The Leela Brand Journey



Some journeys can be summed up in a photo, a tweet, a souvenir. But others are so filled with inner riches, they defy easy description. For our guests, this has always posed a challenge: How to best capture the world of luxury that is The Leela? For one visitor, it’s a lobby – and a welcome that makes her feel like royalty. For another, it’s discovering a hidden garden, guided only by the scent of jasmine. To some, it is small touches that few others notice – the warmth of a gesture, the extra care in the simplest dish. Finding the right words for this distinctly Indian brand of luxury is made all the more difficult because it is constantly being refined and enhanced by each person we invite to join our staff.

 

From the start, we have been on a continuous journey to delight each traveller who crosses our threshold. It is The Leela’s goal to provide the most demanding guests with memorable, magical stays that deliver the essence of India and discover a 5-Star experience found only in India, and only at The Leela. In a span of 30 years, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has grown to comprise a world-class collection of nine award-winning luxury hotels spread across key destinations in India with many more on the anvil.

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Early Years

The Leela story begins with its founder Late Capt. CP Krishnan Nair who at the age of 65 years when most people begin to think of retiring he started to build the The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts which today form one of the biggest and most celebrated indigenous group of hotels in India. and a deep hunger that fuelled his ambitions. Born into a poor agricultural family in Kannur District of Kerala, India, Capt. Nair joined the Free India Army in his mid-20s,he met Leela, the daughter of a successful handloom owner, who went on to become his soul mate, a life-partner and the leading lady in all his hotel ventures.

His years in the handloom and garment business led him to engage with such high profile designers such as Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren who were some of his coveted clients. As his business grew, so did his exposure to some of the most hospitable and luxurious hotels of the world. He was very impressed by the high standards of hospitality at some o the iconic hotels of that time. Interactions with the General managers of these hotels who would host him over lavish meals, he understood the finer nuances of what it took to create a luxury hotel.

So, well into his 60s, he decided to embark upon his true calling in life – a journey into the world of luxury hospitality. A born achiever, he quickly set the footprints of an empire comprising of luxury hotels in India that would excel in comfort and offer global benchmarks in service whilst maintaining the traditional warmth and grace of Indian hospitality.
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The Leela Kovalam opens in 2005

The Leela Kovalam in Kerala is built on a cliff-top and spreads over acres of lush greenery. It is cradled between wide sweeping beaches and has a panoramic view of the famous Kovalam coastline overlooking the Arabian Sea.

 

The Leela Kovalam provides a perfect blend of traditional grandeur and a contemporary outlook. There is an array of superlative restaurants and lounges that specialize in traditional Ayurvedic treatments. Two stunning infinity pools overlook the Arabian Sea. The Club at The Leela has an exclusive International Spa, a Library Lounge and Living Room and is perched on a cliff overlooking the sea.

THE 1980s

When he was 64 years old, an age when most people hope to embark upon a retired life, Capt. Nair set foot into the global hospitality industry. He set up the first of The Leelas, The Leela Penta, in 1987. The dream he had seen was beginning to realize itself. Then, in 1988, after a marketing alliance was signed with the Kempinski group, the hotel was renamed as The Leela Kempinski Mumbai.

It didn’t take long for Capt. Nair to showcase his hotel—just three years after it was established, The Leela Kempinski Mumbai was awarded the National Tourism Award by the Government of India, for being the country’s highest foreign-exchange-revenue grosser in the hospitality business.

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The Leela Goa opens in 1991

Buoyed by the unfathomable success of its maiden venture, The Leela Mumbai, Capt. C.P. Krishnan Nair set his sights on Goa. During his overseas marketing trips, he realized the enormous potential of a luxury beach resort in India that would provide an ideal tropical escape from the harsh winters of Europe. His foresight led him to establishing the most captivating resort tucked away on the southern tip of Goa, set amidst 75 acres of landscaped gardens.

 

Sprawled between the Arabian Sea and River Sal, the resort has been designed by the renowned architect, Tom Pugliaso, and it reflects the Portuguese and Indian heritage. The resort has 206 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites. The Club - a resort within a resort offers everything from limousine transfers from the airport to private plunge pools, dining areas and a designated Club beach. The Leela Goa, since its opening in 1991, has won innumerable awards, both nationally and internationally.

The Leela Palace Bengaluru

The Leela Palace Bengaluru opens in 2001

The foundation stone for The Leela Palace Bangalore was laid in 1997 by the then Prime Minister of India, Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda and the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. J.H. Patel. Drawing inspiration from the architectural style of the Royal Palace of Mysore, The Leela Palace Bengaluru stands majestically amidst the seven acres of lush gardens and a sparkling lagoon in the garden city.

 

The Leela Palace Bengaluru has garnered innumerable awards and accolades since its opening in 2001 and till date remains the only destination hotel in Bengaluru. The hotel has 357 luxurious guestrooms, multiple dining options and extensive banqueting and conferencing venues. The Collonade provides a world-class shopping experience and the luxuriously designed spa and a state-of-the-art fitness centre makes the hotel the first choice for business and leisure travellers.