A seven star stay in Royal Saray Resort
The stars that are on the entrance of Royal Saray Resort managed by Accor, follow through the whole guest experience, TTN’s Kim Thomson discovers on a recent business trip to Bahrain.Although from the moment you walk into the resort with its beautiful white marble entrance and lobby with stunning views of the pool and Arabian Sea is something special, it is the guest experience that this traveller finds important, and at Royal Saray, this was second to none for me. The security guard at the gate, the concierge at the front door and especially at the reception desk, welcomed me with a smile and warm greetings, not just at check in, but every time our paths crossed. The young lady who checked me in found my reservation quickly and took the time to brief me not only on the breakfast timings as it was part of my room, but detailed information on all the food and beverage options and other facilities available around the hotel. She also came from behind the desk, and personally walked me to the elevators to direct me to my room. When you arrive for the first time to the property, with its grand entrance and grounds, you may expect to walk into a 200+ roomed hotel, but in fact, is really is a boutique hotel with just 85 rooms, suites designed to reflect a traditional royal Bahraini summer house. This is because the rooms sizes are between 60 – 72 sqm and the suites, between 97 – to 130 sqm, with a 198 sqm Royal Suite providing a home away from home, all with panoramic views of the garden or ocean. In addition to the number of rooms mentioned above, there are four villas (two 650 sqm three bedroom villas and two 930 sqm four bedroom villas) with private plunge pool, fully equipped kitchen and 24-hour personal service for those VIP guests. My room was one of the deluxe rooms with a lovely ocean and pool view, a large super king bed, so comfortable that I had to fight myself get up in the morning, a hand crafted Bahraini wood desk to work from and check those nagging emails (in fact, all the woodwork in the rooms are hand-crafted) and after a long day, a sofa to relax on and/or watch the widescreen interactive TV. The bathroom and dressing area were nearly as big as the room. I, for one, love a room that has a bath as well as a shower, and not only was there a bathtub, but a huge freestanding one. Of course, there was a walk-in shower too. Double sinks are also something I think is an added value, especially if there are more than one guest in a room. A Nespresso Coffee machine is in the rooms, which went down a treat with the lovely welcome platter of fruits, chocolate and macaroons I received from the General Manager. As I do try and keep fit when I travel, having a gym available means I don’t break from my normal routine. Although the gym is not large it has all the state-of-the-art equipment for a good cardio and/or weight workout and a view to make getting out of bed early, that much more pleasant. F&B OFFERING Due to back-to-back meetings over the two days leading into the night, breakfast was the only experience I was able to enjoy. This is offered in Brasserie Royal, a restaurant with a Mediterranean & French flare and an amazing view over the pool and sea. I stayed only two days where one day the menu was a la carte and the other, a buffet, providing guests with touch of variety served up by the warm and friendly service I mentioned earlier. It is these added touches like remembering how I liked my coffee, that always impresses me. Next to the Brasserie Royal is The Palm Lounge for coffee, pastries, chocolates and in the evening a pianist playing where once again, you take in the sea views. Al Hadiqa Pool & Beach where you can book a cabana for privacy or enjoy a sun bed by the pool. Havana Cigars, as the name suggests and where you can enjoy an aperitif or digestive. Black Tap – where homemade burgers are served with fresh ingredients. SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability is a hot topic and is top of mind for a lot of travellers these days. What got me asking about this at Royal Saray was their wooden key cards. Accor’s Planet 21 is an initiative which is to protect the environment and limit the use of plastic. Royal Saray is busy implementing this, and the key card is just the start. All of this, and the properties easy access to the airport, shopping heritage and Bahrain Circuit, are just some of the reasons to consider the Royal Saray when your clients are looking to visit Bahrain. With over 7,000 sq ft of meeting space, it should also be considered for meetings and weddings.