BAKU, April 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The first Marriott hotel opened in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday. The five-star facility was build on the city’s central square Azadliq (Freedom) overlooking the Caspian Sea.
Formerly that was the site of the Soviet-era Absheron Hotel, which gave the new hotel its name – JW Marriott Absheron. The hotel is located in the heart of Baku’s business, shopping and entertainment district. It presents 243 rooms, four dining venues, a spa, a 24-hour fitness center, a rooftop indoor pool with panoramic views and eleven meeting rooms flooded with natural light.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony. He said that was the fourth five-star hotel opened in Baku over the past year. Earlier Baku witnessed the opening of Kempinski, Hilton and Jumeirah luxury hotels.
Two more five-star hotels will open in the capital city soon, Aliyev said. “That is a unique situation for the region,” he said. Investments are active in tourism and the hospitality industry in Azerbaijan, the president said. He hopes that many tourists will come to Azerbaijan and stay at the new hotels. “Our city is growing rapidly alongside the number of tourists, and I think we will need more hotels,” he said.
The Azerbaijani government announced tourism a priority of its economic policy and said it expected large tourism returns. The new hotel opened ahead of the Eurovision 2012 contest due in May.