NEOM Unveils Zardun: Redefining Eco-Luxury in Saudi Arabia

By Author

Published on January 30, 2024

Saudi Arabia is stepping up its game in the world of luxury ecotourism with the introduction of Zardun, a brand-new sanctuary resort. This exclusive retreat, developed by NEOM in the Kingdom's northwest, is where modern luxury cozies up with Mother Nature.

The NEOM Board of Directors recently shared the news about Zardun, and it's creating quite a buzz. Picture this: a resort overlooking the stunning Gulf of Aqaba, designed to be in perfect harmony with the environment. Zardun is not just another fancy place to stay; it's a statement of how luxury and nature can coexist beautifully.

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Stretching over four square kilometres, Zardun is no less than a paradise restored. Imagine being greeted by a variety of native plants and wildlife as you stroll down from the mountains to the seashore. The heart of Zardun is its state-of-the-art experience centre, featuring a 360-degree observation deck that offers breathtaking views.

Zardun isn't just about soaking in the beauty; it's about living it. The resort will feature three boutique hotels, each with its own unique theme, offering a total of 100 rooms and suites. These aren't just rooms; they're a peek into a sustainable future, nestled in an environment that's been lovingly restored.

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But there's more to Zardun than just a comfy bed. The resort is a playground for the adventurous and the curious. You can go trekking, mountain biking, or rock climbing. And for those who prefer a more serene experience, there’s stargazing, meditation, and yoga. Zardun is also big on education, offering programs on nature protection and conservation.

The resort's commitment to sustainability is impressive. They're planning to create oases to support diverse habitats and reintroduce native animals, trees, and plants. And let's not forget the vibrant ecosystem along its coast, with efforts to conserve the coral reefs and marine life in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Zardun joins other NEOM developments like Leyja, Epicon, Siranna, Utamo, Norlana, and Aquellum as part of Saudi Arabia's vision for sustainable tourism in the Gulf of Aqaba. These destinations all share NEOM's dedication to sustainable progress and innovation.

NEOM itself is a vision of the future. It's a region being built from scratch to be a living laboratory – a place that embraces entrepreneurship and innovation, and a home for those who dream big.

For more information on this exciting development, you can reach out to media@neom.com or visit NEOM's website and newsroom.


IHG Expands Vignette Collection with 12 Unique Hotels Globally in 2024

IHG Expands Vignette Collection with 12 Unique Hotels Globally in 2024

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 15, 2024

IHG Hotels & Resorts is on an ambitious path to enhance its luxury and lifestyle segment, the Vignette Collection, with the opening of 12 diverse properties worldwide in 2024. This move follows the recent launch of The Halyard Liverpool, the first Vignette Collection hotel in the UK, setting the stage for the brand's global expansion.

The Vignette Collection is renowned for its carefully chosen properties, each offering distinct experiences that reflect their unique locations—from bustling city centres to serene beachfronts. The upcoming year promises exciting additions, including the Shanghai Snow World Hotel, part of the world's largest indoor ski park, and Verno House in Budapest, which offers views over Liberty Square.

Each hotel in the Vignette Collection is committed to sustainability and social responsibility, aligning with IHG’s “Journey to Tomorrow” initiative. The properties actively engage in "A Means For Good" programs, collaborating with local organisations to impact positively on society.

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Furthermore, these hotels provide guests with memorable experiences that connect them deeply with local culture. For instance, Convent Square Lisbon offers a traditional Portuguese tea ceremony, while Yours Truly DC in Washington, D.C., invites guests to select music from the hotel’s vinyl collection to personalise their stay.

Tom Rowntree, IHG's Vice President of Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, commented on the expansion, stating, "Vignette Collection's growth highlights our focus on integrating one-of-a-kind hotels into our portfolio, each with a unique story but united under IHG's commitment to excellence and sustainability."

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Scheduled openings include Arabella Beach Hotel in Kuwait and Velero Doha in Qatar in spring 2024, followed by summer and autumn debuts in Hungary and China, respectively. The year will cap off with the opening of Rumah Luwih Bali in Indonesia and Dinso Resort & Villas Koh Chang in Thailand.

This expansion not only strengthens IHG’s global presence but also enhances the brand’s appeal to travellers seeking authenticity and luxury in their accommodations.


Hilton Set to Expand Its Canadian Hotel Operations by 50%

Hilton Set to Expand Its Canadian Hotel Operations by 50%

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 15, 2024

Hilton, a global leader in the hotel industry, is set to significantly boost its footprint in Canada. With 180 hotels already serving guests and 90 more slated for development, the company is poised to increase its Canadian operations by 50% over the next five years.

Jeff Cury, Hilton's Senior Director of Development in Canada, highlighted the company's strategy, saying, "Our goal is to extend our reach to every province, enhancing the travel experience with both our established and upcoming brands." In 2023 alone, Hilton inked deals for 20 new locations, signalling robust growth and a strong commitment to the Canadian market.

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The expansion plan includes the introduction of the Spark by Hilton and Motto by Hilton brands to the Canadian market by 2024. Hilton's development is not just in numbers but also in diversity, with a tripling of its lifestyle category hotels in key cities like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Niagara Falls by 2028.

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Hilton's growth is largely fueled by its focused-service brands, which constitute over 60% of its new projects in Canada. This segment saw the addition of five new hotels in 2023. Additionally, the extended-stay category continues to thrive, led by the Home2 Suites by Hilton brand. This sector currently includes over 30 operational properties and 20 more in development, showing significant owner interest and market momentum.

This ambitious expansion underscores Hilton's commitment to offering a variety of lodging options for both business and leisure travellers in sought-after destinations across Canada.


IHG Expands Karnataka Portfolio with Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra

IHG Expands Karnataka Portfolio with Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 14, 2024

IHG Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its presence in Karnataka with the opening of Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra. Strategically located along the national highway with easy access to major corporate hubs, the hotel aims to cater to business and leisure travellers alike.

Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra is the only international branded hotel in the vicinity, positioned to attract increased footfalls from corporate segments. With top companies such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro, and more located within a 7 km radius, the hotel offers convenience and accessibility to business travellers.

Designed to deliver memorable experiences, the hotel boasts warm and welcoming service, contemporary design, and a commitment to responsible tourism. Equipped with the IHG Green Engage System, an online platform for measuring and managing environmental impact, Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra prioritises sustainability in its operations.

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Featuring 135 modern and spacious rooms, the hotel offers amenities such as workstation flatscreen TVs, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, and all-day dining options at Express Café & Bar. With a Grab & Go option, guests can enjoy convenience and flexibility during their stay.

Vinod Muthusubramanian, General Manager of Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra, expressed excitement about the hotel's opening, stating, "Our unveiling marks a significant milestone in catering to this dynamic community. The introduction of Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra at a sought-after location would be greatly beneficial and attract travellers from varied segments – business and leisure."

IHG currently operates 45 hotels across five brands in India, with a strong pipeline of 45 hotels due to open in the next 3-5 years. The addition of Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra further solidifies IHG's commitment to providing exceptional hospitality experiences across the country.

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