BTN interview: Aurelio Giraudo, cluster general manager, Banyan Tree Doha & La Cigale | Focus

When it opens later this year, Banyan Tree Doha will become the first urban, luxury resort in Qatar and a leader in the wider Middle East market.

It is also the first property developed under the Banyan Tree-Accor strategic partnership.

Located in the heart of Msheireb, the resort sits within the Doha Oasis project, a premier city destination comprising of luxury department store, an indoor experiential theme park and a cineplex.

The 341-key property is in close proximity to the commercial district of the capital and cultural attractions, such as the Museum of Islamic Art and Souq Waqif standing market.


La Cigale has been a Doha institution since 2006

La Cigale hotel is a five-star luxury hotel in the heart of the dynamic centre of Doha City, approximately 20 minutes away from the Hamad International Airport.

Opening since 2006, it has been recognised as Qatar’s Leading Hotel by voters at the World Travel Awards.

It was rebranded under the Accor umbrella from Dec 2019.

It has 225 keys, ten dining and entertainment outlets with outdoor seating options; two state of the art ballrooms; a 490 square metre gymnasium; a 20-meter-long daylight indoor swimming pool and a deluxe spa.

Here Breaking Travel News speaks with Aurelio Giraudo, cluster general manager for Banyan Tree Doha & La Cigale Hotel Managed by Accor, to find out more about the project.

Breaking Travel News: Can you tell us a little about the upcoming opening of Banyan Tree Doha?

Aurelio Giraudo: Banyan Tree Doha will be one-stop destination comprised of luxury hotel, lavish residences, fine dining restaurants, prestigious French fashion department store Printemps, cutting-edge Vox cinemas and state-of-the-art, indoor, first ever theme park in Qatar, Quest.


Banyan Tree Doha will open later this year

BTN: What is on offer at the property?

AG: Our hotel will feature the signature Banyan Tree Spa with a Rainforest hydrotherapy facility, Saffron fine-dining Thai restaurant, and Vertigo, a 28-storey rooftop bar overlooking panoramic city skyline of Doha.

For Italian food lovers, we will be having Il Galante a fine Italian dining restaurant, Qalamkarri, an Indian restaurant inspired by traditional Kalamkari art, and Panya Lounge, a patisserie with a combination of Asian and European flair.

BTN: When can we expect it to open?

AG: Banyan Tree Doha is expected to open this year.


The property will be the first of its kind in the Qatari capital

BTN: How does this fit with the wider growth of the tourism sector in Qatar, with the FIFA World Cup 2022 now just around the corner?

AG: Lots of exciting new projects are coming up in Qatar for FIFA World Cup 2022 and Banyan Tree Doha is one of them.

I am very excited to lead the team of professionals who will be working very closely with me for launching the hotel.

Lots of initiatives are already taken by the Qatar government in promoting sports tournaments, especially football.

Even though our industry is going through difficult times due to Covid-19, Qatar as a market has seen a growth of business over the previous years, driven by government initiatives and quarantine demand.

With vaccination drive in full progress, we anticipate market to recover by quarter four of 2021.

With increased demand and less supply, our forecast for the hotel is very healthy and we anticipate the same to continue till end of FIFA World Cup 2022.

The FIFA tournament time demand model has forecasted 1.7 million people could visit Qatar during the World Cup, with approximately 500,000 visitors in the country on the busiest days.

So overall very healthy signs for the market.


Banyan Tree Doha is the first joint project from the brand alongside Accor

BTN: You have a long track record of success in the hospitality industry – what makes this property attractive to you?

AG: I did visit this project before taking up this exciting assignment and was blown away.

The modern steel elliptical shape, covered in exotic, awe-inspiring gardens, its location being in the heart of Msheireb and the one-stop destination concept with luxurious hotel and lavish residences will be a key to success for this property.

More Information

Find out more about the upcoming hotel on the official website.

Giraudo holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from Italian Hospitality and has completed a number of senior leadership programs at Cornell & Bocconi University.

Prior to his latest appointment with Accor, he was the cluster general manager for Kempinski in Kenya.

Giraudo has four decades of experience with leading luxury hospitality companies including Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Accor.

He is also no stranger to Banyan Tree, as during his early years in hospitality industry he was working for them in Banyan Tree Bintan Indonesia.

In his current role, he is in charge of repositioning the La Cigale under the Accor umbrella and to ensure the successful opening of Banyan Tree Doha.

With his extensive expertise in sales and marketing, food and beverage, revenue management and finance departments, he will be responsible to achieve the commercial objectives of both the hotels and position them as the preferred destination for local and international travellers.



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