Creneau International business development manager Wieneke Loohuis. Creneau International business development manager Wieneke Loohuis.

What makes Creneau a good fit as a supplier for the mid-market hotel sector?

We believe the guest experience starts from the first booking, and doesn’t end before the guests leave the parking place.Because we have a track record not only in creating concepts but also in operating different restaurant and bars, we can truly consult with our clients on the importance of delivering guest expectations and beyond. We never design without understanding the clients’ whole concept brief; we dig before we build.

What are some challenges (if any) that you face when dealing with the mid-market hotel sector?

We don’t believe in challenges; we see opportunities. Some might think that the mid-market hotel sector is less sexy in general because the budgets are lower. But design is about surprising and creating the ‘wow’ factor. We deliver ideas of the anti-ordinary. This can be done in any hotel sector with any budget.

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What trends and opportunities do you observe in the sector?

The investment level in the market is still high; new hotels and restaurants are opening fast. This makes the field very competitive. Every week you can visit a newly opened hotel and restaurant in the UAE. However, we also notice there are challenges to create returning guests. We have been doing this for 27 years, and over 10 years in the Middle East as a design agency and successful bar and restaurant operator. This allows us to provide our clients with full 360-degree service, from the clients’ brief to our research, production and build, translating into a number of successful projects and returning customers across the Middle East market.

How is Creneau different from its competitors?

We always question the status quo. We stand on delivering a project that pays itself back. We never forget who we are working with. We keep in mind the end goal when working. We believe in the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We don’t work for people; we work with people. We try to make the complex simple. We’re allergic to copycats; the ‘cats’ we like are the ones that dare to take risks and stand out. And although we are a design and branding agency, we realise that design and branding are mere surface. The invisible parts of a concept shape its surface and these are equally as important. That’s why we like to dig deep before we even start.

What new launches or expansion plans can you reveal? Please share details.

We just opened Le Petit Belge, a Belgian restaurant and bar in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, with two more upcoming openings. In 2017, we designed and built Cho Gao, a pan-Asian restaurant and lounge in InterContinental, Abu Dhabi; Cho Gao has been nominated for two interior design awards in the UAE. Currently, we are finalising over eight design projects for clients in the UAE such as Le Méridien, Dusit Thani and Nakheel. We are excited for our first design project in Thailand, the Beer Republic Holiday Inn Bangkok, which is about to open this December. As the whole process was a huge success, we are exhilarated to explore the Asia design market more.

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