Hotel Leelaventure Founder C P Krishnan Nair passed away this morning after a short illness, according to the Economic Times. Nair was 92 years old.
Nair, who is widely considered the grand old man of Indian hospitality, began his career with the Indian Army. From there he moved into textiles and later began the luxury hospitality chain under the Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts brand.
The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts comprise a collection of luxury hotels and resorts in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Udaipur, Goa, Kovalam and Chennai with plans to develop hotels in Agra, Lake Ashtamudi (Kerala) and Jaipur. There are currently eight hotels in the portfolio, with another four in the pipeline. The group has marketing alliances with US-based Preferred Hotel & Resorts and is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance based in Geneva, Switzerland.
His other accomplishments included the Padma Bhusan award, and the Global 500 Laureate Roll of Honour, given by the United Nations Environment Program for his work in environmental conservation.
In 2013 Nair stepped down from his position as chairman, passing the company onto his sons Vivek Nair and Dinesh Nair. However, he remaied Chairman Emeritus.
He is survived by his wife Leela, for whom his hotels are named, and their two sons.
Travel Agent had the opportunity to stay in two Leela palaces in 2012. Seeing India from a Leela perspective leaves little to be desired in terms of ambience, aesthetic and service. We were blown away by both The Leela New Delhi and The Leela Palace Udaipur, where we were treated to the royal experience. We dined at world-class restaurants (The Leela New Delhi has a Le Cirque outpost), cruised Lake Pichola at sunset, and had a local immersion at a Hindu temple's ceremony to Vishnu, which took place before sunrise.
Photo courtesy of the Economic Times