Meliá Hotels International has announced the signing of three new hotels: Gran Meliá Maldives, Indian Ocean, Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania, Africa and Meliá Almaty, Kazakhstan, Central Asia – the first hotel to be signed by Meliá Hotels International in Kazakhstan.
Gran Meliá Maldives will be a resort located in Kalhudiyafushi in Thaa, an atoll located 40 minutes from Male International Airport, as well as a short ride by speedboat or seaplane from the domestic airport at Kaadhedoo. Scheduled to launch October 2017.
During the contract signing, Maria Zarraluqui, director of expansion for Meliá Hotels International, commented, “Opening a Gran Meliá hotel in the Maldives has been a dream for us for a long time, but we were always waiting for the right project to come along. This hotel meets all our expectations. We are confident that our unique Gran Meliá brand will enhance the magic of these privileged islands, giving a new meaning to the concept of luxury.”
Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania, is scheduled to open in June 2017, will be Meliá Hotels International first state-of-the-art sustainable hotel, located on the natural terraces on the southern slopes of Nyamuma, with spectacular views over the peaceful valley of the Mbalageti River. The hotel will be 45 minutes from Seronera Airport in the Serengeti National Park, the oldest and most popular National Park in Tanzania, on the western border of Lake Victoria, considered a World Heritage Site.
To be located 700 meters below the peak of Nyamuma, the hotel will offer a perfect viewpoint for the annual migration of one million blue wildebeest, lions, leopards and 250,000 zebras which pass through the valley every year in search of rains and cooler pastures.
Meliá Serengeti Lodge will be the first hotel designed to operate completely ‘off the grid’, with its remote location and total absence of services in the area making it the perfect opportunity to create a state-of-the-art sustainable hotel that will depend solely on fossil fuels for emergency energy supply only.
Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, said, “Meliá Serengeti Lodge is an opportunity to respond to the challenge of offering the ‘real’ African experience that all travellers desire, combined with the safety and comfort of the most exclusive and secure environment. We are also excited to launch our first-ever 100 per cent sustainable hotel through the use of the latest technologies and innovations.”
Meliá Almaty is the first hotel to be signed by Meliá Hotels International in Kazakhstan – a wealthy country located in the heart of Eurasia. The hotel will be situated amongst the mountains of Tien Shan, Altay, and Ulytau, a winter sports paradise. Kazakhstan is blessed with vast natural resources of oil, gas and mines; as well as traditional cultural attractions that illuminate the relationship between the Kazakh people and nomadic tribes, influenced by the Russian occupation in the 18th century. In 2013, the country received five million visitors and this is expected to grow to eight million by 2024.
Meliá Hotels International will launch a hotel specialising in corporate travel and congresses in Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan until 1997, as it is the largest city in the country, which aims to become one of the top 30 economies in the world by 2050. Almaty generates around 20 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product and is a major financial hub in Central Asia. The city is home to industrial, commercial, and business activity, as well as significant embassies and headquarters of companies operating in Kazakhstan.
Meliá Almaty will open in 2018, providing 250 rooms, including 50 Suites and Junior Suites. The hotel will boast cutting-edge architectural design through a steel and glass structure that will also home a restaurant, bar, lounge, spa and fitness centre, as well as meeting rooms. This full range of services and facilities together with the high standards that Meliá Hotels & Resorts applies to its urban hotels of combining the urban and leisure experience (bleisure hotels, business + leisure), will position Meliá Almaty as one of the leading hotels in the city.
Director of Expansion for Meliá Hotels International, Maria Zarraluqui, commented, “Meliá Almaty is our long-awaited first hotel in Kazakhstan. We feel Meliá Hotels & Resorts is the right product and the right brand for this city, which will play a key role in the powerful growth of the city.”
Meliá Hotels International Overview
The Director of Expansion for Meliá Hotels International, Maria Zarraluqui, together with the Company’s Hotel Development team in the Middle East, once again attended the most important Hotel Investment Conference in the region, taking the opportunity to meet with the owners of the new hotels: Huravee International from the Maldives, ASICO from Kazakhstan, and Albwardi Investments, with whom Meliá has already successfully partnered in Dubai, before announcing all of the new agreements.
Meliá Hotels International currently operates two hotels in Dubai and Qatar, and has 10 additional hotels in the pipeline in the region, all due to open between 2017 and 2020. The properties will be managed under the Meliá Hotels & Resorts, ME by Meliá, INNSIDE by Meliá and Gran Meliá brands. The United Arab Emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council countries are becoming an increasingly strategic hub for eastern and western countries to do business, with Dubai International Airport ranked as the busiest airport in the world last year, underlining MHI’s efforts to link its strategy in Europe and Americas with the Asia-Pacific countries.