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Security wing for World Cup hotel… and other International hotel news

11 May 2006

Security wing for World Cup hotel
The Adlon Kempinski hotel in Berlin has unveiled 15 new suites in time for this summer's football World Cup. The official Fifa hotel converted 39 hotel rooms into the security wing as part of a €12m (£8.2m) investment. The presidential suite alone cost €4m (£2.7m) and is apparently the safest hotel room in Germany. It has two other adjoining suites, another bedroom and a drivers' lounge for chauffeurs and bodyguards. It also contains a 30sq m bathroom with jacuzzi, Finnish sauna and massage/fitness area. Bullet-proof doors and windows, two private lifts and dedicated security video monitoring complete the package. It costs €20,000 (£13,663) a night.

Kingdom's Phuket hotel to be managed by Mövenpick
Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts has signed a management agreement with Kingdom Hotel Investments to run the five-star Crowne Plaza Karon Beach resort in Phuket. The 383-bedroom Thai hotel will be re-branded as the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket from 28 June. The resort, which was re-opened after significant refurbishment in August 2005, also includes the Tea Tree Spa, the Zone kids club and conference and banqueting facilities for up to 800. Andreas Mattmüller, senior vice-president Middle East and Asia for Movenpick, said, "Thailand is an important leisure destination for our traditional European travellers."

Marriott to open in Istanbul
Istanbul is the latest destination for Marriott Hotels and Resorts, the upscale brand from Marriott International. The 238-bedroom hotel will open in 2007 and will be called the Istanbul Marriott Asia. Located in Kozyatagi, the hotel is 15 minutes from Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side of Istanbul. "Istanbul is gaining in prominence as a financial and logistical hub," said Arne Sorenson, chief financial officer and president of Continental European lodging. This will be Marriott's fourth hotel in Turkey.

Grosvenor House, Dubai, wins in Middle East awards
Grosvenor House in Dubai, part of Le Meridien, has been named New Hotel of the Year at the Middle East Hotel Awards sponsored by interior designers DEPA. The hotel also won the Excellence in Interior Design award during the Arabian Travel Market. Recently named "one of the coolest hotels in the world" by Conde Nast Traveller magazine, the hotel has only been open since June 2005. Pam Wilby, general manager, said, "From the day of opening eleven months ago, we set out to create a lifestyle hub for discerning tourists and Dubai residents."

New general manager for Beau Rivage
The Beau Rivage hotel in Mauritius has appointed Regis Catoire as its new general manager. Catoire, 55, a 35-year industry veteran, has spent time at the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok; the Sheraton Hotel, Chengdu, China and the Plaza Royal Hotel, Beijing. Beau Rivage is owned by Naiade Resorts and will be refurbished to reflect the Indo, Chinese and European influences in the hotel. A further 12 luxury villas will be completed in 2007 and a butler service is being introduced this November.

Financial loss for Orient-Express
The Orient-Express group has announced a $7.6m (£4.1m) loss during its first quarter. The closure of both Reid's hotel, Madeira and La Residencia, Mallorca for major refurbishment has been blamed for a negative impact of $4m (£2.2m). A further $2m (£1.1m) loss has been attributed to the fact that this is the first quarter carrying the costs of the Hotel Caruso Belvedere in Ravello and the Grand Hotel Europe, St Petersburg. This quarter's loss compares with last year's $1.6m (£0.8m) loss.

By Alix Young

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