Sant Singh Chatwal is a Punjabi-American businessman. He is the founder of the Dream Hotel Group and owns several hotels in the United States like The Chatwal, Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, and Unscripted Hotels.
- 1 Wiki/Biography
- 2 Physical Appearance
- 3 Family
- 4 Religion
- 5 Career
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 8 Net Worth
- 9 Favourites
- 10 Facts/Trivia
Sant Singh Chatwal was born on Saturday, 18 May 1946 (age 77 years; as of 2023) in Western Punjab in British India. His zodiac sign is Taurus. He is the owner of Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, but he resigned as the company’s CEO in April 2014 after it rebranded with the name of Dream Hotel Group, he remained the business chairman of the hotel.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Sant Singh Chatwal belongs to a refugee Sikh family who immigrated in 1947 to Western Punjab in British India during the Partition of India.
Parents & Siblings
He was one year old when the family left with his four brothers and three sisters. They settled in Faridkot, Punjab, India where the family became small merchants.
Wife & Children
Sant Singh Chatwal is married to Daman Chatwal. Her father was in the Indian Army. The couple has two sons named Vikram Chatwal and Vivek Chatwal. Vikram Chatwal is a well-known socialite who attracted international attention for his relationship with American actress Lindsay Lohan.
Sant Singh Chatwal follows Sikhism.
At the age of 18, he joined the Indian Armed Forces and served as a fighter pilot on the country’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant. Sant Singh Chatwal left India for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to become a pilot. He started working for the Ethiopia’s commercial airliner. Due to the guidelines, he was asked to take his turban off and cut his hair and beard. He refused to follow the guidelines because of his respect for the Sikh heritage. He changed his profession due to that and became a teacher in a local public school. During that time he became friends with the owner of a restaurant in Addis Ababa. He went sick and asked him to handle his restaurant for a few months. He made a massive profit for the restaurant in those months. Later, the owner asked him to become a partner in his restaurant. He left Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1975 with part of his funds to operate a restaurant in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Chatwal started getting involved in the hotel sector in Canada. After a year in 1976, he started making some initial establishments and in 1979, he launched the first high-dining Indian establishment called Bombay Palace in Midtown Manhattan. Chatwal took Bombay Palace Global, operating eateries in London, Hong Kong, the United States, and Canada before it became a publicly listed corporation. In 1980, he bought a few hotels in Florida and in 1982, he acquired several properties in New York. In 1986, he owned around 76 restaurants in several countries. In 1990, he suffered the real estate crisis due to which he went bankrupt. By 2006, he had come out of the trap of bankruptcy and had become the most significant private hotel operator in the nation’s capital, with 13 hotels and approximately three thousand rooms which were worth $750 million. In 2001, Sant Singh Chatwal merged all of his properties and the majority of his funds to build Hampshire Hotels & Conventions. Sant Singh Chatwal became a U.S. citizen in 1994. He is the trustee and director of a handful of organizations, including the American India Foundation and the William J. Clinton Foundation. In 2008, Sant Singh Chatwal became a key donor and fundraiser for Hilary Rodham Clinton’s presidential run. In 2015, the Hampshire Hotels & Resorts rebranded to Dream Hotel Group featuring 187 guest rooms and suites and other high-end amenities. Chatwal remained as the chairman of the board. He made an announcement in an interview, that
We’re entering a strategic partnership with the Singapore-based real estate development company Castlewood Group to focus on Asia in a big way and we’re also changing the name and business focus of our group Hampshire Hotels to Dream Hotels, which will now be focussed only on the lifestyle luxury segment with the brands Dream, Time and Unscripted.”
Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty to a straw illegal donor scheme
Sant Chatwal Singh had good relations with Bill Clinton’s family. He was a fundraiser for Hilary Rodham Clinton’s presidential elections in 2008. In April 2014, Sant Chatwal Singh pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Brooklyn to a straw donor scheme and funnelling more than $180,000 in illegal contributions between 2007 and 2011 to federal candidates, including Clinton.
Sant Singh Chatwal’s son Vikram Chatwal was arrested in 2013 in an attempt to board drugs
Vikram Chatwal, son of Sant Singh Chatwal encountered difficulties during the time he attempted to board a plane in April of last year because of his smuggling of marijuana, cocaine, other illicit drugs and prescription medications. According to the Times, he has since spent many days in rehabilitation.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- On 26 January 2010, Indian President Pratibha Patil awarded Sant Singh Chatwal the India’s third-highest civilian honour, Padma Bhushan.
He has a net worth of $20 Million Dollars.
- Colour: His favourite colour is red. He often wears a red turban and red shoes.
- Chatwal has good relations with the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, and his family. He has contributed significantly to his presidency bids as well as to many Democratic Party causes and campaigns, including those of notable supporters of the organization. He made trips to India several times to accompany the Clintons.
- In 2010, due to several legal allegations made against Sant Chatwal, he became the unpopular choice for India’s third-highest civilian honour, Padma Bhushan.
- Chatwal established an educational institution in Delhi to serve impoverished children in the neighbourhood with tuition-free schooling, clothing, food, and medical care on a regular schedule. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is in charge of the construction effort, which includes an auditorium, art displays, a computerized research bookstore, and an art gallery. He revealed in an interview that,
I have just made a donation of $1 million to the Sikh Centre for International Studies which is setting up a hi-tech exhibition inside the premises of Delhi’s Rakab Gunj Gurdwara on the holy book of the Sikhs Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhism.”
- Besides numerous governmental acquaintances, especially Bill and Hillary Clinton, steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal was an investor, and voluntary instructor Deepak Chopra, as well as various singers and models, notably Lindsay Lohan, socialized with the Chatwals on a frequent basis. When Vikram, who has a more serious financial background, travelled to India in 2006 to get hitched to a Bombay model who had an entrepreneurial lineage, it hit the cover of New York magazines and a style piece in the newspaper New York Times. Mixing within these circles, particularly those with political clout, was clearly vital to Sant Singh Chatwal.
- According to Sant Singh Chatwal, more than 99 per cent of Sikhs appreciate India whereas only a handful of them favor Khalistan. He stressed that people discussing Khalistan are unfamiliar with Punjab and are considered the minority. Chatwal complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration and the initiatives done for the Sikh society as a whole particularly the Kartarpur in Punjab Corridor’s inauguration. He further said that Sikhs held significant positions in India, including ministerial and ambassadorial roles. He said in an interview that,
There’s hardly anybody who’s supporting Khalistan. There’s hardly anybody who’s supporting Khalistan…There’s some sort of big miscommunication going on…We all Sikhs, everybody, more than 99 percent, we love India. India is our country…Nobody’s interested in Khalistan. I am very clear that there are very, very less people over here (supporting Khalistan). I don’t know who’s funding them, they have never been to Punjab. I am proud to be a Sikh. I am in this country for more than 50 years. India under the leadership of PM Modi has done a great job. He opened the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs. He has done a lot for the Sikhs. We are very proud of what he has done for Sikhs. I am openly saying, there is hardly anybody who’s supporting Khalistan. I am afraid to say the people who are talking about Khalistan, have never been to Punjab. I don’t know what they are thinking about it, they are very less. Whether they are in Canada, or in America, there is no one to support them. Sikhs are in very prominent positions in India. We have a Sikh as one of the ministers, Hardeep Singh Puri. Sikh ambassador Sandhu sahab (Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu) is in Washington, DC. We, as a Sikh community in North America, are enjoying such a good facility. We love India, we visit India. In India, Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, and Giani Zail Singh was the President for five years. We have the Army chief, Air Force chief, Navy chief…in very prominent positions.”
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