Taj Group retains leasehold rights to its iconic luxury hotel on Willingdon Island

Taj Group has retained the leasehold rights to the iconic heritage property housing Taj Malabar Resorts and Spa on Willingdon Island for another 30 years.

The Cochin Port Authority, owner of the property, is to finalize the tender shortly, leasing the property to Taj Group. The Group is reported to have quoted ₹1.25 crore per annum as the lease amount.

The Taj Group operated the hotel for an annual rental amount of ₹75 lakh per year since 1984. After the rental period expired, the Taj Group operated the property on an extended rental agreement. The pre-tender meeting was held on April 19. However, the deadline for submitting bids has been extended following an encouraging response from bidders. The Taj Group had the right of first refusal in the bidding process, which helped them retain ownership.

Since the group secured the land and building on lease in 1984, the Taj Malabar at one end of Willingdon Island has hosted several heads of state and royalty who have visited Kochi.

The port had launched a tender earlier this year to lease the property, which offered splendid views of Cochin Port and the backwaters. There were other luxury hotel companies/groups vying to get the rental property.

Port of Cochin intends to rent or lease a few other buildings and vacant land located on the island to hotel groups and commercial entities. The development comes in the wake of India setting up a cruise terminal and convention centers, to explore the region’s tourism potential.

The relocation of container handling facilities to the neighboring island of Vallarpadam when the International Container Transshipment Terminal was commissioned in 2012 has provided available space and the port management has several plans to take advantage of this.

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