HYATT REGENCY, CHENNAI has received the prestigious award for the best international hotel marketing at the International Hotel Awards held at London. “With the distinction of being the first Hyatt hotel in southern India, Hyatt Regency Chennai has always strived to be innovative and represent the brand’s core value of creating memorable guest experiences. Our entire marketing mantra was completely driven around that value,” said Shubham Chandra, Director, Sales & Marketing, Hyatt Regency, Chennai.
This prestigious landmark in the heart of Chennai has a chequered history. In the 1990s, the Balaji group, enjoying a boom in its liquor trade, embarked on a many-sided expansion that included steel and hotels. The group planned setting up an ambitious project – a five star hotel in the five acre land it acquired from the Satya Sai Trust, adjacent to the DMK Headquarters on Anna Salai in Teynampet. (This property was known as Abbotsbury). The hotel was designed in 1986 and construction started in 1990. Constructed by L&T-ECC, the hotel project took quick shape in the initial years.
However, the tragic assassination of the eldest of the three Magunta Reddy brothers, Subbirami Reddy, of the Balaji group and the decline in the fortunes of their liquor trade resulted in a severe cash crunch that stalled construction. With compounded interest charges, liabilities mounted and reached around Rs 450 crore. The Oberois, who initially teamed up with the Maguntas, withdrew and the property languished with large dues to financial institutions, L&T and other vendors.
With the Chennai entrepreneur mostly interested in automobile, auto components and other engineering companies, there was no great enthusiasm on their part to take over the Magunta hotel. Until around 2008 for over 15 years, the property got struck. The boom enjoyed by the state, thanks to the IT sector and the advent of large multinationals revived interest. With international bidding supported by funding from large banks, Hyatt took control. In just around a couple of years, Hyatt Regency refurbished the sprawling property and opened it on August 2011 at a cost of Rs 550 crore.