By Neil Halligan
Exclusive: New project to include the largest spa in the world
Luxury hotel operator Langham Hotels is in talks over opening a women-only resort in Doha that will also include the world’s largest spa.
The Hong Kong-based group has a number of hotels due to open in the region next year, including a resort on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, a luxury hotel in the newly planned Qatar city of Lusail and a 279-key property in downtown Jeddah.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Langham Hotels CEO Robert Warman exclusively revealed that the operator is in talks with a property owner in Doha about opening a resort exclusively for women only.
“We’re looking at another resort, possibly in Doha. We think it’s very close and that we have a unique opportunity to run a female-only resort with the largest spa in the world,” he told Arabian Business.
"We think that could be a really unique positioning to bring a high level of service into what has traditionally probably not been the top tier segment."
Warman said there are also plans to open properties in Abu Dhabi and Oman.
“We’re looking at a project in Abu Dhabi; we’re looking at Oman,” he said.
”We think we’ll continue to expand, certainly as the Dubai, Doha and Jeddah [projects] come out of the ground, and bring more awareness. Today, it’s hard, we know there’s going to be a Langham in Dubai, but it’s not out of the ground yet.”
Langham’s plans to open hotels trace back to 2008, when it announced plans to open two hotels in Doha. Those plans failed to materialise, but ten years later, after many false starts and delays in between, Langham looks set to open as many as three in one year.
The first of those could well be the last project it announced. The Langham Jeddah, in the downtown district of the city, which will have 238 rooms and 41 suites, is scheduled to open by the end of the year or early 2018.
“It’s a building that’s under construction already. We anticipate the end of 2017, early 2018,” Warman said.
“It was a project that we already started. We’ve worked with the owner, made a few changes that were necessary to maintain and keep the Langham brand intact, which probably added a few months on to it.”
The much-delayed The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, which was due to open in 2015, will finally open in the middle of next year, according to Warman.
“Unfortunately the developer has struggled with their contractor in putting that together,” Warman said.
“Some projects seem to happen right away, and some projects seem to take a long time. My guess is [within the] next year and a half. I would think somewhere mid-2018.”
The $273m Langham Place Downtown Dubai has similarly been delayed. Announced in 2015 and due to open in 2018, the project will finally begin construction this summer, and is expected to open within three year. The delay, however, has been favourable with the newly opened Dubai Canal on its doorstep, as well as a marina area.
“It’s a fairly significant building on a piece of land that’s right on the canal. With the announcement of putting the marina there, it raises the impact of that spot,” Warman said. “We’re raising the lobby level so we get the maximum impact when hotel guests are there.
"As you know, in Dubai, things are constantly evolving, generally always for the positive. I think in a way we were fortunate because with the adding of [the canal], it has created a unique visual aspect of the hotel. The entire extension of the creek is going to make it a unique resort experience as well.
“The marina is going to add additional nightlife and additional restaurants and activities. It will bring more locals in that market segment,” he said.
Langham Place, Lusail, a luxury hotel that includes 238 rooms, 90 luxury serviced residences and 56 residences, will open towards the end of 2018, according to Warman.travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.