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Old June 3rd, 2015, 01:14 PM   #1
ChaoticTranquility
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#COMPLETED+UNDER DEVELOPMENT: "InterContinental+Crowne Plaza+Holiday Inn Kuwait Al Thuraya City", 14F, ?M, Hotel

Hello everyone -

Exciting news for Kuwait's hotel industry: the Crowne Plaza Kuwait in Farwaniya is going to undergo a series of dramatic changes in the next few years. The Bukhamseen family, the owners of the hotel, plan to convert the existing hotel into the following:

1.The current Crowne Plaza will be rebranded as the 336-room Holiday Inn Farwaniya Kuwait in 2016 with ten restaurants and twenty-two meeting rooms. Fun fact: the building originally opened back in 1982 as a Holiday Inn before being rebranded as a Crowne Plaza several years later. This new conversion will take the hotel back to its original roots.
2. The new extension to the current building will open as the 232-room Crowne Plaza Farwaniya Kuwait in 2016. The hotel will have two restaurants, six meeting rooms, a Club Lounge and a fitness center.
3. Build a new structure that will become home to the 120-room InterContinental Farwaniya Kuwait, opening in 2018. The hotel will have two restaurants, seven meeting rooms, a Club Lounge and a private leisure center.

All three hotels will operate as one single complex. The Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn will share leisure facilities such as the Aquatonic Spa and large fitness center but the InterContinental will also have its own dedicated services to distinguish it as a luxury hotel.

I haven't been able to find any renderings of the planned complex yet but I'll attach a photo of the current structure. The building on the left is the current Crowne Plaza which will become the Holiday Inn while the building on the right will become the new Crowne Plaza.

This is terrific news. If all goes to plan, Kuwait will have three InterContinentals [Salmiya, Downtown and Farwaniya], one Crowne Plaza and three Holiday Inns [Salmiya, Downtown and Farwaniya]. Talk about massive expansion.

- K

***

IHG and Bukhamseen Group Strengthen 30-Year Relationship with Multi-Deal Signings in Kuwait

May 6, 2015 - InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) today announced the signing of management agreements with Al Baraka General Trading and Contracting Company, owned by leading Kuwaiti conglomerate Bukhamseen Holding Group, to develop three hotels in Kuwait.

Under the agreements, IHG will manage a new 120-room InterContinental hotel and 232-room Crowne Plaza hotel in Farwaniya, Kuwait; whilst the existing Crowne Plaza Kuwait will be converted into a 336-room Holiday Inn.

In addition, a 20-year renewal was signed for the 189-room Holiday Inn Kuwait Salmiyah. The four agreements, together with Holiday Inn Maadi Cairo which opened last year, will see IHG manage more than 1,000 rooms across three brands with the Bukhamseen family: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn.

Located in Kuwait City, a short five-minute drive from Kuwait International Airport, the new build InterContinental Kuwait Farwaniya, Crowne Plaza Kuwait Farwaniya and converted Holiday Inn Kuwait Farwaniya will all be part of one hotel complex.

When it opens in 2018, InterContinental Kuwait Farwaniya will be in a prime position to cater to both business and leisure travellers. The hotel will feature two restaurants and seven meeting rooms, and guests can relax at the leisure centre or at the hotel’s Club Lounge during their downtime.

A trusted name for business travellers around the world, Crowne Plaza Kuwait Farwaniya will feature six meeting rooms; business services and facilities including a 24-hour business centre and an Executive Club; and a fitness centre for guests to re-energise at, outside of their professional engagements. Guests can also dine in at the hotel's two restaurants.

There will be 22 meeting facilities at Holiday Inn Kuwait Farwaniya, and a wider selection of food and beverage will also be available at the hotel's ten restaurants. Guests staying at both Crowne Plaza Kuwait Farwaniya and Holiday Inn Kuwait Farwaniya can access the shared leisure centre, and enjoy the major shopping centres located just a short walk away. Both hotels will open their doors to guests in 2016.

Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said: “The Bukhamseen Group has been one of our most valued partners in the Middle East since we opened one of our first Holiday Inn hotels in the region with them more than 30 years ago. We are delighted to be working even more closely with them to expand our presence in Kuwait with these three hotels. We are also pleased to be able to continue delivering great guest experiences at Holiday Inn Kuwait Salmiyah.”

