With panoramic views overlooking a private beach, Turkish-grown hospitality brand Rixos Hotels opened the first all-inclusive resort in Abu Dhabi last month.
The 378 key resort comprises of 366 rooms and suites, and 12 villas, each boasting either shared or private pools, direct access to the beach, and butler service. Mahak Mannan speaks to Hakan Petek, general manager, Rixos Saadiyat Island, on why the property is a game-changer in the hospitality market.
Combining luxury with rich culture from the Ottoman Empire, the recently opened Rixos Saadiyat Island has a number of hospitality firsts to its name. The all-inclusive resorts means that guests are able to dine throughout the day at any of the ten restaurants and bars at the property, the price of which is included in the room rates and all-exclusive concept gives hotels guests exclusive access to the dining venues.
Being one of the first hotels in the country to offer only all-inclusive packages, Rixos Saadiyat Island is taking a new approach to the challenging hospitality industry where ADRs are defining the market.
The property also boasts a water park complete with a wave pool for all ages and a children’s aqua park. Culinary offerings at Rixos Saadiyat Island include authentic Turkish cuisine at Turquoise, the hotel’s signature all-day dining restaurant, seafood dining at Mermaid, and Italian classics at L’Olivo. Guests can also head to the far East for Teppanyaki and sushi at Japanese restaurant Aja, step back in time with the tastes of Oriental Turkish cuisine at Orient or eat on the go from one of many Food Carts dotted around the resort. A series of beach bars, tea and shisha lounges, and the Club House, an exclusive restaurant reserved for villa guests, complete the offering.
“I have worked and opened many hotels in the region but this is a particularly exciting project,” Hakan Petek, general manager at the property said.
“The idea was to introduce the first luxury property with an ‘All Inclusive All Exclusive’ concept to the magnificent island of Saadiyat. To achieve this, having the right talent was key and my team consists of highly experienced and enthusiastic individuals who believe in our product. They go above and beyond to deliver unparalleled customer service in a professional manner, greeting guests with a friendly smile, and that is just one of the many important aspects within this industry,” he says.
“Throughout the construction and opening stages, we were very fortunate not to experience any major obstacles or difficulties. Thanks to this smooth journey, we successfully welcomed the first guests to Rixos Saadiyat Island on the 15 October 2018. However, now that the property is open, I would say the main challenge moving forward is positioning Abu Dhabi as a leisure destination, and reinforcing it’s attributes by highlighting its cultural offering, charm, and charisma as well as introducing the beauty and nature of Saadiyat Island to the international markets.”
With the property up and running, setting up goals for the team to collectively target and achieve is key in planning the way forward according to the general manager.
“In my opinion the main measurement of the success at any hotel is guest satisfaction and being able to have repetitive and loyal guests. Having a happy team also tops that list. In the long run we aim to be the preferred leisure destination in the UAE, however we need to first establish a positive reputation of the property in the region.
“Being the first and only all-inclusive all-exclusive resort in Abu Dhabi I believe the hotel will soon become the preferred leisure destination in the UAE’s capital. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and pure white sand, the nature of the island is truly unique to the UAE. With our diverse F&B offerings, Spa and Rixy Club, entertainment, and wellness component I have no doubts that the property will become a landmark in Abu Dhabi. I believe that this hotel has the potential to compete strongly in a difficult market, achieve a fair market share and eventually become the most successful resort in the region.”
Explaining the first impressions about the hotel Petek says “Guests can expect luxurious and contemporary design features and interiors, warm Turkish hospitality, opulent accommodation including the luxurious private pool villas, and a Turkish–Moroccan inspired spa, all set in an idyllic beachfront setting. With an extensive entertainment program, Rixy Kids club, waterpark, and wave pool, plus enticing gourmet dining options, Rixos Saadiyat Island creates the perfect environment for relaxation and quality time with the family.
Moreover, Rixos Hotels prides itself in its gourmet F&B offering and Rixos Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is no exception. Our concept includes 11 restaurants and bars with cuisines from around the world including our signature Turkish restaurant Orient. Thanks to the all-inclusive concept, dining is included in the package and only available for in-house guests of the hotel.”
Rixos Saadiyat Island caters for families with children, couples, honeymooners, and third-generation guests, according to the general manager.
“Our all-inclusive concept means guests have unlimited choice without compromising on luxury, with every age group catered for. For the most part we are a leisure property featuring a wide range of facilities and entertainment, coupled with na exotic beachfront location,” he says.
Speaking about the hotel’s target market, Petek explains: “We work with traditional leisure markets such as the UK, Germany, and CIS as well as local and GCC markets. We have a comprehensive plan in place which includes building relationships with the travel agents, public relations and digital and traditional marketing in order to reach our target audience and make them aware of our offerings. Ideally, we would like to see guests from both local and international markets. We will focus on both, implementing more of digital marketing in dynamic markets such as the GCC and traditional marketing on mature markets like the UK and Germany.”
Being the first all-inclusive resort int e country, Petek says competition in this segment is scarce which will benefit the property, “We are the first all inclusive fully integrated hotel in the Emirates therefore there are no direct competitors within this sector at the moment.”
Following the opening of Rixos Saadiyat Island, Rixos Hotels will operate four hotels in the United Arab Emirates, Rixos Premium Dubai, Rixos The Palm Dubai, Rixos Bab Al Bahr and Rixos Saadiyat Island. Rixos currently has 25 resorts and hotels under its brands, representing more than 8,000 rooms.