Stepping away from everyday stresses and sippin’ your favourite drink on a white-sand beach is not so far-fetched anymore! With hotels safely opening their doors to guests again, we thought it only right to find the best pampering escape in the region – and it was The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain that exceeded all of our expectations.
The Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho once said: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” We’ve all been stuck in a routine, more than ever before, during the pandemic, and life has been a whole different level of challenges. Travelling was a way of changing our scenery but, as we are well aware, Covid-19 made going on a trip a distant memory. The solution to embarking on a new adventure without leaving Bahrain – a staycation!
I have to confess that I was unsure what to expect when we checked in at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. I was excited to get away from our home and tiring routine, and I certainly knew that I was ready to experience a beachfront resort with a Maldivian feel in the heart of the Kingdom. This sounded like one of the best ideas of all time, but would this feel like a real luxury escape?
At the reception, you can already feel that an incredible stay is waiting for you; the welcoming feel at the lobby and the friendly staff are a fabulous first impression. We arrived at this city resort in the middle of the afternoon, and Avee, the lovely receptionist at the check-in, explained all about the hotel and wished us a pleasant stay. The weather was just perfect, and we couldn’t wait to explore this beautiful property spanning 20 acres of lush gardens and golden sandy beaches.
We are a family of four, and my eldest child was turning 16, so we had an extra reason to plan something special over the weekend. And the team at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain couldn’t have made her happier; with balloons and decorations plus an awesome cake in our room. A room that was located on the seventh floor, which also happens to be The Club Lounge floor.
The view, as you can imagine, was breathtaking! We had an unobstructed picture of the immense pool, white-sand beach and the open sea that shows its expanse behind the lagoon that has been created to make your beach experience safe and private. The room was the perfect size with a comfortable king-size bed, a separate wardrobe area, a sofa and a centre table. The big screen TV can be rotated to watch from the lounge area or the bed. However, the highlight was the bathroom. A sumptuous, deep bathtub was waiting for us, and my kids couldn’t wait to get in. A massive separate area with a state-of-the-art rain shower and toilet was hidden behind glass doors, making the bathroom areas entirely private. Perfect for a family with many members and all sorts of needs.
We quickly got changed into our swimsuits to enjoy the rest of the day (I promised my kids they could get into the bathtub before dinner). We crossed the bridge over the extensive pool, thinking of returning to it later because we had our eyes on the beach. Bahrain doesn’t offer many admirable public beach areas, and we absolutely love a beach vibe. Sandcastles and crystalline water were all we wanted. As I mentioned previously, the weather was just perfect, a warm summer sun shining with a cool breeze passing through. We enjoyed the beach until sunset, when it was time to go back to our bedroom and get ready for dinner (don’t forget that a relaxing time in the tub was also in the schedule).
Our evening meal was reserved at the Ritz Gourmet Lounge, a restaurant that transports you to Paris with its Belle Époque décor and elegant features such as rich velvet upholstered Napoleon chairs and sofas for a chic ambience like a ‘salon de thé’. Our eyes were immediately directed to the ceiling, where you can spot paintings in golden frames, fighting gravity. The menu is not extensive but is made up of all the delicious comfort food you could want. We ordered a Mezze (because I am a hummus lover), two pasta dishes (the vegetarians needed something soothing), the local Sea Bass and the Fennel and Halloumi Salad. All to be shared and enjoyed by the four of us.
The Executive Pastry Chef Jonathan Challenor came to our table right when we were eating our ice-creams and insisted that we have the famous Classic Cheesecake. We were feeling satisfied; however, we had to try it, and it was the best decision of the night! We still drool at the memory of its flavour and unique soft texture, well balanced with the crunchy biscuit dough.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain offers 13 dining experiences, all with their own characteristics and personality. From Mexican flavours at Cantina Kahlo to Nirvana, led by Chef Mahipal Singh, reflecting the decadent décor of India’s palaces. This fine-dining restaurant offers authentic dishes, including kebabs and grilled seafood. An invitation, if one were needed, to stay even longer to truly savour this city resort’s extraordinary cuisine selection.
Breakfast the next day was served at the Ritz Gourmet Lounge, so we headed back to this dessert and pastry sanctuary. The fresh bread and hot black coffee were all I needed to start the day. As beach aficionados, we went straight there to lay down in the beach cabanas, play once again in the sand and walk in the low tidewaters.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain has an incredible location in the heart of the Seef district, though you completely forget that the city is behind you and functioning at full speed. Time stopped for us. We fully embraced relaxation mode, and when leaving the hotel, we were happy that we didn’t have to go to the airport and wait for a flight back to get home. We could just drive home.
Our staycation at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain ticked all the boxes and more. I completely disconnected and forgot about worries and routine and was able to embrace this mini luxury holiday with all my passion for travelling. This is a perfect escape where your mind and soul can delight in a beautiful scenario and where you can nourish your body and replenish your energy.