Tuesday 16, February 2016

Vienna – MENA Herald: Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman, Al Habtoor Group confirmed today that he has purchased the historic Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. The acquisition brings the total number of hotels overseas within the investment arm of Al Habtoor Group to seven.

Al Habtoor said, “I am delighted to add such a historic hotel to our international hospitality portfolio. The hotel is one of the city’s most renowned pieces of architecture.”

Hotel Imperial will continue to operate as part of The Luxury Collection brand under a new long-term management agreement. Built in 1863 as Prince Philipp of Württemberg’s Viennese residence, Hotel Imperial was transformed into a hotel to accommodate visitors of the 1873 World’s Fair. Situated on the iconic Ringstrasse (Ring Boulevard) in the city’s center, Hotel Imperial occupies a prime location at Kärntner Ring 16. The luxury hotel is next to the legendary Musikverein concert hall and a short walk from attractions such as the Vienna State Opera, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Secession Building.

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said, “Hotel Imperial is one of Europe’s most extraordinary luxury hotels and a premium addition to our growing global portfolio. We look forward to making further improvements to this legendary property and continuing to provide exceptional luxury hospitality to the next generation of luxury travellers.”

“The Hotel Imperial is one of Europe’s most spectacular luxury properties and a perennial favourite among Starwood’s loyal travellers”, says Thomas Mangas, Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Hotel Imperial is the fifth Starwood property in the Group’s portfolio of 14 world-class hotels, joining the newly opened The St. Regis Dubai, as well as the upcoming W Dubai – Al Habtoor City, The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City and The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.

Michael Wale, President of Starwood for Europe, Africa and Middle East concluded: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with the Al Habtoor Group, with whom we are launching Starwood’s largest hospitality project in the Middle East this year. Hotel Imperial was one of the first Luxury Collection hotels and its full restoration together with our partners will reinforce the majestic heritage of this historic hotel as we continue to provide global explorers with indigenous experiences in Vienna.”

The 7-storey Hotel Imperial Vienna consists of 138 rooms, including 59 suites. It has three food and beverage outlets. The 105 seat Café Imperial Wien, a veritable institution among Viennese coffee houses, offers delicious Austrian specialties with fresh local ingredients. The award-winning Opus Restaurant combines artistic creativity and culinary enjoyment with emphasis on aesthetics as well as on light dishes created of local produce. The historic 1873 Halle&Salon Bar has been transformed into a modern, popular lounge bar offering guests a relaxing environment.

The hotel, which will continue to operate as part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide The Luxury Collection brand under a new long-term management agreement, boasts five hotel meeting rooms and conferences salons equipped with state of the art technology. Vienna in the 19th century is reflected by the magnificent frescoes and crystal chandeliers in the historic Festsaal and Marmorsaal. The hotel also has a fully equipped gymnasium complete with sauna.

Al Habtoor Investment – the investment arm of Al Habtoor Group – recently acquired its first hotel in London with the purchase of the Hilton London Wembley. It also has two Hilton-branded hotels in Lebanon (Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel, Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace), one in the United States (President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel), and two five-star hotels in Hungary (InterContinental Hotel Budapest, The Ritz-Carlton Budapest).

In December 2015 Al Habtoor said he had allocated AED 2 billion for overseas investments in 2016. The Al Habtoor Group has been expanding its hospitality both internationally and locally over the past few years. The Group’s Dubai assets include the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection; the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. It recently opened the first hotel in the much-anticipated Al Habtoor City complex – The St. Regis Dubai. Two more hotels within the multi-use development will open in the coming months (W Dubai – Al Habtoor City, and The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City).