Luxury travel trends dominated by a greater focus on unique experiences and one-of-a-kind destinations are keeping the hospitality business buoyant in the GCC, says leading luxury hotel brand Kempinski Hotels, as it concluded its annual regional road show aimed at strengthening its business ties with travel trade partners in the region.
From Amman to Andalucia, a Kempinski Hotels team representing 16 of the luxury operator’s most distinctive properties from across the region and the world visited trade partners across the GCC. The road show kicked off in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 3, followed by Riyadh (April 4) and Dammam (April 5), before heading to Bahrain on April 6, then Doha, Qatar, on April 7 and winding up in Kuwait on April 8.
“Discerning guests seeking more rewarding travel experiences is one of the key trends that have emerged in luxury travel post recession. Guests are seeking out distinctive properties that make a great base from where they can enjoy any destination – whether new and exotic, or continually fascinating. The location and landmark status of our properties places us in a strong position to leverage this trend and last year’s healthy figures prove that we continue to maintain this advantage,” said Samer Achcar, Director of Global Sales Middle East and Africa, Kempinski Hotels.
“Our travel trade partners play a key role in communicating and recommending our leading status among leisure and business travelers, and the good relationships we have built over the years are integral to our future success. The annual road show plays a strategically important role in strengthening these relationships, and showcasing our most popular destinations as well as rising and upcoming stars. Our aim is to excite and entice our invaluable regional travel and trade partners to continue to recommend us to their clients,” added Achcar.
Regional jewels to be showcased during the road show include landmark city hotels such as the lavish Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and distinctive Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, UAE, as well as the charming Kempinski Hotel Amman in Jordan’s sunny capital city and the relaxing resort property including Kempinski Hotel Ajman, UAE.
Panoramic properties such as the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum, perched on a cliff overlooking Turkey’s glittering Aegean Sea, also continue to attract large numbers of GCC and Western tourists looking to enjoy the best of the East and West, while the atmospheric Çirağan Palace Kempinski poised along the Bosphorus in Istanbul, remains a firm favourite among visitors looking to experience the pomp and glamour associated with the lives of the Ottoman sultans.
Other awe-inspiring properties such as Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva, Switzerland – looking out across Lake Geneva and the snowy peak of Mont Blanc, and the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich, Germany – which boasts 303 rooms and suites, each uniquely and individually decorated – remain among the favourite European properties for outbound GCC guests keen on summering in pleasant climes.
Lovers of more eclectic and exotic European destinations can close to explore the fascinating city of Budapest whilst staying at the modern masterpiece that is Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest – the epitome of contemporary elegance and comfort in the Hungarian capital. Lovers of the sun-and-sea lifestyle heading to Spain’s glorious Costa Del Sol can relax in enchanting Andalucia at Kempinski Hotel Bahía Estepona resort, famed for its scenic views across to Africa and lush gardens with three refreshing outdoor pools in their midst.
Resort-revelers can also head to north-eastern tip of Africa, to the fascinating Djibouti Palace Kempinski, where you can indulge in underwater sports, visit volcanoes and salt lakes in the vicinity, and swim with whale sharks, while enjoying an impeccable level of luxurious service at the hotel.
New places of discovery
Last year’s additions to the Kempinski family – Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta and Kempinski Hybernská Prague – will also be putting in an appearance during this year’s GCC road show. A national icon since the 1960s, the revival of the Hotel Indonesia under Kempinski management, offers guests a taste of tropical paradise whilst staying at a remarkable heritage property. The Baroque beauty Kempinski Hybernská Prague continues to attract guests wishing to enjoy incomparable comfort whilst staying in one Europe’s most inspiring modern capital cities, Prague.
Kempinski will also showcase two of its newest properties set for 2010 openings during the GCC road show – the chic Egyptian boutique property Kempinski Nile Hotel in Cairo and the Siam Kempinski Hotel – a luxurious oasis in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand.
