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InterContinental appoints Abu Dhabi GM… and other international hotel news

03 April 2006

InterConti appoints Abu Dhabi GM
InterContinental Hotels Group has announced the appointment of Heiner Werdeling as the new general manager of the Intercontinental in Abu Dhabi. Werdeling moves from the InterContinental The Grand in Mumbai, India. He has had a career spanning over 25 years in the industry in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Dubai.

Hotel industry in South Africa
The South African hotel industry's growth has overtaken many other industries, but a number of ventures remain unsuccessful due to high interest rates and inflation in the country. A new review by financial advisors Deloittes suggests this is not going to get any better in a market with historically low room rates. Land and construction costs are currently increasing faster than increases in actual achieved room rates. In order to meet the Government's growth targets and continue the growth in employment within the sector, new properties need to be developed. But the survey warned that for these to be feasible, room rates need to rise enough to recoup the recent increases in land and building costs.

Ten Ibis planned for Thailand
The economy hotel sector revolution in Asia is gaining pace with news that Accor it is to develop 10 new Ibis hotels with Thailand's Erawan Group. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui, Chaing Mai and Krabi. The move is intended to tap into a forecasted surge in business travel to Thailand, particularly from China and India. Six hotels will be opened by 2008, with the remaining four due to be operational by 2010.

Mandarin Oriental to open in Barcelona
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced it is to manage a new luxury hotel currently under development in Barcelona. The 144-bedroom property located on Paseo de Gracia will have some of the largest rooms in the city and is due to open in late 2007.
It will also have a variety of restaurants and bars as well as a comprehensive spa and rooftop pool. The hotel is being developed by Reig Capital group, a private Andorran investment company.

Jumeirah launches first men-only Spa
Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai has opened its first male-only spa H²O. The facility includes four multi-purpose treatment rooms, an active relaxation area and a floatation pool as well as an Oxygen lounge and bar for the ultimate in jet-lag cures. A variety of treatments are available from the volcanic hot stone massage, executive jet-lag reviver and de-stress hand and foot treatments to provide maximum relaxation and revitalisation.

Hilton adds to Seychelles
Hilton International has signed an agreement with Crowne Company to manage its Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa under the Hilton badge. The five-star, 40-villa resort property on Beauvallon Bay on the island of Mahe also has a luxurious spa overlooking the Indian ocean. Wolfgang Neumann president of Hilton International Europe and Africa said: "In addition to the Hilton Mauritius Resort and Spa and the Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa this will give us a unique selection of stunning resorts in the Indian Ocean."

Radisson SAS to take over InterContinental in Dubai
Radisson SAS hotels and resorts is to takeover the management of the InterContinental Hotel Dubai from 1 October 2006. The property includes 287 guestrooms, 39 suites, 16 food and beverage outlets and extensive meeting and exhibition facilities. Radisson's parent company Rezidor SAS has plans for two more properties in Dubai to be ready by 2008. Rezidor SAS was also recently named as Best International Hotel Company at the Russian Travel Industry Awards at the Mitt 2006 fair in Moscow.

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