By Louise Oakley
Hotel group's CEO reveals plans to introduce its exclusive Reserve brand to Muscat
Ritz-Carlton president and CEO Herve Humler has revealed plans to take the company’s luxury resort brand Reserve to Muscat, Oman.
“I have a project for the Reserve in Muscat, Oman and the Reserve is very special, an out of place, out of reach destination, targeting that very thin market,” Humler told Hotelier Middle East during a recent trip to Doha.
“Every time you charge £1,000 or more for room rate, here you are dealing with one percent of the market and the more exclusive location you find, the more that market love it and they want to be away from everything,” he said.
The Muscat Reserve hotel will be inspired by traditional Arabic design and culture.
“In Oman we are doing a reproduction of an Arabian fort,” said Humler. “They want to make sure it is authentic, that is where we are bringing the old Arabian amenities, which can be the falconry,” he added.
There are further Reserve projects underway south of Tangier in Morocco, in Puerto Rico, St Lucia and in Mexico, Humler told Hotelier.
One hotel is currently operating under the Reserve brand; Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand.
Honestly I do not think this is a good idea. Only last week Oman was noted as having the most expensive hotel rates in the world. What we need are more 3 and 4 star hotels, not 5 starts and certainly not ultra luxury hotels such as "Reserve" !!.
What Oman 5 stars hotels need is to start delivering true 5 star service levels. That applies to some degree to the region, but Omanis lacking in that.
People are generally nice and they really try had to do their job, so I think it is a matter of brining more seasoned management.
This move hopefully will help to get there.
Oman has very few 5* hotels and the service offered at hotels like Intercon, Shangrila, Crown Plaza or Hyatt are of international standard. Yes, there are a few others, who do not fall in this catagory and their service is worth taking about.
Al Bustan Palace Hotel management was recently taken over by Ritz-Carlton. Earlier the hotel, from its inception, was managed by Intercontinental. Sorry to say that since the change, service at Al Bustan has gone down.
I don't think that Ritz-Carlton's move to open a super luxury resort such as "Reserve" will help in the improvement of the service.
Rather, the international chains need to look at the room rates, which are very high compared to international levels. Oman needs more affordable 5* hotels, or even 4* hotels.