Kempinski resort’s opening coincides with carnival


The 150-room resort, in a secluded setting in what was formerly the ‘Plantation Club Hotel’, hosted most of the impressive 75-strong press contingent who came here to cover the three-day carnival, the Seychelles Tourism Board chief executive Alain St Ange said at a press conference prior to the grandiose inauguration.

Among the guests were the President of the Conseil Régional de La Reunion, Didier Robert; the director of Reunion Tourism, Pascal Viroleau; and the secretary general of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai.

Though Kempinski runs some 200 top hotels on four continents, the Baie Lazare resort is the first in the Indian Ocean islands.

At a colourful ceremony, complete with cultural show and fireworks display, the resort’s general manager, Pierre Stacher, told ministers, members of the press and other guests that just one year ago he had set foot in Seychelles for the  first time and work had just begun. He expressed satisfaction that the resort is now complete with 150 standard and deluxe rooms, suites and a presidential suite.

The sprawling resort amid tropical gardens also boasts several restaurants and bars, with a ballroom sitting up to 200 guests, plus two other meeting rooms. This is ideal for weddings, parties and other social events.

All these are within walking distance to the beach, a unique wetland area and spectacular granite outcrops in the background, adding to the vivid landscape around the high-end establishment.

A partial view of the entrance to the five-star Kempinski resort

The Kempinski also has a gym, a swimming pool and spa.
A casino is also opening later this year to offer guests more choice in the way of night entertainment.

Clients can enjoy one of Mahe’s finest beaches, protected by a reef, 200 metres off shore. Besides superb swimming, the clients can enjoy snorkelling and non-motorised water sports, such as catamaran and pedal boats. They can explore hidden bays or go inter-island hopping.

For recreation, there are also tennis courts, beach volleyball and other facilities.
Mr Laurent Moser, the president and director of the European Hotels and Resorts -- owner board of the Kempinski chain -- recalled that the exceptional property was purchased in 2008 just before the onset of the global economic recession.

He said although Seychelles launched its macro-economic reforms at around the same time, Kempinski strongly believes in Seychelles.

Mr Moser said the result is there for everyone to see after 14 months of intensive work. He noted that the design was carefully planned to blend with the stunning landscape.

Though a high number of expatriate workers were visible, the Kempinski officials said that several Seychellois have been employed as team heads.

Seychelles Nation also learned from a Namibian staff member that several Kempinski employees in Africa and the Middle East have been seconded to Mahe to help with the grandiose inauguration.

The Kempinski company started in 1897 in the German capital, Berlin, and is one of the oldest hotel companies in Europe.
According to Mr Stacher, the Kempinski brand incorporates both luxury and tradition.

It is very much a worldwide brand and also part of the ‘Global Hotel Alliance’, similar to the ‘Star Alliance.’
All staff – porters, receptionists, chefs, bartenders, etc. – wear hats depending on where they work in the hotel.

In Africa, Kempinski resorts are also implanted in Egypt, Chad, Namibia, South Africa and Djibouti.

After Seychelles, the latest addition to the Kempinski chain is the Latin American country of Panama.

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