It could be one of the biggest moves as far as hospitality sector is concerned. The Leela Palaces & Resorts president Peter Leitgeb has joined as president & CEO of The Claridges Hotels & Resorts (CHR). Leitgeb, a 30-year veteran in the hospitality industry, comes with a diverse experience of holding senior management positions with some of the leading global hospitality brands. He is one of the few industry professionals with senior management experience in India and overseas.
Confirming the move Leitgeb told Sunday ET: “I have run great hotels and hotel companies from Dallas to Hong Kong to Berlin, but nothing has excited me more than the opportunity to build a great luxury hotel group in India.” When asked why he continued in India for one more stint, Peter simply said “I love India. Also, the opportunity to build a premium hotel group was too good to pass up.”
As CHR president & CEO, Leitgeb will oversee the expansion plans of the group, besides re-positioning The Claridges, Delhi. In the coming months, The Claridges, which has been a landmark in Lutyens Delhi, will be repositioned as a boutique hotel. The hotel will benchmark itself with leading hotels to build service and operational excellence to cater to guests who expect the very best.
Early Autumn 2008 will see the group unveil The Claridges, Surajkund, a 240-room five-star hotel in NCR. With its aesthetically done up interiors and state-of-the-art conference and business facilities The Claridges, Surajkund will cater to corporates, MICE segment as well as leisure travellers.
This will be followed by a renovated Mumbai Sea Rock property in 2009. For this hotel, CHR has signed with the world's leading hotel brand, the $1.8-billion Mandarin Oriental Hotel group, part of Jardine Matheson Holdings. The group is focused on expansion and is also exploring opportunities to operate and manage hotels in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa, Jaipur and Kolkata over the next few years.