Recovery is on the way in Bahrain


Business is looking up at the Intercontinental Regency Bahrain with the launch of a new health club and positive bookings towards year end.

General manager James McDonald said: “Occupancy for the year to date has been down around 11 per cent, across all the five star hotels, but it is coming back.

“Last year occupancy was at 73 per cent, this year it is 62. In fact many European hotels run at 70 per cent during good times so I think we have come out of the recession fairly well and all the signs are positive.

“Our bookings are looking very, very good for November and on into next year.

“We’ve also had lots of inquiries for meeting and conferences through to next year and, of course, that’s not only happening for us, it’s happening across the market. If we are receiving these inquiries then so are other hotels.

“We have the airshow coming in January, the first Grand Prix of the year in March and the Cisco conference coming after that which will be taking around 1,500 rooms.”

Guests enjoy the new health club

He added that one of the quietest times for the island’s hotels is following National Day in December and the run-up to Christmas when many expats go home and western businesses shut down for the festive season.

To counteract this, the InterCon is making full use of its newly launched health club which has a large well-equipped gym, treatment rooms offering various therapies, from reflexology to deep tissue sports massage, and a rooftop swimming pool which is proving extremely popular as the weather cools.

McDonald said: “We are promoting the gym as an added bonus both for weekend visitors and business travellers, it can act as a sanctuary at the end of a long hard day and the swimming pool is a real draw.

“We’re in a great position here because we’re so close to everything and we’re also looking forward to the opening of the new souk which is scheduled for December and will be another selling point for the hotel.

“All in all it would be fair to say the year got off to a bad start but we’re well on the road to recovery.”