Leaders in Bahrain Hospitality: InterContinental Regency GM Philipp Economou

Tell us something personal, what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

My strength is inspiring people to perform. Over the years, I have learned that our people and guests are what keep us going. Leading a high-performing team is therefore less about driving performance and more about inspiring and creating an environment where team members feel valued so they feel motivated to perform to their full potential and delight our guests and over-deliver on results. I love speed and the same applies in my work; I love to move fast and sometimes my patience can be questionable. The good thing is that I know it and working on it.


In a fiercely competitive market, how do you plan on remaining at the forefront of the hospitality game?

Yes, I agree it is a competitive market, however being a brand of one of world’s leading hotel companies sets us apart. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is known to have strong distribution systems and a great loyalty programme. Whilst I am confident that this will add to us being in the forefront, it is also how we make a difference locally, be it in our impeccable services or our unique offerings and with 2 hotels in the country representing the brand, it is twice the impact!!!


What has been the biggest challenges and successes of the past year?

One of my biggest challenges and at the same time successes was my last assignment – the opening of the InterContinental Fujairah resort! Literally seeing and leading the development of an establishment from “Shell and Core” building and working with talented people to become one of the most luxurious Resorts in UAE.


What are your future plans for the hotel?

Great things! My aim is to bring back the heydays of Regency especially in our food and beverage offerings. I have heard good things about how guests had to book a week in advance to get seating at one our restaurants. I would love to get there; of course in today’s world it is about choices but when you have great offering at the right place and at the right price, I am sure we will have our guests walk right back in.


The other thing I want to focus on as well, is the local connect. At InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts we believe international travel should always be alluring. We are dedicated to those who appreciate and enjoy The InterContinental Life – the glamour and exhilaration of fascinating places, mixed with our international know-how and local cultural wisdom.


Which part of Bahrain is your favourite and why?

Keeping in line with the brand ethos that speaks to the affluent travelers looking for a travel destination steeped in culture and heritage and feel connected through authentic, memorable experiences, we do have a lot of favorites listed. But my most favorite one is the Manama Souq, Bab Al Bahrain, with its narrow streets and alleyways. Here you can pick up everything from electronic goods to spices and shisha pipes. But the real reason to visit is to wander through the bustling streets of a market that still evokes the atmosphere of an ancient souq and emanates vibrant city life.