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Leaders in Bahrain Hospitality: Gilles Nicolas of Crowne Plaza

Bahrain Confidential interviews Gilles Nicolas, General Manager of Crowne Plaza.

Tell us something personal – how would you describe yourself in one word?

Passionate.

If you can change one thing about hospitality in general, what would it be?

Eco-consciousness is on the rise in the hospitality industry – thanks to changing customer preferences, demographics, and more. Guests are now looking for sustainable and authentic experiences and it is but imperative for hotels to go green. Sustainability efforts are to be implemented so that hotels stay competitive, save money and most importantly, reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Can you shed light on your vision for the hotel this 2020?

Crowne Plaza as a brand is revolutionizing business and leisure travel with incredible momentum. Our goal is to still be the first and definitive choice for business hotel stays around the world. With the emergence of technologies and changes, to consumer requirements, it is but important for our hotel to go beyond its comfort zone. 2020 will surely be a year of opportunity and we are ready to explore the opportunities that the New Year brings.

One opportunity is the continuous development of our food and beverage offerings as I believe there is always room for improvement. Another opportunity is our MICE, being one of the largest convention spaces in the country, our focus is to bring in not only smaller meetings but larger conferences, exhibitions and weddings as well. Lastly, more sustainable efforts will be implemented to match the demand of guests which are sustainable travel options.

My greatest strengths are my team. Over the last couple of years, The Crowne Plaza Bahrain’s performance has increased in all areas of our business. This is all due to the dedication of my team.

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

The biggest challenge remains the market conditions and the increase of competition in Bahrain which is affecting all areas of our business including restaurants, bars, conference and events. However, for Crowne Plaza Bahrain, 2019 has been a successful year in many aspects, I refer in particular to maintaining the same level of stay experience for our guests despite the on-going maintenance and refurbishment works around the hotel. We also made sure that our guests are comfortable during the process making their safety and convenience our priority at all times.

Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?

As Phil Jackson puts it, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” The same is true for mine. My greatest strengths are my team. Over the last couple of years, The Crowne Plaza Bahrain’s performance has increased in all areas of our business. This is all due to the dedication of my team.

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