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Making a global Melia of it


Change of name signals a burst of international activity by Melia Hotels

The Sol Melia group of hotels changed its name in June 2011 to Melia Hotels International. It dropped the word Sol as that word, albeit of a sunny disposition, was making it difficult to signal to the world that the group is no longer to be seen as a primarily Spanish enterprise.
John Kelly, Director of Global Sales, Meetings & Events, UK & Ireland, points out that of the 330 Melia properties, 154 are in Spain. ‘We are expanding as a truly global enterprise now’, he stresses. ‘You only have to look at our new openings to see that.’

John was talking to ITCM at a reception in the Melia White House in Regent’s Park, where he was able to talk about the imminent opening of the group’s second London Hotel. When he began with ‘I am sure you want to hear all about ME’, it turned out he wasn’t being self-centred. The name ME is the Melia Group’s new brand that is upmarket, small to be almost boutique and very individualistic.

And there is a ME opening its doors in April 2012 on The Strand, London WC2. It will have 157 guestrooms and suites, 30 with balconies. On the tip of Covent Garden and close to the Thames, it has a prime position and is designed by Sir Norman Foster & Partners. It will offer 730sq, of meeting space seating from 10 to 350 delegates. The largest space will have access for vehicles and there will be a private cinema. Its rooftop bar, with indoor and outdoor facilities, will give 180 guests superb views of the West End, the City and the whole London skyline.

Again emphasising Melia’s global spread, new properties are being established this year in Rome, Genoa, Dubai and Zanzibar.

Guests at the Rome property will be almost the Pope’s next-door neighbours. Named Gran Melia Roma Villa Agrippina, it is on Janiculum Hill on the River Tiber. The Vatican is five minutes away by foot. It has 116 guestrooms and suites. The hotel is in a park of 10,000sqm of gardens and parkland and has an indoor and two outdoor pools. Its three well-equipped meeting rooms all have natural daylight.

Melia Dubai will be a 5-star property opposite Port Rashid in Bur Dubai, close to the city centre. It has 167 rooms, a sky bar and 300sqm of event space.

Melia Zanzibar will also be a 5-star hotel on the island’s east coast. It has a range of accommodation totalling 150 rooms and suites, as well as seven deluxe private villas.

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