THE Diplomat Radisson SAS hotel stands tall and proud amidst the Bahrain skyline: A towering testament to the tradition of Bahrain hospitality.
The hotel has been in Bahrain for as long as anyone can care to remember and has always been considered to be amongst Bahrain’s finest.
Featuring 246 rooms the hotels boasts the “biggest, newest and best places to rest one’s head on the island”, according to Yigit Sezgin, director of sales and marketing for the hotel.
Sezgin has just arrived in Bahrain and at the hotel: “I joined the hotel and the Rezidor Group on August 21,” he says already looking comfortable within the hubbub of the daily running of a hotel.
“I was at the Ritz Doha before this, and I think my professionality is in opening hotels. I look at my job at the Diplomat in a similar light. The Diplomat is an evolving hotel. It gets bigger and better all the time, it’s constantly raising the bar when it comes to hospitality standards on the island. So, in many ways, working here is like always opening a new hotel.”
The Diplomat has just completed phase one of its massive renovation plan. The rooms were completely revamped and are now in Classic, Maritime and Italian themes.
Each room is equipped with direct dial phones, internet access, voice mail, satellite TV et al.
The hotel has also opened two new dining outlets, the Mondos bar lounge restaurant and Kontiki Polynesian restaurant. The painstaking detail of each and the impeccable style epitomise the quest for quality that is the trademark of the hotel and the Group.
“And it’s not over yet,” says Sezgin with an air of excitement. “We are now in the process of renovating the main entrance and we are building a spa and a Residence.”
The Residence, which is indeed a mammoth project, is expected to open some time in 2006 and will feature 121 fully-furnished, full-service apartments.
“There are 78 one-bedroom apartments, 26 two-bedroom apartments, 13 three-bedroom apartments, three 3-bedroom Type II apartments, and one penthouse,” adds Sezgin.
The hotel is hoping to bolster its corporate client list using an aggressive marketing strategy. And the lure of its restaurants is helping a great deal.
“Both Mondos and Kontiki are doing splendidly,” says Sezgin, “the food’s fantastic and the people love it.”
The Diplomat is also packing its calendar with a whole host of activities. On November 27-28 Shakespeare will come to town with ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ where a theatre troupe will perform The Taming of the Shrew.
In December, the Diplomat will bring pugilistic pleasures to Bahrain when it kicks-off Boxing Night, which will feature a sit down dinner, drinks and … boxing. “We’re planning to bring down amateur boxers from all over the world for this event,” says Sezgin.
And don’t forget the Eid celebrations, which the Diplomat is so famous for. From Eid theatre to a host of cultural activities tailormade for the entire family, it is the place to be.
Speaking of culture, Sezgin says that the hotel is trying to be more active in the cultural aspects of Bahrain society, and not just through their hotel. The Diplomat is sponsoring a Porsche GT for the upcoming GT festival at the Bahrain International circuit.
When asked about any special deals, Sezgin was forthright when he said: “I don’t see a reason to dilute rates to create packages. The city needs to hold on to its rates. The city is growing and I feel that you cannot put a price on quality.”
And quality is what the Diplomat Radisson SAS is all about. The competition may be fierce, but it looks like the hotel has got a clear plan to ensure that they lead the pack into the future.