THE first Meliá hotel in Mongolia will open in 2017, in the Bayanzurkh area of Ulan Bator, alongside the financial and government district.
The property will be Meliá Hotels International’s 18th in Asia-Pacific and Mongolia will be the fifth country where it will be represented.
The 150-room Gran Meliá Ulaanbaatar will occupy the 12 upper floors of a new-build 35-storey tower, incorporating a rooftop restaurant, heliport and spa, and offering the brand’s VIP services, Red Level and Red Glove.
A spokesperson from the Spanish company said it has been drawn to the project by Mongolia’s double-digit GDP growth in recent years, which in turn has boosted tourism growth.
Some 70 per cent of clients are forecast initially to be business travellers, although the leisure sector is expected to increase, thanks to the “drive from its main generating markets – China, India, Japan, South Korea and Kazakhstán”.
While the economy had led to a boom at the luxury end of the hotel market in Ulan Bator, most of the companies involved so far had been from North America.
The spokesperson added that the company is “currently studying other projects in the country. But they are for resorts, outside Ulan Bator”.
CEO and vice president, Gabriel Escarrer, who signed the contract with developer Baz International last week, said the new hotel highlights the group’s “special focus” on Asia, adding that Mongolia’s leading trading partners China, Russia, the US and Japan are also Meliá’s “priority markets”.
Meliá currently offers some 95,000 rooms in 365 hotels spread across 40 countries.