THE Ramada is nestled in the verdant suburb of Bahrain called Adliya and, by all accounts, it is a landmark of perfect hospitality and class.
Hans Joachim Radek, the general manager of the hotel, bubbles with the enthusiasm that only comes with success. “This year has been a good one for us,” he said. “We had an average occupancy of 68 per cent, which is definitely better than last year. We had a total of 5,000 more guests.”
When asked whether he had seen a shift in clientele, he said he hadn’t. “Our clientele is primarily the corporate guest, we have a lot of American service personnel staying in the hotel and they form the core of our clients.”
The Ramada has gone through many changes over the last year. It opened its pub, The Exchange, renovated its fine dining outlet, Le Jardin, and turned the famous Rendezvous Lounge into a meeting centre.
“The Rendezvous hasn’t done the amount of business we would have liked, but we still maintain that it is the perfect venue for cocktail parties – as we know through experience. The Rendezvous is ideal for small groups, business or pleasure.”
The Exchange has seen business on the rise. “We cater to a more middle-aged conservative clientele at the Exchange,” said Hans Radek, “and with our new band Kryptonite, things can only get better. The food sales at the Exchange have been impressive reiterating that we have one of the best kitchens on the island.”
The Exchange is not short on theme nights either, from the Friday Brunch to the carvery there’s something happening every day.
Business has picked up at Le Jardin as well. The renovation has lent the restaurant a rather cosy ambience and with a daily lunch buffet it’s certainly looking like the place to be on the island.
But what of the Bahrain F1 2005? “We’re fully booked!” said Hans Radek. “We’re offering full board, half board and bed and breakfast. In fact, the Honda team wanted to stay at the hotel, but we had to turn them down because we’re already full. This time hopefully people who come to watch the Grand Prix will stay a bit longer than last year.”
The hotel will undergo a major renovation this year. “We will completely redo two floors this year, and then one floor every year after that,” said Hans Radek, who also brought to our attention that the new lobby café now features an a la carte menu.
The future is certainly looking bright for the Ramada Bahrain, and the air of optimism filters down from the top. “I foresee a good year in 2005,” beamed Hans Radek. But then he states, rather seriously: “Our clientele, however, largely service personnel so the situation in the region governs the occupancy.”
But on the whole Radek is rather impressed by the government’s efforts to boost tourism on the island. “I think they’re really taking the initiative,” he said. “The F3 brought in a large number of guests which was good for business. I honestly think that Bahrain has so much more to offer. And if the new flyover between Bahrain and Doha comes to fruition, then I can visit my friends in Qatar for lunch and be back in the evening. It’s splendid.”
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