French hotel giant Accor, one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality chains, is on track with its expansion plans in the region with the opening of the first Mercure Grand Hotel in Bahrain in March this year.
Since Accor launched its first establishment in 1967, the group has expanded within the GCC with remarkable developments that include brands such as Mercure, Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis.
The Mercure brand is a network of 745 hotels in 47 countries under the Accor Group and the opening in Bahrain is in line with Accor Group’s strategy of having the right brand at the right place, says an Accor spokesman.
‘‘The Mercure Grand Hotel is ideally located in Seef, at the heart of Bahrain’s financial and business centres, not to mention being surrounded by the biggest shopping malls, positioned for business and leisure clients, providing services to both sectors,’’ the spokesman says.
He continues: ‘‘Although classified as a four star property, Mercure is an all-suite ‘boutique’ hotel that offers five-star service and hospitality. Each Mercure hotel has an original theme that reflects the character and traditions of its surroundings. And this criteria fits perfectly the market requirements.
‘‘At this property, the theme is distinctly Moroccan. Desert-inspired shades of golden, ochre, apricot, russet and bronze cover the walls and rich fabrics, conjuring up images of Moroccan palaces. Ornate stained glass lanterns and filigree wall scones cast speckled light onto intricately carved wooden doors, windows, mirror frames and furniture, handcrafted by skilled Moroccan craftsmen. To further enhance this impression, hand-painted Venetian lamps, decoratively moulded arches and domed ceilings cleverly combine ancient traditions and culture with modern amenities.
‘‘Dominating the Islamic-style lobby is a magnificent stained glass lantern that hangs between two domes, hand carved with Islamic motifs.
‘‘There is the Diwan Café and the Neyran Restaurant, and a winding staircase – inlaid with terracotta-hued tiles – to the first floor where light filters through stained glass windows, flooding the lobby with colour.
‘‘The Moroccan-inspired décor is evident in both the CasaBar and the Basha Lounge, in contrast to the streamlined tone of the Atlas and Morjan meeting rooms, equipped with state of the art audio and visual equipment.’’
The Mercure has 72 one-bedroom senior suites and 48 two-bedroom family suites, equipped with fully fitted kitchenettes, television, en-suite or separate bathrooms and a business corner with internet access. There are also smoking and non-smoking floors and suites for disabled guests. ‘‘Elegantly framed mirrors and good lighting over the dressing table will be a boon for ladies, as will lots of sensible feminine toiletries and super soft bed linens,’’ he says. The rain shower units in bathrooms are an unusual feature.
The penthouse on the top floor has a private swimming pool with panoramic views and is luxuriously furnished, with two bedrooms, a lounge, dining room, library, large kitchen and maid’s quarters.
‘‘The outdoor swimming pool is also spectacularly located on the rooftop as is a Jacuzzi, children’s pool and Sama Pool Bar where regular theme nights and barbeques can be held, guaranteeing it as the ‘in’ place for entertaining,’’ the spokesman says. ‘‘A fully equipped gymnasium, steam and sauna rooms are located on the floor below.
Also, there are washrooms for the disabled on the ground floor and two floors of underground parking beneath the 17-storey building.
“A sense of family is the living tradition at Mercure and with over 100 employees that are professionally trained to welcome, attend and serve its guests, the Mercure Grand aims at consolidating its position as a premium concept hotel.’’
With 150,000 associates in 140 countries, Accor is one of the world’s largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services.
As part of a strategy to focus on key emerging markets, Accor has expanded further in the Middle East. It has established global corporate agreements with more than 200 multi-national companies, many of which have a Middle East presence and this customer base will be mined to grow new business.
The opening of the Mercure Grand in Bahrain, places Accor well on track to increase the number of rooms operated by it in the Arabian Gulf to 6,000 by the end of this year.
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