Despite a fire earlier this year, Melia Hotels’ second London property will be open in time for the Olympic Games.

Gabriel Escarrer, Melia Hotels International’s CEO, said the new ME London hotel will open two months ahead of the opening ceremony.

There were fears that the hotel, located at the corner of the Strand and Aldwych, would not be completed on time following extensive damage caused by the fire in June.

The 156-room property will combine the historic facade of Marconi House with a new Portland Stone building and will feature a rooftop bar with views of Somerset House and the Thames.

At a press conference in London, the CEO also set out the rationale behind the hotel group’s rebranding from Sol Melia to Melia Hotels International.

The new brand is intended to reflect the group’s increasingly globalised portfolio, with 32 new hotels in the pipeline before 2014, said Escarrer.

This global expansion will be aimed towards the growing markets in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, namely China and Brazil, as well as consolidating the group’s market share in Europe and the USA.

Melia have had a presence in Indonesia since opening the Melia Bali in 1985, but is targeting further growth throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including properties in Vietnam and Thailand.

Emphasis on growth in China is the priority following Melia’s strategic alliance with Chinese hotel group Jin Jiang in March, and the opening of its first hotel in China, the Gran Melia Shanghai.

The group is working on key strategic locations in Asia in an attempt to establish a major foothold on the continent and attract the Chinese tourism feeder market towards Melia hotels.

This is in order to hit Escarrer’s target of making Melia Hotels International one of the top ten hotel firms for managed properties worldwide by 2014.

The partnership will initially focus on six hotels managed by Jin Jiang in major Chinese cities such as the Jin Jiang Tower and Marvel hotel in Shanghai, the Xinai Jin Jiang hotel in Beijing, and the West Capital International Hotel in Xi’an.

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