Emad Bukhamseen, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Al Baraka General Trading and Contracting Company, said: “Kuwait’s popularity as a destination continues to grow and we are seeing a consistent flow of business travellers. With the completion of the new airport terminal next year expected to triple the airport’s capacity, we are confident visitor arrivals will increase. It is a good time to be building on the success of Crowne Plaza Kuwait Farwaniya and expanding our presence with a three-hotel complex will help in that. IHG has proven itself to deliver on its promises and we look forward to welcoming more guests through the doors of our hotels when they open.”

IHG currently has three hotels open across two brands in Kuwait: Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. The company has one hotel in the pipeline: InterContinental Kuwait Downtown, which will mark the launch of the InterContinental brand in the market.

IHG has 79 properties open across five brands in the Middle East: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Staybridge Suites, with an additional 26 hotels due to open over the next three to five years.

Source: http://www.ihgplc.com/index.asp?PageID=116&NewsID=3448

***

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Old June 3rd, 2015, 02:25 PM   #2
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Great news. Thanks for sharing, Khaled.

I was actually surprised at how highly praised the Crowne Plaza Hotel was on TripAdvisor.
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kutsuit View Post
Great news. Thanks for sharing, Khaled.

I was actually surprised at how highly praised the Crowne Plaza Hotel was on TripAdvisor.
Anytime, you got it, Nadia!

I'm a bit surprised as well; it's not in the greatest location and the rooms don't necessarily have views to speak of... But it seems that the product is very high-quality, the restaurants are excellent and people seem to love the staff. In my experience with the hotel, I've always enjoyed their food [Al Ahmadi has a great continental buffet with amazing mashed potatoes of all things and Sakura is my kryptonite] and found their service to be very genuine. They must be doing something right, so I hope those attributes stay intact once the rebranding goes through. Since it's becoming a Holiday Inn, I believe the star rating will be revised from five to four... Something I agree with because the rooms, while very good, aren't exactly five-star and the lobby and guest room corridors are a bit long in the tooth.

I'm sure the new Crowne Plaza will offer proper five-star accommodations with staples like separate bathtubs and showers in the rooms [as opposed to bathtubs only in the current CP] as well upgraded decor. I'm really looking forward to the InterContinental though... Hopefully they're working on something special there.

Construction should start soon if they want to make the 2018 opening. I'll try to poke around for renderings or contact Bukhamseen/Al Baraka for any information.

- K
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Old June 4th, 2015, 05:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaoticTranquility View Post
Anytime, you got it, Nadia!

I'm a bit surprised as well; it's not in the greatest location and the rooms don't necessarily have views to speak of... But it seems that the product is very high-quality, the restaurants are excellent and people seem to love the staff. In my experience with the hotel, I've always enjoyed their food [Al Ahmadi has a great continental buffet with amazing mashed potatoes of all things and Sakura is my kryptonite] and found their service to be very genuine. They must be doing something right, so I hope those attributes stay intact once the rebranding goes through. Since it's becoming a Holiday Inn, I believe the star rating will be revised from five to four... Something I agree with because the rooms, while very good, aren't exactly five-star and the lobby and guest room corridors are a bit long in the tooth.

I'm sure the new Crowne Plaza will offer proper five-star accommodations with staples like separate bathtubs and showers in the rooms [as opposed to bathtubs only in the current CP] as well upgraded decor. I'm really looking forward to the InterContinental though... Hopefully they're working on something special there.

Construction should start soon if they want to make the 2018 opening. I'll try to poke around for renderings or contact Bukhamseen/Al Baraka for any information.

- K
It goes to show that it's not about having new hotels (or anything else, for that matter) as much as it's about maintaining what you have for a long period of time. I also heard that the hotel had excellent restaurants. The only good thing about its location is that it's close to the airport, though.

Another hotel in Kuwait that's old and highly praised is the Sheraton.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kutsuit View Post
It goes to show that it's not about having new hotels (or anything else, for that matter) as much as it's about maintaining what you have for a long period of time. I also heard that the hotel had excellent restaurants. The only good thing about its location is that it's close to the airport, though.

