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Dhaka Tribune

Ruposhi Bangla renovation faces stalemate

Update : 12 Nov 2014, 06:19 PM

The state-owned five star hotel Ruposhi Bangla, previously well-known as Hotel Sheraton, could not yet start renovation works even after two and a half month of its closure. 

The authorities concerned have also failed to award any of the jobs to any contractor for the massive renovation work, which is supposed to be accomplished in four phases.

The hotel authorities missed the first deadline set for November, as it could not finish the tendering process, said the high officials.

According to sources, though the total renovation work was fixed at Tk365 crore or US$43m, it might be increased up to Tk450 crore with the extended time frame for the reopening of the hotel under a new brand name.

As per the work schedule, a total of 16 months were allocated to accomplish the entire renovation work as the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel is set to begin its new journey under a new brand Hotel Intercontinental from January 2016.

But the officials concerned hinted that the reopening of the hotel might also be delayed by couple of months as the management missed the deadline for asset disposal by October, this year.

“It is true that we couldn’t maintain the work schedule, but we think we can rightly follow a fresh schedule. And again, if we fail to manage the renovation work as per our new plan, we can launch the hotel partially,” SahidusSadiq, manager (marketing and communication) told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

The hotel was closed on September 1 to implement a16-month renovation project.

The renovation is going to take place as part of a 30-year management deal between its owner, state-run Bangladesh Services Limited and Intercontinental Hotels Group signed in February 2012.

“The first phase of the physical renovation work was scheduled in November but the management is yet to complete the tender process for the work,” a senior Ruposhi Bangla official told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday on condition of anonymity.

SahidusSadiq, however, said the physical renovation work would begin as soon as the process for asset disposal and office relocation was accomplished, which will take six more weeks.

During a sudden visit to the hotel site, the Dhaka Tribune found that no process was initiated for physical renovation work.

Delayed process for the renovation work might lead to a rescheduling the January 2016 deadline, said another official.

The Intercontinental Hotel Group had earlier run the historical hotel from 1966 to 1983.

In late 1983, Sheraton, owned by Starwood, took over its operations and management for the next 25 years. The agreement with Sheraton was extended to April 30, 2011 until Starwood and BSL disagreed over renovation issues.

After that the BSL took over the operations and named the hotel after Ruposhi Bangla.

“We are yet to finalise the tendering of the strip-out phases. The contract awarding and completing the asset disposal might take few more months. As a result, the reopening deadline might also be delayed,” said a senior official.

He also said the hotel also missed the October deadline set for finishing the asset disposal work.

But SahidusSadiq clarified, “We have completed necessary paper work for asset disposal and physical execution of the work is also completed partially. I hope that the rest of it will be completed soon.”

He said that a large number of assets were distributed to an orphanage as charity and some went to Bangladesh ParjatanCorporation.

Sahidus, however, could not give any time frame for beginning of the physical renovation work.

“After completing the tender formalities, we will soon begin the physical renovation work,” he added.

After the renovation work, Intercontinental Dhaka will have 231 guestrooms instead of the existing 272, and the room size will also be expanded from 26 to 40 square metres, said am official of the hotel. 

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