Dubai resort starts last phase of $54m facelift<!-- -->
The third and final stage of the Dh200 million ($54.4 million) refurbishment of Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, which started with the hotel's rebranding 18 months ago, is now underway, with the dozen contractors on target to achieve the completion date of mid-September.The last stage of the renovation involves the refurbishment of all the bedrooms in the main building. Scheduled for the resort's quieter period, the work is nevertheless not expected to have any impact on the hotel's summer targets. Pam Wilby, the hotel's general manager, said: "We have minimised the disturbance to guests by using only the Tower or the Club, as we have had to strip the main building bedrooms back to the concrete - literally. "But it will be worth it: Le Royal branding demands the highest quality throughout the facilities, and we also need to keep one step ahead of our competitors." The first phase saw the opening of the Tower, including the Caracalla spa and health club, two new restaurants and the tea lounge. The second phase resulted in the creation of two new restaurants, Al Khaima and Ossigeno, and the enhancement of the gardens and the pool bar. Once the renovation of the 242 rooms in the eight-year-old main building is complete, it will be business as usual for Le Meridien's flagship property in the UAE, with the resort offering 500 rooms, 12 restaurants and bars, two pools, a luxurious spa and extensive recreation facilities. Even after the hotel relaunches towards the end of the year, the quest to keep improving the facilities and service offering will not stop. "We have a number of exciting ideas on the drawing board for next year, which have come as a direct response to feedback from both our guests and UAE residents. These developments will play an important part in our positioning as a premier luxury leisure destination," said Wilby. Exceptional occupancies during the first five months of the year across Le Meridien's city properties and resort hotels have also endorsed the group's strategy to develop its existing destinations in the region, in anticipation of increased tourism spin-off from the Dubai hub, as well as take on new properties. With more than 1,100 rooms in Dubai, Le Meridien is also the largest international operator of beachfront accommodation.