Leaving the equatorial luxuriance of its native Thailand, Banyan Tree sets off to discover the desert. The Asian hotel group has just opened its first property in the Middle East, in Bahrain. The promoter of this oriental incursion, Al Areen Holding, is backed by the local investment bank Gulf Finance House. Banyan Tree signed a longterm management contract with Al Areen to operate this out of the ordinary resort. Arab opulence combines with contemporary Asian architecture to give this property that special prestige that only arestricted elite will be able to enjoy. The resort consists of 78 villas including 22 Royal Pool villas with private pool. A reference in terms of upscale relaxation, the Banyan Tree group has a luxury playground cut to fit. The resort possesses the largest spa and hydrotherapy space in the region: 10,000 square meters where hammams and treatment pavilions in line one behind each other in a design that is directly inspired by the gardens at Arabian palaces. One of the six dining spaces, the signature restaurant Saffron reminds us of the Banyan Tree’s Far Eastern roots and offers contemporary Thai cuisine. The property also has meeting and banquet areas. This opening precedes the intense development of the group’s brands worldwide, and in the Gulf region in particular. Three other Banyan Tree properties and six Angsana Resorts should open their doors there in the next two years.
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