IHG Signs With Mediterranean Investment Group for Crowne Plaza Durrës, Albania

United Kingdom, Denham. July 16, 2021

IHG® Hotels & Resorts (IHG®), one of the world's leading hotel companies, has announced the signing of Crowne Plaza Durrës, Albania. This franchised agreement with Mediterranean Investment Group will be a country debut for IHG Hotels & Resorts and the Crowne Plaza brand.

Expected to open in 2024, Crowne Plaza Durrës will offer 140 guest rooms, as well as a restaurant, bar and lounge, meeting room facilities and a wellness area including a spa, fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. Located in the centre of this coastal city, the hotel will form part of Durrës' new waterfront investment project, which promises to transform the area into a prime leisure destination.

It will include a new cruise terminal, marina, green spaces and cycle routes. With more than 400 hotels around the world, Crowne Plaza's global scale, purposeful design, refined meetings & events, and inspiring restaurant and bar concepts make it a great fit for Albania, which is seeing increased demand from both investors and visitors as a destination for both leisure and corporate travel.

(Mrs) Willemijn Geels, Vice President Development Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, commented: "Albania represents a key entry market for IHG Hotels & Resorts and we are delighted to be partnering with Mediterranean Investment Group to open the Crowne Plaza Durrës, Albania. There is a great deal of scope to bring further IHG Hotels & Resorts brands to the Balkans, and we are actively looking at new opportunities to build on our presence there. Our Crowne Plaza brand has already proven to be highly successful in Belgrade, Serbia, and we look forward to introducing it to the Albanian market as we look to grow across the Balkans."

Gazmend Haxhia, Board Member of Mediterranean Investment Group, commented: "IHG Hotels & Resorts presented a compelling partnership opportunity to open Crowne Plaza Durrës in a city which is experiencing high growth and investment levels. We believe that the Premium Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand caters perfectly to the current leisure demand and growing interest from corporate travellers choosing to visit Durrës. We look forward to opening the hotel during a major new investment period for Durrës in partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts."

Located west of the capital city Tirana, on the Adriatic Sea, Durrës is a historian's dream with a 9th century church, Archaeological Museum, Byzantine Market Square, Venetian Tower, Durrës Castle, Fatih Mosque and Roman Amphitheatre; all less than a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Nearby sandy beach, Broad Durrësi Beach, offers guests the opportunity to relax and unwind with a number of restaurants and bars scattered close to the port area, making it an attractive tourist destination.

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is one of the world's largest Premium brands, with 420 properties located in major urban centres, gateway cities and resort destinations all around the globe, and almost 100 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG's family of 16 brands gives guests a wealth of choices, and is presented in four collections. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts sits within IHG's Premium Collection, which makes travel personal and purposeful. The Collection also includes HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, EVEN Hotels and voco Hotels.

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Coming up in November 2021...

Architecture & Design: Wellness is Key


Like every other facet of hotel operations, architecture and design firms are adapting their work to ensure the safety and well-being of both guests and staff. New ways to bring Wellness into hotel spaces are being explored and these solutions are taking on many forms. Hotel designs are incorporating more open floor plans, open air spaces, high ceilings, outdoor areas and operable walls into their spaces. Guests no longer want to be packed into tight areas. More "biophilic" elements are also being incorporated, offering guests the sense of being outdoors. Another trend is the reimagining of guest rooms to support remote work capabilities. Some hotels are converting empty guest rooms into office spaces, complete with effective lighting and suitable backgrounds for video conferencing. Dedicated Zoom Rooms are also becoming increasingly popular. The main goal is to provide guests with a positive experience in a space that feels safe and comfortable. These are some of the architecture and design subjects that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.