IHG veteran Thierry Perrot joined the company in 1981, and has never looked back. Currently, in addition to being the country general manager for InterContinental Hotels Group in Oman, he is also the general manager of the InterContinental Muscat, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Perrot tells Hotelier Middle East during a visit to Muscat that the team is “very proud” to celebrate the property’s 40th birthday, as he shows off photos of the InterContinental Muscat.
“We were the first hotel to open during that period, and what makes me proud as well is that the Sultan signed the contract for the hotel,” Perrot adds with pride.
In addition to holding a series of events to commemorate the anniversary, the property is also undergoing renovations. The first phase was completed in March 2017, with the porte-cochere being given an upgrade that included, among other things, a light installation, and heavy doors in the traditional Omani style.
Now the property is undergoing its second phase of renovation. Perrot reveals that the concierge lounge is being renewed, with a revamp that will place strong emphasis on traditional Omani style.
He explains: “Once it opens, I will be very proud to include an area dedicated to items made in Oman, either carvings or other traditional items made by Omanis.”
Opposite the concierge lounge, a new food and beverage outlet is being built: Tr.Eat Café, which is scheduled to open in March. Perrot says the café will focus on the traditional Arabic cultural experience of drinking coffee. Another addition to the hotel’s F&B offering is a Japanese restaurant, Takara, which opened on January 20.
The hotel’s renovation does not stop there. Perrot reveals: “The third phase is planned to renovate the rooms and suites – that should start in mid-2018. The idea is to go phase by phase and not close the hotel.”
In the rooms, the changes will include updates to the bathrooms. The Omani culture will also be brought into the design of the rooms and suites with the selection of authentic decorative pieces.
While the hotel has undergone light refurbishments in the past, Perrot admits this is the most extensive programme to have been undertaken. The aim, he says, is to “bring another level of luxury” to the market.
The InterContinental Muscat has enjoyed success over the decades of its operations, and Perrot attributes some of its success to the brand itself. “This brand is well known throughout the world, and in the Middle East specifically, InterContinental has been operating in many destinations, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt. The name is also well known in Oman. Because the His Majesty the Sultan of Oman signed the contract, a lot of major events took place in this hotel for many years. It’s only recently that other brands have started to open hotels here,” says Perrot.