08 November 2005
Posted on 08 Nov 2005 # IANS

Five-star hotel opens in Kabul

Kabul : Afghan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the five-star Serena Hotel here Tuesday, saying that after 30 years of armed conflict the country could boast of a hotel that could provide the best hospitality.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) spent more than $30 million and two and a half years to rebuild and upgrade the former Kabul hotel originally built in 1945 and badly damaged in the 1990s.

"The government wanted to ensure that state visitors, diplomats, government officials, foreign and local investors, donor agency representatives and tourists travelling to Kabul would have acceptable accommodation," said Aga Khan, the head of AKDN.

Guest services at the 177-room hotel include a concierge, restaurants, business centre, fitness centre, beauty salon, travel services bureau and laundry.

Afghan cabinet ministers, foreign diplomats, and senior UN officils attended the opening ceremony that came nearly four years after the fall of extremist Taliban regime.