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Mövenpick Hotel Saigon to close for overall remake in Mar   2010-02-01 - SGGP

The five-star hotel Mövenpick Saigon will close on Mar. 8 for US$15 million top-to-bottom renovations in five months and re-open on August 1 this year, general manager Dominik Stamm announced here Monday.

 

Mövenpick Saigon general manager Dominik Stamm announces the hotel’s five-month closing from March to July at a press briefing on Feb. 1

“Several factors persuaded us that this was the best course of action,” the Mövenpick’s general manager said at a press briefing at the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

He pointed at a reason on the backdrop, which reads “We are closing, as we are getting better…”

“First on the list was, and is, customer service. Not only will disruptions to guests from an ongoing renovation process be eliminated, we’ll be able to better serve them during the resurgence in traffic that’s now widely anticipated for the fall. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been fully operational until December, halfway through peak season.”

The Mövenpick is located on Nguyen Van Troi Street in Phu Nhuan District, just about two kilometers from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The street is being expanded, which somehow affects the business, said Mr. Stamm.

He said the US$15 million renovation project will cover hotel management upgrades, guest rooms, public areas, the entrances, new technology to save energy, replacements in the fitness center, and even the gambling club.

Regarding bookings already made, he said, “We’ve done everything possible to help them find alternative accommodations. So many of them are frequent travelers that they already comprehend the magnitude of the undertaking and that sometimes long-term improvement requires a bit of short-term sacrifice.”

During the five months of overall renovations, the staff will be retrained and re-developed, he said, adding that there would be no lay-off.

“Because business will come back after global economic downturn and that’s why we need the staff to stay.”

Mr. Stamm added that the hotel’s permanent staff has been assured they will be retained following the renovation process, during which time their benefits program will remain intact.

He said the renovation project will increase the number of guest rooms to 279 from current 250. He added the room rate “will increase slightly” but declined to give a specific number.

According to Mr. Stamm, the renovation process is also part of efforts the Swiss group Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is making to re-brand Mövenpick. The Mövenpick Hotel Saigon’s previous incarnation was the Omni Hotel Saigon, which opened in 1994 and converted to the Mövenpick in July 2008.



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