x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

St Regis confident ahead of Abu Dhabi Corniche debut

Arabian Travel Market: The new St Regis hotel on the capital's Corniche will not resort to discounting rates in an effort to win guests, according to the property's general manager.

The 283-room St Regis hotel on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open on August 15. Ravindranath K / The National
The 283-room St Regis hotel on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open on August 15. Ravindranath K / The National

The new St Regis hotel on the capital's Corniche will not resort to discounting rates in an effort to win the war for guests, according to the property's general manager.

Abu Dhabi will become the first city in the world to have two St Regis hotels when the property opens in the summer, adding to the one on Saadiyat Island.

But it will also join a growing list of hotels in Abu Dhabi, opening on the Corniche inside Nation Towers, near the Hilton, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and Emirates Palace properties.

Oliver Key, the general manager of the new St Regis, said he was not concerned about an oversupply of hotels.

"I think you have to concentrate only on what you can bring to the table and we will offer something which is different from the Hilton, different from the Emirates Palace," said Mr Key.

"The Corniche is still the premium location in the city and business levels are picking up. [Hotels] are reporting increased numbers over last year, a positive outlook for the future and a lot of travel and trade. People that I have spoken to at Arabian Travel Market are talking about Abu Dhabi as a destination."

St Regis Abu Dhabi plans to offer "reasonable" rates.

Discounting tends to work only in the short term, he said. "It is difficult to encourage them to pay more in the future. So we won't go for that approach. We will stick with giving a reasonable rate in the marketplace, a competitive rate, but not looking to discount to win business from the other hotels," said Mr Key.

The chain is also not worried about stealing clientele from its existing hotel on Saadiyat, where business has been good since the start of the year.

"They are sufficiently different. The property on Saadiyat Island is predominantly a leisure resort which is focused primarily on the leisure guests staying for a week or two for pleasure, whereas we will be predominantly be a business- centric hotel," said Mr Key.

Being surrounded by the oil and gas companies and government organisations will help the new St Regis to attract guests, he added.

The 283-room property is now 95 per cent complete and is scheduled to open on August 15.

The hotel will include about seven food and beverage outlets, including a restaurant by the British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes.

The new St Regis will also be home to what is believed to be the world's highest presidential suite, a sprawling 1,100 square metre space that was built on the ground and hoisted up into place, where it perches between the two towers.

"The views from up there are fantastic. It has three bedrooms, a cinema, a spa area. It will not be cheap that's for sure. We haven't finalised the exact pricing, but you will need a fairly good budget to stay there," said Mr Key.

 

gduncan@thenational.ae