In brief


New names for Starwood Spa Club
Starwood Hotels & Resorts EAME announces that 10 additional properties have joined The Starwood Spa Collection, one of the world’s largest collections of premier spas.

The Starwood Spa Collection comprises of more than 50 hotels and resorts from all corners of the globe that are renowned for their incomparable service, luxurious treatments and unwavering standards of excellence. Regional hotels that have joined this club are the Grosvenor House Dubai, Le Royal Méridien Dubai and the Sheraton Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

New Coral hotel opens in Al Khobar
Coral International Al Khobar, which opened recently, provides the finest facilities for business and pleasure. This property boasts 130 rooms and suites providing guests with a refined taste of luxury and exclusivity. Unparalleled service, signature interiors and impeccable style will make this hotel one of the most sought-after by travellers through the region, said a spokesperson.

Mِvenpick cut ties in Heliopolis
As part of its repositioning strategy in Egypt, Mِvenpick Hotels & Resorts handed the Mِvenpick Hotel Cairo-Heliopolis back to the owning company, Arab World Egypt Air Hotels, on May 31. The decision to discontinue managing the hotel is the result of differing views between the owning company and Mِvenpick Hotels & Resorts with regard to product quality, strategy and tenure. “Unfortunately, we could not agree on market positioning and management rights, and so had no choice but to end our longstanding cooperation,” said Jean Gabriel Pérès, president & CEO of Mِvenpick Hotels & Resorts. 

Dh1bn spend on new Palm hotels
THE Al Osaimi Group, a leading Kuwait-based developer, has announced an investment of Dh1 billion towards the development of two luxurious hotels and an upscale residential complex located on the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The company has appointed Dusit International, to manage its first venture in the UAE, which is targeted for completion in 2010.  Spanning approximately 100 million sq ft. on the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah, the project comprises of a seven-star luxury hotel, five-star family resort and an upscale residential complex with a combined total of 180 freehold plush townhouses and lavish penthouses.

Renovations at Le Meridien Amman
After a year and a half of renovations and approximately $15 million dollars investment, Le Meridien Amman lit up its façade and held a spectacular carnival to unveil the luxuriously renovated guest rooms and suites of one of Amman’s long established and most popular hotels. The hotel has given a complete face-lift to 300 of its guestrooms, 34 suites, in addition to its four presidential and royal suites. The new rooms have been lavishly appointed with specially commissioned furniture, paintings and carpeting, and have been fully equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology. Renovations included the introduction of new business centre and a Royal Club Lounge.

Abu Dhabi hotel links Club deal
THE Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi recently announced the signing of the new management contract for Al Wahda Sports Club Hotel managed by Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East. The Hotel is due to open in 2009 with 243 rooms and suites as well as 412 Serviced Apartments. The Hotel tower will be connected from the South part of the new Al Wahda Shopping Mall.
Ali Lakhraim, CEO of  Millennium/Copthorne Hotels Middle East said that this Hotel is a valuable addition to our portfolio in the Middle East and we are happy to be awarded the management contract of this Hotel.
Rashed El Zaabi, chairman, executive office Al Wahda Sports Club, elaborated, “The hotel is a major part of Al Wahda City 1 Project and we are proud to be a significant part of Abu Dhabi’s tourist boom.”

Swiss-Belhotel expands into Kuwait
HONG Kong-headquartered Swiss-Belhotel International Middle East and Kuwait Plaza Hotel have announced the hotel management agreement of Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait. The Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait is a four star deluxe hotel, featuring 164 recently renovated rooms and suites. The hotel is located in the heart of the commercial and banking district, 20 minutes drive from the airport and adjacent to a 3-storey shopping mall. The hotel features include the all-day dining Al Dallah Restaurant, a Lobby Lounge serving light refreshments, the Café facing over the shopping mall to relax in comfort, comprehensive banquet facility and 24 hour room service.

Grand Hyatt Doha on schedule
THE opening of the 249-room Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel in the spring of 2008 will mark Qatar’s entry into the five-star Hyatt Hotels in the Arabian Gulf region. The interiors of the Grand Hyatt Doha blend historic architectural elements with contemporary materials, creating a rich and comfortable ambience. Lighting plays a key role in high lighting certain elements. The hotel will have extensive conference facilities in the six meeting rooms and three boardrooms of the large conference centre. Major events can be accommodated in the 1,500 square metre ballroom. There will be fitness facilities with an indoor lap pool and ladies and men’s spa with twelve treatment rooms in an elegant garden setting as well as an outdoor pool and a children’s pool.

Premier Travel Inn breaks ground
Premier Travel Inn (PTI), the UK’s biggest hotel brand known for its value-for-money prices, has broken ground at the Dubai Investment Park. Its first property in Dubai and the first overseas investment outside of the UK will be a 308-room hotel scheduled for completion during the first quarter of next year. The building contract has been awarded to AMB Building LLC (AMBB), an established player in the UAE construction industry. Premier Travel Inn’s international debut is operated under a joint venture between the Emirates Group and leading British hospitality group Whitbread. The new joint venture, PTI Gulf Hotels, recently secured a Dh200 million financing from Emirates Bank International and the National Bank of Dubai for its first three developments in Dubai.