The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts, commonly known as The Leela, has won the competitive bid to manage the 34-acre Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
The 34-acre Mahatma Mandir is one of the largest convention centres in the country — an “environmentally-responsible complex” that can hold a total of 15,000 people. It includes a convention hall with a capacity for 6,000 people, as well as multiple exhibition centres and seminar rooms.
At a distance of 400 meters from Mahatma Mandir, above the city’s railway station, the homegrown luxury hotel brand is building The Leela Gandhinagar that is expected to open in January 2019.
Both buildings are a 25-minute drive from Ahmedabad international airport.
The contract for the government’s ambitious project to build a 5-star hotel above Gandhinagar railway station was signed on April 1 by The Leela, Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation (GARUD), a special purpose vehicle formed by the Government of Gujarat with the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd (IRSDC).
Commenting on the development, Vivek Nair, chairman and managing director at The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts said: “The addition of Mahatma Mandir and The Leela Gandhinagar to our MICE portfolio reinforces our plans to expand further into the international conferences and events space, and underscores our asset light growth strategy. The projects combine grand space with global standards of service and cater to the growing demand for world-class venues. Together with the government of Gujarat, our endeavour is to help transform Gandhinagar into the convention capital of India.”
On completion, The Leela Gandhinagar will be the first luxury hotel in the country to be built over a railway station, 25 meters above ground. It’s three wings with ten floors and two eight-storey wings will hold 300 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lounge and boardroom, and an 800 sqm meetings, conventions and event space.
R.K Beniwal (IAS), MD Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation said: “We are very confident that The Leela Gandhinagar and Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre will be ably managed for a wider global distribution and accentuated positioning in the International and domestic MICE market.”
With The Leela Gandhinagar, the hospitality group now has ten properties across India. Upcoming projects include a resort in Jaipur, a palace hotel in Agra where every room will face the Taj Mahal, and business hotels in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.