By Shane McGinley
Polynesian-themed resort is first of luxury brand’s two hotels to open in Dubai this year
Sofitel Luxury Hotels, the luxury hotel chain managed by French hotel group Accor, is to open its latest hotel on the Palm Jumeirah this summer, it was confirmed on Monday.
The Polynesian themed resort, Sofitel The Palm Dubai, will include 361 guest rooms and suites, as well as 182 fully serviced apartments, when it is opened to the public this summer. The Palm Jumeirah resort will include a 500m private beach and will be located on the East Crescent area of the manmade island.
“I am confident that this spectacular resort will attract both global and regional discerning travelers and groups,” said Christophe Schnyder, general manager of the hotel.
Facilities will include gardens created by the renowned botanist Patrick Blanc, French-style restaurants, a nightclub across three separate floors and a ballroom for up to 700 guests.
French hotel group Accor said in November it planned to open two hotels under its Sofitel brand in Dubai during 2013, including the Sofitel The Palm during the first half of the year and the Sofitel in Dubai’s Downtown area during the second half.
The Downtown hotel, which has not been officially named yet, will include 350 rooms and suites, five restaurants and four lounges.
A ‘Magnifique Terrace’ overlooking the Burj Khalifa will offer event facilities for up to 700 people. The Downtown property will also includes a ballroom and 12 meeting rooms.
Sofitel already operates one hotel in the emirate’s marina area, The Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach. Accor also claimed in March 2012 it was looking to increase the number of 'So by Sofitel' branded hotels to 18 globally in the next five years, including plans for a property in Dubai.
"Eventually we’ll have somewhere between 15 and 18 Sos operating around the world in the next five to seven years. I'd love to bring it to Dubai, Cairo and other parts of the Middle East. We’re looking at an opportunity in Beirut," Sofitel CEO Robert Gaymer-Jones told Hotelier Middle East.
"The destinations have to be around fashion and design. The So we've just launched in Bangkok is unbelievable because guests choose their room by their preferred designer – it’s very fashion led. The uniforms and hotel accessories – the bath robes and soaps – are all designer."