BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
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Savoy re-opening now in 2010
Fairmont Hotels is to open two major new build five-star properties in the next six months in Abu Dhabi and Vancouver.
But the re-opening of its flagship Savoy Hotel in London has been out back to the first quarter of next year.
The 369-room Bab Al Bahr Hotel is due to open in the Arab state in the next eight weeks, its general manager Michael Kaile said today (June 23) while the Fairmont Pacific Rim is due to start up in January.
The Abu Dhabi property, in a newly developed district of the state, is expecting that about 65% of its guests will be on business, either at conferences or as transient travellers.
Mr Kaile said the hotel will have a Club room and business centre as well as WiFi throughout the property for business travellers.
The group, whose brands include Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel, already has a Fairmont in Dubai with a two more in the pipeline.
It also plans to add a third hotel in Cairo.
Paul Ryan, Fairmont's executive director travel industry sales, said the "iconic" Savoy Hotel in London's Strand, would re-open in the first quarter of 2010.
The 120-year old hotel was closed in December 2007 for a major £100m re-furbishment.
It was due to re-open this year, first in May and then in autumn but the project has been delayed by unspecified hitches.
Mr Ryan said the new Savoy would be more residential than the old one but many of the traditional features would be retained, including the ballroom, the American Bar and the Grill.
There will be a new Beaumont Bar and the Thames foyer has been "dramatically" changed by the designer Pierre Yves Rochon to include a glass dome and a winter garden.
The River Restaurant will become all day dining room and there will also be a museum in the hotel displaying its past including old menus and pictures of famous guests.
Mr Ryan said that Fairmont had no plans at the moment for new hotels in Europe but the Royal Monceau in Paris was being re-designed by Philippe Starck and would re-open under the Raffles brand.
Fairmont was also planning to open properties in India and the Far East. The latter includes one in Beijing and the restoration of the Peace Hotel in Shanghai.