In brief


Sonesta’s new hotel in Hurghada
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation announced that as from January 1, the Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada will be its twelfth property in Egypt.

The 360 room resort will operate under the Sonesta flag, the result of a new management agreement between the Sonesta corporation and Sheranco for Tourism Projects. The resort (previously known as Melia Pharaoh) is a beach front property overlooking the Red Sea. Amenities here include an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor heated pool, an on-site diving centre, fitness centre, two floodlit tennis courts and a ball games pitch. Meeting facilities also are available for groups of up to 400 guests.

Three new Westin hotels in India
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced agreements to manage The Westin Hyderabad, Mindspace, The Westin Pune, Koregaon Park and The Westin Kolkata, Rajarhat. The hotels in Hyderabad and Pune are scheduled to open in 2009, while the hotel in Kolkata will open in 2010. The Hyderabad hotel will be the cornerstone of The Mindspace Cyberabad Project, a mixed use development which will also contain offices and a 700,000 square-foot mall and multiplex. The Westin Pune will feature 277 guest rooms, four restaurants and bars and meetings and functions space. The Kolkata hotel will be housed in a tower that will soar more than 1,000 feet upwards and will offer 323 guestrooms, five restaurants and bars and more than 21,000 square feet of meeting space.

Qatar gets 10,000 new hotel rooms
Qatar is expecting to build 7,000 hotel rooms and nearly 3,000 apartment rooms this year, plus 3,600 tourist apartments by 2010, according to industry sources. The new properties to open this year are: The W (340 rooms), Marriott Courtyard (200 rooms), Marriott Renaissance (257 rooms), Grand Hyatt (300 rooms), Hilton (320 rooms), Shangri-La (272 rooms), Rotana (204 rooms) and Holiday Hotel Villa and Residence (754 rooms). Properties under construction include the Taj Hotel at the Golf Club, Shaza Kempinski, three hotels in Pearl Qatar, Dubai Towers and the St Regis Doha Hotel.

Movenpick projects in Sharm El Sheikh
The Swiss hotel group has just signed a management agreement with the owning company Integrated Development and Tourism Investment (IDTI) for two upscale hotel projects in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Both holiday resorts are already under construction and are scheduled to open by 2008 and 2009. The five star Movenpick Resort & Spa Sharm El Sheikh of over a total surface area of 103,000 sq m will open in summer this year. The resort has 327 spacious rooms and suites, including 30 luxury apartments and is situated in Nabq Bay on the shores of the Red Sea. There will be an open show cooking island, an Italian speciality restaurant, a beach front grill and lounge restaurant, and a total of four bars.