Leela, Kempinski end 25-year alliance

Luxury hotel chain Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has ended its 25-year-old branding alliance with German hotel group Kempinski, the Indian hotel chain announced today.

The planned phase-out of the alliance, which has been in the works for nearly two years now, will allow the German group to set up its own hotel brand in the emerging Indian market.

''We have mutually agreed to bring our fruitful 25-year relationship with Kempinski Hotels to a close, effective 1 October. Following a progressive phase-out, which began in 2012, the agreement will allow The Leela to further consolidate its network, while facilitating Kempinski's direct entry into the domestic market,'' Leela said in a statement.

''The strong cooperation enjoyed by the two luxury brands over more than two decades has immensely benefited both The Leela and Kempinski, and helped significantly increase brand awareness globally and in the domestic market,'' founder and chairman emeritus of The Leela, Capt C P Krishnan Nair, said.

''We are proud of the rewarding relationship we had with the Leela,'' president and chief executive of Kempinski Hotels, Reto Wittwer, said.

Leela owns and operates eight luxury properties in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Udaipur, Goa and Gurgaon and manages a hotel in Kovalam (Kerala).

The group is currently developing properties at various places, including a 60-room palace property in Jaipur, the Bhartiya City near the Bangalore airport, a hotel in Agra that has every room facing the Taj, a hotel at Noida near Delhi and one at the Ashtamudi Lake in Kerala.