By Anna Gouldman
Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts are set to open their 3rd property in Dubai. The new Grosvenor House, due to open next month, will have 217 guestrooms and 205 apartments over-looking the newly developed Dubai Marina. BTN caught up with Pam Wilby, General Manager, Gorosvenor House at ATM to find out what will make this property unique and why they chose to locate it in such close proximity to the popular Royal Meridien Hotel.
Pam revealed: “It is the first of it’s kind coming along that beach strip along the new marina and all eyes are on us to make sure that we get it right and because we are associated with the Le Royal Meridien. It is nice that it is like a sister hotel. We have been able to take at least 200 staff over from the Royal Meridien straight over to The Grosvenor House, which when you are opening a hotel it is nice to have a group of people who know what they are doing to influence the new staff that are trained to the standard that we want them”.
In 2005, Le Royal Meridien has averaged 90% occupancy levels. According to Pam, last year was also good, but this year is even better. She commented: “It’s amazing that even with our constructions and developments on the marina, people say that it will deter people from coming, but we have not found that to be the case at all. The demand is there and it is a huge demand”. Commenting on occupancy levels, she revealed “By the time we finish the year we will probably finish at about 87% - even the summer is looking good. June is the quietest month, if you can call it quiet - we still do 75% occupancy”. She Added “We say to ourselves in Dubai there is never a quiet month”.
I asked Pam how they planned to ensure that The Grosvenor House would compliment the Royal Meridien which is situated minutes away from the new property. She commented: “When we were looking at what the standards would be and how we should position the Grosvenor House, we didn’t want it to be a competitor to its sister hotel. Even when we were looking at restaurants and bars we wanted to make sure that it complimented what we had at the Royal Meridien over at the Grosvenor House. We have made sure that we don’t have anything that will cause a fight with each. Because it is only 217 bedroom hotel the service is going to be very personalised and to have 24 hour butler service in the apartments is a first here, especially in Dubai”.
Commenting on ATM, Pam said: “It is important to us to Dubai because it’s one of the biggest shows in the Middle East and it’s a great time for us to show off locally and a great opportunity for us to show off our true Arabian hospitality, which we are renowned for all over the world”.