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Rotana

Rendering of hotels Centro WestSide and WestSide Arjaan

Rotana brand arrives in European side of Istanbul with two new hotels

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The connecting stylish hotels located on Basin Express road feature 305 luxurious rooms, suites and apartments to lift the company’s total inventory in Turkey to 578 keys…

Two hotels by Rotana, Centro WestSide and WestSide Arjaan, have opened and mark the firm’s arrival in the European side of Turkey.

Situated on the popular Basin Express road in the Güneşli neighbourhood of Istanbul, the contemporary properties are in close proximity to key landmarks in the city, including Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

The building which shelters the two hotels has been designed by  the award-winning architecture firm Suyabatmaz Demirehe. Its iconic triangular concept won the Future Project Award in 2013 at the famous MIPIM Real Estate Exhibition in Cannes, France.

“We are delighted to open these two new properties, which join our two existing hotels in Istanbul to double Rotana’s Turkish presence and increase our global room count to 16,466,” said Chairman of Rotana Nasser Al Nowais. “Our smart and stylish Centro brand provides an affordable lifestyle hotel concept, whereas WestSide Arjaan by Rotana offers guests a home away from home with its elegant and comfortable hotel serviced apartments.”

Offering affordable luxury and effortless comfort, Centro WestSide features 152 rooms and suites. WestSide Arjaan by Rotana offers 153 fully-furnished one and two-bedroom serviced hotel apartments for cosy living.

Opening a new world of dining, recreation and entertainment in Istanbul, the two connecting hotels boast three outstanding dining outlets, with each offering attractive outdoor seating areas that make the most of the city’s pleasant Mediterranean climate.

Guests staying at the hotels can benefit from the access to Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club which includes a modern gym and large indoor swimming pool with stunning city views. A Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and three treatment rooms are also available at Centro WestSide and WestSide Arjaan by Rotana for guests to relax and unwind.

The hotels feature a business corner, which include five meeting rooms and a hall, all equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment to suit a wide range of occasions.

With its expanding tourism offering, Turkey has become a destination of choice for travellers from around the world. In the first two months of 2018 alone, the country welcomed three million foreign visitors and is projected to receive a record of 40 million tourists and over $30 billion in tourism revenue this year.

 

Rotana at ATM 2017

ATM 2017: Rotana showcasing its upcoming properties

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Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with hotels across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, will showcase its key upcoming properties at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, the region’s premier travel and tourism event which takes place in Dubai from 24 – 27 April.

Rotana is preparing to open 17 new properties before the end of 2018, adding more than 4,500 keys to the company’s existing room count.

Key Rotana properties that will be on display at the high-profile exhibition includes Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas – a luxurious five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi set to open in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Saadiyat Beach. Featuring 354 upscale rooms and suites in addition to 13 private beach villas, the luxury resort will be the 15th Rotana property to open in the capital of the UAE.

Rotana - ATM 2017Visitors to the Rotana stand at ATM 2017 will also receive a glimpse into the traditional charm of The Cove Rotana Resort, a spectacular property located on an idyllic water inlet on the Ras Al Khaimah beachfront. Currently undergoing large-scale refurbishment, the Extension is due to open its doors in Q2 2017.

Rotana recently made its long-awaited debut in Africa with the opening of the five-star Kin Plaza Arjaan by Rotana in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa is a key focus market for Rotana and the company currently has a number of projects under various stages of development across the continent including Marrakesh, Luanda, Nouakchott, Dar es Salaam and Lagos.

Rotana is also looking to strengthen its presence in Turkey by adding two more hotels in Istanbul. With the scheduled opening of the inter-connected properties under “Centro by Rotana” and “Arjaan hotel apartments by Rotana” brands in Q4 2017, the company will add a combined 305 rooms to its inventory while taking its total number of operating properties in Turkey to four hotels.

Rotana - ATM 2017Even as it pushes into new markets and keeps extending its geographical reach, Rotana continues with its aggressive expansion plans in the GCC, with a total of four new hotels set to open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this year alone – adding 888 keys to the company’s existing supply of 969 rooms in the Kingdom – and two hotels to open in Qatar by 2019.

In the coming two years, Rotana will open six properties in its home market of UAE, where the hospitality industry is projected to sustain its steady upward trajectory despite global challenges, with both Dubai and Abu Dhabi set to witness an increase in visitor numbers. Leisure travellers are expected to account for a 60% share of total visitor arrivals in Dubai in 2017, with business travellers making up the remaining 40%, while the comparative ratio for Abu Dhabi is projected at 60% business travellers vs. 40% leisure travellers. Rotana has been aggressively reaching out to new markets such as Poland and the Czech Republic to support the leisure segment in the UAE.

