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Brand Oberoi for select few

December 14, 2004 09:00 IST
To protect the equity of its flagship brand, East India Hotels has dropped the Oberoi tag from six of its properties over the past 12 months.

As a result, it has not renewed management contracts for its two hotels in Egypt and one in Sri Lanka. In addition, it has rebranded The Oberoi Maidens in Delhi as The Maidens and The Oberoi Clarks in Shimla as The Clarks. It has also parked its Bhubaneswar property under the Trident Hilton brand.

"We want all our properties to fit into the core frame of the Oberoi brand name," Paul Simmons, senior vice-president (marketing), Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, told Business Standard. "The idea is that wherever our guests go, they should have the same Oberoi experience."

The company has also brought its luxury properties in the country, Amarvilas in Agra, Rajvilas in Jaipur, Udaivilas in Udaipur and Vanyavilas in Ranthambhore, under the Oberoi umbrella.

As a result of this exercise, East India Hotels now has 19

Oberoi properties worldwide, most of which are owned by the company.

Simmons said: "We are in the same genre as other world-class luxury brands. The world's most luxurious chains like Aman, Peninsula and Four Seasons, too, do not have a large number of properties."

There is a possibility that the company will add a couple of properties to its list of luxury hotels in the near future.

It has been invited by the Egyptian government to set up luxury hotels at the Sharm-el-Sheikh region along the Red Sea and the Mediterranian coast in the northern part of the country.

At the moment, the company is studying the possibility of investing in the two projects. Investing in a luxury hotel, according to Simmons, can cost between $200,000 and $250,000 per room.

East India Hotels already runs two hotels in Egypt, the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh on the Red Sea and Meena House Oberoi in Cairo, along with a luxury cruiser on the Nile -- the Oberoi Philae.

Bhupesh Bhandari in New Delhi
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