Luxury living

Print edition : July 01, 2011

The multi-cuisine 'Latest Recipe' restaurant at Le Meridien. - M.PERIASAMY

COIMBATORE is slowly but surely coming into its own in the hospitality industry, with several luxury hotels under construction. The star attraction is the 254-room Le Meridien hotel, a five-star hotel owned by Appu Hotels Limited.

We have different categories of rooms junior, deluxe, executive, club room, royal club room with a separate lounge, and so on, said A. Sennimalai, managing director, Le Royal Meridien, Chennai. The royal club rooms with lounges are located on the seventh, eighth and ninth floors and provide a fantastic view of the city and the Nilgiri hills.

The hotel has three restaurants while one serves Indian food another serves Japanese, Thai, and Mongolian fare; and the third, Chinese. The Le Meridien chain also has an Italian restaurant called Favola.

A star attraction in the hotel is the stunning 102-foot-tall chandelier. It was designed in Italy. It cascades from the eighth floor to the lobby, said Sennimalai. The hotel's banquet hall/ballroom can accommodate 2,000 guests. According to Raja Lalitha, associate director, sales, there is a huge swimming pool, a spa and a health club above the ballroom. We are promoting this hotel as an urban resort, said Sennimalai.

If 85 per cent of the rooms in Jenneys Residency in Coimbatore are occupied, it is because they are not high-priced. We are doing well in banquets, too, because our pricing is comfortably low, and the lawns and the halls are spacious. Furthermore, we maintain quality in food, said Vincent Adaikalraj, executive director, LA Group, which owns the hotel. Its lawns can accommodate 2,000 people.

The LA group also owns the water theme park Black Thunder, near Mettupalayam. It has a resort on its premises, which has kitchens where Jains can cook food for themselves. The closure of dyeing units in Tiruppur has affected corporate bulk bookings on holidays such as May 1, Labour Day. However, Black Thunder grows by 7 per cent a year. We keep adding rides, Adaikalraj said.

Emerald Jewel Industry India Limited, Coimbatore, has had a fairy-tale growth. Its managing director K. Srinivasan started as a salesman in a jewellery shop in Coimbatore 26 years ago on a salary of Rs.150 a month. He now commands an enterprise with a turnover of hundreds of crores of rupees.

Emerald Jewel Industry now has four manufacturing units in Coimbatore, and design studios in Coimbatore, Mumbai and Kolkata. We have wholesale outlets in Dubai and Singapore, said Srinivasan. Emerald's 18-carat, cubic-zirconium jewellery called Ishtaa has 65 distributors and 1,500 retailers in India. It also has a Nishtaa jewellery range created in 22-carat gold.

Pothys Textiles, which caters to lower middle-class and upper middle-class customers, has opened a shop at Shobha Corner, a prime location in Coimbatore. Our success lies in the fact that we buy our merchandise directly from manufacturers all over India, said S. Ashok, managing partner, Pothys. Moreover, its shops are open 365 days a year.

The shop at Shobha Corner is spread over 1.2 lakh sq. ft, and has a basement car park for 100 cars and 200 two-wheelers. The shop is designed like a temple mantapa with sculpted gold-plated pillars.

Pothys, which was first started at Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar district, now has branches in Tirunelveli, Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore.

T.S. Subramanian

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