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Island of Smiles

Written on 10/15/2017
Liz O'reilly

One of Bahrain’s greatest assets is known to be its welcoming and hospitable people, but this island, sparkling like a gem in the clear blue Gulf waters also boasts many historical sites, great entertainment and dining options and an easy-going lifestyle which make it a favourite with GCC visitors and those from further afield.

From the yearly Spring of Culture and Annual Fine Arts Exhibition, to the Gulf Air Formula One Grand Prix, UNESCO World Heritage sites and the regular shopping and music festivals, there really is something to suit every taste and budget across the island’s leisure scene.

And business travellers too are frequent visitors to our shores with the Kingdom’s commercial, economic and industrial sectors attracting an ever growing number of expatriates, be it for short business trips and conferences or longer term employment contracts.

Whatever your reason for visiting Bahrain, you will find a range of accommodation from five-star luxury to budget and long-stay options and, following the introduction of new sectors into the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism’s hotel categorisation system, our guide carries a full listing of all star-rated hotels recognised by the Ministry.

Juffair & Adliya

Popular as both a business and entertainment district Juffair enjoys close proximity to the US Navy base and the easy access to many of the island’s attractions such as Bahrain National Museum and the Al Fateh Grand Mosque. As well as a vast range of dining and entertainment options it is home to a variety of hotels including four-star properties such as Al Safir Hotel & Tower, Best Western the Olive, the lively Pars International and the most recent opening, Arman Hotel. There are also multiple offerings from Ramee Group, The K Hotel and the Atiram Premier Hotel to name just a few.

In neighbouring Adliya, close to the Kingdom’s dining hub, stands The Gulf Hotel with its huge array of restaurants, the Palace Boutique Hotel and the much-loved Ramada. The Kingdom’s first floating accommodation, C Hotel, can be found at Coral Bay on the Al Fateh Corniche.

Manama & Seef

Close to the island’s commercial centre and a little further along the highway is the Diplomatic area, home to The Domain Bahrain Hotel, Crowne Plaza Bahrain, the neighbouring Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa and nearby Baisan International Hotel. Frsan Palace Hotel are the Swiss International Hotel are close by, off the famous Exhibitions Avenue. Central Manama, adjacent to the island’s main business and commercial districts is home to the Golden Tulip, InterContinental Regency, the Sheraton and the Delmon International Hotel and Downtown Rotana.

Neighbouring Seef District, meanwhile, boasts the financial area at Bahrain Financial Harbour as well as some of the island’s best shopping at City Centre Bahrain and Al Aali Shopping Complex. Le Meridien, The Westin and Fraser Suites Seef Bahrain enjoy connections direct to the malls and conveniently close by you will find the flagship Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, the chic S Hotel, the recently opened Ramada City Centre Manama and the Asdal Gulf Inn.


Amwaj Islands

An extremely popular residential and leisure destination, Amwaj Islands is home to The Lagoon, which houses multiple dining and entertainment options, as well as various water sports facilities. The Dragon and Sea Loft are the oldest accommodation options which in recent years have been joined by the Ramada Hotel & Suites Amwaj Island and Gulf Residence Amwaj. Further openings are expected in the future.

Resort Hotels

The Kingdom offers several luxurious resort properties each with its own unique ambiance and a range of facilities. For a desert escape with traditional Arabic hospitality, head to the all-villa resort Al Areen Palace & Spa which is home to one of the region’s biggest and most opulent spas. If you prefer to stay closer to town, the Novotel Al Dana Resort is great for a relaxing break in the centre of the action on the Shaikh Hamad Causeway. Heading towards Seef the plush Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is one of the island’s most upmarket destinations while The Ritz-Carlton, is also a popular choice. The beautifully situated ART Rotana Amwaj offers a private beach along with multiple other facilities and at the other end of the island you will find the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa.

A convenient stopover for those heading to or from the airport, is the Mövenpick Hotel, which combines comfort and great service.