Arriving at ATM with exciting news and developments were Cristal Hotels and Resorts, who have made a number of announcements regarding hotel openings and signings.
The hotel group recently declared that they expect to open three new hotels by the summer of 2012 across the Middle East, and one on Comoros Island in the Indian Ocean, in addition to their current two properties in Abu Dhabi. The company also recently announced that they have opened branch offices in Qatar and Lebanon earlier this year.
Speaking live at ATM to TTG is CEO, Cristal Hotels and Resorts, Peter Blackburn, who invited attendees of the exhibition to visit their stand to explore these announcements further.
“We are very proud and excited about these new developments – these are exciting times for us and we’re on track to opening 25 properties in the next five years. By the end of 2012, we should have nine open and ready.”
Blackburn disclosed to TTG more details about each new property. Starting with the property in Lebanon, Cristal Grand Hotel Kadri in Zahle, Blackburn said: “The hotel itself is actually the oldest hotel in Lebanon, and we are proud to have acquired it.”
The property, expected to re-open at the end of 2012, is located in Zahle, just 45 minutes away from Beirut and is set in the centre of the city on the borders of the wine valleys. The hotel itself dates back from 1914 and holds great historical significance. It has 83 keys with modern amenities, as well as numerous dining and conference facilities aimed at the business traveller.
Another property announcement is Cristal Canyon Hotel – Erbil, Iraq, which is located 10 minutes away from Erbil International Airport.
Speaking about the announcement of the property, Blackburn said: “We just signed the property in Erbil, which is a four-star business hotel with 93 rooms. We’re expecting to open the property in mid-August 2012.”
Cristal Canyon Hotel, Erbil will also include three meeting rooms, an executive lounge and business centre, as well as other facilities including a restaurant, bar, and gym with indoor running track.
Blackburn also described for TTG the signing of Cristal Itsandra Beach Hotel – Comoros Island, which he highlighted was important to the group. The hotel will offer 36 rooms and chalets, as well a number of amenities, including dining facilities, and bars. Business facilities will include conference rooms and a business centre.
Speaking about Cristal Hotels and Resorts’ expansion, Blackburn stated: “We are delighted to be expanding the Cristal profile outside of the Middle East and to be opening a historical hotel in Lebanon, a beach hotel on a beautiful island, and a city hotel in a destination that is soon to become a tourist stop.
“The demands of the economy and our guests mean that we are confident in what we do in spite of the current economic climate and look forward to growth beyond the next few years,” Blackburn continued.
Elaborating directly about what sets the group’s hotels apart from others in the region, Blackburn stated: “Some hotel groups focus predominantly on size and quantity of keys. We believe the focus should be on quality, and this resounds throughout all our hotels.
“We focus a lot on our staff training and development, which is part of our success story. And of course, this translates itself into our customer satisfaction. For example, Cristal Abu Dhabi and Cristal Salam Hotel have been ranked fifth and seventh respectively on TripAdvisor – and you can’t hide or obscure those figures.
“We are very excited about the future of Cristal within the Middle East region and beyond, so I invite visitors to ATM to come along to our stand and find out more about these exciting developments,” Blackburn concluded.