In total, Rotana will open 12 new hotels in 2017, and five more in 2018. Property opening in Q2 2017 includes Erbil Arjaan by Rotana, Kurdistan, Iraq (168 keys). Those launching in Q3 2017 include: Centro Waha, Riyadh, KSA (290 keys); Sundus Rotana, Muscat, Oman (215 keys); Pearl Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE (315 keys); Centro Salama, Jeddah, KSA (189 keys), and Al Bandar Rotana and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, Dubai, UAE (280 keys). In Q4 2017, Rotana will be launching: Centro Istanbul and Arjaan Istanbul by Rotana, Istanbul, Turkey (305 keys); Centro Olaya, Riyadh, KSA (156 keys); Centro Corniche, Al Khobar, KSA (253 keys); Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Abu Dhabi, UAE (340 keys). This will be followed by five openings in 2018: Sulaymaniyah Rotana, Kurdistan, Iraq (240 keys); Rayhaan Imam Reza by Rotana, Mashhad, Iran (272 keys); Al Jaddaf Rotana in Dubai, UAE (338 keys), Sundus Arjaan by Rotana, Muscat, Oman (102 keys), and Beach Arjaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE (326 keys).

The Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana property, in Marrakech will have 140 keys

Rotana to debut Arjaan property in Morocco in 2018

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The Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana property, in Marrakech will have 140 keys and be located at M Avenue, the new shopping, entertainment and residential destination in Marrakech.

Catering to both business and leisure travellers, the property will feature modern facilities including three dining outlets, meeting rooms, conference and banquet halls, wireless internet access, a swimming pool, and a fitness studio.

Rotana president and CEO Omer Kaddouri said: “We are very proud to have been selected to manage this property which will have great appeal, particularly among tourists and long stay guests. Our new Arjaan in Marrakech will offer everything guests need to be comfortable and productive, and will exude sophisticated elegance across all facets of the property.”

The M Avenue is a dedicated lifestyle district with a mix of premium hotels, residences, offices, retail outlets, restaurants, cafés, art galleries and exhibition venues, along a 500-metre-long promenade entitled ‘Garden Avenue’.

“The M Avenue intends to play a central role in the lives of the region’s residents and tourists, providing a new way to experience Marrakech by weaving links between a rich heritage and modern Morocco,” said Nabil Slitine, general manager of Downtown Hotel Corporation, developer of M Avenue.

In 2014, Marrakech hosted 1.89 million tourists with six million overnight stays. The increase in international visitor arrivals was driven by a number of factors including re-introduction of several airline routes that had earlier been suspended during the economic downturn, as well as the city’s emergence as a MICE and events tourism destination.

Rotana Bahrain

Rotana expands its Bahrain portfolio with the opening of Downtown Rotana, Manama

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Downtown Rotana, Manama, BahrainDowntown Rotana, Manama has officially opened its doors and is welcoming guests to its slick-city property in the heart of the Bahraini capital. Set against the iconic backdrop of the Manama ‘souq’ and the city’s central business and financial district skyline, the new 26-storey property is the third new property opening in Bahrain for Rotana, the leading hotel management company in the MENA, South Asia and Eastern European regions.

Boasting striking design elements and panoramic city views, the hotel is a perfect blend of contemporary minimalism and understated elegance; designed to complement the quality and sophistication of Bahrain’s hospitality scene.

The new hotel sits in downtown Manama, and is walking distance from the historical Bab Al Bahrain and traditional local market; key corporate hubs such as the Bahrain Financial Harbour and the World Trade Centre; and a short drive from the country’s largest retail and entertainment outlets.

With flourishing development being made in its growth strategy, Rotana is set to continue its ambitious expansion plans across the globe. Mr. Omer Kaddouri, President and CEO of Rotana spoke regarding future prospects: “This year we will roll out 10 new properties across different markets including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, DR Congo, Jordan and Iraq. With the opening of Downtown Rotana, our company’s inventory in the Kingdom [of Bahrain] has increased to more than 680 rooms.”

The resort offers 249 rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, high-speed internet connection, and 48inch flat screen TVs, in addition to Club Rotana Executive Rooms and Lounge. Downtown Rotana is also home to seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a spacious and elegantly-designed ballroom. The new hotel also offers four new dining concepts, including the award-winning ‘Teatro Downtown’ and ‘Flavours on 2’; a relaxed setting serving international flavours.

Leisure facilities include a rooftop swimming pool, a Bodylines Fitness and Wellness Club with professional instructors and a fully-equipped gym, as well as a sauna, steam-room, Jacuzzi and treatment rooms.

