Southbank fusion

 I really enjoyed a show round of one of the most anticipated new hotels in London recently, when I met Arun Kumar, the GM of The Lalit London.

Set in a former grammar school building on Tooley Street, near City Hall on the south side of Tower Bridge, the property has been transformed in parallel with the neighbourhood. The Grade II listed property has undergone a £50 million renovation, with lavish attention to detail in every area. It’s quite an entrance to the UK hotel market for Indian owner/operator Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, which has adroitly combined an Indian design twist with retained Victorian architectural details.

The company had been looking for a London site for its first hotel venture outside the Indian subcontinent. The group acquired the building at an auction for £14.7 million in 2012 and embarked on a legacy project to commemorate its founder Lalit Suri, who died in London in 2006. His wife, Dr Jyotsna Suri, chairperson and managing director of the group, said: “Mr. Lalit Suri yearned for a hotel in London a city he loved so intensely that it became his final resting place in 2006. Hence this property is very special for us.”

They have certainly done him proud, with a property that combines grandeur and formal service with a warm and welcoming feel.

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