Early YearsThe 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.