Centro Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi UAE

Centro Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi UAE (Patrick Goff)

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When I stayed at the Shangri-La in Dubai I had no doubts about what I would be looking at. The review was specifically so that I could have a look at an example of a Shangri-La hotel in advance of the Shard opening in London. The Rotana Centro Al Manhal Abu Dhabi, was, besides being quite a mouthful as a name, quite an unknown quantity, as well as an unknown quality. It fitted within my current concern about the poor standards of many hotels in the UK in comparison with what is being developed abroad. Here is a new group setting its standards for me to look at, and to see that this, a three star operation, is at a level that fully justifies my observations in my article about the challenges faced by UK hotel standards.

Many designers will say, as will many hoteliers, “so what, this is no threat to UK hotels”. This is not a belief I share. In the 1960’s we queued in UK hotels to share a bathroom, and seemingly saw nothing wrong with it. Right into the 1990’s my design practice made its bread and butter creating en-suite bathrooms in British hotels that had not previously had them. That’s right, that work continued into the mid 1990’s, as the UK hotel market sought to recover from the impact of British holidays makers preferring to go abroad rather than suffer poor hotel standards at home.

Centro Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi UAE

Now the accountants who control so much of UK hotel development and refurbishment are pushing hotels room sizes smaller, ignoring the standards that Brits experience abroad, and the experience foreign tourists have in their home markets. Once more UK hotels are falling slowly and inexorably behind their foreign counterparts, relying on the continued growth of UK tourism to fill rooms – London average occupancy rated in excess of 92% and regional rates over 70% almost guarantee the returns for investors, with little future vision required.

How long will the tourist market be sustained if UK is seen to be old fashioned and behind the times in the standard of its hotel accommodation? With 10% of the economy now relying on tourism, we need to look hard at what we are doing here, or see a hotel and tourism decline as marked as the decline of the seaside resorts of the 1960’s and 1970’s, with similar economic impact.

Centro Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi UAE

When a new 5 star can be created in London with rooms 27m2 whilst overseas counterparts go to 44m2, and the London hotels charges some of the highest global rates too, should we then expect the guests will surely eventually vote with their feet? If so then we all lose. There is nothing wrong with small rooms per se, as Citizen M and others have shown, but it depends on client profiling and for 4 and 5 star size does matter. However here it is the size of three star rooms that throws down the challenge, moulding expectations for travellers may be returning to the UK.

This three star shows how definitions are changing. For a start it has valet parking, which is apparently a legal requirement in Abu Dhabi hotels. Given that access to the car park is under the hotel via a car lift this provides an additional level of security for those arriving by car.
Rotana is a fasts growing operator with over 70 properties in 11 countries, although most properties are through the UAE. As Marriott are finding with their African portfolio of 108 Protea, hotels standard are good and the quality and size of provision, particularly at 3 star level challenges the conception of 3 star service and operation, paralleling the developments in the UK. Here in Abu Dhabi though the change is even more marked, with a large lobby, and high quality services.

Centro Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi UAE

Other facilities not usually found in European 3 star hotels include 24 food service through the hotel’s bistro, room service, a bar, a choice of dining options including a high quality restaurant operation, a roof top swimming pool, manned and with waiter service, meeting rooms and a small gym. Throughout this modern building finishes are of high quality, and the spaces, including the 229 32m2 bedrooms, are well designed, contemporary and beautifully detailed. Bedrooms include the usual mix of twins and doubles with zip-link beds used throughout to maximise flexibility. Some rooms interconnect, and there is a balance between shower only and bath rooms, giving choice to the incoming guest.

A good sized work desk is enhanced by the addition of some free WiFi, which is hi speed too. This is a focussed business hotel but it was evident that it was popular with tourists wanting to be based in central Abu Dhabi. Adjacent is the Al Wadha mall and behind is the national football stadium, so this friendly hotels also has an attraction for other than the business person.

Centro Al Manhal, Abu Dhabi UAE

A new build, as are most of Rotana’s hotels, the hotel is functionally well designed, elegant and stylish. Staff are very well trained, friendly and efficient. The groups is locally owned and financed and has had rapid expansion. Their intent is to continue to expand as a management group and they are launching a campaign to increase awareness amongst British travellers, as currently only 19% of their guests are from the UK.

From 2 properties in 1993 to over 85 by 2012 in 26 countries the group continues to expand the properties under management through its four brands. The stated intention is to achieve growth through Eastern Europe, the Mid-East and Africa. Offering design and concept planning the group sets a standard that unfortunately is well above many of their equivalents in the UK, where complacency and cost are deciding factors frequently overruling design and guest comfort as considerations.

All words and pictures © Patrick Goff. From a stay in March 2014