Trending - March 16, 2024

Adventure Mode ON: Getting To Know Hawar Resort by Mantis


Starting September this year, the Hawar Resort by Mantis will welcome guests to a unique desert-island experience. Merging luxury with ecotourism, while redefining adventure, the Accor property will be a one-of-a-kind addition to the luxury hospitality scene in Bahrain.

After working in 14 countries, André Erasmus has made Bahrain his latest home – setting up the new resort ahead of its much-anticipated opening later this year. In this exclusive interview, the General Manager of Hawar Resort by Mantis gives us a sneak peek into the experiences – both dining and adventure – that guests can expect at the new resort.

What, in your opinion, makes Hawar Resort by Mantis stand out as a project in Bahrain?

We’re not just another hotel or resort. The activities and services we offer on this beautiful desert island that’s teeming with wildlife, culture, and a kind of rugged beauty, will collectively provide an experience our guests have never had before. Mantis, the brand was established in South Africa in 2000 by the Gardiner family and later acquired by the French luxury hotel operator, Accor. We focus on ecotourism and sustainability, delivering exceptional guest experiences in luxurious settings, and we’re bringing this to Bahrain through Hawar Resort.

Tell us a little about yourself and your journey in the hospitality industry.

Well, I’ve been in the show my entire life. I’m a hotelier with an extremely exciting career, working in 14 different countries for big corporate hotels. However, being close to nature has always been a passion. Before arriving in Bahrain, I worked for some time in Vietnam, Thailand, and China. I worked with the Anantara brand and opened the Anantara Desert Islands Resort and Spa on Sir Baniyas Island (Abu Dhabi); a project that’s similar to what we’re trying to achieve here on Hawar Island.

How will you measure success in terms of guest experiences and environmental impact as the general manager of this property?

Our aim with this resort is to achieve something different. We want to showcase the beauty of Bahrain, its people, its nature, and its culture. Success, for us, is when people, especially the younger generation visit us to switch off from the digital world and connect with nature, reconnect with their families and themselves. I believe, that in modern society, we seem to have lost sight of the important things in life. I’m confident that at Hawar Island, guests can rediscover what life is really about.

What dining experiences have you curated at the Resort?

We’re very excited that we’ll be starting this project with a Michelin Star couple. We will be setting up a pop-up restaurant and a couple of more restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines along with all-day dining and a pool bar.

Guests can enjoy dining outside the gate, similar to a South African or East African experience, following a Safari. We have some exciting dining concepts and experiences planned, something that’s way out of the ordinary for guests in Bahrain.

What adventure offerings can guests enjoy at Mantis Hawar Islands?

This is one of our unique selling points. We’re fortunate to have partnered with Bear Grylls (TV presenter, survival expert, and former SAS Trooper) to open the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, where he would be carrying out activities designed by him. The Adventure Center will be custom-built for guests to engage in team-building activities for all ages. Furthermore, Bear will facilitate programmes for corporate teams, and families, so all our guests can enjoy curated activities and have fun getting their feet in the water, on the sand, and really experience nature; of course, under the watch of Bear and his team.

What would the commute to the resort from the mainland look like for guests?

Reaching the island is a highly accessible process. The first point is a welcome pavilion at Durrat (Durrat Al Bahrain), the southernmost tip of the main island where guests can securely park their vehicles. We will be confirming more ports in time. 25-minute-long boat trips will ferry guests to Hawar. Guests will be welcomed aboard to some surprises along with food and beverages. The adventure begins as soon as you step out of your car.

Given that most of the luxury offerings in Bahrain are located within city limits, is there anything guests should be aware of or prepared for before visiting the resort?

All I would say is prepare to have fun, open your mind, and rediscover what beautiful Bahrain has to offer.

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