Following its soft launch earlier this year Bahrain’s first boutique hotel has quickly made its mark in the corporate sector, now general manager Ralph Yazbek is determined to establish L’Hotel as a ground-breaking venue for arts and culture.
He said: “I basically want to link day and night. On the one hand we are a typical corporate business and, of course, we offer everything the business traveller could need in a boutique setting, which means there is an added element of very personal service and attention to detail. In fact, this side of the business is proving very successful, after just nine months we are catching up with the established five stars in terms of occupancy so I am very pleased with how that side of things is going.
“On the other hand we also concentrate on the night, which is a bit more dynamic and fun.
“What makes L’Hotel different is that we are promoting it as a cultural venue and also partnering with local entrepreneurs to introduce events which will showcase the hotel as well as their ventures.”
For example L’Hotel recently hosted a soiree organised by lifestyle management company bougi and featuring celebrity DJ Nikki Beatnik, at which luxury brand Jaguar exclusively revealed its new XFR for 2010.
“bougi’s vision of aligning complimentary brands with the art of entertainment is one of innovation in this region and similar to L’Hotel’s objective of meeting corporate with lifestyle.
L’Hotel has also recently launched its Vernisage arts programme in which it has teamed with photographer Christian Ghammachi, a lawyer whose passion is shown behind the camera, to host his exhibition CUBA! which focuses on the city of Havana.
Showing in the hotel’s chic, Salon B, the images will be on display for eight weeks and each Thursday Ghammachi will discuss his collection with interested guests in a vernisage.
“In French a vernisage is when people get together to have a drink and relax and enjoy the art in the company of the artist,” said Yazbek. “A piece can look completely different when you are relaxed, which is what we are aiming to achieve.”
Another exhibition is already lined up for late December and these are just the first of several planned events promoting arts and culture in Bahrain.
L’Hotel currently has two restaurants, L’Avenue, the French gastronomy venue, and Le Relais de Venise “Son Entrecote” based on the Paris original which has been running 50 years selling simply green salad, steak and fries with a secret sauce.
For the future L’Hotel is also planning the opening of a speciality Lebanese restaurant.
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