Located close to the historic town of Rabigh on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is emerging as one of the Kingdom’s premier economic hubs.
Similarly, since April 2013 Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina, managed by Saudi Arabia’s award-winning Al Khozama Management Company, has established itself as one of the country’s leading destination hotels, offering five-star hospitality to a mix of corporate and leisure clientele at KAEC.
Having carved a deserved reputation over the last three years as a ‘home away from home’ for professionals visiting and working in the city, a new generation of traveler is now discovering Bay La Sun as a relaxing getaway north of Jeddah, taking advantage of its superb leisure facilities and unrivaled location overlooking the azure waters of the adjacent marina, as well as the Red Sea, just five minutes’ walk away.
For the international guest, the famed, personalised Al Khozama service begins immediately after arrival at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, a luxury wi-fi-equipped limousine completing a seamless 120 kilometre transfer to Bay La Sun in just 70 minutes. For Dr Nagy Arafat, the General Manager of Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina, first impressions are crucial.
'Many of our visitors have come off a long-haul flight and after completing airport formalities a comfortable car which gets them quickly to the destination is important,' he says.
The property, with 189 deluxe rooms and six suites, offers the full array of amenities for the corporate and leisure traveler. Exciting dining and entertainment options include the Veranda, which offers barbecue dinners and sheesha on the terrace overlooking the Marina, and Seasons, the all-day restaurant. Corojo, the cigar lounge, offers a cosy setting ideal for business or social gatherings. Broadening the property's appeal as a leisure destination, Juman Park recently opened on site featuring a swimming pool, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, a kids play area and water splash pad zone and mini golf. A fantastic Go Karting facility is available to guests just over the road.
But what truly defines this five-star property is the finer details, not least the warm and intuitive service offered by each and every one of the property’s 220-plus ‘memory makers’, a true Al Khozama hallmark.
'For us, luxury is not about how many marble columns we have in the lobby but how we treat our guests,' says Dr Arafat.
It is perhaps no surprise then that training and staff empowerment are accorded high priority at Bay La Sun. A renowned international motivational speaker and coach regularly visits the property, working with every ‘memory maker’ to ensure Al Khozama’s values are reflected in the guest experience.
The sessions explore Al Khozama’s core DNA, where D is to discover (to be first and exceed the expected), N is to nurture (to be empowered and embrace change), and where A is to aspire (to be there and engage the moment), Dr Arafat explains.
'Being managed by Al Khozama means we are in good hands, and so are our guests,' he adds.
The results of this meticulous training approach are clear.
'Our guests have come to expect something beyond normal from our ‘memory makers’. They want to be ‘wowed’,' he adds.
And with this in mind Bay La Sun has in just over three years established itself as the beating heart of the KAEC community – a place where executives and families of all nationalities congregate.
The efforts made by the hotel management and ‘memory makers’ are being recognised, not just in terms of overwhelmingly favourable online guest reviews but also by the travel industry.
Boosting KAEC’s growing credentials as one of the Kingdom’s premier hospitality destinations, Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina was named Saudi Arabia’s Leading Destination Hotel at the 2014 World Travel Awards Middle East ceremony in Dubai. It was also named Saudi Arabia’s New Leading Hotel at the 2015 edition of the awards, and the property can look forward with confidence to the outcome of nominations for the Middle East Hotel Awards and the 2016 Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards.
Dr Arafat looks forward to MICE business driving growth. With more than 2,500 square metres of meeting and events space, along with banqueting and pre-function areas with capacity for up to 900 guests, six meeting rooms, an executive board room and a 65-seat capacity theatre, Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina is well placed to capitalise, particularly with the opening early next of a new high speed railway linking KAEC with Jeddah, Makkah and Madina, bringing millions of people into the hotel’s catchment area.
Hussein Ali Hatata, Vice President, Hospitality Division, Al Khozama Management Company, who is a renowned personality in the hospitality industry, is emphatic about Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina’s success story. He says the key to success is the unstinting support the Hospitality Division receives from 'a very professional ownership.'
'Al Khozama is at the forefront of the hospitality industry in the country, with a host of innovative ideas to ensure that every guest’s expectations are anticipated and exceeded. Our strength lies in our ‘memory makers’.
'The recognitions we have been receiving are testimonials to their commitment, loyalty and passion towards their profession. Our philosophy is to encourage domestic tourism within the country and in that direction we will continue to create unrivalled destinations where both business and leisure can thrive together,' Hatata concludes.
The award-winning Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina has already established excellent credentials as a preferred destination for both work, rest and play with its unmatched service standards and an array of leisure facilitied and business amenities.
By Mark Lazell
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.