Bahrain is on right track says the new Ramada GM
Hans Rodeck, general manager, Ramada Bahrain has been in the hotel industry for more than 30 years.Rodeck grew up in the food and beverage industry, considering his parents ran a restaurant. He apprenticed in his parent's business and then went on to work in Paris, France. "The opportunity to work in a foreign country enabled me not only to learn a very important language within the gastronomical field, but it also broadened my knowledge of service," he says. Rodeck arrived in Bahrain to take over the reins at the Ramada in February of this year. Rodeck feels that Bahrain is on the right track when it comes to promoting itself as a tourist destination. "The Formula 1 track and the race early in 2004 is certainly a step in the right direction. I do, however, feel that Bahrain is feeling the effects of not having a few more beaches, or beach resorts like its neighbours, mainly Abu Dhabi and Dubai," he says. "There has been a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the tourism industry due to the conflict in Iraq and the Sars crisis, but all in all Ramada has not been affected to any great extent. The major expansion plans laid out by the group are going along on schedule." He states that though Ramada Bahrain did go through a lull business is now picking up. "Over 75 per cent of our guests are businesspeople and with Sars affecting global travel we did see a downturn, but now with SARS under control, things are looking like getting back to normal." Rodeck is candid when he says that the Ramada Bahrain is a four-star hotel and is under no delusions that it can mask itself as a five-star. "It's unfortunate that we don't have a ballroom, but we have to make do with what we have. We do a lot of outside catering and that's good for business. The rooms are looking a bit tired and we are currently looking into plans for a refurbishment." Rodeck feels that the reason why the hotel still draws a regular clientele is that the hotel's motto has always been "service with a smile". "We at Ramada Bahrain believe in being consistent in the quality of our service. And standards and F&B are always improving. It is important that our guests regard the hotel as being a sort of home away from home. We believe in marketing ourselves using word of mouth." The Ramada Bahrain does indeed have some special plans in the pipeline. "Atlantis, which has been closed for some time now will soon be re-opened as a pub-restaurant. And we are targeting those who are young as well as young at heart. The Le Jardin will continue its tradition of offering the best in fine dining." Rodeck exudes confidence about the future when he speaks about the hotel and its outlook. And if truth be told, the plans are indeed spectacular and Rodeck and his team look all set to take the hotel into the future with certain strides in an uncertain industry.