InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) launches Staybridge Suites brand in Kuwait

June 11, 2008 // Franchising.com // Dubai, InterContinental Hotels Group and Bukhamseen Group Holding Company have signed an agreement to introduce IHG's upscale extended-stay brand to Kuwait. The signing initiates the development of two Staybridge Suites properties in Kuwait city - one in the Salmiya district and one in the Farwaniya airport area.

Established in 1997, Staybridge Suites is an innovative all-suite hotel brand whose flexible approach and blend of the domestic environment with traditional hotel services is expected to bridge the gap between conventional hotels and serviced apartments. As such, Staybridge Suites will appeal to a wide range of travel needs, from those in town on business or looking for a 'home from home' experience while on holiday to those relocating to the area or even seeking temporary housing during household renovations.

"The outstanding performance of Staybridge Suites in the US has demonstrated the viability and growth of the extended-stay segment worldwide," commented John Bamsey, IHG's Chief Operating Officer, Middle East and Africa. "Building on this success, IHG is bringing its upscale extended stay brand to the Middle East where we aim to lead the market by setting new standards and clearly differentiating ourselves from the apartment-style concepts currently on offer. We have a longstanding relationship with Bukhamseen Group following our initial cooperation in launching the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, and we are happy to be partnering with them again to introduce Staybridge Suites to the Kuwaiti market."

Staybridge Suites Salmiya, opening in November 2009, will comprise of 120 well-appointed suites. The property will be located in Kuwait city's prime commercial and residential area, Salmiya, which is in close proximity to tourist attractions including the Marine Museum and Shaab Leisure Park, as well as a variety of shopping malls and restaurants.

Known for its spacious and homely layout, Staybridge Suites will offer guests the choice between stylish studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites; all with separate living and working areas, as well as fully equipped kitchens. Fitted with wood flooring and furnished with modern pieces, including casual armchairs and comfy sofas, the suites will offer state-of-the-art entertainment and communications, including free WiFi*, thereby catering to business travellers looking to stay somewhere 'more home than hotel'.

At Staybridge's heart is the hub kitchen, where breakfast is served every morning. This is also the venue for the signature after-work receptions, held four nights a week, when guests are served complimentary drinks and nibbles and have a chance to relax while meeting their neighbours. Adding to its cosy appeal is the living room, complete with open fire, plus an outdoor terrace with a barbecue. Other added comforts include an exercise room, guest laundry room and the convenience of its own 24/7 deli-style pantry.

An extension to the existing Crowne Plaza Kuwait, one of Kuwait's signature hotels, the country's second Staybridge Suites property is expected to open in January 2010. Staybridge Suites Farnawiya will feature 150 suites and will be conveniently situated near Kuwait International Airport and a short walk from the business area as well as major shopping malls and dining outlets.

Jawad Bukhamseen, Chairman of Bukhamseen Group Holding, said: "The government is investing heavily in Kuwait's travel and tourism industry, and over the next 20 years we will witness substantial growth, especially in business tourism development. Partnering with IHG in introducing Staybridge Suites to Kuwait is inline with the country's direction to offer a diversified hospitality environment to cater for all types of travellers. Our partnership with IHG is founded on the basis of innovation and leading Kuwait's hospitality industry forward with a variety of internationally-branded accommodation choices as the market matures."

* WIFI broadband service is free up to 256kbs, charges may apply if you require bandwidth exceeding this

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, almost 4,000 hotels and more than 590,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.

IHG pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus. IHG is the first major hotel group to have measured the environmental and carbon footprints of hotels that operate under our brands globally and is in the process of setting reduction targets.

With more than 1,600 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG needs to recruit around 150,000 people over the next few years to meet its global expansion plans.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com. For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media

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