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Wednesday, 28 March, 2012, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

Leonia Holistic Destination: An All-In-One Attraction

As an integrated destination for leisure and business activities, Leonia Holistic Destination at Hyderabad is a one of its kind development in the country. Opened a couple of years ago, the over-Rs 900 crore development spread over 200 acres at Sameerpet in Hyderabad has evolved into a destination in itself. P Krishna Kumar tries to understand from the promoters – Le Meridian Infrastructure Projects & Hotels Limited (LMIPHL) - their vision about this evolving destination.
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“Leonia Holistic Destination  is a new concept in the country. This integrated resort is bigger in terms of offerings to any international product of similar kind in the world,” said GS Chakravarthi Raju, Chairman & Managing Director of LMIPHL, kick-starting our interaction. Leonia Holistic Destination is a unique destination on its own merit with all the components, a discerning holiday maker or a business traveller looks for. The destination has world class hotels, unparalleled and majestic convention and meeting venues, world-class entertainment facilities, soothing wellness centres, gourmet outlets, thrilling amusement facilities, etc.

Leonia has helped Hyderabad transform itself into a destination. Leonia has been able to bring in national and international conferences into Hyderabad in the last couple of years.  Leonia International Centre for Exhibitions & Conventions (LICEC), is a unique convention and exhibition facility in India. “It’s all under one umbrella, that’s why we call it a holistic destination.  People need not to run around to different places for different things. Leonia Holistic Destination caters to all segments of the traveller,” added Raju.    

280312_if_1.jpgLICEC
Leonia is one of the emerging MICE destinations in India for its world-class convention centre – LICEC.  LICEC’s main convention hall is a pillar-free indoor hall suitable for any kind of indoor event. State-of-the-art acoustics from Funktion One UK and Lighting from Martin USA enables the entire hall suitable for speech, music, live performances, seminars, etc.  The main hall can accommodate up to 6000 plus delegates in a theatre style seating. The Convention Centre is also supported by over 101 guest rooms, and about 38 meeting rooms of different sizes. Apart from the 101 convention hotel rooms, Leonia also offers another 350 guest rooms inside the resort to support major convention requirements. Leo Conclave, the luxury board rooms at Leonia is equipped with latest communication devices. These board rooms are also supported by elaborate banqueting spaces.  

280312_if_6.jpgIt is not surprising that this emerging Convention Centre  was chosen as the best standalone convention facility in the country by the Union Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in their National Tourism Awards for 2010-11. “LICEC has hosted a number of national and  international conferences and events since the facility opened in 2010.  The Star Master Chef programme was shot at our Convention Centre recently.  The whole crew of the programme stayed for 45 days in the complex to complete the programme,” Raju said.  

Leonia also offers event organisers a wide range of choice in terms of indoor and outdoor activities, convention venues, group entertainment, recreations, team building exercises, etc. It has also become a major venue for theme weddings and celebrity weddings in recent years, Raju informed. “Event management, especially Weddings, is given a new dimension at Leonia, therefore it has become a venue for hi-end weddings even for people from outside the state,” he added. Leonia was the venue for approximately a 100 weddings last year.

280312_if_2.jpgAccommodation
On the accommodation front, Leonia offers a choice of executive, leisure, and business rooms with a total inventory of about 470 guest rooms. The palatial executive suite at Lion’s Den is a premium signature suite with private pools and garden, massage room and separate dining and study areas. There is an attached fully-equipped boardroom for 30 people in the suite. Apart from Lion’s Den, which is basically meant for CEO’s of companies and top level executives, there are honeymoon suites, ethnic suites, presidential suites, etc. as well. The Leo Lagoon Bay Suites overlook a 400 metre lagoon-type swimming pool giving the guests a refreshing feeling of staying in a houseboat. The Business Hotel, Leo Biz, at Leonia with well equipped rooms, is typically designed for business guests coming for conventions and meetings.  

280312_if_3.jpg“Our 10,000 sq. ft. suite is the largest by any standards in India and the world. A climate-control garden is attached to it with all other world class facilities. It is by far one of its kind in the world,” said Raju about Lion’s Den.






280312_if_4.jpgWellness & Spa
Leonia is a one of its kind integrated wellness resort with a host of wellness facilities.  Leo Juventa, spread over five floors, is an amalgam of wellness therapies based on traditional and modern healthcare. It offers a beauty salon with anti-aging therapies, cosmetic and laser therapies, weight management and body shaping treatments, etc.  The Physio & Rehabilitation Centre at Le Juventa has an Aqua gym attached to it. “Apart from yoga and meditation under expert trainers, we have introduced for the first time in India an Aqua Gym at Le Juventa,” said Raju. Leonia is a full-fledged Medical Tourism destination with a host of facilities for diagnosis and treatments both in traditional and contemporary medicines.  

Dining options
Leonia offers multiple F&B options for food aficionados. There are several trendy restaurants and bars in the resort to take care of all palates round the clock. ‘Leo Greens’, as the name suggests, is a vegetarian restaurant dishing out  ethnic North Indian dishes; Shahi Handi, on the other hand, is an outlet for authentic local “Deccan’ cuisine. Leonia also has a 24-hour coffee shop – Leo SunMoon; a lounge bar – Leo Moments; and a premium dining venue in water – Water Galaxy.  Leo Vegas, the night club at Leonia,  has an outstanding acoustics system.  

280312_if_5.jpgOutdoor activities
The expansive resort has plenty to offer adventure and sporting enthusiasts really worthwhile. Besides this, there are a host of indoor activities, including a card room, tennis and basketball courts; guests can also indulge in variety of outdoor activities in Leonia, such as cycling, golfing, volleyball, cricket, etc. On the adventure front, there are variety of activities to indulge in like Euro Bungy, Leo Combat Zone, Leo Splash Water Park, etc. Leonia is a magical destination as far as children are concerned with a variety of entertainments to keep them occupied in the park including a 4D cinema theatre as well as a Wave Island which can be enjoyed by both the young and old.

Projects in the pipeline
While Leonia Holistic Destination is a complete destination, the promoters are keen to keep on adding to its splendour every time.  In the guest accommodation front, a 1000-room hotel is currently under development in Leonia Resort. According to Raju, this hotel will be up and running in the next one year.  An executive golf club is another value addition being added to the resort. Further strengthening its aqua based activities, Leonia will be adding a Water Park to its credit in the next months, besides the existing Wave Pool. “We are adding these facilities because we understand that there is a requirement for that,” said the confident CMD.

“Currently there is hardly any infrastructure in the country to host a 1,000 pax convention. That is the space that we are trying to fill,” Raju observed. When asked about bidding for international conventions, Raju said that domestic market is big enough for Leonia and they will be focusing on the domestic market first before going international.  “Cinema is the only entertainment available for Indians today.  Therefore, the domestic market is big enough for Leonia,” he added.

Leonia has set up a marketing office in Delhi to increase awareness about the product in the North Indian market. “We are trying to create a brand awareness about Leonia across India. The strategy is to tap the domestic MICE and leisure market, which in itself is huge, by creating awareness,” said Raju when asked about their plans to market the product in the international market.
 
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