A STAY BY THE BAY
Melissa Nazareth enjoyed an impromptu break at the spectacular Hilton Garden Inn Bahrain Bay. Nestled in the city centre, just 15 minutes away from Bahrain International Airport, it offers mesmerising waterfront views and more.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have spotted Hilton Garden Inn Bahrain Bay (HGI). Located on the same plot as The Avenues mall, it just celebrated its first anniversary and is one of the most successful hotels in the Kingdom in terms of occupancy. On a Sunday morning, I learned that a staycation at HGI Bahrain Bay was in order – a weekend after a weekend? Lucky me!
You take the same route as you would to go to the mall. Once you enter the premises, keep going straight down. There are signs to guide you, so it’s easy. When you reach the end, there’s an uphill ramp leading to the hotel’s entrance. We decided to opt for the valet parking service, which is complimentary.
The lobby is long and well-lit with sunshine streaming in through a series of French windows. As we waited to be checked in, I explored a little discovering a minimalist, classy interior punctuated with wood detail, abstract paintings and knit wall hangings with plenty of space dedicated to sofa-style seating.
A shop, located in the lobby, displayed essential items from edibles to washing detergent. Such facilities are a brand standard across all HGI properties worldwide and, in Bahrain, the store is presented as a tuk-tuk, which adds a touch of character to the space.
Further down the lobby is Together & Co. Cafe, which serves hot and cold beverages such as coffee, tea and juices. A glass display tempted with delicious looking cakes and pastries. There’s an outdoor seating area, ideal for the cooler months. You get an uninterrupted view of Manama’s skyline and Bahrain Bay from here.
A hassle-free check-in later, we headed to our room on the sixth floor. The hotel has 192 rooms, including 35 suites. Every room has either a sea or bay view; 70% of the rooms offer both and mine was in this category. Accentuated with earthy tones, ocean-inspired design notes and neutral colour palettes, the turquoise accents felt like an extension of the blue expanse that lay right behind the silky golden drapes. A bed dressed in crisp white linen sheets beckoned. On a small table, was a box of Bateel dates and date cookies – a nice little local welcome snack to tide us over until dinner. Our room had all the facilities such as a mini refrigerator, a 48-inch LED screen airing local and international movies and shows, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The bathroom had an enclosed shower area and was stocked with body care utilities and fresh white bath and face towels.
All I wanted to do was put my feet up and enjoy a cup of coffee while enjoying the view. However, in the interests of research, I decided to explore further. The hotel is strategically located close to the commercial district and major shopping destinations. Some key cultural destinations and iconic tourism landmarks nearby include Bahrain National Theatre, Bahrain National Museum and Manama Souq.
HGI Bahrain Bay is directly connected to The Avenues mall. You can enjoy easy access from the lobby. A lift takes you to the food court and cinema area.
There are two meeting rooms and a 70-seater ballroom on the first floor and an integrated gym and an infinity pool on the second floor.
First, we checked out the gym, which was moderately sized and had an attached bathroom. As we entered, we were greeted by the quote ‘Eat. Sleep. Gym. Repeat.’, which was framed and hung on the wall. It didn’t motivate me enough to work out. It did, however, nudge my husband to throw some punches at the punching bag. There were exercise machines such as treadmills, steppers and cycles and weight training tools such as dumbbells and kettlebells, as well as exercise balls. A mini refrigerator was stocked with water bottles to keep guests hydrated throughout their workout. A cabinet was arranged with neatly piled face towels. There was a TV, which I presume is installed for the likes of me who are not hardcore gym heads but don’t mind a walk or jog on the treadmill. There’s also a laundry room right next to the gym. This is a brand standard across all HGI properties worldwide. While laundry service is available for an additional charge, you can do your own washing too. After a quick exploration of the fitness centre, we went to the poolside located outdoors on the same level. You can enjoy breath-taking views of Bahrain Bay from here too. The humidity was dampening, quite literally. However, we saw many guests splashing around so, clearly, once you get into the pool, it gets better. A Jacuzzi adjoined the infinity pool which is surrounded by recliners for those who want to unwind with a beverage or hubble-bubble.
After our exploration and an early mall supper, I finally got to put my feet up with that much-anticipated coffee before sinking into the uber-comfy bed for a perfect night’s sleep. The next morning, we headed to Together & Co. for breakfast. A casual bistro located on the first floor, it serves a good selection of food and beverages for all occasions, appetites and budgets. Both local and international specialities are available. I learned from the friendly staff at the bistro that lunch and dinner are à la carte and breakfast is buffet style.
We settled at a table by the window – breakfast with a view! Our generous server offered orange juice, which we readily accepted. There were other options such as coffee and tea as well. A selection of Bahraini staples and international favourites awaited us. Balaleet or sweet vermicelli topped with an omelette, shakshuka or tomato eggs, foul medames or fava beans, bacon and eggs, hash browns, a variety of cheese and cold cuts, yoghurt parfait and fresh fruit, a range of breads and pastries… we tried most of it.
While my husband enjoyed the creamy scrambled eggs, I had an omelette from the omelette station. There was a pancake station too, which was presented as a kids’ corner but attracted plenty of adults enjoying the chance to select their own toppings. Long story short, breakfast was a hearty affair after which, we headed to our room where we binge watched YouTube for a bit before checking out.
All in all, it was a day well spent and a lovely bonus break. We strongly recommend a weekend at this four-star hotel and don’t forget to register for Hilton Honors, an award-winning guest-loyalty programme, which entitles you to a 20% discount. ✤
GO: CALL 7790 1111 FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION.
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