14 Jan 2014

Patrick de Groot, managing director, The Domain Bahrain

As managing director of Bahrain’s most fashionable property, The Domain Bahrain, Patrick de Groot shares his thoughts, forecasts and latest news exclusively with Tatiana Tsierkezou.

TTG: How do you feel Bahrain stands out as an exclusive, high-end destination?

Having lived here for the last two-and-a-half years, I have got to know Bahrain a lot better, and I know it as a destination that has a lot to offer. Besides its often communicated cultural side, I see the future of Bahrain very much linked to the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

Linked by a modern causeway infrastructure and a state-of-the-art international airport, Bahrain is both the gateway to the Eastern Province for business travellers, and, with its wide variety in dining, shopping and entertainment offerings, a very popular destination for residents of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The future will show us how successful Bahrain will be in selling this positioning statement.

TTG: Tell me a bit about yourself and your background? Has the hospitality industry always been a passion of yours?

I graduated from Hotel School The Hague back in 1995, and arrived in the Middle East shortly thereafter. Apart from a two-year contract in Malaysia, I have not left the Middle East region since. 

My wife, who is half Vietnamese and half Korean, was brought up in the Middle East and through her I have gained a unique insight in the local culture. 

Since leaving the Netherlands, I have lived and worked in some 14 different countries, so I must be passionate about travelling. Marketing and brand development has always been my passion, and I look back at successfully developing two consumer-facing brands from scratch. The Domain Bahrain being my latest project.

TTG: What are the latest trends you have picked up on concerning the contemporary luxury traveller and how does The Domain Bahrain cater to their every beck and call?

‘Old School Butlers with New School Ways’ – that is one of our mottos at The Domain. Our guests are especially impressed with how we can present them with items that most hotels don’t have on offer. For the ladies we have what we call the Style Butler who can provide our lady guests with items like a hair straightener, a curling iron, or a professional hair dryer. 

On the other hand, our Technology Butler is fully up-to-speed on and has with him in his briefcase all the latest connectivity solutions. Fast and efficient, as our guests have come to expect.

Our team of Domain Managers and Domain Butlers make quite the difference to a Guest’s stay. Intuitively knowing when to be required and anticipating guests’ needs and requirements is arguably the most difficult part of our job. But is also the one aspect of their stay that Guests are most likely to remember. 

TTG: What is The Domain Bahrain’s unique selling point? 

The views for sure! We have panoramic views overlooking Bahrain... combined with our level of personal, intuitive service, I think that’s what gives us the edge. The Domain is the first of its kind in the region that combines the charm of a social club with the comfort of a luxury boutique hotel.

TTG: What can you exclusively share with TTG about The Domain Bahrain? Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline for the New Year?

Vie Lifestyle Lab is opening very soon – a spa and wellness centre spread over two floors. Vie offers a Resident Spa, Day Spa and Quick Spa, replete with cutting edge therapies and technologies, designed to relax, rejuvenate or revitalise. This includes total body detox programmes, pre- or post-cosmetic surgery therapies and stress alleviating remedies. The 15th floor offers male and couples treatments and a large unisex gym. 

TTG: Finally, if you had to describe The Domain Bahrain in three words, what would they be?