Luxury, service, and a lifestyle experience combine to form the core of the Elite Hospitality Group.
Elite Hospitality Group, a luxury four-star hotels group in the kingdom of Bahrain is a leading name in the hospitality business. Famous for the friendly and efficient service provided by its highly qualified staff across all its hotels and residences, the group welcomes both business and leisure guests to a customized experience.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Elite has garnered many accolades over the years. Just recently, the group scooped up nine prestigious awards given by international award-giving bodies. Gulf Insider sat down with the General Managers and COO of Elite Group to talk about Elite’s award-winning service.
The group has been honoured with international recognition from the “World Luxury Hotel Awards” as voted by guests and travellers from across the globe. In addition, Elite Resort & Spa—Muharraq, Elite Crystal Hotel in Juffair, and Elite Grande Hotel all individually won this international award which will be presented this December in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Luxury Travel Guide Awards
We asked Sarosh Aibara—COO of Elite Hospitality Group what sets the group apart from other hotels. Aibara said “It’s all about service & all about people. We have a fantastic team that we’ve developed over the years. It’s a matter of pride with us that the effort we have put into training our staff has been paid back to us by the service they give to our guests”.
Another international accolade was won by Elite Resort & Spa. The hotel garnered the Best Resort & Spa in Bahrain awarded by Luxury Travel Guide, a UK based award-giving body for luxury travel. We asked Puneet Saigal—General Manager of Elite Resort & Spa what makes their hotel award-winning and how are they continuously innovating their hotels.
Saigal recounted being hand-picked for the London based award and being slightly on-edge as his hotel was subjected to on-the-spot inspections. He said that in addition to the things that they already do well which was service and a lifestyle experience; this year they will also be launching a Wellness Package, which is the first for Elite and Sparadise (their in-house award-winning spa). By bringing the hotel & spa experience together, guests can be totally pampered, detoxified, and treated. Package features include a Royal Hammam, meditation classes and detoxifying waters in the rooms. Guests will come away from the hotel a changed man/ woman. The package will start at BD79.
Haute Grandeur Hotel Awards
A source of pride for the group is the Haute Grandeur Hotel award which was given to Elite Crystal Hotel in two categories—Best Lifestyle Hotel in Bahrain and Prime Location Hotel in Bahrain. We asked Lalima Mathur—General Manager of Elite Crystal what are the things that make Elite Crystal the top lifestyle hotel in Juffair.
She gave us a smile and said that “In view of the location, we meticulously plan our requirements. Guests don’t just want a room. They want a lifestyle experience”. This is something that Elite Crystal can definitely deliver with their Waikiki Kitchen—an authentic Polynesian restaurant with an interactive “kitchen” where guests can go inside to talk to the chef about their meal. This boutique restaurant also features unique artefacts like hand-painted surfboards and authentic Hawaiian shirts making it both a feast for the eyes and the palate.
Elite Seef Residence & Hotel also won the Haute Grandeur Hotel Award for Best Hotel Residences—Middle East and best All-suite Hotel in Bahrain. We asked Fadl Adib—General Manager of Elite Seef Residence & Hotel what keeps them in the top spot year after year. He talked about how Elite Seef Residence has become the top family destination in Bahrain even having a “Kid’s Club” to cater to that particular niche.
Unique Selling Point
Aibara adds that each hotel has a unique selling point that focuses on a particular segment, and this is what they build upon. In addition, the lifestyle experiences they offer are unique. Aibara cites the Oasis in Elite Resort & Spa as an example. “We didn’t just name it Oasis when people walk through, they really feel as if they have discovered an oasis”.
In addition, the COO cites the combination of “hardware & software” as the main factors behind their success. The hardware: all of their accommodations are suites with a lavish bathroom space. There’s a flexibility given to guests in terms of dining, laundry, and other living essentials.
The software is the people they hire. Aibara is especially proud of their training and recruitment as they handpick employees who will fit into the Elite mould. The GMs themselves are not exempt, with Saigal recounting his own training as taking a month or more before he formally sat down to the role of General Manager.
Consistently happy guests
Two hotels of Elite Hospitality Group were recognized as two of the top 12 hotels in Bahrain by Agoda and awarded with “Customer review certificates” for 2017 by the travel portal Agoda.com. This recognition is based on guest reviews posted online and is given only to hotels that have consistently scored above 80%. Elite Hospitality hotels have topped 80% scores on most online channels. Commenting on this fact, Aibara said that the group will “continue on the momentum that they’ve built.”
More new hotels will come and go, but Elite may well be one of those iconic hotels that people remember for a long time.
Elite Group’s Future Plans
In terms of future innovations, there will be a new outlet planned in Elite Seef Residence & Hotel in addition to an Arabic lounge that will open in Elite Resort & Spa. Further, there will be 3 stand-alone investments in Galleria Mall which will be managed by the Elite Group.
The group will also be opening a hotel in Mecca, the first phase of which will open in the 3rd quarter of 2018. They are also developing a 4-star property in Dubai in time for the Dubai 2020 expo.