InterContinental mulls roll out of lounge brand

Strata restaurant and lounge in Doha opened April 30 and has proved popular
InterContinental mulls roll out of lounge brand
An artists impression of IHGs Hotel Indigo and Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Shane McGinley
Fri 25 May 2012 03:14 PM

Hotel group InterContinental is looking into the possibility of rolling out its Strata restaurant and lounge brand across the region following its launch in Doha.

The successful opening of the Strata at the InterContinental Doha The City has prompted the hotelier to consider expanding the brand across the Gulf, the hotel’s general manager told Arabian Business.

“That could be a possibility, but each hotel is owned independently,” Renzo Cavagliotti, general manager of the new InterContinental Doha The City hotel said when asked if further Strata venues could be opened around the region.

“I am sure other people may have an interest as so far it is doing extremely well,” he added.

Strata, opened to the public on April 30, is located on the 55th and 56th floor of the hotel and holds the title as the highest restaurant and lounge in Doha.

While guests may come for the view over the Qatari capital, he hopes there will be more to the venue’s appeal than its vertical dominance.

“At the beginning it is important as we become present in the market and become known. But we hope [customers] will like it for the food and hopefully the record height will not be the determining factor in coming back.”

With the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasting 13.2 percent growth in the tourism sector for Qatar in 2012 and the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) reporting a 50 percent increase in the number of visitors from neighbouring Gulf states last year, Cavagliotti is aiming to use some of the hotel’s unique attributes to secure a dominant share of the growing Doha hospitality market.

The new Doha property will not be the last property for IHG in the Middle East, as the company recently told Arabian Business it is planning a massive outreach across the region and is looking to hire up to 15,000 staff in the region.

The UK-based hotel operator will launch 40 new regional properties in the next three to five years, six of which will be in the UAE, says Pascal Gauvin, the firm’s chief operating officer (COO) for India, Middle East and Africa.

“We have 40 hotels in the pipeline in the Middle East and Africa. We have five openings this year still to come.

“How many people we recruit depends on the size of the hotel, but it could be 10,000 or 15,000 people.”

IHG operates 93 hotels in the region across five brands InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Steybridge Suites.

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