Le Meridien, Westin start operations in Bahrain
Manama, July 1, 2014
Le Meridien and Westin have started operations at two hotel towers at Bahrain City Centre.
The hotels, which are leading brands of US-based hotel chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, have replaced Germany-based hotel chain Kempinski Hotels, which has operated the Kempinski Grand and Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre for the last two years, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It comes after Majid Al Futtaim, the property owner and developer, in April this year ended its management agreement with Kempinski because it wanted to adopt a distinct two-brand hotel strategy for the location designed to maximise profit.
When fully operational, the Westin Bahrain City Centre will feature 200 guest rooms, including six executive suites and a presidential suite.
It will also offer five dining venues and more than 6,500 sq ft of event space, in addition to The Heavenly Spa by Westin, the WestinWorkout and a swimming pool.
Le Meridien Bahrain City Centre will have 260 guest rooms, including 18 executive suites and a presidential suite.
It will feature three dining venues including the Latitude coffee bar and lounge and an all-day dining restaurant, as well as more than 5,000 sq ft of event and meeting space, including a business centre, ballroom and five meeting rooms.
It will also feature the Le Meridien Hub.
Kempinski managed the hotel up until midnight last night when it formally handed over the property to the mall operator.
A Kempinski employee thanked the media for support during its two-year stay at Bahrain City Centre.
"I hope that you will continue to do the same when Kempinski returns to Bahrain in future," said an email message yesterday (June 30).
Officials from Majid Al Futtaim and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide were not available for comment when contacted by the GDN.
In Dubai, which is the only other location besides Bahrain where the Majid Al Futtaim Group has hotels connected to or close to its shopping malls and within its master-planned communities, the multi-brand strategy is already in motion.
There, Majid Al Futtaim has hotel management agreements with Starwood and Accor Group.
Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 16 shopping malls with more than one million sq m of gross leasable area, 56 hypermarkets and 53 supermarkets, 11 hotels, nine movie theatre locations with 92 screens, 16 Magic Planet sites and 45 fashion stores. Starwood's other brands are St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element. - TradeArabia News Service