Ski chalets in the desert?

KEITH J FERNANDEZ gets a sneak peek at the Kempinski’s one-of-a-kind rooms project

IT’S that single, one-of-a-kind product – a ski chalet in the desert, or at any rate, in desert temperatures.

The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, in Dubai, is finally ready to start welcoming guests to the 15 ski chalets which comprise the final phase of its development and which will be formally launched this month.
They are available in a three-tier breakdown of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom combinations, and all have their own kitchenette and ensuite bathrooms. Each chalet offers an unprecedented view over the amazing indoor ski resort, and the multi-bedroom units afford a view of the Burj Al Arab on the other side.
“It truly is a unique product – you can enjoy both the sun and the snow,” said Doaa Amin, regional director of public relations, Middle East and Africa.
The hotel is primarily targeting the GCC leisure market, and the local and GCC markets for corporate business, she told TTN. “These are very, very niche markets we’re after: pretty much the top tier of both segments.”
Amin said the hotel expects to start sourcing business first from existing customers, but already, the hotel is seeing a huge interest from the trade, whom, she says, can’t wait to come and see the rooms, and book them.
Rates for the chalets are published at beginning at Dh2600 ($708) per night and proceed to Dh25,000, plus taxes and service charges.
“We are an exclusive product and will market it as such,” said Amin. “We’re concerned about going after the right market, not about occupancies. We will not undervalue the chalets for the sake of a full house.”
Each unit, from the moment one steps in, is designed to convey the feel of a chalet somewhere in the Alps, complete with slate elements on the walls and wood floors. They even have their own fireplaces. Windows are maximised so guests can see the ski slope – or the outdoors – from their bathtubs.
The chalets have their own private reception area. Add-ons for guests staying at the chalets include automatic entry to Ski Dubai, use of the hotel’s executive lounge and all its facilities, a personal butler, the use of an Audi A8 car for the day, and ‘funky, ski-related amenities’ that she did not disclose.
Attached to the UAE’s first indoor ski resort and the biggest shopping mall outside of North America, the hotel features 393 deluxe rooms and suites including the chalets. Guest rooms and suites are contemporary and elegantly appointed with average room size of 61sqm. Most rooms and suites are interconnecting to accommodate family needs.