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July 10, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

Park Hyatt Announces Jeddah Opening

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Park Hyatt just announced the opening of Park Hyatt Jeddah – Marina, Club and Spa, the second in the Middle East for the hotel chain, and the first five-star property to open in the city since 2004.

The second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital, Riyadh, Jeddah is a major center for Middle East commerce. Business travelers will love the convenient location, just a quick five-minute drive to the financial district (traffic jams abound on the congested streets). Organizations can hold massive conferences, and companies can seal the deal at the adjacent Lazurde Meeting and Conference Center that boasts an over 8,600 square foot ballroom that can be divided up for meetings, an outdoor reception area by the sea, and all the high-tech multimedia gadgets needed for an A+ presentation.

Practically built in the Red Sea itself on the Corniche of Jeddah, it’s hard not to appreciate the view as well. The resort is a remarkable engineering feat that reclaimed prime waterfront land from the Red Sea while retaining the delicate surrounding marine life. It’s the closest hotel in the city to the jaw-dropping King’s Palace, which is located on its own island. It also faces the iconic King Fahd’s Fountain, the world’s tallest fountain, which shoots up water at 233 miles per hour and is illuminated by over 500 spotlights at night.

The restaurant, Nafoura, faces this scene (as do most of the guest rooms) and serves up mouth-watering mezzes and grilled Mediterranean dishes from the open kitchen. Sipping tea (no alcohol allowed) and smoking shisha on the outdoor terrace (the menu has over 20 varieties of the flavored tobacco) will undoubtedly be a popular activity. Cigar aficionados can light up in a separate cigar lounge.

Keeping in line with Park Hyatt’s chic and modern yet understated aesthetic , French interior designer Gilles Quiffet and architect Patrice Hart designed the 142 guest rooms and public spaces to fuse a sleek European style with Arab-Andalusian architecture. Native artwork and crafts adorn the rooms, while intricately landscaped gardens surround the complex. Spa facilities are on the way and will feature separate ladies’ and gentlemen’s areas including the region’s first Hydrotherapy center.

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