Top 10 hotels for 2013
Hotelier Middle East rounds up the most exciting new hotels we are assured will open their doors this year
1. The Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait
\nJumeirah is set to open the largest hotel in Kuwait in Q1, 2013, the Jumeirah Messilah Hotel.
\nThe property is located just 10 minutes from Kuwait International Airport and is looking to take advantage of its proximity to Kuwait City’s business centre.
\nThe hotel will add 316 rooms and suites, 80 residential suites and 12 villas to Kuwait’s itinerary of rooms, while the country’s dining scene receives a boon from the six restaurants along with cafes and lounges that will be part of the complex.
\nThe hotel will offer a 3500m2 ‘Talise Spa’, two swimming pools and a children’s play area and, a rarity in Kuwait, a 200-metre private beach.
\nAdditionally, extensive conference and banqueting facilities will be available, including a showpiece 1950m2 ballroom.
\nAccording to Jumeirah, the luxurious beachfront, multi-facility development will provide “functional amenities to cater for both leisure and business travellers alike”.
\nThe designers behind the project said that throughout the hotel design, “digitally-created screens and perforated walls filter the sunlight”.
\nWe can certainly see the hotel becoming a valuable addition to Kuwait’s hospitality scene, which appears to be going from strength to strength in terms of iconic brands and multiple lodging options entering the country.
2. Adagio Fujairah Town Centre
\nAccor is rolling out its midscale apartment brand Adagio across the Middle East. It will debut in 2013 in Abu Dhabi, with the opening of Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan, a 279-apartment property, and in 2014, Saudi Arabia will get to experience the brand that Accor says allows guests to experience “the city at your own rhythm”.
\nBut Hotelier is most looking forward to the opening of Adagio Fujairah Town Centre. It marks the continued progress of Fujairah as an emirate in terms of its hospitality offering and with Abu Dhabi’s plans to export its oil through Fujairah, its importance is only going to grow.
\nIt is little wonder that major brands are paying an interest in the emirate, with the diversification of the types of property impressive in an emerging market.
\nAccommodation options range from comfortable studio to two-bedroom, ready-to-live-in apartments. Guests can benefit from an array of optional services, whether they stay for a few nights or several months in one of the 72 apartments. Accor Middle East managing director Christophe Landais commented on the company’s expansion plans for Adagio: “The global network of Adagio City Aparthotel already comprises 30 Aparthotels with more than 3000 apartments in key European capitals and primary cities. The brand has an ambition to develop 100 Aparthotels across the world by 2015”.
3. Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
\nHotelier Middle East brought you the exclusive news of this hotel signing back in February of 2011, when His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah appointed Hilton Worldwide to manage the Al Hamra Palace hotel under its prestigious Waldorf Astoria brand.
\nInitially, they announced the hotel would open in Q4 2011, which soon shifted to Q4 2012, but now the partners are so confident of the imminent opening of this behemoth that they have announced a launch date of March 1, 2013.
\nThe delays are not all that surprising when you consider the grandeur of the property; the 349-room Arabian-themed palace hotel, with a 600-metre private beach, three outdoor swimming pools, and a choice of eight restaurants and lounges, is expected to be one of the most luxurious and exclusive destinations in the UAE.
\n It will also be the first Waldorf Astoria hotel in the country, to be followed a year later by the Al Habtoor Group-owned Waldorf Astoria on Palm Jumeirah.
\nWaldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah will be part of Al Hamra Village, a master planned development that covers an area of 2.5 million m² and includes 1.5km of beaches, 1000 villas and townhouses, 2500 residential apartments, two hotels, three resorts, an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and a marina, as well as a shopping mall.
4. Fairmont Ajman
\nCould 2013 be the year that Ajman – the smallest and somewhat underappreciated emirate – is finally going to start pulling in the crowds? We think so thanks to the launch of the Fairmont Ajman, which is expected to open in Q3 2013.
