$7.9m boost for hotel


The Holiday Inn Bahrain will open its new seafood restaurant and expanded foyer in June as the finale to its BD3 million ($7.95 million) remodelling programme.

General manager Oussama Massoud said the year-long renovation included the complete refurbishment of its 264 guest rooms, an upgrade of its outdoor pool area, corridor re-tiling, and a make-over of its executive business centre.

"We also installed a new air-conditioning system, as well as a state-of-the-art computer system," he said.

Massoud said the temporary check-in desk, which was set up last summer adjacent to the property's Bahrain Conference Centre, would continue to serve the public.

He said the hotel hadn't yet come up with a name for the new 180-seat restaurant, which will be located adjacent to the foyer.

"But we will unveil every detail of our latest food and beverage outlet well before it opens this summer," he said.

Massoud said hotel occupancy had not been affected by the on-going construction.

"We had some declines during the final quarter of last year, which we can attribute to the September 11 aftermath," he said.

"But occupancies have jumped right back to normal."

The hotel's biggest fall out, said Massoud, has been the loss of its lucrative air charter guest rooms, which sometimes generated more than 25 staff rooms per night.

Massoud points out the airline charter business quickly folded up after the attacks in the US.

"Tourists simply weren't travelling and the result has obviously had an effect on the stop-over traffic here," he said.