‘Believe in ME’, says John KellyAn important new hotel will be opening in London in July that will add a major landmark to both the West End and the City. But something needs to be explained in advance – how to pronounce its name.
It will be called simply ME. This is the first property in the UK of a top-of-the range brand introduced by Melia Hotels International. The Spanish properties are pronounced Emm Eh, but John is looking forward to making use of the new name for a novel approach to its promotion.
‘Just believe in ME’, he said when he met ITCM’s Sydney Paulden at International Confex 2012 in ExCel. John is the Melia Hotels Director of Global Sales, Meetings & Events, UK & Ireland.
The site of the new hotel is the corner of the Aldwych, facing straight down the Strand, just where the City of London meets with the fashionable West End and round the corner from Waterloo Bridge over the Thames.
Known for decades as the location of the Marconi Building, the ME property is a totally new build to a design by Lord Foster. Although a giant step by Melia Hotels, it is a comparatively small property, almost boutique, with 157 guestrooms and suites, many with balconies making the most of its location. A rooftop bar will provide views in every direction. There will be 500sqm of meeting space in six meeting rooms, able to accommodate events for up to 300 theatre style. ‘There will be provision’, adds John, ‘to drive vehicles straight into the meeting area’.
‘There are ME hotels in Madrid and Barcelona;, says John, ‘with more in the pipeline. London will be followed shortly by Cancun’.
John is upbeat about the MICE market. ‘We have seen increased business because we have adjusted our offer, even re-graded properties, to provide what our research has shown that the clients want. We believe n hands-on marketing, not just call centres, and see ourselves as an extension of the clients’ own events teams.’