Due to open in mid-2010, Kempinski Nile Hotel is strategically located in the lively Garden City district of Cairo, along the banks of the Nile. The 191-room boutique style hotel, whose interiors are designed by world-renowned French designer Pierre Yves Rochon, combines the warm, charming atmosphere and service culture of Europe blended with Egyptian lavishness and authenticity. A decadent spa, roof top pool, 10 restaurants, and easy access to ancient architectural wonders make this property a highly desirable destination.
Located directly behind Siam Paragon shopping mall in the Thai capital, and shoppers’ paradise, Bangkok, the Siam Kempinski Hotel is set to open in the second quarter of 2010. With 303 rooms including 42 suites as well as 98 serviced residences, unique landscaped gardens, multiple swimming pools and outstanding water features, as well as extensive meeting facilities, Siam Kempinski Hotel is a much-awaited addition to the hospitality landscape of the Asian City of Angels.
Upcoming regional prospects
The GCC region in particular can look forward to several other exciting new prospects in the region, due to be launched over the coming three years.
Set to open in a few weeks, Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha, will be Kempinski’s first Residence Property to open in the Middle East and Africa Region. Located at the heart of Doha’s central business district, West Bay, the 62-floor Residence tower is one of the tallest in the capital city, boasting 370 luxury serviced residences for short-, mid-, and long-term rental, and stunning sea views. Facilities include two indoor swimming pools, an extensive gym area with state-of-the art fitness equipment, male and female steam rooms, treatment rooms and a day care center for kids. Additionally, the residence tower hosts various restaurants and cafes including an all day dining restaurant, a high-end gourmet shop and café, a bar at the leisure area as well as twenty-four hour room service.
A second Hotel & Residences property located on the West Crescent of Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, will open in just a few months. Boasting 244 luxury suites, penthouses and villas offering striking views over the Palm Jumeirah lagoon and the Dubai skyline in the distance, or uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf, Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah will surely be one of the most coveted addresses in Dubai. A number of restaurants, leisure facilities including a spa, gym, beach club, business centre, boardroom and multifunctional meeting room, water sports and shopping facilities, and a comprehensive and thoughtful selection of services including 24-hour concierge services, valet and car wash, maid and baby-sitting services, as well as shopping assistance and delivery services, will create a complete luxury lifestyle offering. The property is Kempinski’s first beach resort in Dubai and will be complemented by the Emerald Palace Kempinski Palm Jumeirah Dubai which is due to open in 2011. The two properties fit perfectly with the company’s vision of having only unique properties in its portfolio, especially in a destination such as Dubai where everything is done par excellence. This project has been one of the most successful in the UAE, achieving some of the best yield rates within properties on the Palm.
Scheduled to open in 2012, Kempinski Hotel, Riyadh will boast an upscale commercial tower with 300 luxury guest rooms and suites, two restaurants, three cafés, conference facilities, ballroom for up to 2000 guests, two spas and separate wellness centres for men and women, selected boutique style retail outlets, Manhattan-style smart apartments and offices in addition to state-of-the-art business facilities with the aim of leading the luxury hospitality market in Riyadh in both, leisure and corporate segments.
Meanwhile, the Kempinski Hotel, Jeddah, boasts fantastic view of the Red Sea and is set to be the first green intelligent hotel building in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, when it opens in 2012. The 240-metre high tower hotel aims to be the finest address for leisure travelers in Jeddah featuring first class facilities including 250 luxury guest rooms and suites, 71 serviced apartments, two restaurants, a stunning spa, fitness centre, swimming pool and a 1000 square metre ballroom. Moreover, corporate guests can avail themselves of the advanced business and meetings facilities including fully equipped modern meeting rooms, VIP offices and business suites.
A brand new Kempinski property is also due to open in Bahrain in 2011. The mixed-use property has been developed by Majid Al Futtaim Group, and comprises a vibrant entertainment, hospitality and retail offering, which also includes the recently opened Bahrain City Centre mall. A separate announcement release is expected to follow shortly.