As Egypt prepares to welcome back visitors to its sunny shores in 2012, there are a number of new hotel developments and openings taking place around the destination. Breaking Travel News investigates.
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts pledge commitment to Egypt
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has underlined its commitment to Egypt’s tourism industry with the addition of Mövenpick Resort Hurghada, Mövenpick Resort Abu Soma and Mövenpick Resort Sharm El Sheikh in Naama Bay. Mövenpick currently has a portfolio of four properties on the country’s Red Sea coastline.
In a further confidence boost for this year’s ITB partner country Egypt, Mövenpick has also strengthened its presence on the Nile with four new cruisers and one sail boat, including the ‘Misr’, once the private yacht of Egypt’s former King Farouk.
Mövenpick’s senior vice president for Africa, Roger Kacou, revealed: “We have a long and successful history in Egypt since 1975 and today managing 18 hotels, resorts and Nile boats. This announcement signifies an important step in our dynamic expansion programme that demonstrates our commitment to and total confidence in Egypt’s tourism.”
Operating under Mövenpick management, the Mövenpick Resort Hurghada is located in Hurghada Bay, 8km from Hurghada International Airport and offers 252 spacious rooms and suites, all with a direct view over the Red Sea. The resort has benefited from a programme of renovations throughout 2010 which will continue during 2012 in stages to insure a smooth operation.
Mövenpick Resort Hurghada facilities include a private beach, marina and freshwater pool and is ideal for waterskiing, snorkelling and diving, horseback riding, visiting Giftun Island and desert safaris.
In addition to this news, Mövenpick is returning to Sharm El Sheikh on April 8th, 2012 to operate Mövenpick Resort Sharm El Sheikh - Naama Bay. With its prime location on Naama Bay the resort features 298 rooms and four villas with private pool, all with panoramic views over the property’s five private beaches.
The resort’s captivating architecture and design faithfully reflects its Arabian heritage. Soft cream colours contrast with the rich dark wood of furniture and latticework, while domes and arches add to the sense of serenity. The Moorish style and elegance blend seamlessly with every modern facility and service.
IHG takes over Port Ghalib Resort, in Marsa Alam, Egypt
Spanning four hotels, one expansive convention centre and incorporating over 1,200 rooms, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has revealed it has been awarded the exclusive management contract for Port Ghalib Resort, in Marsa Alam, Egypt.
This impressive resort site will now feature an InterContinental Hotel, two Crowne Plaza hotels and a state-of-the-art International Convention Centre. IHG will also manage the Marina Lodge Hotel which will remain individually branded. IHG is has commenced operation of the four primary properties.
John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, IHG, Middle East & Africa, commented: “This is a very significant moment for IHG and we are delighted to have been presented with this fantastic opportunity by Sovereign Hospitality Holdings. IHG has partnered several projects with Sovereign Hospitality Holdings and have formed a strong and lasting relationship. We look forward to continuing this partnership as we take the reigns of Port Ghalib Resort.
Starwood rolls out Egypt friendly social media campaign
On the back of its innovative social media campaign highlighting Egypt as a safe tourist destination, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has revealed it is planning to open three new properties in the destination over the next three years.
These include the Le Meridien Oran Hotel & convention set to open in September 2013, The St Regis Cairo set to open on September 1 2014 and W Cairo planned for January 1 2016.
Starwood’s social media campaign that the hotel group rolled out last year sought to promote Egypt as a safe tourist destination, highlighting key destinations within the region such as Cairo, Red Sea, Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab.
“Starwood has a strong presence and a long history of operations in Egypt, managing ten properties under the Sheraton and Le Méridien brands. These campaign initiatives aim to highlight Egypt as a safe and attractive tourist destination for international travellers and Starwood’s commitment to actively promote tourism to the region.” says Hassan Ahdab, Starwood’s Vice President and Regional Director of Operations for Africa and the Indian Ocean.
“In 2009 Egypt welcomed close to 14 million travellers from all over the world underlining our confidence in the market and our commitment to restoring the confidence levels of both business and leisure travellers.”
A dedicated website www.egypt-hospitality.com and a social media campaign has been launched soon, both of which will be rich in video and interactive content, to highlight the history of hospitality and service of all 10 Starwood Hotels in the country. The campaign also features the culture, diversity and stunning beauty which encompasses Egypt’s history and which are still present today.
Hilton plans to grow Egypt pipeline to 20
Hilton Hotels & Resorts opened two hotels in Egypt in 2012, including the 88-room and 76 –suite the Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences after receiving a U.S. $20 million upgrade, and the 360-room Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort.
