In Brief

The Burj Al Arab

Jumeirah offers podcast service
LUXURY hospitality group Jumeirah has announced a new podcast service called JCast to deliver to its guests all around the world the latest news and property videos of Jumeirah.

The podcasts are designed primarily to give our guests a tool to show their friends and family where they stayed and to keep them informed about the new happenings in the Jumeirah world. JCasts comprise a series of brief biweekly episodes about the Jumeirah Brand, Jumeirah Programs and Jumeirah Hotels.

Starwood restructures Mideast operations
STARWOOD Hotels & Resorts has recently announced a re-organization plan entailing changes in its operational structure in the Middle East effective immediately. The new restructure plan will also imply relocating Starwood Middle East regional office to Dubai in the UAE which hosts 40 percent of Starwood’s portfolio in the region.

Marriot launches apartments in Egypt
MARRIOTT International has signed a long-term management agreement with ETAG Real Estate Development and Touristic Investment to introduce its Marriott Executive Apartments (MEA) lodging brand for extended stay travellers to Cairo, Egypt. The Marriott Executive Apartments, Cairo Nile Dolphin, will be part of a mixed-use residential complex being developed on the west bank of Nile, 30km from Cairo Airport, with four 10-storey apartment buildings, a 20-slip marina, four standalone restaurants, a 4,000sqm shopping centre, a private health club, a 900sqm conference centre and a 230m private Nile River promenade.

Çiragan Palace unveils Sultan suite
THE Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul has recently unveiled its newly renovated Palace Suites including the Sultan Suite. Being billed one of the world’s most spacious and splendid suites, the Sultan Suite covers an area of 458sqm. With its enormous doors, big chandeliers and windows offering panoramic views of the Bosphorus from floor to 5.7m ceiling, this magnificent suite’s decoration combines, guests staying at the suite will have their own personal butler.

Grand Regency now a Leading Hotel
THE Grand Regency has become the first hotel in Qatar to be given membership of the Leading Hotels of the World, having passed a stringent 1,500-point inspection and assessment. It joins 420 luxury hotels spread over 80 countries around the world. The hotel gives guests easy and quick access to all parts of town. It opened in time for the West Asian Games in Doha last December and construction of Phase Two of the development is scheduled to start within the next couple of months.

Le Gulf Meridien marks 25 years
LE Gulf Meridien celebrated 25 years on May 28. The event is being commemorated with an Arabic food festival, as well as a draw for guests with prizes such as a new car, free nights at Le Meridien hotels, and more. Fourteen staff will get service certificates on completion of 25 years of service at the Hotel. The hotel offers 329 superbly appointed bedrooms which includes different type of suites, villas and one Royal suite.

New look for Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
THE Le Meridien Abu Dhabi has announced the expansion and refurbishment for its resort style, five-star hotel. The Dh20 million ($5.5 million) project lasted 11 months and included the addition of luxury guest rooms and the renovation as well as refurbishment of 233 guest rooms and suites. The unique refurbishment of Le Meridien’s complete new look is a modern and vibrant selection of décor, colours and furnishings, themed Art Nouveau and Claire Craig, design director from wa international.

Sofa Hotel named Great
THE Great Hotels Organisation has announced a new member in Turkey, the Sofa Hotel, which opened this March. The hotel offers 82 luxury guests rooms, including 12 suites that feature 24-hour ‘anything, anytime’ service, relaxing rain showers, 512kbps internet access, interactive TV system, complimentary ironing service, DVD players, a private bar and specially designed furniture. The restaurant Tuus is managed by Washington-based Leftbank, and the relaxing Café Sofa welcomes all. The Taylife Spa Detox and Wellness centre at the hotel offers a cardio centre, yoga, relaxation classes, massages, steam room and detoxification.

Le Meridien Dubai gets new bedroom
FOLLOWING its sister property in Kuwait, Le Meridien Dubai will host 50 Art+Tech rooms targeted at business travellers. Already, 25 rooms are open and the rest will be ready by the end of the summer.
With cutting-edge décor, these feature a range of specifically tailored facilities such as a 34-inch LCD television with laptop connectivity; espresso, tea and coffee machine and a dedicated work area that includes a specially-designed desk with plug-in data port and wireless internet access. The shower area offers a walk-in power shower with separate rain shower.

InterCon opens new resort in Taba
THE InterContinental Hotels Group has opened its most recent five star development in Taba, taking the number of hotels currently under the group’s management in Egypt to 12. The resort is situated on the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Aqaba and located 35km from Taba International Airport. The hotel is part of Taba Heights, a 4.2million sqm resort development on the Sinai’s Red Sea coast. The 503-room property, encompassing 27 junior, seven executive and one Presidential Suite is spread out over three buildings; the Pentagon, Atrium, and the Crescent.

Sharq gets Six Senses Spa
SIX Senses Spas is creating a unique experience at Sharq Village & Spa, due to open in Doha late 2006. The 6,500sqm spa is located as a centrepiece of the 174 guestroom and suite waterfront property. The design of the spa reflects a traditional Qatari souq or bazaar, giving the impression of a true Middle Eastern village that has grown organically over time. Spa facilities featured in the main areas include saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzis, plunge pools, changing rooms, fully equipped fitness clubs and dedicated areas for yoga, meditation, tai chi and other eastern practices, as well as relaxation rooms and prayer rooms. The spa offers all the traditional treatments such as Swedish, Thai, Balinese and aroma massages, plus pampering treatments.