Indian hotel firm the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group is to open a five-star hotel - its first in the UK - in London.
The company, which currently has 11 hotels in its portfolio, will open the 70-bedroom Lalit London in a Grade II-listed property on Queen Elizabeth Street near Tower Bridge that used to house the Lambeth College. Prior to that, it was home to St Olave's Grammar School.
Set to open in late 2016, the hotel sits in a building designed by the architect of the Old Bailey Edward Mountford, and built in two phases in 1893 and 1896.
The project promises to blend "the best of Indian culture, hospitality and cuisine with the finest Victorian architecture".
It is being redeveloped and renovated by EPR Architects and the centrepiece will be the former Great Hall, where timber panelling, vaulted ceiling and gallery are being restored.
The hotel will also host a pan-Indian restaurant called Baluchi, which is already in place in many of the brand's hotels.
Meanwhile, the former Governors' Room will be converted into a cocktail bar, and there will also be a spa.
Almost all bedrooms will be different in designed and layout, with the bedrooms on the top floor boasting 30-foot-high ceilings.
Many of the new fixtures and fittings will use Indian materials and fabrics, overseen by the Lalit Suri group's chairperson and managing director, Dr Jyotsna Suri.
Keshav Suri, executive director of the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said: "My family has a karmic connection with this city, in fact all of us have grown up or studied in London. My father passed away here in 2006 and since then my mother, Dr Suri, and I have wanted to fulfil his wish of owning a hotel in London and I am glad that is finally becoming a reality."
Headquartered in New Delhi, the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group opened its first hotel there in 1988.
Its 11 properties include: the Lalit New Delhi; the Lalit Mumbai; the Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar; the Lalit Golf & Spa Resort Goa; the Lalit Ashok Bangalore; the Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur; the Lalit Temple View Khajuraho; the Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal (Kerala); the Lalit Jaipur; the Lalit Chandigarh and the Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata.
It also operates two mid-segment hotels under the brand name ‘the Lalit Traveller' - the Lalit Traveller Jaipur and the Lalit Traveller Khajuraho.
Upcoming hotels include properties in Ahmedabad and Amritsar in India and Koh Samui in Thailand.