EXCITING developments are taking place at the Gulf Hotel, a property with a history as old as Bahrain’s tourism industry.
The hotel, already the largest in the kingdom, will accommodate more guests with the completion of its serviced apartment block in March and its Tower Block will wear a new look come October.
Located in Manama, overlooking the Gudaibiya Bay, Gulf Hotel is a landmark in the kingdom. It is just five minutes drive away from the heart of the city and about 15 minutes from the Bahrain International Airport.
“Friendly service and an extensive range of amenities have made the hotel a popular choice for business and leisure travellers alike,” says Abdul Nabi Amini, deputy general manager.
“Each of the hotel’s 366 rooms is furnished to the highest standard of opulent living and all modern-day facilities including wi-fi technology are available throughout the hotel,” says Amini.
The hotel hosts eight of Bahrain’s leading restaurants offering speciality cuisines such as Iranian, Thai, Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Western-Asian fusion and Continental.
The Gulf Executive Residence, the new block, will offer 97 apartments with five-star facilities. “The apartments, a unique development in the kingdom, will be ready for the Formula One Grand Prix in March,” says Amini.
“Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the property is attached to a five-star hotel and the guests can enjoy all the facilities available,” he says. And they are great facilities: it has the largest number of food and beverage outlets in Bahrain – 13 in total; a well-equipped health club, a breathtaking swimming pool and squash and tennis courts.
Apartment guests will also have access to 24-hour room service. “Gulf Hotel is maintaining the highest standards and people staying in the Gulf Executive Residence can also look forward to this top-class service,” says Amini.
The Residence offers three types of apartments – single, two and three-bed ones. Amini expects long-stay guests to take up a majority of the apartments. “Our projection is 60 per cent of the apartments will be occupied by long-stay guests and 40 per cent by short-stay tourists, weekend visitors and other guests.” The apartment will also add to the outlets the hotel already has with a terrace garden coffee shop, situated where the block connects with the hotel.
Meanwhile, by the end of summer, the hotel’s Tower Block will also sport a new look. “It is a full renovation project. The exterior and interior of the block will be completely changed, rooms refurbished and the main entrance and the lobby given a new look,” says Amini.
The programme also includes complete redoing of the landscape and changes in the car-park as well. “By October we will have a new and modern look,” adds Amini. The Al Waha coffee shop and the Japanese restaurant will be revamped and expanded.
The block will be closed completely during the period to help the speedy completion of the project. However, the South Wing, the new apartments block, the convention centre, and many of the outlets will remain open.
The hotel boasts the biggest convention centre in the country and is an ideal venue for any major event, whether a show, conference or marriage. The Al Dana Hall which measures 1,604 sq m accommodates 2,500 people for cocktail reception and 1,260 for banquets. An exhibition space for 75 stalls and catwalk facilities are also available.
Last year was one of the best for Gulf Hotel, both in terms of revenue and occupancy. The food and beverage outlets also did very well, says Amini.
“The occupancy was 73 per cent and for Bahrain it is a very good figure. We achieved this result even with the largest number of rooms on the island and that makes it doubly satisfying,” he says.
The hotel’s clients are mainly businesspeople and its specially designed Executive Floors, located on the sixth and seventh floors of the Tower Block, offer luxuriously appointed rooms with the latest in technology.
The hotel also offers a rewards programme for its corporate clients. “The Pearl Corporate Rewards Club programme has a generous reward system that provides superb savings every time the guest chooses the hotel,” concludes Amini.
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