The Inter-Continental Dacca was first opened in 1962 as the first international five-star hotel in Bangladesh
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the InterContinental Dhaka after completion of its four years of renovation work, on Thursday.
Bangladesh Services Limited (BSL), a state-run company, renovated the hotel at a cost of Tk620 crore. It is a historic hotel for many reasons and it has emerged with its old name, InterContinental Dhaka, reports UNB.
The Inter-Continental Dacca was first opened in 1962 as the first international five-star hotel in Bangladesh.
The renovation work was carried out under an agreement made between BSL and InterContinental Hotels Group (Asia Pacific) Pvt Ltd (IHG), on February 19, 2012.
According to the agreement, the InterContinental Hotels Group will run the hotel for 30 years.
Under the renovation project, each room has been widened to 40 square metres from the existing 26 square metres and the number of rooms has been brought down 231 from previous 272. Its dining hall and swimming pool have also been relocated apart from adding some new services.
The hotel hosted many important political events in the run-up to the independence of Bangladesh, including negotiations on the transfer of power after the 1970 elections.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, it was declared a neutral zone by the International Red Cross. Many buildings in its surrounding neighbourhoods were targeted by the Pakistani military, including newspaper offices and university halls.
On the dark night of March 25, 1971, a host of international media journalists, including Mark Tali and SaimonDring of BBC, AnoldZaitlen and Clare Halingworth, Associated Press (AP) bureau chief of Pakistan, David Greenway, a reporter of the Washington Post, who were staying at the hotel, captured pictures of the brutal genocide risking their lives.The world was able to know about the barbarity taking place in the country through their photos.
The hotel’s other basic facilities for its guests include a minibar, an electronic safety deposit box; high speed internet connectivity; express check-in; business centre; Wi-Fi internet in all rooms, executive club lounge, business centre, meeting rooms and public areas; gift shops; fitness centre and swimming pool.
“The size of the meeting spaces has also been extended,” said Mohibul, who is also the chairman of Bangladesh Services Limited (BSL) which operates under the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and owns the hotel.
He said one ballroom at the renovated hotel would now accommodate 1,000 people which istwice as much as the previous capacity.
The restaurants in the hotel now include 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 five-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 InterContinental name.
Sheraton had taken responsibility of the hotel’s management from InterContinental in 1987. In 2011, the hotel came to be known as Ruposhi Bangla after Sheraton stopped operations and BSL took over.
Later, the British global hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and BSL in 2013 signed an agreement to manage the property for 30 years. The renovation work began in 2014.