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Page last updated at 07:19 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 08:19 UK

Mumbai's Oberoi hotel reopens after deadly 2008 attack

Staff give a traditional welcome at the hotel
The Oberoi was one of a number of targets in the November 2008 attacks

The Oberoi hotel, one of the best-known landmarks in Mumbai, has reopened 18 months after being badly damaged when militants stormed the Indian city.

Nearly 170 people died in the attack, more than 30 of them Oberoi staff and guests of the luxury hotel.

Many rooms were destroyed as the gunmen rampaged through the hotel, firing indiscriminately and setting off explosions.

The hotel has now been refurbished at a cost of $35m (£23m).

Fully booked

Ahead of the opening, the BBC's Ben Richardson visited the hotel and found uniformed staff gliding over a new marble floor, golden tiles being tapped into place and cream paint touched up.

The Oberoi Hotel's main entrance. Photo: 21 April 2010

The hotel was at the centre of the deadly attacks on the city on 26 November 2008.

The Oberoi became a bullet-ridden and fire-damaged shell.

But now it is the sound of a bright red grand piano that fills the atrium, not the ring of gunshots and explosions, our correspondent says.

The Oberoi hopes that its fresh rooms will attract its old clientele, as well as adding some new faces.

It also hopes that room occupancy should soon be up to levels seen before the attacks of 2008.

Its restaurants are fully booked for this opening weekend - early signs that many clients are happy to come back, our correspondent says.



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