THE RITZ CARLTON
Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah

A 101-luxury private villa resort located in a nature sanctuary, RAK National Hotels acquired Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert in May 2016.

Hospitality Advisory Partners were involved as the agreement with the previous operator ended. They quickly identified Ritz Carlton as the best choice of operator, who recognised the rare opportunity of managing a luxury desert property and had the necessary experience to deliver superior asset valuation to shareholders.

The project involved substantial upgrades to the property and an expedient transition made possible by the in-depth hotel experience of the Hospitality Advisory Partners’ team.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

Hospitality Advisory Partners initially reviewed four international luxury operators in relation to the selection process, quickly narrowing to three.

Negotiated with 3 international luxury operators, deciding on Ritz Carlton as they had the necessary heritage, distinctive service and respect for the unique desert environment of the property.

Started negotiations with Marriott International for Ritz Carlton in August 2016 and signed the Hotel Management Agreement in October 2016.

Demonstrated to shareholders the advantages of the extra investment required to bring the property to the standards of Ritz Carlton.

Developed a PIP (Property Improvement Plan) which began in October 2016, before the exit of the previous operator.

Handled the relocation of all staff to a new employee compound.

Hospitality Advisory Partners managed the introduction of staff to the Ritz Carlton brand.

The previous operator exited at midnight on 14 December 2016, with Ritz Carlton entering under a white flag on 15 December 2016.

Due to the speed of the process, some hidden conditions came up for technical services, all these were handled efficiently by Hospitality Advisory Partners with no interruption to the guest experience.

The hotel remained open throughout, ensuring no extra loss of revenue during the reflagging.

Hospitality Advisory Partners presented new upgrades for the F&B outlets, leisure facilities and Rainforest experience, which are being implemented in a phased process.

All 101 private pool villas have been refurbished with no disturbance to guests.

The property was completely reflagged to Ritz Carlton as of November 2017.

The property is undergoing the third phase of refurbishment.

Hospitality Advisory Partners recognised that Ritz Carlton would add value to this particular asset through their own experience of hotel operations and the partnership is proving successful for all parties.