Hotelier Middle East Monthly Update - 12th July 2005

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  July 10, 2005

Ladies first|~|ChopardFloor-L.jpg|~||~|I know that for years women have been shouting for equality, wanting to be treated the same as men in business and career opportunities, but sometimes we still wanted to be treated as women, and finally hotels are starting to realise this. May saw the opening of the first Chopard ladies-only floor at the Emirates Towers hotel in Dubai. A simple idea, coming quite naturally from a female general manager, Doris Greif, the ladies floor provides the perfect combination of a business room with all the female trimmings that us girls appreciate. The rooms have been tailored to suit the female business woman, with a seriously feminine design, without any evidence of a floral print. The work area remains, with internet connections at desk level, while additions include custom-made Chopard bathroom amenities and a make-up fridge from Minetti, purchased at a cool Euro 2,500 per unit. However, the main element of difference is in the service. The floor is served only by female members of staff; another first for the property, which has just employed the region’s first female hotel engineer. Only a female general manager could appreciate how uncomfortable some women can feel about receiving room service from a male, especially when it is that early morning coffee that always seems to arrive the minute you step under the shower. The number of female business travellers is on the rise, and hotels are now starting to cater to the female independent traveller. The Emirates Hotel may be the first in the region to offer tailored services for the fairer sex, but the idea has been around for many years. Raffles Hotels and Resorts has a policy that any room service delivery going to a female-only guestroom after nine o’clock at night has to be served by a female member of staff. In Europe, the trend has gone a step further. A string of female-only hotels have sprung up across the continent, including Lady’s First, a 28-room property in Switzerland run by an all-female executive committee. The hotel offers female business travellers a haven from the male-dominated world of business. Lady’s First provides all the services expected from a five-star boutique hotel, while providing women with a feeling of security and a place where they can go to breakfast without having to apply their make-up first. It is not rocket science, but it is about anticipating guest needs. And with the Chopard ladies-only floor at Emirates Towers recording 100% occupancy in its first month, it is also about meeting business demands and making money.||**||

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