Prominent luxury hotel InterContinental Dhaka is renovating its old building and preparing to make a comeback. The five-star hotel is keeping the main structure of the building intact while incorporating local culture and tradition in a Mughal architectural style into its design.
The hotel hopes to compete with other five-star hotels in Dhaka and become popular with national and international guests again.
Hotel authorities said the renovation is almost complete and hope to re-open the hotel by end of June.
The renovation was supposed to be completed last year, but the authorities said they wanted to make sure that the work was done impeccably.
For the last five decades, the five-star hotel has been known by many names such as “InterContinental Dhaka”, “Hotel Sheraton” and “Ruposhi Bangla.” After almost 30 years, InterContinental is being reinstated as the official name again.
A Ruposhi Bangla spokesperson said Hotel InterContinental Dhaka started its journey in 1966 in Shahbagh on 4.5 acres of land. Sheraton took responsibility of the hotel’s management in 1987. In 2011, the hotel came to be known as “Ruposhi Bangla” after Sheraton stopped operations and Bangladesh Services Limited (BSL) under Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism took over the administration.
Later, the InterContinental made a deal with the government and took a 30-year lease. They started renovating the hotel after the deal was finalized.
The renovation is almost complete and the engineers are overseeing the work. They have already installed generators and air conditioners. Repainting the hotel is also almost complete.
Hotel authorities said, previously there were 270 rooms in the hotel. Each room was 26 square metres; a size not suitable for a five star hotel. Hence, the rooms were broken down and 270 rooms were made into 226 rooms. Now each room is 40 square metres.
The total size of the meeting room is now 21 thousand square feet. Other features, including the swimming pool, are being remodeled as well.
The new swimming pool is going to be on the roof top and the old site will be a ballroom. The new kitchen will in turn occupy the space of the previous ballroom.
The hotel will have five restaurants. The entire facility will be equipped with high-speed internet and other digital services.
An InterContinental group spokesperson said: “We are bringing stylistic changes to the hotel rooms. The guests will enjoy many facilities including mini-bars, high-speed internet, express check-in, meeting room, gift shop, swimming pool, fitness centre and many more.
“The InterContinental will be equipped with all the facilities that are provided at world-class five-star hotels across the world.”
On May 1, 2010, Sheraton handed over the management to government organization BSL. The name was changed to Ruposhi Bangla then. Later in 2012, BSL made a deal with InterContinental and stopped renovation work.
Recently, answering a question in the National Parliament, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal said: “The renovation works were supposed to be completed in June, 2016. It was supposed to be handed over to the InterContinental Hotel groups in the same year. But due to some administrative troubles and lack of skilled manpower we could not finish it in time.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com