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Luxury loo, at Rs 1.8 lakh

New Delhi, Dec. 17: The BJP’s Prime Minister-in-waiting, L.K. Advani, will have to wait till the next elections to see if he can occupy the country’s most important seat. Before that, he can try out the most expensive government seat if he is willing to pay Rs 12,000 for a night.

The oak-and-stone seat is in the bathroom of the Kashmir suite at Ashok Hotel and costs Rs 1.8 lakh. The commode, with a matching wash basin that costs Rs 90,000, has come as part of the hotel’s revamp.

“It has stone granules beaten in ceramic,” an official said proudly, showing off the boulder-like commode.

The key to the price is in the name ó Hansgrohe, a maker of luxury bathroom and kitchen fittings. This pot comes from its limited stone series.

Ashok is the first hotel on the India Tourism Development Corporation’s revamp list. Properties in Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur, Patna and Guwahati will follow.

The cabinet had recently decided to increase the hotel’s authorised capital from Rs 75 crore to Rs 150 crore for its renovation.

The new look ó quite a contrast from the smelly carpets and dingy rooms associated with government hotels ó is not limited to the bathroom of Room 211, the hotel’s most expensive suite.

With oak panelling to wine glasses, imported rain showers to 27-inch flat screen televisions and Bose speakers even in the bathroom, the hotel is aiming high. Ashok will soon open its doors to F Bar, a watering hole run by the owners of Fashion Television. It already has one of the city’s most expensive spas, Amatrra, said to be a favourite with young MP Rahul Gandhi.

“Unlike other hotels in the city, we have to redo a hotel that is running,” said a senior ITDC official. “However, we are not compromising on quality at all.”

Initially, 182 rooms at Ashok will be refurbished ó with leather and silk upholstery.

No other bathroom will have the “throne” though ó they will have to do with plain white. “But the rest of the fittings, the glass partitions for showers and the showers themselves will be the same. The fittings in all bathrooms cost Rs 100,000,” an employee said.

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