In Brief


Swissôtel standing tall in Moscow
Just-opened Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy is offering special rates to guests who check-in before August 31.

Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy Moscow joins the portfolio of Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, a brand managed by Raffles International Limited. The 235-room property at 34-storeys is the tallest hotel in the city and boasts total of 28 suites, including the largest Presidential suite in Moscow.

Luxury marina nears completion in Phuket
A world-class “luxury lifestyle marina” rivalling renowned international resort communities in the Mediterranean and Caribbean is nearing completion on Thailand’s paradise island of Phuket. Royal Phuket Marina, offering 350 berths, 400 luxury villas, penthouses and condominiums, is the island’s first ‘high-end’ residential marina. A five-star boutique hotel, luxury ayurvedic spa, swimming pools, tennis courts and state-of-the-art fitness facilities will also be part of the unique $150 million development. The official opening of the first phase is scheduled for early December 2005 and the entire project is due for completion in 2007.

Rotana opens new property in Syria
The Queen Centre Rotana Suites is the newest property offering true international standards to open in Damascus. Commenting on the opening, Selim El Zyr, president & CEO of Rotana Hotels, said, “Rotana’s strategic aim is to have a property located within every key city in the Middle East.” Part of a large shopping complex, the hotel is conveniently located in the Mazze area, 10 minutes from the city centre and half an hour away from the airport. .

‘Early energiser’ at Mandarin Oriental, London
THE award-winning Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, has launched a new programme titled the ‘Early Energiser’, which is the perfect way to start a working day and is designed for guests when time is of the essence. Priced at £75, the programme includes complimentary use of the heat and water oasis – Sanarium, Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and Zen Colour Therapy Relaxation Area – a 45-minute aromatherapy massage and a light spa breakfast.

Join the folklore parade with Seiler Hotels
Middle East visitors taking summer breaks in the idyllic village of Zermatt can add another dimension to their Alpine adventure by getting a glimpse of the culture and tradition of mountain life when the town celebrates its 37th Folklore Parade. Seiler Hotels and Riffelalp Resort, boasts a choice of five properties, offering travellers the highest standards of comfort and easy access to enjoy the festivities which unfold on August 15. Visitors can take to the pistes and enjoy high altitude skiing throughout August. Guests can choose from The Hotel Monte Rosa, with all its historical interiors and old world charm; The Mont Cervin Palace, complete with new spa; Hotel Schweizerhof, ideal for food lovers and night-owls alike; and The Hotel Nicoletta, which has excellent facilities for families including special mealtimes and menus for children.

MH&R in deal with Nile Exploration
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) have signed a contract with Nile Exploration Corporation to manage the new deluxe Nile cruiser, Royal Lotus, to enhance its present fleet of Mövenpick Nile Cruisers Radamis I & II, sailing between Aswan and Luxor. The move is in continuance of company’s strategy to expand throughout the Middle East. Royal Lotus is scheduled to be commissioned later this autumn and will cruise between Aswan and Luxor.

Rotana management formulates three-year expansion plan
Selim El Zyr, president & CEO for Rotana Hotels, released details of the contribution from Rotana properties towards touristic development within the Middle East and UAE at the recent Rotana Hotels General Managers’ meeting attended by all general managers and executives for Rotana in the Middle East. The meeting had, as its objective, the formulation of a three-year plan for the expansion of the Rotana brand within its respective regional markets. With Dubai expecting to receive over 15 million tourists by 2010 and Abu Dhabi launching its own tourism authority, Rotana was well prepared, with 13 new properties opening by 2007, to meet this growth and assist the tourism authorities in their ventures.

UAE residents to get 50 per cent more value for money this summer!
UAE residents can take advantage of InterContinental Hotel Group’s special summer room rates at selected InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inns in the UAE till August 31, and receive half of the cost of their room rate back to use within the hotel on food and beverage, telephones, laundry, minibar, business centre and high-speed internet access.  Qualifying room rates in participating hotels are: InterContinental Abu Dhabi at Dh449, InterContinental Resort Al Ain at Dh300, InterContinental Dubai at Dh510,  Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi at Dh399, Crowne Plaza Dubai at Dh450 and Holiday Inn Downtown at Dh365. Rates are excluding tax and service charge and are applicable to rooms only. 

