$6.6m facelift lined up for Al Bander Resort

Al Bander ... upgrade on way.

The Al Bander Hotel and Resort in Bahrain is to undergo a BD2.5 million ($6.6 million) expansion.

Among the additions will be a stable for up to 50 horses, function rooms, coffee shop, gift shop and more cabanas.

Twenty-four new cabanas will be constructed early next year, to accommodate an extra 50 people, said general manager Aboulkheir Ibrahim.

The banquet hall is now undergoing a major renovation programme, which is expected to be completed in August.

It is designed to have three multi-purpose function rooms, which can accommodate 50, 100 and 150 people respectively for seminars, conferences and special gatherings.

The resort already has an air-conditioned tent which has a capacity of 600 people in theatre style.

The present coffee shop will be converted into a banquet hall for 200 people.

The changing rooms on the poolside will be demolished and a new coffee shop will be constructed there by October, to accommodate the increased number of guests and members.

New changing rooms will be built in the basement.

The resort's Fish Market Restaurant will be relocated to a bigger area, beside the new banquet hall.

Construction of the restaurant, overlooking the sea, will start by August and should be completed within three months.

The highlight of the complex expansion is an air-conditioned stable which can accommodate 50 horses.

The project is being constructed in an area opposite the main entrance, to take care of the guests' horses.

The resort also offers facilities for show jumping and training in horse riding.

Other attractions include a children's play area.

Within the complex, said Ibrahim, a gift shop and a men's/ladies' beauty salon will also be opened.

The resort says it will continue to upgrade and refurbish both its chalets and cabanas.

Existing facilities include two temperature-controlled pools, the beach and swimming lagoon, a health club, tennis and squash court and bowling centre.

The waterfront complex is spread over 25 acres of land in Sitra and includes 80 chalets and cabanas with accommodation for 215 holidaymakers.

"We are expecting increased number of guests this year," said general manager Aboulkheir Ibrahim.

"We are almost at peak occupancy. We have been able to convert many of our GCC guests into repeat visitors and we expect this trend to continue from Eid this year to Eid next year."