Situated on picturesque Zamalek Island, Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences is located between downtown Cairo and Giza, approximately 20 km from Cairo International Airport. It features five restaurants including an all-day dining restaurant, specialty restaurant, coffee shop, pastry shop and pool café. Guests can also make use of three meeting rooms, a business centre and a health club and spa.
Meanwhile the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort forms part of an integrated mixed-use development, which includes an entertainment village, a congress centre and a residential town. Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort is specifically designed to reflect the ancient history and heritage of the Nubian culture, which dominated this area of Egypt for centuries.
Hilton Worldwide first entered Egypt in 1959 and since then has grown to 18 hotels, a total of 6,500 rooms, across Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria, Hurghada and the Sinai Peninsula. Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences joins Ramses Hilton, Hilton Cairo World Trade Centre Residence and Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort as the fourth Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Cairo.
Rudi Jagersbacher, area president, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide commented: “Within another few years we anticipate growing to twenty properties across the country, and this underpins our confidence in the long-term resilience of the Egyptian tourism market.”
Grand Rotana Resort & Spa rolls out travel trade offer
The Grand Rotana Resort & Spa, Sharm El Sheikh, is offering agents a luxurious stay with room rates starting from US$30 per night, including breakfast, valid through to the end of April 2012.
The 526 room Grand Rotana Resort & Spa offers breathtaking views of the Red Sea. The luxury property is home to nine specialty restaurants and bars, as well a stunning lagoon pool, diving centre and 450m private beach. The five-star resort caters to active travellers with a host of experiences, including snorkelling, windsurfing, horse and camel riding and desert safaris, while the first class Zen the spa at Rotana offers pampering treatments for guests looking to relax.
The exclusive travel trade rate is based on a bed and breakfast basis, inclusive of all local taxes and service charges. Bookings are subject to availability and stays are valid until the 30th April 2012, excluding the Easter period. Valid airline or agency ID is required to take advantage of this great rate.
Mövenpick Nile Cruisers boosts fleet
Mövenpick Nile Cruisers has boosting their fleet in October 2012 with the historical steamship ‘Misr’ and four more boats, the M/S Sun Ray, Darakum, Hamees and Feddya. The hotel management company will then operate a total of seven ships on the Nile and one on Lake Nasser.
Originally built by the British Royal Navy in 1918 and later converted into a luxury Nile steamer for King Farouk, ‘Misr’ is the only steamship on the Nile and is a true time capsule that rekindles the nostalgia of a golden age, but with true luxury accommodation, cuisine and service.
‘Misr’ has 16 cabins and eight suites that recreate the days of Louis XV and XVI, memories of the British and Ottoman Empires and the stunningly cool chic of art deco. The Sun Ray, Darakum and Hamees are among the largest and best-appointed craft on the Nile. Sun Ray and Hamees have a comfortable and contemporary design while Darakum features a Moroccan inspired decor. All have five decks and on four of the decks offer a wide range of spacious cabins and suites with panoramic views of the Nile and feature air conditioning, satellite LCD TV, mini bar, safe and private bathroom with tub.
Currently under construction, Feddya is an exclusive and unique sail boat featuring four spacious suites, two with balconies, a dining room and lounge.
This vigorous expansion programme will gather pace later this year with the opening of Mövenpick Resort Abu Soma, a 424-room haven of comfort hugging the unspoilt golden beaches of the Red Sea, just 45 kilometres south of Hurghada.
Sonesta Kiroseiz Beach Resort Dahab set to open
The Sonesta Kiroseiz Beach Resort Dahab, in Egypt is set to open in 2012. The 450-room resort, now under development, will open under a new management agreement between Sonesta International Hotels and Kiroseiz Hotels Establishment.
The Resort, which will be located on the Sinai Peninsula on the Red Sea, 50 miles north of Sharm El Sheikh, will have a range of facilities including: 3 restaurants; several cocktail lounges; lobby café; shopping arcade; several swimming pools and a children’s pool; floating sea pool; health club/spa; tennis; dive and windsurfing center and water park. The resort will also offer convention space for groups of up to 350 guests.
Sonesta has been operating deluxe hotels in the Middle East since 1982, primarily in Egypt, and continues to explore additional management opportunities in the region. The Sonesta Kiroseiz Beach Resort will be the 7th Sonesta hotel in Egypt and will bring the total (including the ships on the Nile) to 13 managed properties in the country.
As Egypt moves into the spotlight with a raft of new travel and tourism initiatives in 2012, leading city web development company World.Mobi have rolled out their latest mobile city guide for colourful Cairo. Travellers can tap into what’s hot and what’s not during their stay in Egypt’s capital city via Cairo.Mobi, a simple, state of the art city travel guide which is available via desktop or mobile browsers.