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Darjeeling’s Central hotel turns 100
Business Standard - 05 May 2005

 Fortune took over in April 2000

Fortune Resort Central Darjeeling, a part of the Fortune Park Hotels chain under the ITC Welcomgroup banner, launched its centenary celebrations on May 1, with Asok Bhattacharya, West Bengal’s minister for urban development and hill affairs, releasing a commemorative volume titled "Darjeeling Revisited", sponsored by ITC.

Fortune took over the hotel in April 2000 and implemented major design changes using a local architect, Shashish Prakash. It now offers 31 rooms in the main building and 15 more in the annexe. It also offers a 100-seater conference hall and a banquet hall that is the largest in Darjeeling besides a board room for 15 persons.

The centenary celebrations will continue till December 31 through a series of special events and food festivals. Bhattacharya, the chief guest at the function, praised the chain for upgrading the Central at a time when tourism to Darjeeling was showing steady growth.

The hotel would offer special cuisine, with names like Hastings Treasure (chicken salad with green mangoes), Hill Railway chicken curry, and Angrezi Babu’s delight (broccoli in butter). NB Madan, former owner of the hotel, pointed out that it was opened by his grandfather JF Madan in 1905 as a 2-star hotel and it had now become a 4-star hotel.