A new design-oriented hotel is set to open in Batumi in 2020 under a brand that has a European outlook and culture, following in the footsteps of its French roots.
Le Méridien is a brand that was purchased in 2005 by the US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and in 2016 by Marriott International. It is currently represented in113 properties across the world. Over time, it has become one of the most trusted and classy hotel brands in the world; oriented towards maintaining high international standards. Le Méridien is being introduced to the Georgian market by Redco Limited, which also owns its Georgian branch. The new hotel’s General Manager, Fabien Martinez, revealed interesting details to Forbes Georgia.
What is the philosophy of your brand?
The brand philosophy of Le Méridien is rooted in French culture, art, design and music. We are also proud to be part of Marriott International. This brilliant hotel has cult status for Le Méridien, so I am sure that we will be very successful. Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts will be the first Le Méridien in Georgia, offering an integrated experience of modern life. It will include 105 rooms, a French-Georgian restaurant and an elegant bar that will serve its guests Illy coffee in the morning. Le Méridien is proud to work with creative partners who add pride to the brand, its historical heritage, its aspiration for perfection and its love of the good life. One such partner is Illy, which creates the culture of a real European café in our hotel. Furthermore, the hotel offers 5,000 square feet of meeting space, including a meeting hall for 100 people that offers incredible views of the Black Sea.
Batumi is Georgia’s second-largest city; it is growing fast and becoming increasingly popular among tourists. It is located at the foot of the Adjarian highlands and in a subtropical zone that is characterized by moderate winters and warm summers. That is why Batumi attracts thousands of tourists each year. Georgia had more than 8 million visitors in 2019. Adjara is an interesting and unique place. It is one of the must-visit regions of Georgia. With its subtropical climate, a stimulating mix of seaside and mountain air, healthy sea and spa waters, as well as a bright nightlife, it has already established a fantastic reputation for itself. We are delighted to make our debut in Batumi – a city that shares Le Méridien’s love for art and culture. With its rich history and modern finesse, Adjara is the ideal location for a Le Méridien hotel.
I can now understand why Le Méridien needs Batumi. Conversely, why does Batumi need Le Méridien Hotel?
Le Méridien Batumi will offer 105 luxurious rooms, including executive suites and a penthouse. The prestigious penthouse will stand out through its impressive mix of antique and modern furniture, as well as its stunning views over the Black Sea. The phrase “discover new places” is a cornerstone of our philosophy. Le Méridien is an outstanding brand that does not limit itself to offering standard services. It aims to please the people who love to discover new places. Batumi is developing fast without losing its charm. Against the background of mist-covered mountains and snowy peaks, Batumi stands out among all Georgian resorts through its charisma, its attractive old town and its fantastic subtropical climate.
The dancing fountains, the alphabet tower… Batumi is one of those rare places that you want to visit again and again. Against the background of growing tourist numbers, the opening of a hotel such as Le Méridien will benefit the region and add to the city’s charm. This city is full of art: Tamar Kvesitadze’s moving statue ‘Woman and Man’, which is better known as ‘Ali and Nino’, has been named among the world’s ten most romantic statues. The Adjarian Museum of Art has a stunning interior that makes you think you are walking in a 20th century Rothschild chateau. Its spiral staircases are both beautiful and great to climb, while its numerous paintings create a certain mood that encourages meditation.
But why specifically Batumi Tower?
Primarily due to its location on the Boulevard. Secondly, this territory along the Black Sea is one of the most attractive areas of Batumi. Furthermore, Batumi Tower is the tallest building in the South Caucasus.
How should customers remember their Le Méridien experience?
Le Méridien was founded in 1972 by Air France – a leader in the fields of design and innovation at the time. The aim was to provide “a home away from home” for travellers. Le Méridien Etoile in Paris was the first hotel built under the brand, later becoming the centre of Le Méridien’s global representation, covering the world’s largest cities, as well as exotic resorts. Today the brand has more than 100 hotels in almost 40 different countries. Le Méridien occupies spaces with a mid-20th century design, which it successfully pairs with its own elegant trademark atmosphere. With its emphasis on art, coffee, cocktails, unforgettable summer holidays and creative adventures; it inspires travellers to see the world from an alluring perspective.
Who are your main customers?
This Parisian brand offers curious and creative travellers unexpected interesting experiences at their of destination. Our hotel will be able to accommodate up to 700 guests, and will attract both business visitors and those looking for a romantic holiday or a family break.
What are the economic trends that create opportunities to do business successfully here?
Batumi is this year’s recipient of the World Travel Award as the fastest-growing tourist destination. The city was announced as the winner of the tourism equivalent of the Oscars at the World Tourism Festival in Madeira, Portugal. The number of tourists is growing each year, while the largest number of visitors to Adjara in the first four months of 2019 (226,311 people) came from Turkey. Other top countries of the visitors’ origin include Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran. This year we are expecting very positive, increased numbers on the back of the National Tourism Administration’s large-scale promotional campaigns and additional flight routes from various cities. This will reflect itself in the purchasing power of the visitors, and we hope that interest towards our hotel will grow.
Is the existing business environment in Georgia a positive factor with regards to doing business in the country?
The development of the business environment in Georgia is a positive trend, which is largely due to the judicial reforms (taxes, custom duties, licenses, permits and so on) in the country. I should also mention that the region itself has undergone significant development in recent years, which signals a positive trend.
What facilities will be available to your guests?
Le Méridien will have indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a spa and fitness centre covering a total of 1,460m2. Gamblers will be able to enjoy private and comfortable surroundings of the Empire Casino, where all major table games will be available 24/7. Guests will be able to enjoy an art-related experience from the moment of their arrival at the hotel, where more than 40 pieces of art by various renowned and upcoming artists from around the world will be placed by the front entrance and the reception desks. These pieces of art have been created specifically for our brand in order to help our guests relax, leave the real world behind and step into the new world of Le Méridien.