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Mon 15 Mar 2010 05:38 PM

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Banyan Tree boss slams Bahrain resort owners

Banyan Tree chairman attacks Al Areen Holding for 'baseless and untrue' statements.

Banyan Tree boss slams Bahrain resort owners
HOTEL DISPUTE: The Banyan Tree Bahrain.

The chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings (BTH) has lashed out at Al Areen Holding Company, the owner of Banyan Tree Desert Resort in Bahrain, accusing the state-backed firm of “baseless and untrue” statements.

Ho KwonPing, executive chairman of BTH, said the luxury operator unequivocally rejected Al Areen’s claim that it was responsible for a drop in profits at the Bahrain resort, due to its mismanagement and “poor maintenance of the facility.”

It is the latest round of mudslinging between the two firms that are embroiled in a legal dispute over the Bahrain-based resort, which is managed by Banyan Tree Holdings.

The firm last week said it had filed a petition in the kingdom to wind-up Al Areen Desert Spa and Resorts - the owner of Banyan Tree Bahrain - to recover $1.12m allegedly owed to it under a hotel management agreement.

Al Areen responded by blaming Banyan Tree Holdings for the resort’s operating losses, warning it had “spent more than $200m” on the facility and would “neither tolerate nor accept anything that could compromise its high quality and level of service.”

In a statement issued Monday, KwonPing said: “Contrary to allegations of poor management, Banyan Tree Al Areen has consistently ranked number 1 out of all 73 hotels in Bahrain by TripAdvisor.

“Having arrived at a settlement agreement over a portion of the disputed debt due from Al Areen to us, we expect that at least the settlement agreement would be acted on in good faith by Al Areen. We regret that the continuing non-compliance of Al Areen to fulfill its contractual obligations under the settlement agreement leaves us no choice but to seek redress under the laws of Bahrain.”

Banyan Tree had previously said the winding-up proceedings against Al Areen "may be completed this year or next”.

It said that if it was successful in the winding-up proceedings, the hotel management agreement would be terminated.

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jeffgoh 10 years ago

Perhaps John could enlighten us how Banyan is - the benchmark of management - in luxury resorts and what are the other resorts owned and or managed by Banyan Tree

Chris 8 years ago

I don't know who was to blame but there is no doubt this place was badly managed and a huge disappointment as a guest. Located in the most ridiculous location with zero atmosphere and poor customer service you end up sitting in your villa during your stay because it's the only thing that can be relied on, all other facilities sit empty or fail to deliver the standard of service.
Spa empty, restaurants empty or one other table occupied, pool empty, gym empty.

The fabulous buildings are are contained in a compound situated in an unattractive desert and next to a building site, no where near the sea. The hotel is further spoilt because the the facilities sit with a constant layer of dust on everything that the staff simply cannot keep on top of, even the plants are a grey/brown rather than green! You never see it the way the photos suggest.