In brief


Hotel alliances unite for wider benefit
LEADING tour operators in the GCC welcomed the announced merger of Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) and the Asian Hotels Alliance.

From 1st January 2007, the Asian Hotels Alliance (AHA) will merge with GHA, immediately bringing Dusit Hotels & Resorts, Landis Hotels & Resorts and Marco Polo Hotels as new members of GHA, while Meritus Hotels & Resorts and New Otani Hotels have an option to join GHA during the next 12 months. GHA thus further consolidates its position as the world's largest hotel alliance of independent and individual brands. The merger provides globetrotting Arab travellers a choice of among 186 upscale and luxury hotels and resorts spread over 39 different countries. To mark the announcement, GHA launched a new website,
Three Oberois in Top 10
THREE Oberoi hotels have been ranked among the top 10 hotels in Asia by American travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur has been ranked 5th, the Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra and the Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur have been rated 7th and 8th   best hotels in Asia, respectively. The Oberoi, New Delhi has also featured in the list. The ranking is a result of a readers' poll conducted by the magazine. This rating also places the three Oberoi hotels among the Top 50 in the world.
Other recent awards for the group include a ranking among the 10 best in the world for the Udaivilas and Rajvilas properties, in a readers' poll conducted by Travel + Leisure magazine. The Oberoi was rated the third best hotel chain in the world outside the US, in a survey Condé Nast Traveler survey of business travellers.

New look for Amman Marriott
THE Amman Marriott Hotel has just completed a major revamp for its front entrance. The project included new landscaping around the hotel, a completely new front entrance and parking lot, and an additional meeting hall, Al Majles. The major changes to the entrance have dramatically improved the exterior and interior public space. The new entrance brings more natural light into the formerly dark interior and permits visual access to the grand lobby from the front entrance, as well as from the new parking lot entrance. Now all visitors, whether arriving by bus, car or foot will experience an enhanced sense of arrival revitalized by the landscaping of the entire grounds. The new addition, Al Majles, is flooded with daylight from unusually large windows. It is the ideal venue for presentations, press conferences, receptions and private dining for up to 150 guests.
New spa at Radisson Bahrain
BAHRAIN 'S National Hotels Company to open Manama's largest spa The $ 4.5 million Diplomat Radisson SAS Spa to debut February 2007. The Diplomat Spa, managed by Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, will be complete in February and will also house the country's largest gymnasium. The state-of-the-art spa will be at the Diplomat Radisson SAS Residence, adjacent to the existing 246-room, five star Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, and close to Manama's main tourist and shopping attractions.  The new spa will have a separate male spa, a ladies-only indoor pool, 11 female treatment rooms, six men's treatment rooms, three outdoor pools, a 280 metre feature lagoon pool, state-of-the-art male and female gymnasiums, sophisticated steam and sauna rooms, jacuzzi and cold pool facilities, an open-air tennis court and two indoor squash courts.