Thursday, May 6, 2021

Family Holidays

Family comes first and foremost
April 2015 2109
Hotelier Mike Scully brings a common, yet unique hospitality concept to the Middle East

South African championship golfer Ernie Els has joined hands with First & Foremost Hotels and Resorts, a bespoke hotel asset, development and operations company in partnership with Europe-based Leading Family Hotels & Resorts.

Former general manager of the Westin and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi complex, Mike Scully, is the managing director of First And Foremost Family Hotels. “We see a big gap in the market for fully-inclusive family hotels,” he said during a press conference held in Dubai earlier this year.

“To achieve double-digit returns, hotels need to have their point of difference. This can be location, hospitality, entertainment and/or leisure. This is key for a strong return on investment for owners.

“First and Foremost Family Hotels will incorporate all of the above. Combined with the Leading Family Hotels ‘Edutainment’ offer – specialising in kids up to five years of age – this makes us unique. We’re not reliant on school holidays and we can focus on achieving the highest room rates and occupancy levels all year round.”

The family hospitality sector represents a huge opportunity for investors and developers alike, as it continues to grow into a key economic driver outperforming many other brand concepts.

First & Foremost Family Hotels will be autism friendly, thanks to input from Ernie Els and his foundation Els for Autism. Expertise and the latest systems from The Els Center of Excellence will be utilised to produce highly trained staff. The hotels which will premier in the Middle East will also have a small percentage of rooms designed especially for families with autistic children.

“I am delighted to partner First & Foremost to launch Family Hotels,” comments Ernie Els. “Family holiday time has always been a priority for me and I have experienced a lot of five-star hotels worldwide that do not really offer a complete family holiday experience. You want a fun and relaxing environment for everyone! We are going to provide that with First and Foremost Family Hotels. In addition, we are going to ensure a safe environment for families on the spectrum and also create substantial employment opportunities for adults with autism.

Scully … there’s a gap in the market for fully inclusive family hotels

Hopefully, our lead will encourage other organisations to follow suit.”

Due to their unique partnerships, bespoke approach and the opportunities that exist in the family sector, Mike Scully, who has been instrumental in the development of over 70 hotel openings and food and beverage concepts is confident of ensuring success to owners and developers that work with First and Foremost Family Hotels.

“Through our partnership with Leading Family Hotels and Ernie Els we shall assist owners and developers of resort hotels to achieve higher than average returns on investment while maintaining risk awareness and being unique in product and service quality.”

A Leading Family Hotels & Resorts representative informed that the brand is one of the few worldwide to special in families and children, as it has a special focus on babies and toddlers.

“We separate ourselves from focusing on family hardware and software other family-focus hotels by installing safety features, baby-monitoring devices, bathroom sinks, nannies specialised in child care and so on and so forth. We are expensive – double the five-star average in our region – but we offer safety and security for children, while parents can genuinely relax,” said the spokesperson. 

According to data shared at the press conference, Leading Family Hotels & Resorts runs on average 95 per cent occupancy, boasts €600 ($650) RevPar and 72 per cent of the guests are repeat customers. It has properties in Austria and Italy. 


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