- Jaipur Palace model to revive fortunes of loss-making Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel
- Royal tents to come up at 54-acre land without harming the heritage structure
Bengaluru/Mysuru: The ambitious project to install luxury tents with star hotel facilities at the 54-acre open land available on Lalitha Mahal Hotel campus, which was floated by JD(S) MLA S.R. Mahesh when he was Tourism Minister in 2018, has been revived by present BJP Government.
Tourism Minister Anand Singh told reporters in Bengaluru yesterday that the present loss-making Lalitha Mahal Palace will turn into a profit-making hotel once the Jaipur Palace (Rajasthan) model tent houses and cottages with ultra-modern comforts and facilities will come up around Mysuru’s royal hotel.
“We want to attract more visitors and increase revenue from the loss-making unit. Royal tents will come up on the 54-acre land and will not damage the heritage hotel structure in any way. A proposal is being prepared and bids will soon be invited through a global tender as decided by the Cabinet Sub-Committee,” Anand Singh said.
Need for 100 rooms
There are 54 rooms in the hotel and if a luxury hotel chain has to take over the hotel —which is at present being run by State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts — it needs at least 100 rooms for bulk bookings. “There is no scope for reconstructing the building as it is a heritage structure. Luxury tents are the only alternative as being implemented at Jaipur Palace and at Oberoi Group of chain hotels in Madhya Pradesh,” Singh said.
These tents can come up without cutting trees or defacing the beauty of the heritage building. “Personally I felt that the Hotel can be handed over to the Taj Group considering their expertise in running the heritage hotels. But the Cabinet Sub-Committee decided to float global tenders instead of favouring just one hotel chain,” Tourism Minister Anand Singh revealed.
For quite some time, the State Government was mulling handing over the management of the hotel to a private luxury brand as it was not happy with the way the hotel is being run at present. The Jungle Lodges does not have the expertise to run a star hotel though it can run the luxury facilities inside the forests.
“When I visited the hotel sometime back, a portion of a wooden beam collapsed right in front of me and anyone in my place would have felt bad. We cannot take the risks here as the Lalitha Mahal Hotel is Mysuru’s pride,” he said.
It may be recalled here that in 2018 the then Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh had proposed the idea of tent tourism in Lalitha Mahal. He had said then that tent tourism would be implemented on the lines of ‘Rann Utsav’ in Gujarat where a tent city is established in the heart of the Kutch district — The Rann of Kutch — during the festival. Officials were asked to prepare an action plan for the same.