FACT got some insider info from the General Manager of the soon-to-open Hilton Bahrain.
You are a hospitality veteran. Have you spent your whole career with Hilton? What first attracted you to the brand?
I have spent 26 years of my career with Hilton and that tells you a lot about the company. I started my hospitality career as an intern in a local hotel. That was my first taste of hospitality but I developed the passion when I joined my first Hilton property.
I have always been interested in culture and people and that’s what made me pursue hospitality. I thought it was my ticket to see and experience everything the world has to offer. However, when I joined Hilton, I discovered that apart from the perks of meeting people, experiencing different cultures, travelling… this job can also reward me with a sense of purpose. The gratification it gives is exhilarating and the challenges it presents just continue to hone my skills and personality. The company has nurtured me, developed my talents and established principles that I live by ‘til this day.
Can you please give us some highlights of what the new hotel will offer and when it will open?
Hilton Bahrain is an upscale hotel and residences, featuring studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments with a magnificent view of the city skyline, scheduled to open by the first quarter of 2022. Our connecting two-bedroom apartments are one of a kind and perfect for big families. We offer spacious and fully furnished accommodations to high-end facilities and distinct food and beverage outlets. Guests can enjoy the feel and comfort of home with all the perks of staying in a full-service hotel and we will have an Executive Lounge by the second phase of our opening.
Six distinct restaurants and lounges will position us as the latest culinary hub in the country, while our Wellness Centre and recreational facilities aim to provide a blissful escape with relaxing treatments and amenities that promote vitality and health.
We have nine bespoke and naturally lit meeting rooms suitable for corporate meetings, celebrations and even intimate weddings. Hilton Bahrain is also part of the award-winning guest loyalty programme for Hilton’s 18 brands.
These are all amazing and unique qualities of our hotel but far more than that, for me, the heart of our hospitality still lies in the quality of our service. Our guests can expect a joyous atmosphere, smiles from every single member of our team and the feeling of celebration at every part of the hotel.
As part of the pre-opening team, what, for you, is the most important aspect to a successful opening, leading to future success?
My team, definitely. A leader is nothing without the pillars that support him and the entire organisation. I am very proud of my pre-opening team. They were handpicked and carefully selected to drive this property to success. I am excited and very much honoured to lead this team.
I also believe having the right product at the right time in the right place is crucial to success. Hilton Bahrain is the perfect combination of what you need in a home and everything you crave for in a sophisticated hotel.
Is there one aspect of the new hotel that can’t be found anywhere else on the island?
The fact that we are both a full-service hotel and upscale residences makes us unique. We have captured the essence of ‘home away from home’ in our apartments with fully equipped kitchens, spacious living spaces and an amazing view from the balcony. The distinct themes and cuisines of our restaurants and lounges will also set us apart from the already fantastic dining hubs in the area.
How do you spend your time when you are not at the hotel – any hobbies or hidden talents?
Hilton believes in a work-life balance. Thrive@Hilton is a framework focused on enabling our team members to grow and flourish in body, mind and spirit. The company is committed to supporting their well-being, so we thrive in everything we do. I, personally, spend most of my time outside of work with my family. I’m also very fond of sports. Football is a passion, although I also enjoy playing tennis and squash.
Hidden talent? I’m a rockstar with my Oud guitar. I’m a hotelier through and through but music has a special place in my heart too.✤