Gulf Insider meets with Gilles Nicholas, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Bahrain, who reveals the work going on in the hotel, upcoming plans, and what he loves and hates about his job.
Your hotel has gone through some major renovations. How are things going?
Half of our rooms are closed for complete refurbishment (lights, air conditioning, climate control & other improvements). Once the repairs are completed, we will close the other half and begin renovations there.
The newly renovated rooms will open on the 1st of March, 2018 and will be a lot better for families with more suites and connecting rooms.
Are there any further improvements in connection to the renovations?
Yes, we are opening a dedicated club lounge. This will be the most exclusive area in the hotel which we will offer to our elite guests. Guests will be able to enjoy breakfast and snacks throughout the day. In addition, they will benefit from personalized check-in and check-out services.
Do you have much planned for this December?
We will, of course, be celebrating the festive period in style at the Crowne Plaza with much going on including a Christmas Day brunch and a big New Year’s Eve “Glow-in-the-dark” themed party.
What are you most proud of about your hotel?
I’m sure every General Manager will say this but I sincerely consider that I am lucky to be the GM of this hotel—to be working with such engaged people. The staff here are extremely friendly and committed and this hotel has achieved its highest guest satisfaction level according to the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) guest survey, to my great delight.
What do you most hope to achieve while General Manager?
My dream is for Crowne Plaza Bahrain to become the best and busiest conference center on the island. We are ideally placed to facilitate MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) and have a 1,200 square meter ballroom which, subject to the clients’ needs, we can divide into smaller units along with many small meeting rooms all with first-class facilities that can cater to many types of events. The Crowne Plaza also has the advantage of being a recognized international hotel brand.
What is it that you most love and hate about your job and your industry?
I love that every day is different and offers a different challenge because I hate routine. I used to be employed working on the financial side of the hospitality industry and I broke away from that routine to do what I am doing now.
I also hate internal obstacles that are often found in the hospitality industry, such as old ways of working which serve no useful benefit to either the guests or the company. However, such old and ineffective ways can be changed though it often means that you are changing the culture of a company.