New ‘concept’ hotel with ample linkages

By Majid Sheikh

Dawn, Mar 20 , 2014


It is primarily a ‘concept’ hotel, ‘designed’ with a design on decision-makers. The objective of this business model is termed in academic circles ‘linkage creator’. That is what ‘The Nishat Hotel’ primarily is.

Located on Mahmood Kasuri Road in Lahore’s Gulberg area -- known as a posh food street just off MM Alam Road -- this new 60-bed hotel has an array of eateries, all-weather swimming pool, massage parlours, saloons and an excellent gymnasium. An offshoot of the famous St. James Hotel of London, it is known in the corporate world as the St. James’s Collection. It comes as no surprise that the Nishat Group also owns major shares in that famous London hotel, known as “the club of the rich and famous”. It is a coup of sort, a very exacting intrusion into the world of business influence and linkage.

No expense has been spared to try to make this a five-star plus place to stay and relax, though after a tour of the hotel one did feel that the ‘London effect’ of feeling cramped was very much there. But then when you have nowhere but vertical to go, even the best of architects can provide limited space. The colours are primarily grey, almost like the British weather. To add to this the interior decorator is of South African origin, and one would have thought more colour would explode from the rooms. That has yet to evolve, and evolve it will.

Who will be the clients of this posh new hotel? Not anyone can walk in and demand a place to stay. You have to be on their books, part of the wider pack, more likely a business or government executive. That is why the St. James Hotel is also known as a ‘super club’. But then the Mansha-owned group is also developing another five-star hotel opposite the Expo Centre in Johar Town. His client target are influential business leaders of the world, who are one day bound to come to do business, and the nearer they are to the exhibition complex, the better. Full marks for zeroing in on a segment that pours forth in more dividends than mere money.

I walked through the place and ended the tour with a very light snack – sandwiches, cakes, samosas and a wee-sized grilled chicken on a stick. Once they get their eateries up it will be interesting to see how they fare. But for the time being it remains a new addition to Lahore’s business hotels, and a classy one at that.




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