\nLocated on the Ajman corniche, this sleek and contemporary resort will front 250 metres of unspoiled, sandy beaches, making it an ideal spot for leisure and incentive travellers.
\nThe hotel will feature 252 guestrooms and suites, including two luxury penthouses. Food and beverage options include a multi-kitchen, all-day dining outlet which will transform into an à la carte restaurant in the evenings offering modern Italian fare; a lobby lounge serving afternoon tea, pastries and snacks; and a contemporary Turkish restaurant with adjoining cocktail bar, as well as a shisha terrace and poolside bar.
\nThe resort is set to become a magnet for event planners thanks to the 2000m² of indoor function space as well as outdoor facilities, while a selection of retail outlets and fitness and water sport facilities, including diving will make this a top leisure tourism spot in the coming year.
5. Shangri-la Doha
\nShangri-La will be making its debut in Qatar in quarter three of this year with the Shangri-La Doha. The property will be opening alongside four-star sister brand Traders, located just 300 metres away.
\nBut while Traders is all about down-to-earth functionality; there will be no end to the lavishness on offer at the super-luxe Shangri-La.
\nThe hotel will feature 272 guest rooms, including 46 suites, plus the exclusive Horizon Club — the largest executive lounge in the city. The F&B outlets are predicted to shake up Doha’s eating-out scene. The highly-anticipated Shanghai Club — a contemporary Chinese restaurant-club-lounge with a DJ will open on the 44th floor — while other outlets to look forward to include: piano bar The Den; Middle Eastern food souk Sridan; and Latin American offering Fuego. A helipad on the roof will cater to the arrival of VIP guests.
\nAnd despite its location right in the commercial hub of Doha (with direct access to the Doha City Centre complex), the Shangri-La is keen to inject some greenery into the neighbourhood. We’ve been informed that the oversized pool deck measuring 2200m² will be landscaped with more than 90 trees.
6. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
\nDusit International is preparing to unveil its first property in the UAE capital, with the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi due to open in the first quarter of 2013.
\nDeveloped with Abu Dhabi’s growing meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) market firmly in mind, the 37-storey ‘glass tower’ property will comprise of 402 guest rooms and suites as well as 131 serviced apartments and a 785m² ballroom that can hold up to 2000 guests.
\nStrategically located in the new business and government district, the hotel is only a 10-minute drive from the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
\nAccording to general manager Scott Mawhinney, Abu Dhabi is set to emerge as one of the most sought-after business hubs in the region, with Dusit Thani in a prime position to capitalise on this potential.
\nAlongside the hotel’s impressive function rooms and pre-function area, housed under an innovatively designed ‘Skydome’, the hotel will also host an array of F&B options.
\nThese will include a signature Thai restaurant, a contemporary lifestyle bar and grill, an Asian fusion buffet complete with live cooking stations and a pair of relaxed and contemporary lounge areas. The hotel also features a fitness centre and Thai-style Namm Spa.
7. Sofitel The Palm, Dubai
\nTake a leisurely drive along the 20km crescent of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah and you’ll see several sizeable hotel developments coming out of the ground.
\nOn the East Crescent, with a 500-metre beach and sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf, is Sofitel The Palm, Dubai, a luxury hotel from the French operator offering 361 guest rooms and 182 residences. The wooden-rafted lobby with vertical gardens sets the scene for a true escape, while Sofitel’s signature art de vivre inspires the guest rooms, the highlight of which is the Beach Villa with private pool and rooftop terrace. Luxury services include 24-hour butler service for suites and the Club Millesime executive lounge concept.
\nThe resort and spa property offers a range of leisure activities to keep guests occupied, including tennis, water skiing, scuba-diving, and fishing, as well as a sea water pool, and a So Spa with four treatment rooms and four outdoor cabanas.
