The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa: Resort Overview
Posted: 05 July 2016
Offering an elegant mix of both ancient and modern attractions, Bahrain Island is a remarkable destination with a unique Arabian charm. With such a rich history derived from its ancient Dilnum civilisation and significant trading past, there is a wealth of historic sites, plus stylish modern treasures to discover. The warmest of welcomes, luxurious beach resorts, superb cuisine and desert delights await - along with a generous serving of authentic Middle Eastern flavour.
Comprising thirty islands, located in the Persian Gulf and conveniently located close to mainland Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the main Bahrain Island is linked by a causeway to Saudi Arabia. Its north coast capital, Manama, was built from the riches of natural pearls, spices and modern-day oil and shares all the style of modern, wealthy Arabia, yet, with an understated elegance.
In addition to its City Centre mega-mall, Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit and Magic Planet entertainment centre, there are a plethora of modern dining attractions, expertly catering for the established mix of ex-pat and local residents. It was, however, the way in which Bahrain retains its link to its past, that impressed me most. I was privileged to visit Bahrain National Museum, exhibiting life before oil was discovered - with its Hall of Graves highlighting the traditions of the ancient Dilnum civilisation – plus, the adjacent Bahrain National Museum, one of the largest in the Arab world. Add to this the beautiful Al Fatih Mosque, one of the largest places of worship in the world, plus the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bahrain Fort (a moated Fortress), and I begin to understand a little more about this lesser-known Arabian gem. Aside from the cultural tours, desert experiences and watersports available at Coral Bay, there is the city’s thriving Bab el-Bahrain souk, plus authentic street bazaars offering traditional hand-woven fabrics, natural pearls, spices, gold and jewellery. The Manama souq’s ‘Kingdom of Perfumes’ is also a must-visit for its locally mixed fragrances.
Following a busy day of excursions, it was great to retreat to the lush and tranquil Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. Boasting a collection of eastern and western design touches, The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain is every inch an inviting oasis. Popular with locals and ex-pats alike, this tranquil and beautifully landscaped resort provides a private beachfront, generous pool area, various dining venues and impressive views. With a welcoming atmosphere, popular lounge areas, live DJ music, spa, plus Ritz Kidz children’s club, the resort is at the heart of the weekend entertainment scene.
Experts at mixing business with leisure, the luxury resort offers the superlative service you would expect from Ritz-Carlton, along with superb amenities, facilities and a Michelin-starred restaurant. The cuisine was certainly a highlight for me and ‘Plums’ is definitely a hotspot for Bahrain dining. An intimate venue, the dishes are served like works of art! The food was really delicious and there was a great selection of wine, plus the staff were superb.
We enjoyed lunch at ’Primavera’, a fabulous Italian Restaurant where the two Michelin-starred chef, Oliver Glowig, reinvents Italian traditions for the modern diner. I had lunch there and enjoyed an aperitivo on the terrace, in the sunshine, whilst looking out across the impressive resort. We were treated to sampling pretty much everything on the menu – it was truly fabulous and the Tiramisu was the best ever! I also had the best Macaroons I have ever tasted at the Ritz Gourmet Lounge. Inspired by the golden age of César Ritz and Auguste Escoffier, who came to fame in the late 19th century, The Ritz Gourmet Lounge embraces the heritage of these two pioneers in international hospitality, with a dedicated menu influenced by some of Escoffier’s world classics, served in a splendid royal ambience. The authentic French interior design has been created in reminiscence of the Belle Epoque, the ‘Beautiful Era’, a period in French history that started around 1890 and ended in 1914. Rich velvet upholstered Napoleon chairs and sofas invite to enjoy a chic ambience reminiscent of a Parisian ‘Salon de The’.
Guests can sample Escoffier’s signature dishes, such as Peach Melba, named after the Australian opera singer, Nellie Melba, Belle Helene and Strawberries Romanoff. Imported leaf teas from Sri Lanka, China and South America are on offer from the tisane trolley, freshly cut in front of the guest and served in silver pots. For coffee aficionados, a freshly roasted selection of various coffees from Arabica to Turkish is available daily and can be purchased in the gourmet lounge retail area - along with home-made breads, croissants, pates, tartins, richly decorated desserts, chocolates, ice-cream, fine olive oils and caviar.
The highlight of the restaurant is the shisha terrace lounge, serving exotic and newly composed flavours in oversized contemporary Meduse pipes, made of Czech hand-blown Bohemian Glass. Guests may sample Meduse Beach, a blend of watermelon, lemon and coconut, Eden’s Apple, a composition of Eskandarani apple, chocolate and mint, or Karkade Mist, mixed with pomegranate, strawberry and plum. A dedicated shisha sommelier assists with choosing the perfect flavour and recommends a selection of drinks and refreshments to accompany this fine shisha experience.
Surrounded by palm trees, with twenty acres of private beachfront and secluded white-sand beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain is an attractive and spacious resort. The stunning panoramic views across the lagoon, sea, city and island are perfectly complemented by the fifteen contemporary, three-bedroom villas with private pools, Club Level service and stylish suites. Clients are spoilt with 24-hour butler service and a seemingly endless list of amenities – the hammam, saunas, squash and tennis courts, Jacuzzis and the Royal Beach Club.
Far from its pearling past, today’s modern day Manama offers a plethora of attractions and The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain is ideally located to explore all of these treasures. From ancient culture to the delectable fusion cuisine, guests can indulge within the Arabian elegance, relax in a stylish beachfront property, dine alfresco, plus savour the incredible, vivid sunsets.