Signing of the iconic Raffles Bahrain (left to right): Jean Baptiste Recher, Vice President Development ME, Accor; Francois Baudin, Senior Vice President Development, EMEA, Accor; Hisham Al Rayes, Chief Executive Officer, GFH Financial Group; Laith Yousif Almemar, Chief Development Officer, GFH Financial Group.

Accor is set to debut the iconic Raffles brand in Bahrain after signing a milestone agreement with GFH Financial Group (GFH) to manage the Kingdom’s first ultra-luxurious retreat.

The management agreement for Raffles Bahrain marks the start of a growing partnership between the two entities and consolidates Accor’s presence in the Kingdom where it currently operates six properties.

Following its takeover of Al Areen Palace & Spa, Accor will conduct major enhancements to transform the property into an exclusive and opulent oasis that immerses guests in Raffles’ bespoke well-being experiences.

“We are delighted to partner with GFH Financial Group, one of the leading investment houses in the Gulf region, to debut the Raffles brand in Bahrain, a destination which has emerged as a sophisticated option for discerning travellers from the Gulf and all over the world,” says Mark Willis, Chief Executive Officer, Accor Middle East & Africa.

“This continued growth signals a remarkable new chapter in the success story of Raffles, a revered global luxury brand with an illustrious history and a reputation for extraordinary properties in the world’s best cities and most sought after resort locales; the Kingdom is a natural fit for the exclusive Arabia-meets-Asia palatial retreat experience that we have planned.”

Hisham Al Rayes, CEO, GFH, adds: “It is a privilege to forge a long-term partnership with Accor, a world-leading hospitality group with an unrivalled portfolio of brands. Launching the globally-revered luxury brand Raffles is a major achievement for Bahrain, elevating its status as a lifestyle destination and significantly enhancing GFH’s fast-growing collection of prestigious real estate projects.”

Property enhancements attuned to Raffles brand standards will include the refurbishment of the 56 one-bedroom Desert Pool Villas and 22 two-bedroom Royal Pool Villas, which feature open-air swimming and jet pools, and converting its four F&B outlets to six.

With guest fitness and well-being central to the Raffles experience, the resort’s 10,000 sqm spa and hydrotherapy area, one of the Middle East’s largest and featuring 16 spa pavilions, the world’s first garden hammam and a hydrothermal garden, will be renovated and upgraded.

Raffles Bahrain will also introduce signature wellness experiences to the Kingdom, including Raffles Sleep Rituals, designed to help guests unwind, get a peaceful night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed and part of the brand’s well-being strategy.

Once renovations are complete, the property will then be re-launched as Raffles Bahrain – a luxurious, all-pool-villa retreat in a serene location, complemented by the legendary Raffles service.