By Andy Sambidge
Swiss-Belhotel International launches Ghantoot resort, a heritage building originally built for Abu Dhabi ruler
Global hospitality management chain Swiss-Belhotel International said on Monday it has continued its expansion in the Middle East with the launch of Swiss-Belresort Ghantoot, a converted palace in Abu Dhabi.
Swiss-Belresort Ghantoot is a heritage building on the shores of the Arabian Gulf that was originally built as a palace for the Abu Dhabi ruler, the hotel operator said in a statement.
Gavin M Faull, Swiss-Belhotel International chairman and president, said: "Swiss-Belresort Ghantoot is a prized addition to our portfolio. It is a wonderful, venerable property.
"Swiss-Belhotel International is in the midst of an exciting period of growth in the Middle East, with three more hotels set to be launched before the end of next year. And our growing footprint there is matched by our global progress."
The recently refurbished resort's architecture exemplifies Arabian luxury and style, with golden walls, soaring domed ceilings, capacious balconies and generous living spaces.
The former palace also offers a health club with squash courts, gymnasium facilities, table tennis, billiards and rooms for steam, sauna and jacuzzi with massages provided by expert therapists.
The resort was joined in the awahotel group's stable last month by Swiss-Belhotel Seef in Bahrain, with Swiss-Belinn Ghurbrah in Oman, Swiss-Belhotel Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Swiss-Belhotel Erbil in Iraq set to open by 2015 for a total of seven hotels.
Swiss-Belhotel International currently operates the Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait, Qatar's Swiss-Belhotel Doha and Swiss-Belhotel Seef in Bahrain.
The Hong Kong-based company said it will unveil 20 hotels globally this year.