The design of Sofitelís luxury five-star property in Bahrain is inspired by the hotelís unique surrounds
The $150-million Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa opened its doors last year, where guests were greeted with the kingdomís legendary hospitality, enhanced by a touch of the French savoir-faire cherished by Sofitel.
The uniquely secluded hotel on the private Zallaq beach gives a great sense of serenity with its semicircle design, which has been specifically decorated to take advantage of the one-of-a- kind location in the kingdom of Bahrain.
Prestigiously positioned on the west coast of Bahrain, on Zallaq beach, and surrounded by a number of magnificent landmarks such as Al Areen Wild Life Park and City, Bahrain International Circuit (F1), and The Lost Paradise of Dilmun water park, the landmark hotel occupies 63,167 sq m of land with a total building area of 63,000 sq m.
The fascinating seven-storey five-star luxury hotel offers a total of 262 sea-view lavish rooms including 28 suites, five restaurants, four bars, Club Millesime floor, 2,000 sq m of meeting and banquet space that can accommodate up to 1,000 persons in the 1,100 sq m Grand Ballroom.
Says the general manager Bert Plas: ďSofitel Bahrain is the first and the only hotel in the GCC market to offer Thalassa sea and spa treatments that use sea water and marine climate for well-being and remedial purposes. The Thalassa spa covers an area of 2,000 sq m over two storeys, with men and ladies services separated from each other.
The resort is traditional Arabic in style, with the vocabulary of the entrance lobby immediately portraying the charming architecture of Bahrain. Carved wooden cornices, lacy bronze lanterns and soft sandstone floors reflect the local indigenous style of the Arabian Gulf region.
The motivation behind the concept was to create an experience of being in an authentic Bahraini home, the feeling of a warm, heartfelt welcome. To achieve this, the designers, WA International, extensively researched Bahraini architecture with site visits to exquisite traditional courtyard homes.
Another decision-influencing factor was the target clientele.
No wonder the interior design has been inspired by the landscape of the region: from the undulating amber and red of the desert dunes at sunset to the azure turquoises of the crystal waters, colours are deep and rich.
Combing effortlessly with dark exotic timbers, textured wall and over-sized furnishings, each and every detail throughout the hotel has been carefully designed to offer the guests a unique glimpse of the region rich heritage, in sumptuous surroundings, sensitive to todayís traveller.
Reminiscent of the sea shells found on the beach, from a birdís eye view the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spaís organic shape is viewed as a large circular arc on the Arabian Gulf.
The lavishly furnished 28 suites at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa have been meticulously decorated to illuminate the soul from the moment the guest enters the room. They include 21 Prestige suites, six Opera suites and one Royal suite.
Prestige and Opera suites are equipped with 43-inch LCD TV screen, double-wave Bose radio system, DVD, Hermes amenities, complimentary mini bar, Nespresso espresso machine, and butler service. However, Opera suites cover 120 sq m of space while Prestige suites are 86 sq m. Moreover, the Opera Suites have their own unique themes.
Among them, a Moroccan theme offers Mediterranean dťcor with a purely chic Marrakech style; a Turkish theme with wooden decorative elements, painted walls, curved motifs and ceramic tile art enriches the suite with complex touches which are shown in its richness of colours and attention to details; an Arabian theme fosters a remarkable Middle East flavour from the carpets to the drapes; while from the crusades to more modern times, a Levant theme sets the perfect mood with its immediate charm.
Hotel rooms: A unique glimpse of
the regionís rich heritage
Like an intriguingly designed sari, the Indian themed room will make guests feel like a Bollywood star while the colourful Nubian themed room -- with its intense display of shadows and mosaic designs, will strike a guestís imagination.
The one-of-a-kind Royal suite offers the same facilities as other suites but comes with the luxury of an infinity pool, Jacuzzi, Bose home theatre and a 52-inch LCD TV, all spread over a whopping 500 sq m of space.
Built with lavish decor and breath taking sea views, the extensive Thalassa sea and spa complex covers 2,000 sq m and features 14 treatment rooms (six for dry treatments and eight for wet treatments). It is designed with the utmost care to ensure privacy and tranquility for every guest and its seaside location helps to enhance a feeling of escape and promote perfect harmony between body and mind.
By K S SREEKUMAR