\nDiners have 10 F&B outlets to choose from covering cuisine from around the world, with French gourmet bistro Studio du Chef restaurant and bar, Asian themed Hong Loong and Ki Lounge, the Bottega Italian trattoria, Porterhouse Steak and Grill, the poolside Moana seafood restaurant and 2LIV Nightclub. The hotel is also targeting the MICE market with four meeting rooms and a 600-person capacity ballroom.
8. Rosewood Abu Dhabi
\nThis year is shaping up to be an exciting year for Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry, as many of the properties delayed from 2012 prepare to open their doors.
\nRosewood Hotels & Resorts is the latest international hotel group preparing to make its debut in the UAE.
\nScheduled to open in Q2, Rosewood Abu Dhabi will be the first hotel on Al Maryah Island, connected to the Cleveland Clinic by a sky link, in close proximity to the new Abu Dhabi stock exchange, expected to be home to around 12,000 workers, and above the Galleria retail area comprising 110 shops.
\nGeneral manager Luigi Romaniello is gearing up to meet the needs of these captive markets with a range of services and facilities. The hotel features 189 rooms and suites, 58 luxury full-serviced apartments and 79 residences and nine restaurants — ranging from Catalan and Italian to Modern Lebanese and Indian.
\nExtensive MICE facilities include 1636m² of indoor meeting facilities, two ballrooms, fully-integrated video conferencing facilities, six boardrooms and 24-hour service business centre.
\nThere will also be an 18,000 square foot beauty, wellness and fitness retreat, an outdoor terrace and pool and a 24-hour fitness facility.
9. Wyndham Grand Riyadh
\nWyndham Hotel Group is gearing up to open its first Wyndham Hotels and Resorts branded hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the prestigious King Abdulla Financial District, located in Riyadh.
\nSigned in 2009, Wyndham Grand Riyadh King Abdullah Financial District, developed by Rayada Investment Company, has progressed steadily and is slated to meet its targeted opening in Q4, 2013.
\nThe five-star hotel will feature 210 rooms, including 15 suites, and 11 meeting rooms. It will also be home to a Wyndham-branded 12,981ft² Blue Harmony Spa and Fitness Experience, offering therapeutic treatments and salon services, and an outdoor pool.
\nF&B outlets include an all-day dining restaurant featuring open kitchens, an Italian-style restaurant, rooftop Argentinean-style grill, Wyndham Lounge and indoor-outdoor coffee shop.
\nThe hotel is leading the way when it comes to sustainability, being constructed to energy-saving and environmental standards specified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System (LEED). As part of this, it will incorporate strategies that encourage alternate transportation, reduce water and energy usage and improve indoor air quality within the building.
10. St Regis Abu Dhabi
\nStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is continuing the growth of its luxury St.Regis brand with the long-awaited St. Regis Abu Dhabi, set to open on April 15 2012.
\nLocated on the Corniche, the hotel is owned by International Capital Trading (ICT) and will be part of Nation Towers, a two-tower mixed-use development.
\nSt Regis Abu Dhabi occupies floors 33-49 within one of the towers and among its 283 rooms features the Abu Dhabi Suite, billed as the world’s highest suspended presidential suite complete with private entrance, dedicated spa and movie theatre. The extravagant 1085m² suite is suspended between two towers, 200 metres above the ground, and features an art deco Master Suite with en-suite bathroom, library, lounge, entertainment and dining area.
\nThe hotel will offer a wide range of luxury experiences with 10 distinctive culinary, lounge and bar venues, from Rhodes 44 – a restaurant from famed Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes to the St. Regis Bar – following in the tradition of the St. Regis brand’s legendary New York hotel.
\nThe St. Regis Abu Dhabi will also comprise 4800m² of meetings and events space and 3000m² of ultra-modern health club facilities, including a signature spa and outdoor swimming pool, as well as the first Hommage Grooming Atelier in Abu Dhabi.
\nGuests will also enjoy private access to the hotel’s Nation Riviera Beach Club, expected to rival the established Hiltonia Beach Club next door.