Another hotel in Kuwait that's old and highly praised is the Sheraton.
The Sheraton is a Kuwaiti icon and institution with generally great service and wonderful food. The biggest caveat with it, however, is its decor: the rooms haven't been renovated in a long time and even though the entrance/driveway was recently rebuilt [very well, might I add], the lobby, corridors and guest rooms all look like they belong in the nineties. They need a total stripdown and redo more than anything else and many reviews on TripAdvisor and other channels emphasize that point. Things are in good condition overall but when they're old, they're old no matter how solid they are.

Interesting fact: the Sheraton and Four Points are both owned by Alshaya and if anyone's seen the new expansion to the Four Points, one can see how well done things are. The lobby there is beautiful, the rooms are terrific and there's a stunning indoor infinity pool on the forty-first floor overlooking the sea and city. If only they could push some of that energy into the neighboring Sheraton buildings...

But alas, we digress. I sent an e-mail to Bukhamseen requesting details about their Farwaniya developments yesterday, so I hope to hear back from them soon. Hopefully they're not like every other company in Kuwait where your attempts to make contact disappear into oblivion. About your point: yes, the hotels are conveniently close to the airport but they're also very well-connected to local highway networks that put them within easy access to malls like 360 and The Avenues as well as to the city and rest of the country.

If anyone can pop around to Farwaniya and document the hotels' progress, that'd be great!

Thanks again.

- K
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Old June 4th, 2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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If i take pics from my phone how can i uploude them here ??
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Old June 4th, 2015, 08:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovelykuwait View Post
If i take pics from my phone how can i uploude them here ??
You could go to postimage.com, upload them there and then use the direct link to the images. There's a small icon here when you make a post to paste the link into the box and upload them here.

Good luck! Let's see what you've got.

- K
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Old June 4th, 2015, 08:48 PM   #8
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Thanks 😘
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 08:23 PM   #9
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Hi guys -

I stopped by the Crowne Plaza this afternoon and noticed that they just completely renovated their reception area. Gone are the old wooden desks and in their place is a very modern alcove with bright lights, gold-toned marble and new marble desks for the reception and concierge. It looks excellent and I was told it was completed two weeks ago.

Regarding other developments, the staff told me that the new Crowne Plaza will open in the new building early next year, at which point the current hotel will be rebranded a Holiday Inn. I also noticed one side of the new building was completely unfinished and still had exposed concrete; the staff member I talked to told me that's where the InterContinental tower will rise and its design will resemble the current buildings but the interiors will be world-class [it opens in 2018]. This means the hotels will all be lined up in one gold-tinted superblock of a building with the Holiday Inn followed by the Crowne Plaza and then the InterContinental.

Shame the design won't be more adventurous but at least it'll upgrade Kuwait's hotel market. I'll stop by tomorrow for more information and hopefully some renderings.

- K
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Old December 20th, 2015, 11:32 AM   #10
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UPDATE: called the hotel this morning and as of today, the former Crowne Plaza is now Holiday Inn Kuwait Al Thuraya City and the expansion to the current building has opened as Crowne Plaza Kuwait Al Thuraya City. The manager I spoke to also told me that work has now started on the future InterContinental and it will open by 2018 as scheduled. No renderings or designs out just yet but he told me it will physically be in the same complex so it will most likely be just past where the new Crowne Plaza is and [based on my insight] will look more or less like the current buildings, gold glass and everything. For those who didn't put it together, the complex's final name is Al Thuraya City.

- K
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Old May 1st, 2017, 10:51 AM   #11
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UPDATE: drove by the hotel complex a few days ago and caught a glimpse of a new fence cordoning off the triangular site next to the new Crowne Plaza tower. There was also a rendering up with the name "INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL" below it; looks like this thing might be under construction or starting soon!

Will try to swing by to see what the deal is and to get photo updates for the forum. Spoiler alert: the design looked very plain and somewhat ugly - a continuation of the boxy, gold glass-clad design of the other buildings.

- K
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Old June 6th, 2017, 08:26 PM   #12
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The InterContinental Hotel(five-star hotel) will comprise 3 basement floors (Parking & Services) and (14) floors, including two restaurants and seven meeting rooms offering (120) guestrooms.

from: http://www.kuwaittenders.com/Categor...?CategoryId=28
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Old June 16th, 2017, 07:17 PM   #13
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InterContinental Al Thuraya rendering below; opening 2019.

- K

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