Diplomat to get major facelift

The Diplomat Radisson SAS ... set to get a major facelift.

The Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel is currently finalising plans for a multi-million dinar refurbishment programme.

The facelift will include all rooms and restaurants and is expected to begin at the start of the new year, said the hotel's sales and marketing director, Christopher Pike.

Pike also said that the hotel, which has seen "a slight reduction" in corporate guests following the terror attacks in the United States in September, expected to achieve room revenue budget laid down last year for October.

"Revenues for November and December both look positive," he added.

He said the average room rate for Diplomat Radisson SAS had not dropped since the September 11 incidents.

"The hotel has undertaken some activities in sales and marketing to ensure that business that was lost has been covered by additional new business. As the five- star hotels are governed by a rate agreement, this has not included any reductions in rate," Pike said.

He expressed confidence over the future of tourism in Bahrain, adding the impact of the US events had been limited on the island and its five-star hotels as they were less dependent on international leisure guests as neighbouring destinations such as Dubai.

Pike said the hotel had recorded a sharp increase in occupancy levels this year.

"During the last year, occupancies at the Diplomat Radisson SAS have risen dramatically with September year to date occupancy almost 14 per cent over the same period for 2000," he said.

During the forthcoming Holy Month, the hotel, located in the heart of Manama's Diplomatic Area, will be hosting its popular Ramadan tent.

The Diplomat Radisson SAS has also lined up a spectacular New Year's Eve, with a 12-piece party band to be flown in from UK and a premier "Cher" tribute act.

Ticket sales are expected to reach 1,500 for this spectacular New Year event.