In preparation for a Grand Opening in the summer of 2007, The Grand Hotel Efes, Izmir, Turkey will undergo an estimated US$60 million dollar refurbishment, and the property will reopen as an international five-star-hotel under its new name, Swiss™tel Grand Efes, Izmir. The Grand Hotel Efes first opened its doors in 1964, quickly becoming an important social gathering place and a city landmark. A centre for trade and tourism throughout ancient times, Izmir is now the third biggest city in Turkey, just a short 50 minute flight from Istanbul. Izmir, with its busy export harbour and the beaches and thermal waters of Çe?me peninsula nearby, is a prime attraction for both business and leisure travellers.
The 406-room hotel is prominently located in the heart of the city’s commercial hub in a lush garden. Overlooking the Kordon (the city’s main promenade) on the Aegean Sea, the hotel is within walking distance to the Archaeological Museum, and Commercial Centre and the Izmir Cultural Park. Izmir’s Adnan Menderes airport (international and domestic) is situated less than 10 miles (15 km) from the hotel.
Mr Meinhard Huck, Managing Director of Swiss™tel Hotels & Resorts, commented on the opening: “After successfully operating Swiss™tel properties in Istanbul, Göcek and Ankara, we are delighted to be adding the Swiss™tel Grand Efes, Izmir to our collection of Turkish properties. Thanks to the success of our three existing properties, the Swiss™tel brand is gaining a strong reputation in Turkey and abroad for the delivery of exceptional standards of hospitality and service. We are honoured that the owner, Izmir Büyük Efes Otelcilik Ve Turizm A.S., has entrusted us to manage this important landmark property.”
In 2002 the hotel went under contract to be managed by Swiss™tel Hotels & Resorts. The hotel’s well-appointed guest rooms and suites will offer spectacular views over Izmir and the sea. All 406 guest rooms will feature contemporary and elegant design and will offer state-of-the-art technology, including WLAN, flat-panel televisions and espresso machines. In addition, the hotel will have 92 Swiss Business Executive Rooms, which provide guests with exclusive privileges such as access to an Executive Lounge. The hotel also will feature a total of 50 suites, offering the ultimate in style and comfort, spacious living areas and a full line of luxury amenities and services.
Equinox Restaurant, located at the roof top of the hotel, will offer patrons a choice of either Western or Asian-style dishes in combination with an unparalleled view over the bay of Izmir. Adjunct to Equinox Restaurant is the City Space Bar, a sophisticated club-lounge bar featuring glorious sea views. Equinox’s culinary delights may also be experienced within its three exclusively located private dining rooms.
In addition, the hotel will feature a Café Swiss restaurant, which offers all-day traditional Swiss cuisine and European specialties from the buffet. The Cybele restaurant will provide Turkish and Mediterranean specialties as well as a Sushi Corner. It offers a diverse culinary experience within an integrated bar and a garden terrace, accompanied by live entertainment.
Swiss™tel Grand Efes, Izmir will provide an ideal venue for international and local meetings, incentive gatherings, conferences and events with the Grand Efes Convention Center, located on the hotel premises. The Grand Efes Convention Center will offer the largest conference and meeting facilities in the region, featuring an floor area of 96,875 square feet (9000 sqm), 13 meeting and boardrooms (for up to 250 people), 1 grand ballroom (for up to 1,250 people), 2 multi-purpose halls (for up to 1,000 people) and a 17,222 square foot (1,600 sqm) large exhibition area. The meeting rooms and conference area will be equipped with the latest technology and audiovisual systems.
Event space at the hotel will also include a large Palm Garden for outdoor events and weddings for up to 2,000 guests. In addition, there will be a luxurious shopping arcade as well as an underground parking garage accommodating 300 cars. The Grand Efes Convention Center will open late Summer, 2007.
For recreation and relaxation, the Swiss™tel Grand Efes, Izmir offers a spacious 37,700 square feet (3,500 sqm) Amrita Spa & Wellness area. Amrita’s facilities include an indoor pool, outdoor pool, gym, treatment rooms, ice room, steam baths and traditional Turkish baths as well as two outdoor tennis courts. At Amrita Spa & Wellness’s restaurant, Energia, visitors can enjoy a healthy meal or snack made from the freshest ingredients.
Mr André Mühlemann, a Swiss national, has been appointed General Manager of Swiss™tel Grand Efes, Izmir. Mr Mühlemann joined Swiss™tel Hotels & Resorts in 2001, and has served as General Manager of different Swiss™tel properties around the world. In his last position with Swiss™tel he was the General Manager of Swiss™tel Merchant Court in Singapore. Mr Mühlemann graduated from the Belvoirpark Hotel School of Management in Zurich Switzerland, and has completed various professional programs including at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in NY, USA. In addition, he holds a PhD in Business Administration from Pacific Western University, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Joining the pre-opening team of Swiss™tel Grand Efes, Izmir are Mr Stephane Franco, Director of Operations, and Mrs Nur Bilgin, Director of Sales.
Mr Mühlemann added: “As the city of Izmir boasts the second largest harbor in Turkey and has enjoyed significant increase in trade activity in recent years, we are very confident in the success of the hotel within what is a demanding business and leisure environment. I am very proud to operate this historical landmark of Izmir, and I am looking forward to restoring the hotel to its former glory and success.”