Sunday, 9 February 2020

Hotel Review: Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain.

Whenever I travel solo I like to stick to hotels I trust, and hotels I know will take good care of me. Having been a Marriott member for a number of years I’ve stayed at their properties all over the world, and therefore they are my go-to choice when travelling alone! When I decided to tag Bahrain onto my Dubai trip last October, I didn't really know too much about the island or main city of Manama, so I booked in at the Ritz-Carlton and ended up having the best little solo trip!


It all started when I exited the airport and was shown to the hotel’s gleaming white Maserati Quattroporte. I've always loved cars - I used to go to classic car shows with my Dad when I was a child and created a 'car wish list' at the grand old age of twelve - so my jaw-dropped and it was pretty much a dream come true to ride in a Maserati. I've wanted a Maserati ever since I was eleven years old and saw a bright red one next to us at our local petrol station, so my trip was already made as soon as I got in the car!

The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain is just a short drive from the airport, in the Seef district in the main city of Manama. The resort itself is ideal for those looking for a secluded hotel close to the main attractions – the private beach and lagoon are perfect for a relaxing holiday, yet the resort is just 4km from the famous Bahrain Fort, and 9km from the Bahrain National Museum.

My 495 sq ft Club Room was a comfortable and contemporary space with beautiful views over the hotel’s pool and beach area, and it even had a large walk-in wardrobe for my suitcase full of clothes! There was a sofa for relaxing if you need to escape the heat, and they kindly left the most incredible handmade white chocolate squares which I obviously scoffed as soon as I saw them!



The marble bathroom was absolutely stunning, with Asprey toiletries, a large sink area to spread your skincare and make-up products out, and a separate bath and shower. The bath was super similar to the one in the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi – deep and luxurious providing you with the perfect way to unwind after a hard day of lounging in the sun or visiting the local tourist attractions!



With the Club Room comes access to the Club Lounge, which provided a delicious breakfast and an excellent array of both local and international food and drink throughout the day. I even announced that the Cherry Cobbler was the best I have ever had – and I may have polished off a quarter of the entire bowl all by myself. Oops :/ haha. It was totally worth the calories!



The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain is home to an impressive 12 restaurants and lounges, and with just two days in the hotel, I didn’t have a huge amount of time to try them all out. I did manage to try their Mexican restaurant Cantina Kahlo, and Thai, their Asian restaurant. Both were exceptional, and I fell in love with Cantina Kahlo’s guacamole and the pretty twinkling lights outside on the deck overlooking the Flamingo pond (yes, the hotel has its own Flamingos!).



If the restaurants sound impressive, wait until you see the hotel’s pool and beach areas! I spent a magical morning relaxing down on the hotel’s private beach, swimming in the lagoon – the water was the temperature of a warm bath – before strolling back up to my sunbed to find beside it an iced bucket with fresh water bottles in it, and an extra towel that had been rolled up and tucked in the top of the sunbed to create a pillow for me.


These little details made the stay all the more luxurious and relaxing, and the complimentary sunblock ensured that guests were staying safe in the sun! As well as the beach there are three swimming pools to choose from; an indoor pool (which is currently undergoing a renovation), a small infinity pool overlooking the beach, and a large family pool.



The spa is always my favourite aspect of a hotel, so I was excited to test out the one at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain. I opted for an afternoon Hot Stone Massage to soothe my muscles after the numerous flights I had taken in the weeks before my arrival. But my goodness, do you get so much more than just a massage and a sauna session here!

I started in the hydrotherapy pool (photo below) before moving to the thalassotherapy pool, which is essentially a very deep spa bath filled with seawater. The key elements found in seawater are believed to be absorbed through the skin and the inhalation of the seawater steam is apparently good for the lungs!



After my hydrotherapy and thalassotherapy pool sessions I then took a shower before my blissfully relaxing hot stone massage. The combination of spending the morning in and out of the seawater, relaxing in the sunshine, and then having the afternoon in the spa meant I was in such a state of deep calm that I fell asleep as soon as I got on the plane to London, and slept the entire journey home!

The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain offers everything you knew you needed and everything you didn’t know you needed. It’s perfect for every type of guest; lone business travellers, families and couples looking for a week in the sun, and travellers wanting a weekend away from the neighbouring GCC countries. From check-in to check-out my stay was absolutely blissful, and they made my stay one to remember with the kindness of the helpful staff and a wide variety of restaurants and activities available!

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*I stayed as a guest of Ritz-Carlton for AGLAIA Magazine.
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