet streams, treatment rooms, gym and steam shower.

The erstwhile police commissioner's London bedroom at the Court House has now been converted into a rooftop terrace, the tariff for which is 2,500 pounds per night.

Sangar said the cinema facility at the hotel has been regularly utilised by CNN, Sony, Sky and other channels. Bollywood producer Subash Ghai's 'Kisna' was screened in the cinema hall for a select audience, he said.

International hotel group Kempinski has reached an agreement with Sangar for sales and marketing and use of its brand name.

Sangar also has three other hotels including 'The Washington' at Mayfair, 'Bentley' near Gloucester and 'Thorncliffe', which is under renovation now.

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