RIU Opens Its First Hotel in Western Africa, The RIU Baobab

Spain, Palma. May 11, 2022

This year, the RIU chain has set out on a new and exciting adventure into the heart of Africa with the opening of a new 5-star hotel — the Riu Baobab — in Senegal. Travellers will feel a deep connection with this authentic destination right from their first moments in the country on their way to the hotel, with views dominated by impressive baobab trees. When they arrive, they'll find a magnificent beachfront resort that is heavily inspired by the local culture.

The Riu Baobab, with 522 rooms, is located in Pointe Sarène on an impressive, vast white sand beach just 100 kilometres from Dakar and 48 kilometres from the airport. This hotel takes the chain's renowned 24-hour all-inclusive service to the beaches of Senegal. The new complex is surrounded by spacious gardens that are home to 25 baobabs, Senegal's national tree that has become a symbol of the country and inspired the hotel's name.

It is the ideal choice for a family holiday thanks to its comprehensive facilities and wide range of dining options, with five different restaurants: the main international buffet restaurant "Yassa", the Italian restaurant "Veneto", the Asian restaurant "Dorayaki", a grill restaurant that serves delicious barbecue food, and the grill buffet Pepe's Food. There are also four bars: the "Sorouba" with a stage and terrace, the "Bar Plaza", the pool bar "Dunun" with a swim-up bar, and the lobby bar "Safari".

RIU's entertainment team also offers a varied programme of activities for guests of all ages in the hotel. There is guaranteed fun for the whole family all day long with the RiuLand children's club, the Splash Water World water park, live shows and the "Aduna" nightclub.

All of these areas are located in the main 4-storey building and two 2-storey annex buildings, which house five rooms for MICE events and meetings. This space will be highly valued by local customers as a venue for both business events and social celebrations. What's more, in the hotel's outdoor areas customers can enjoy three large pools, as well as a medium-sized pool with a swim-up bar, while our youngest guests can cool off in the children's pool.

The hotel's design and decor are inspired by Senegalese culture and pay constant homage to these local traditions. This can be seen in the use of natural materials such as dark woods and stone finishes. What's more, the palette of earthy tones used all over the hotel transmits the warmth of the surroundings. The hotel boasts figures and masks from the local culture that, along with other elements of the decor, will make customers live and breathe the essence of Africa throughout their entire stay.

RIU hopes that this will be the first of many hotels in Senegal, as was the case in other African destinations such as Cape Verde. In fact, the company is following the business model used in Cape Verde for this new destination, promoting 50 employees from the archipelago for the opening of the Riu Baobab to ensure that the RIU service culture is maintained. This new addition joins RIU's six hotels in Morocco, two in Tanzania and six in Cape Verde to take the chain's total number of establishments in Africa to 15.

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As the hotel industry transitions to a more familiar position, it is still necessary for hotels to emphasize in their marketing the health protocols they have implemented to ensure guest safety and wellness. Above all, guests need to be reassured that every precaution is being taken to safeguard their well-being. Additionally, there are other marketing strategies that hotels can implement as a way to boost their business. For example, neighborhood marketing is a tactic that relies heavily on appealing to local audiences. Incentives targeting locals can fulfill the craving that some people have for time away from home, but aren't ready to hop on a plane. Another viable strategy is to promote experiences in nature. After being stuck inside for so long, many people are looking for hotels to help them re-connect with the great outdoors. The June Hotel Business Review will focus on the marketing strategies that some hotels are adopting and how they are benefiting from them.