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80-year tradition in hospitality, a legacy of quality

Article - September 27, 2011
Guests at the Omayad Hotel – Damascus can revel in the grandeur of the Omayad Caliphs’ famous capital
Upon entering the eye-catching iron door of the Omayad Hotel’s white stone building and walking through the baroque-style reception hall, one is enveloped by the sumptuous feeling of this Damascus landmark. The four-star luxe hotel features 70 elegantly appointed rooms and suites with highly rated VIP services and state-of-the-art amenities, among which are free WiFi Internet, complimentary valet parking and guest security fixtures.

The Omayad has long been the top choice among world celebrities and heads of state, as well as prominent Arab and international politicians. It is conveniently located in the city center, one mile from Damascus’ historic downtown, yet close to the National Museum, handicraft market, and shopping, leisure and business venues.

The hotel has always been family owned. Hassane Salloum is the chairman and general manager, assisted by his daughter Evy and son Michel, who are both managing directors; all of them graduated from the famous Lausanne School of Hotel Administration.

It provides two restaurants, Whispers and Bam-Bu, in addition to two bars: Shalimar piano bar and Z Bar. The latter venue is famous throughout the region as one of the trendiest chill-out lounges, with a breathtaking view over the city from its open terrace. It is also home to various banqueting facilities and meeting rooms aimed at MICE.  

Historically, Mr. Salloum’s father came to Syria from neighboring Lebanon to open in Damascus’ Martyrs’ Square the first Omayad Hotel in 1931 until it moved in 1952 to its current location. It established a tradition of hospitality innovation from the very start by adding private bathrooms with hot running water, telephones in rooms, and guest elevators at a time when these were practically considered  novelties.

Perhaps the true recipe for the Omayad’s popularity and success is the winning combination of East and West with three generations of successful hoteliers behind it. Mr. Salloum explains, “We strive to offer our discerning clientele personal attention with a perfect match between renowned Arab hospitality and Swiss management know-how.”

He adds, “We look forward to constant quality improvement and investment expansion boosted by Syria’s present dynamic economic momentum.”

Today, Omayad Hotel is a proud member of two exclusive worldwide networks: Swiss International Hotels and the U.K.-based Great Hotels of the World.