|By Mandeep Singh, Gulf Daily News,
Manama, BahrainMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 15, 2012--ANOTHER of Bahrain's hotel has announced a major refurbishment, suggesting confidence is returning in the country's tourism sector.
The four-star Al Safir Hotel and Towers, Juffair, will embark on a BD1.5 million renovation in the last week of next month.
Work is expected to take two months to complete, hotel managing director and board member Hameed Al Halwachi told the GDN.
"While the tower part of the hotel will not be touched, the hotel consisting of 120 rooms will be completely redone," he said.
"All rooms will have a new international design and will be refurnished as well."
In addition, four new rooms are being built especially for disabled guests.
"These are being designed according to international norms for such guests and will have all modern facilities," added Mr Al Halwachi.
The coffee shop in the hotel will also make way for an Arabian style facility catering to a larger number of guests.
"Additionally, the whole building will have an old-stone facade for which specially-procured sea stone has been ordered," he said.
The hotel will remain open during the renovation and arrangements have been made to accommodate guests.
"Once work formally begins, half of the property will be closed for guests," explained Mr Al Halwachi.
Once work is finished the hotel, which opened in March 2000, will have a completely new look.
However, an adjoining tower that opened in June 2007 will remain the same.
Mr Al Halwachi said the renovation indicated the hotel's commitment to Bahrain and confidence that tourism is picking up, after being massively affected by unrest last year.
"We have been affected with falling numbers of guests over more than a year, but the situation has looked up in the last few months -- especially since the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in April," he revealed.
"This investment will go a long way in sending out a message to everyone that Bahrain is in business."
Another four-star hotel, the Gulf Gate Hotel in Manama, was renovated at a cost of BD2m in the weeks leading up to the Grand Prix.
Plans were also announced to upgrade the Bahrain International Hotel and the Tylos Hotel, both in Manama.
(c)2012 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
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