A ‘golden’ opportunity for Advantage Card holders
The Golden Tulip Resort, Khasab and Wafi City, Dubai announce their alliance on the enhanced Wafi City Advantage Card Rewards programme. In yet another benefit for their Advantage Card holders, members can now redeem points earned in Wafi City, Dubai, on shopping, dining and leisure against complimentary room nights at the Golden Tulip Resort, Khasab.

Radisson SAS Resort, Aqaba, Hosts ‘SOS’ Children’s Village
The Radisson SAS Resort, Aqaba, is running an amusement programme during the summer for children from the nearby SOS Children Village. The resort will open its doors once a month throughout the summer period to give the children the opportunity to enjoy the facilities such as the swimming pool, beach and special kids’ club. The SOS Children’s Village provides care for orphans in family houses, giving them access to education and training, and preparing them for the future.

Liwa Hotel launches ‘Family First’ package
KICKSTARTING the summer for families, Liwa Hotel, Abu Dhabi, offers a ‘Family First’ package rate, wherein up to two adults and four children can stay for a total of just Dh550. The family package offers two spacious interconnecting rooms with complimentary breakfast for two adults and up to four children under 12. What’s more, all children under 12 will receive a 50 per cent discount on food during their stay, and children under four eat for free.

InterCon Jordan bags ‘Best Hotel 2004’ Award
Hotel InterCon Jordan won the Best Hotel 2004 Award at the InterContinental Hotel Africa and Middle East Award. This prestigious award is dedicated to those who achieve excellence in the hospitality industry and aim to provide outstanding services. Gunter Grigoleit, general manager of InterContinental Jordan hotel, and director of operations for Jordan and Palestine was visibly proud to receive this prestigious award.

Sheraton Oman Hotel offers special weekend package
Sheraton Oman Hotel has a special ongoing weekend package as part of its summer activities until September 30. This includes an additional package to Sheraton Qurum Beach Resort covering transportation from hotel/resort/hotel, full-day access and use of swimming pool, gyms, steam rooms and access to the beach, Mongolian BBQ lunch every Thursday and Friday. Also, children under the age of 12 get a 50 per cent discount – offer is valid to GCC nationals and residents. For a minimum of three nights stay, the guest will get a guaranteed early check-in and late checkout and 25 per cent discount on all F&B throughout their stay.

Visa card promotion at Sheraton Deira Hotel & Towers
TAKE advantage of the ‘Visa card promotion’ at Sheraton Deira Hotel & Towers till August 30, wherein guests pay for four nights and get the fifth night for free. Guests can book through the internet on or call the reservations department and ask for the Best Available rate of the day and get loaded with benefits. Among others, guests are welcomed by a summer cooler, get upgraded to a preferred room, enjoy late checkout and children below 12 years can stay free in their parent’s room.

Service at the touch of a button
The Oasis Pool Bar at the InterContinental Resort Al Ain has installed a convenient calling system that allows their guests to press a button whilst laying on a sun lounger that alerts the staff in the Oasis Pool Bar and a waiter pops up in no time at all. The menus are placed within arms reach of the calling button, giving guests the time to choose one of the many mouthwatering meals, salads or fresh cocktails available. By the time the waiter approaches, all guests have to do is place their order from the comfort of their lazy spot. The new poolside calling system has proven to be very popular and the guests feel as if their membership value has increased without even having to dig into their pockets.

WorldHotels launches GDS
WORLDHOTELS, which includes properties in the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan and KSA in its portfolio, has launched its own Global Distribution Code (GDS). All individual WorldHotels’ properties that do not belong to either Stamford Hotels & Resorts or the Steigenberger Hotel Group will now use the additional code WW. This switch is a key component in the brand’s repositioning and development of the company’s profile following its recent re-branding from SRS-WorldHotels to WorldHotels.

Jumeirah in deal with Skywards
Jumeirah has partnered with Skywards, the frequent-flyer programme of Emirates and SriLankan Airlines, to offer sizzling summer discounts at over 50 Jumeirah restaurants, exclusively for Skywards members. Jumeirah invites all Skywards members and up to three accompanying guests to dine in any of the restaurants at Madinat Jumeirah, The Jumeirah Beach Hotel and at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Skywards Blue members will receive 10 per cent discount, Skywards Silver members 25 per cent discount and Skywards Gold members will receive 50 per cent discount on all food orders at the participating restaurants. The offer is valid until August 31, 2005.

