Mövenpick opens first Beirut hotel
Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts has opened its first property in Beirut, building on its growing presence in the Middle East.Located on Beirut's Corniche and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the new Mövenpick Hotel and Resort Beirut, is spread over 22,048 sq m of land only a few minutes from downtown Beirut, the financial and commercial districts and surrounded by the best tourist attractions in the city. The 293-room resort includes 12 family suites, 13 corner suites, two executive suites, two diplomatic suites and a presidential suite. Style and decor have also been given top priority as far as food and beverage outlets are concerned - eight restaurants serving a wide range of dishes from Lebanese and seafood specialties, three bars and a night club, says the group. Recreational facilities include a modern health club with hammam, four swimming pools including two Olympic-size pools, fitness room, squash and tennis courts. A Mövenpick shop, a hairdresser, a mall with 39 shops and a huge indoor parking area are also at guests' disposal. Banqueting facilities include a conference and convention centre as well as three meeting rooms with state-of-the-art equipment. Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holdings, which has a 30 per cent interest in Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, has taken complete ownership of the resort by increasing his 50 per cent share of the property to a full 100 per cent. Mövenpick is one of the largest foreign hotel operators in Jordan and Egypt and has recently signed further management contracts in the region. "Mövenpick is highly respected throughout Europe and the Middle East and we will continue too underscore our Swiss brand values of innovation, efficient customer driven hotel management and strong gastronomic expertise," said Jean Gabriel Peres, president and CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. The group currently operates 43 hotels in 11 countries and focuses on two hotel types - the business and conference hotel and the holiday resort. It recently also opened a new hotel in Media City in Cairo and completed extensions this year to its properties on the Dead Sea in Jordan and El Quesir in Egypt. New openings planned include a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey this year; properties in Bahrain, El Alamein and Taba in Egypt and Berlin in Germany next year and a hotel in Italy in 2004. Whilst the business hotels are located near city centres or airports and offer an optimum infrastructure for the business traveller, the holiday resorts are situated in outstanding destinations. The hotel group is represented in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Qatar.