Chiefs at Rixos Hotels Group are gearing up for the much anticipated November opening of the Ottoman Palace, which will feature the largest Turkish spa in the world.
Backed by Zabeel Properties, the five star hotel and villa project, will boast 410 rooms, plus family, business, executive and club suites, two Royal Suites and one Imperial Suite. There will be a further 38 villas – each with its own individual swimming pool and garden.
“Rixos has become recognised as an industry leader in high quality Turkish hospitality. The splendour and artistry of the Ottoman Palace by Rixos will be awe inspiring, taking guests back in time to experience the pomp, grandeur and exquisite culture of the once mighty Ottomans,” says Fettah Tamince, founder of Rixos Hotels Group.
Housed in a 97,000 sq m plot that includes 50,000 sq m of landscaping and associated amenities, the site is fronted by sea on two sides.
The signature Hammam treatment, which is unique to the Rixos Hotels Group, will be provided by a massive spa offering a range of authentic ancient Turkish treatments with a modern contemporary twist. Facilities will include steam baths, aromatherapy facilities, snow rooms, hydro massage areas, floating tanks and specialised saunas.
Rixos is hoping to reproduce the success enjoyed by its other properties, notably the Hotel Premium Belek in Antalya, Turkey, which has established a reputation as the most luxurious resort in the country due to its unique ‘all exclusive, all inclusive’ ethos.
Hotel manager at Premium Belek, Chris Van Dam, says he believes the Middle East market will embrace the flavour of Turkey offered by the Ottoman Palace as something different from the other establishments in the region.
“Here in Turkey Rixos has been dominating the high end villa and luxury accommodation market. Our competitors have tried to copy us but simply get it wrong, and I think the Ottoman will be another huge success as well. The 8500 sq m spa alone is going to be something really special,” he says.
Staff training emphasis
The group will be bringing many of its own staff over from Turkey to work in the Ottoman Palace and Van Dam says that an emphasis on the continuous training of its employees differentiates Rixos from other chains in the hospitality sector.
“Not only does Rixos pride itself on supporting our staff on a day-to-day basis in terms of training and career development, but we actually set aside a period of time each year to hold a training academy at the resort. During this period we focus on every aspect of working in the hotel, from customer service and technology training through to language lessons,” Van Dam said.
Tourism numbers to Turkey have been on the up over recent years, and industry chiefs remain buoyant despite a small number of recent terrorist incidents. The country continues to be popular with Arab travellers who are attracted to the country’s scenery, beaches, culture, shopping and cuisine - plus the MICE industry is flourishing due to the range of conference facilities now available.
This established familiarity between the Turkish and the Middle East tourism sectors is predicted to aid the level of success the Ottoman Palace enjoys in Dubai.
Another key part of the development of the new resort has been a commitment to environmental awareness and green codes of conduct.
HE Mohammed Ali Al Hashimi, executive chairman of Zabeel Investments said, “The travel and tourism sector is fundamental to the growth of Dubai and the wider UAE, and visitors today are demanding more from their experiences. The number of travellers spending more than one night in the UAE is set to exceed 10 million by 2011 and we must continually raise the standard of service we offer to visitors, while at the same time producing environmentally sustainable projects that display our uncompromising focus on quality real estate.”
“The Ottoman Palace has been built according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ‘green building’ rating system, something which will be part of all our developments. Zabeel Properties’ philosophy is focused on delivering quality real estate projects that not only meet, but exceed our customers’ expectations,” adds Robert Norton, chief executive officer of Zabeel Properties.
Commenting further, Mohammed Ali Al Hashimi said, “Our villas will be the most sought after villas on Palm Jumeirah, as they combine the unique offering of a home with access to all services and facilities of this five star resort. The villas will be launched for sale in due course.”
Guests will be able to choose from a selection of gourmet restaurants offering a range of dining from classic Anatolian to modern day fusion and French cuisine. The resort will also incorporate an entertainment venue, the Mehteran, for concerts and events, and will have its own retail mall.
Rixos Hotels continues to expand its number of worldwide properties and is now opening its second hotel in Kazakhstan’s economy capital, Almaty.
By Emma Procter
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