In a strategic move that underscores its ambitious expansion plans, the Kazakh hotel chain Pana, owned by Aqniet Group, is gearing up to make its mark in Russia with the upcoming opening of a hotel in St. Petersburg in 2024.
A couple of years ago, Aqniet Group, a Kazakh conglomerate engaged in pharmaceuticals and agribusiness, made headlines with the launch of its own hotel network in Kazakhstan under the name Pana Hotels. The chain encompasses boutique hotels, 4-star accommodations (Pana White), 5-star luxury hotels (Pana Brown), premium apartments (Pana Black), and other elements of the tourism infrastructure. In Russia, Aqniet Group already owns the Movenpick Taganskaya hotel in Moscow and the former Holiday Inn Express on Bauman Street.
Following the departure of the IHG management company from the Russian market a year ago, Aqniet Group took control of the Holiday Inn Express, integrating it fully into the Pana family in December 2022.
The hotel features 127 rooms, including two luxurious suites, and offers complimentary breakfast for all guests. With the addition of three conference rooms equipped with panoramic windows, the hotel has transformed from a mere lodging facility into a business-oriented accommodation. Free Wi-Fi is available not only for guests staying at the hotel but also for attendees of events hosted on-site. Additionally, an authentic Kazakh restaurant with a signature culinary experience has been introduced within the hotel.
Looking ahead for the next five years, Aqniet Group’s long-term plans involve expanding the Pana Hotels network to six thousand rooms through a combination of franchise partnerships and in-house construction projects. The expansion is set to cover various countries, including Kazakhstan, Armenia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and specific regions in Russia such as Crimea, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Dagestan.