Accor bringing first Raffles hotel into Bahrain

Paris-based Accor has taken over the former Al Areen Palace & Spa (formerly the Banyan Tree Bahrain) and plans to turn the property into the first Raffles hotel in Bahrain. 

The company has signed an agreement with local Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group to manage the property following an "extensive refurbishment" that will include upgrading the 56 one-bedroom desert pool villas and the 22 two-bedroom royal pool villas. The renovation also will increase the property’s F&B outlets from four to six.

This property will be the seventh Accor-branded hotel in the island nation. The company reportedly is seeking additional opportunities to manage GFH's "multiple upcoming hospitality projects" in the region and internationally.

“Launching Raffles is a major achievement for Bahrain, elevating its status as a lifestyle destination and significantly enhancing GFH’s fast-growing collection of prestigious real estate projects,” said Hisham Al Rayes, CEO of GFH Financial Group.

When renovations are finished, the property will have 78 pool villas and an upgraded 10,000-square-meter spa and hydrotherapy area with 16 spa pavilions, a garden hammam and a hydrothermal garden. Health facilities, including separate male and female gyms, a kids’ club and indoor and outdoor swimming pools also will be refurbished.