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EIGHTH WONDER FOR INDIAAdding to the seven properties it already operates across India, Leela Palaces Hotelsand Resorts is set to open its eighth hotel in Chennai, southeast India this January.The 14-storey property will be a vast complex with 329 rooms and suites and will offer arange of dining experiences at its four restaurants. Furthermore, guests will have access toits extensive E'spa Spa, swimming pool, fitness centre, 24-hour butler service and exclusiveRoyal Club. The group also has upcoming projects in Agra and lifeThanks to a £15-million budget, the refur-bishment of the Radisson Edwardian MercerStreet in London's Covent Garden was alwaysgoing to involve more than a lick of paint.Each of the UK hotel's 137 bedrooms nowboasts ultra-modern décor and stylish bath-rooms, along with the most up-to-date Appleand television technology, making it perfectfor the discerning business landscapes by railIndia's most luxurious train, The Maharajas'Express, has added another seven-nightroute to its list of journeys. Guests canembark at New Delhi for a magical voyagethrough imperial India, along the waydiscovering the fascinating heritage,complex architecture and unique culture thisbeautiful country has to offer. www.rirtl.comWINTER 2012I sea&iI31

32Isea&iIWINTER 2012EAST TRAVELS WESTExplore in PeruInkaterra, a travel company specialising intrips to Peru, has added another string to itsbow by launching a new line of informalofferings branded as ByInkaterra hotels.These properties will deliver the same qual-ity and experience as their counterparts butin more relaxed settings. One already inthe offing is Hacienda Concepcion: aconverted eight-bedroom lodge thatwas formerly a bioresearch centre inTambopata National Park.www.inkaterra.comPublic benefit Chicago welcomed another hotel thisautumn, and this one promises to offersomething more than a luxurious pillow onwhich to lay your head. Public Chicagobelongs to a new breed of hotel offering aninclusive rather than exclusive experience -meaning fantastic service andvalue. NEW TWO FOR FOUR SEASONS Amid a slew of new hotels, the Four Seasons has two due to open early in 2012. Thefirst is a 171-room property located in Baku, Azerbaijan, which takes pride of placeon a waterfront promenade that also happens to be the city's most prominent street.Rooms are beautifully decorated and have large balconies and plenty of natural light. Itstop floor, with uninterrupted views of the Caspian Sea, accommodates a restaurant andspa boasting an atrium-style pool with skylights. Further restaurants and a bar offer moredining options. Four Seasons' second opening is the Hotel Lion Palace St Petersburg, arestoration of a Russian royal palace built in the 19th century for Princess Lobanov-Rostovsky,which has been lovingly converted to house 177 guest rooms.