Millennium Hotels and Resorts are planning to launch a five-star deluxe brand that will compete with luxury groups such as the Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental. It will offer its own in-house spa, Ali Lakhraim, President, Middle East and Africa, Millenium Hotels and Resorts, revealed to Breaking Travel News during Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
The new brand, which will be rolled out by the beginning of 2008, will be located in key destinations around the world, including London, New York, LA, Singapore, Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi - with only one property opening per city, adding to the exclusivity of the brand. Six to ten properties will be announced during the initial launch.
“The hotel industry is hungry for new hotel brands and as one of the largest hotel owners globally - with 90 hotels, I feel that we can rise to the challenge of creating an exclusive new brand,” says Lakhraim.
According to Lakhraim, contracts have already been signed with developers under the new brand name, which could not be disclosed.
Millennium are also going in-house with their new spa offering which will feature in the new deluxe properties and will launch at the same time as the new brand.
“Spas are a big part of the hotel and leisure industry and given our size and heritage, we feel we can do it in house. Being from the Far East is also a big plus and is something we can draw experience from,” explains Lakhraim. “The new spa will be launched at the same time as our new brand.”
In other news, Millennium have formed a new alliance with Etihad Airways which will enable customers to receive air miles on both Etihad Airways and in Millennium hotels.
Commenting on the deal, which was signed during ATM, Lakhraim revealed: “We hope to integrate our business and services with more travel companies like this as we feel this will create a more streamlined experience for our customers.”
Having launched into the Middle East five years ago, Millennium have already built their portfolio to 20 hotels in the region. Other hotels that are planned in coming months include; the 250 room Dubai Towers and Apartments Hotel that is set to open in August; two properties in Kuwait and three hotels in Saudi Arabia.
“We are targeting a very aggressive figure in the next five years. We estimate that we will not see less then 80 hotels in the region in the next five years,” concludes Lakhraim on future growth plans.