Local News

Cooking up new surprises

February 25 - March 3, 2015

Gulf Weekly Nawaar Farooq
By Nawaar Farooq

Gulf Weekly Cooking up new surprises

HOSPITALITY hotshot Oreste Traetto has returned to Bahrain as the general manager of the kingdom’s newest four-star hotel with a ‘no quibble’ guarantee for guests and promises to cook up a few surprises too, alongside offering some tantalising introductory room rates!

He believes the new IBIS Seef Manama Hotel, which features ‘designer bedroom’ experiences, an environmentally-friendly atmosphere and a family-friendly dining destination, will be a huge hit amid the ever-expanding Bahrain hospitality scene.

With 23 floors, the hotel shoots into the beautiful, sunny skies of Bahrain and is located at the intersection of Avenue 18 and 28, which leads up to King Faisal Highway. The hotel is located only 10 minutes away from the main business zone, Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre, Bahrain Financial Harbour, as well as an array of busy malls.

The Accor Group hotel recently staged its ‘soft opening’ and is now ready for business moguls, tourists and families to visit. Rooms start at an appealing promotional rate of BD26++ and are soundproof, air-conditioned and have complimentary Wi-Fi access. There are 304 rooms, including 270 standard rooms, 18 apartments, 14 suites and also rooms for the disabled.

Italian Mr Traetto, 43, boasts 20 years of experience in the industry and has held senior positions in Accor properties in Egypt, France, Tunisia, Bahrain and UAE. This isn’t his first time in Bahrain, as he previously served as the general manager of Novotel Al Dana Resort from 2008 to 2010.

Before returning to Bahrain, he served in the UAE as hotel director of Novotel & IBIS Deira City Centre and then as general manager at IBIS Al Rigga.

As part of its brand commitment to quality, Mr Traetto emphasised the company’s initiative to effectively solve problems with a 15-minute guarantee that applies to reservations, reception, parking, rooms, check-out, breakfast, bar and snacks.

“If customers come to the hotel and aren’t satisfied in any of those areas, we intend to fix any problem that may arise and if the problem is not resolved, the service will be provided on a complimentary basis,” said Mr Traetto.

If guests are feeling hungry, they won’t have to walk far to satisfy their appetites. The IBIS kitchen is open 24-hours and includes an international menu that features light meals and snacks.

The SEEF restaurant, which is the main restaurant at the hotel, is on the ground floor and offers extended hours for an essential breakfast, from 4am to noon. Guests can also enjoy a full gourmet breakfast buffet from 6.30am-10.30am.

“Today, in IBIS, we have two customer segmentations: corporate and family. When we talk about the breakfast from 4am-noon, we answer to both,” said Mr Traetto. “4am is a great time for business people who have to catch early flights and it allows them to grab something to eat and be on time at the airport. The breakfast hours also allow flexibility for families.”

Nedal Halaweh Abu, the hotel’s jovial Jordanian chef who is referred to as ‘Adriano’ in the kitchen because of his resemblance to famous Italian singer Adriano Celentano, prepares a variety of traditional dishes that accommodate the flavours of the region, including biriyani, shawarma, fattoush, hammour and a ‘Seef salad’, described as the ultimate healthy option.

Mr Traetto has been hands-on in many areas of the hospitality industry and found a flair for cooking when he enjoyed a stint as a commis chef. With a taste for the culinary arts, sometimes he joins ‘Adriano’ in the kitchen to whip up mouth-watering masterpieces, his favourite being traditional Italian pasta.

“I really love to cook from time to time. When ‘Adriano’ was interviewing, I told him not to be mad if I jumped in the kitchen to cook!” said Mr Traetto. “I worked in the kitchen for two years. While I never planned to be more than a commis, it was interesting to have that experience. I learned discipline and how to have respect for the kitchen team.”

The hotel’s café, Café SEEF, will cater to the tastes of those who crave light snacks and delicious drinks. Guests can indulge in cold and hot beverages, mocktails and tasty treats from 8am-11pm.

The bedding is another reason guests should have sweet dreams. For the ultimate comfort while sleeping, IBIS features a high-tech designer bed that includes a comfort-enhancing IBIS topper, a soft and smooth duvet and plush pillows. The multi-zone and multi-density mattress provides a soft feel and immaculate hygiene and aligns with the density points on the user’s body.

“When you sleep at IBIS, you feel fully rested when you wake up. The Sweet Bed by IBIS is something we are proud of. In the economic brand sector, we are the master of this concept,” claimed Mr Traetto.

IBIS Seef Manama Hotel also features Accor’s PLANET 21 sustainable development programme, which aims to protect the environment, people and planet by changing production and consumption patterns through a continuous improvement process.

Some of the objectives include protecting the environment by reducing water use and energy consumption, recycling waste, protecting biodiversity and providing employees and guests with a healthy and secure environment.

Accor brand hotels are major players in the industry and include luxury hotel Sofitel, up-scale hotels Grand Mercure, MGallery, Pullman and The Sebel and mid-scale hotels such as Novotel, Mercure and Adagio and now boast three bases on the island.

IBIS also makes life a little easier on its guests with round the clock check-in, café machines in the apartments, an indoor car park with direct access to the rooms, free Wi-Fi access throughout the entire hotel, a Web Corner on the ninth floor, an outdoor swimming pool and gymnasium.

Business people can also enjoy a selection of five modern meeting rooms on the ninth floor that are complete with projectors.

With plush new bedding, an appetising round-the-clock menu and a commitment to quality, Mr Traetto is optimistic about the growth and success of IBIS Seef Manama Hotel as part of Bahrain’s bustling hospitality sector.

* For more information, call on 17386020 or visit www.ibis.com

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