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Hotel Intercontinental staging comeback

Published : Thursday, 13 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 106

The renovated Hotel Intercontinental Dhaka is ready to open today. The photo was taken on Wednesday. 	photo: Observer

The renovated Hotel Intercontinental Dhaka is ready to open today. The photo was taken on Wednesday. photo: Observer

The Hotel Intercontinental Dhaka, a government owned 5-star ranked hotel earlier known as Ruposhi Bangla and Sheraton, is likely to start its operation after four years of renovations. The authority took four years (48 months) instead of its 36 months tenure given for renovation of the 56 years old building. The renovation work began in September, 2014. At a press briefing held at Secretariat, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal on Wednesday said, "We are all set to inaugurate the renovated hotel. The Prime Minister will formally open it at 7.30pm on Thursday." However, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque informed that commercial operation of the hotel will be started in November this year after completing training to its staff.

"Everything of the hotel has been changed except its walls and roof," he said, adding that total renovation cost was Tk 620 crore. Earlier, the hotel had 270 rooms, each of 26 square meters, a size not suitable for a five-star hotel. Hence, 226 rooms were made instead 270 with minimum size of 40 square meters. Of those, 201 are premium or deluxe rooms, 10 deluxe suites, five superior suites, five diplomatic suites and five presidential suites. "The room size has been extended to 40 square meters from 26 alongside the meeting spaces as well," said Secretary Mohibul, who is also chairman of Bangladesh Services Limited (BSL) under the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, the owner of the hotel.

At the renovated hotel, one ballroom can accommodate 1,000 people, double the previous capacity, he said. He also said that there are five restaurants, including all-day dining with buffet, lobby cafe, club bar, pool bar and restaurant and specialty restaurant. Other features include a temperature-controlled swimming pool, gymnasium, steam room, sauna and spa treatment rooms.

Since its inception in 1962, the 5-Star hotel has been known by many names such as 'Intercontinental Dhaka', 'Hotel Sheraton' and 'Ruposhi Bangla'. The hotel is now getting back its previous name 'Intercontinental Dhaka'. Sheraton took responsibility of the hotel's management of Intercontinental Dhaka 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 British global hotel chain Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and BSL signed an agreement to manage the property for 30 years in 2013. The renovation work began in 2014. BSL acting Managing Director Mokabbir Hossain and other high officials were also present the press briefing.

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