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Lalit group to open a hotel in London

The Times of India:  March, 2015

London: A renowned grammar school right next to London's iconic Tower Bridge is all set to become one of the city's most coveted luxury hotel - thanks to India's premiere hotel group - The Lalit.

In what will be Lalit Suri Hospitality Group's first international venture, the St Olave's Grammar School is now undergoing restoration to be converted into a five star hotel.

In an exclusive interview to TOI, Jyotsna Suri, chairperson of the group said the hotel will be 70 room boutique hotel which will open its doors to the public in March 2016.

Suri who is the president elect of FICCI was accompanying India's finance minister Arun Jaitley on his maiden visit to Britain this week.

Suri told TOI "The building is a 175 year old listed heritage property in the heart of London. We don't intend to change the character of this masterpiece but will only restore it to turn it into the hotel. This will be our first hotel outside India".

She added "We bought the property for 15 million pounds at a Christie's auction three years ago. The whole venture of converting it into a hotel will cost around 40 million pounds".

According to Suri, there is also a sentimental connection the family has with London which made them decide to embark on their latest venture.

Jyotsna Suri's husband and founder of the group - Lalit Suri who was also a Rajya Sabha member passed away in London in 2006 at the age of 60 following a massive cardiac arrest, soon after attending a reception in honour of then prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Lalit Suri was also in London as part of a FCCI delegation for the India-UK Investment Summit.

"London is part of our life because we lost Lalit here. Hence this property is very special for us. The group today has 13 hotels across India with the latest one opening in Chandigarh," Jyotsna Suri said.