The Caterer

Taj plans £10m spend on St James Court

01 January 2000
Taj plans £10m spend on St James Court

Indian group Taj International Hotels is to spend about £10m on refurbishment of its London property, the St James Court, near Buckingham Palace.

Recently-appointed vice-president and general manager Maneck Patel will work with the group's interior designer, Elizabeth Kerkar, to oversee the work, which will take place in three phases.

Phase one will involve 230 of the hotel's 400 bedrooms, of which 80 are rooms and suites in a block that will have its own executive services exclusively for corporate clients. These will include a butler service, individual check-in and faxes in each room.

Facilities available across the entire hotel will include personal computer sockets, voicemail on request, and upgraded TV systems with on-screen messages and billing. An AT&T telephone system is also being introduced.

That phase should be finished by the summer of 1996. The second phase of the programme will include renovation and refurbishment of all the public areas.

Phase three will see the upgrading of the front and back of house.

Mr Patel told Caterer the aim of the refurbishment was to increase the level of corporate business at the hotel.

"Currently, the corporate market accounts for 60% of our business. We want to take it to 75-80%," he said.

He added that occupancy last year had been close to 80%, with an achieved room rate of about £80.

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