Sant Singh Chatwal, born 1st October 1946, is the owner of Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, the Bombay Palace chain of restaurants, and a part-owner of the News Times India. He is rumoured to be worth in the region of $1 Billion. also the father of hotelier Vikram Chatwal, who is known as the Prince of New York by his friends for his extravagant lifestyle. Hampshire Hotels & Resorts owns hotels in the United States, Canada, the UK, India and Thailand, with over 3000 rooms in Manhattan alone. The Bombay Palace chain of internationally renowned gourmet restaurants has restraunts around the world in major metropolitan cities including London, Montreal, Toronto, New York, Washington DC, Beverly Hills, Houston and Kuala Lumpur.
Born in Punjab, India Sant became an Indian fighter pilot in his 20s, married a prominent actress, Dhaman Chatwal, and then moved to Ethiopia where he became close friends with the nation's leader, Emperor Haile Selassie. After Selassie was overthrown in 1974, Chatwal moved his family to Montreal and opened his first restaurant, which he named Bombay Palace. A decade or so later, he opened a second location on 52nd Street and expanded even further when he bought the moribund Beefsteak Charlie's chain from restaurateur Dennis Riese and converted them into yet more Bombay Palaces. He then moved into the hotel industry which has proved an even bigger money turner, owning 12 hotels in Manhattan alone he is also planning an incursion into southern India, and says he plans to open 27 lodgings in the region by the end of 2011.
Chatwal was a major donor for Bill Clinto when he ran for presidency and donated to Hillary Clinton's campaign when she ran for Senate. He maintains a close relationship with the Clintons who in February 2006 attended the extravagant wedding of his son Vikram Chatwal in India. The wedding included a week of festivities spread out over a week and three Indian cities and a veritable fleet of chartered planes. Other guests included Lakshmi Mittal, Deepak Chopra and the Prime Minister of India. He is also the Trustee of the William J. Clinton Foundation, a charitable foundation led by President Clinton that focuses global issues of health, security and economic empowerment. In April 1999, he became the only Indian in the United States to be honored with the “Order of the Khalsa” by the Government of India, for his outstanding service to the Community.