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Thu 1 Feb 2007 12:21 PM

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New hotel hopes small is next big thing

Big may not necessarily be better if the owners of new Jumeirah based hotel La Maison d'Hôtes have their New Year's wish come true.

Big may not necessarily be better if the owners of new Jumeirah based hotel La Maison d'Hôtes have their New Year's wish come true.

Managing director Julie Renaudie said the hotel, which features 19 rooms, would offer a level of "customised service" that some of the big luxury hotels could not offer because of their large numbers of guests.

"There is not this kind of service here (in Dubai), and people say they miss it," Renaudie said. "They don't have the same relationships... (it is) just customers, not guests."

Renaudie said although there were guesthouses available, there was no existing market in Dubai for smaller "charming hotel" style operations.

"This is the first official one in Dubai," she said.

"Because today Dubai is growing so fast, you don't have anywhere to stay that is like this."

Although smaller in size, the hotel offers many of the facilities of larger operations, including cable television, in-room internet access and areas in which to conduct business meetings and small conferences.

Renaudie and fellow managing director Claude Berquier have overseen the whole project, from leasing the buildings, to interior decorating and the hiring of staff.

Both said opening the hotel - which was scheduled for September 2006, but delayed until late January -took longer than expected because the concept of a small guesthouse type hotel was new in Dubai.

New laws had also been introduced regulating the development in terms of services offered, numbers of bathrooms required, and the size of the hotel.

"I didn't realise it would be so difficult - there were so many different departments (to deal with)," Berquier said.

The pair also financed the project themselves.

But despite all the problems, both said they were very satisfied with the result, and planned to open two or three more similar sized ventures in the region.

For others thinking of following a similar path, the key was a relaxed attitude to time, Renaudie said.

"When you choose a new building you have to know that it will take a long time," she said. "You have to adapt, and not be too nervous, and you have to be patient."

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Morris 13 years ago

Fantastic. Nice rooms, nice people.