The words on the cover of this issue, ‘ Africa now’, reflect Meliá Hotels International’s renewed commitment to Africa. The company has just opened an already iconic hotel, the Meliá Serengeti Lodge, right in the heart of the Serengeti National Park—a wildlife paradise par excellence.
It’s a mysterious and increasingly inviting continent for the world of tourism and travel, in which Meliá already has 16 hotels (open or in the process of opening) in countries like Tanzania, Mozambique, Morocco and Cape Verde. This issue of MStyle will showcase both the beauty of the Serengeti and our idyllic holiday destinations on the island of Sal, one of the most spectacular sites in Cape Verde. We’ll introduce you to the future ME Dubai hotel, the final architectural jewel of the brilliant architect Zaha Hadid. It will open its doors in late 2018, marking the start of a new era in the Middle Eastern hospitality and lifestyle industry.
Long before establishing ourselves in Africa and the Middle East, we were the first Spanish hotel company to expand into Asia, where we now have 45 hotels in operation or under construction. This magazine will take you to one of today’s most magical and coveted international destinations, Vietnam, where the Meliá group already operates 10 hotels, three of which will open this year in the capital city of Ho Chi Min, and we'll visit as well the magnificent city of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
Our legacy as a leader in leisure hospitality is also closely linked to the Caribbean and Latin America. Our latest paradise is the Meliá Iguazú at Iguazú Falls in Argentina, which we recommend that you visit at least once in your lifetime. This issue’s voyage through the Americas is completed by the most recent hotels opened in Cuba, which offer much more than spectacular beaches and stunning natural surroundings. These charming hotels are located in the historic cities of Camagüey, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, helping Meliá to diversify its scope and promote local culture and a more sustainable tourism.
Art and the connection between travellers and their destinations are essential elements of the Gran Meliá brand. Always at the forefront of luxury and refinement, it’s characterised by a strong sense of Spanish heritage. To this end, Gran Meliá will become a patron of the arts in the Spanish capital by sponsoring the ‘Meninas Gallery’ project, which is explored in these pages. This completes our section on art, dedicated in this issue to one of the world’s most important contemporary art fairs—ARCO in Madrid—and featuring an interview with its director. And for those who never get tired of learning, in ‘The Observatory’ we hope to bring you one step closer to the fascinating universe of the digital customer journey, which is helping us to revolutionise the guest experience.
I’d like to conclude with a reminder of Meliá’s deep commitment to society and the environment, with the goal of contributing to a better world through our work in the hotel industry. MStyle focuses its lens on a project conceived in Asia that has the potential to make a real difference, which we plan to expand in the future: ‘ Soap for Hope’, developed by Meliá Hotels International in collaboration with the leading company Diversey.
Thank you for your trust in us—and thank you for reading MStyle.
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Meliá Hotels International