Burj Al Arab launches innovative service
Burj Al Arab has introduced a modern and unique style of bartending with the recent launch of ‘Mixology’ in Sky View Bar. The Mixology trolley is a fully-functional mobile bar which glides from table to table as two trained mixologists concoct tailormade cocktails for guests. Mixology is a relatively new concept and has emerged from the theory that the correct mixing of liquid ingredients can form a totally balanced drink.

Mind your language!
The chefs at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa thoroughly enjoyed conversing in a rare tongue recently as they prepared a Macrobiotic meal for a dinner served to extremely valued guests. A calm atmosphere filled the unusually quiet kitchen as they absorbed themselves in the macrobiotic philosophy, which believes that the attitude of the chef can alter the food. Macrobiotics traces its origins back to 600 BC Greece and China, with modern macrobiotic cuisine being starting in the 1920s by a Japanese man named George Ohsawa. The macrobiotic diet attempts to achieve harmony and, to this end, foods are classified into their two appropriate categories. The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa is one of the few hotels in the Middle East where a macrobiotic diet can be catered for.

Hilton Sydney reopens after renovation
MIDDLE EAST travellers can now enjoy the sleek and contemporary Hilton Sydney which recently re-opened following a $160-million renovation. With state-of-the-art conference facilities, 577 guestrooms and a fully-fitted business centre, the hotel provides Sydney the ability to host large conferences whilst accommodating all delegates under one roof. The rooms include 31 luxurious relaxation suites which feature three distinct zones that create a perfect setting for the Bath Master Experience – a butler-styled service that brings the ultimate spa indulgence into the room.

Landmark Mandarin Oriental to open in Hong Kong
THE Landmark Mandarin Oriental, billed as the most beautiful, luxurious and contemporary hotel in Hong Kong, has announced that it will open at the end of the month. The hotel will offer 113 of the largest guest rooms and suites in Hong Kong. Every aspect has been carefully planned for pure sensory indulgence – from the avant garde objets d’art and the stunning glass-walled bathrooms to the 400-thread-count linen. A highlight will be vitality pools, amethyst crystal steam rooms, ‘experience’ showers and 15 private deluxe treatment rooms. Standard room rates start from $514 per night.

Hilton International and Emerson Pacific ink agreement
HILTON International and Emerson Pacific signed an agreement for Hilton to manage its first Hilton Worldwide Resort in Korea, the Hilton Namhae Golf & Spa Resort. Scheduled to open in 2007, the 120-villa resort is located 290 km south of the capital on a scenic island peninsular that overlooks the Straits of Korea. The resort will have the country’s first flat terrain 18-hole golf course built on reclaimed sea front land. The five-star resort also features a marina with boating and water activities, a spa and health club and a swimming pool. 

Hotel des Bergues Geneva gets ready to reopen
IN the heart of Geneva, the city’s first hotel – the Hotel des Bergues – has been a landmark since 1834. Currently undergoing a remarkable transformation, the Hotel will reopen later this year as Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva. Offering an exceptional location on the shores of Lake Geneva and a two-minute walk to the city’s Old Town, Four Seasons will place guests just steps away from the financial district, restaurants and boutiques.

Sheraton Park Tower creates Olympic packages
TO celebrate London’s Olympic win, the Sheraton Park Tower hotel, Knightsbridge, has created Olympic packages for visitors to London in 2012 for the Olympic games, from July 27 till August 12, 2012. The special Olympic package at the Sheraton Park Tower offers rates starting from £201.2 plus VAT per person per night including breakfast or a special “2012” five-night package for £2012 plus tax, based on two people sharing. Taking advantage and booking early for 2012 will be a great way to avoid inflation over the next seven years!

Gordon Ramsay takes centrestage at Conrad Tokyo
GUESTS can now enjoy the culinary delights of London’s legendary three-star Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay in Conrad Tokyo which has just opened. This luxurious hotel is the first Conrad to open in Japan, and combines legendary Conrad excellence with traditional Japanese comfort and hospitality. Exemplary in its architecture and interior design, the hotel occupies the top ten floors of the Tokyo Shiodome Building.The Conrad Tokyo features 290 luxurious rooms – of which 68 are suites. The ambience of the bedrooms has either a ‘city’ or a ‘garden’ theme, with exclusively fragranced and designed amenities to match.