OPENING ITS DOORS AFTER A COLOSSAL RENOVATION PROJECT, THE MÖVENPICK HOTEL BAHRAIN IS A REMINDER THAT WHEN YOU SPEND TIME AND THOUGHT INTO PUTTING YOUR GUESTS AND SERVICES FIRST, YOU CAN RETAIN THE WARMNESS OF THE PAST WITH THE AESTHETICS OF THE FUTURE. FACT’S SHABANA ADAM CHECKS IN…
There is a long-standing history attached to the 5-star Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain. Some of its staff have been there since the very beginning whilst loyal clients will tell you stories of how weekend family dinners became a ritual here and others who have been visiting Bahrain for years, feel a sentiment that is indescribable for how much the hotel means to them. After all, isn’t good hospitality about making memories? And I have some of those of my own. The well-reputed Friday Brunch at the Mövenpick is where I celebrated my very first birthday in the Gulf, my last staycation at the hotel led me to making a life-long friend in the PR & Communications Manager, and let’s not forget the many Christmas tree lightings, pool days and spa visits that have been nothing but magical every time. Yes, the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain really does have a special place in many people’s hearts. Being one of those myself, I was excited for the property to open its doors following their mammoth renovations. Ready to move with the times, the Mövenpick brand’s story of inspired thinking, seeped its way into the minds of the Bahrain team who have worked tirelessly to take the new-look hotel out of the shadows and into the spotlight. I was more than ready to witness this on a recent visit…
Pulling up at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain feels like parking up in old stomping grounds. At reception, I’m greeted by the very same bubbly and friendly gentleman who welcomed me two years ago. It feels like walking into an old friend’s house, but one look around the lobby and you’ll see that this friend’s home has been given a huge facelift. The lobby is bright, airy and elegant in every way that represents the Mövenpick brand.
Accentuated by beautifully-placed indoor plants and an aviary-inspired lounge, there is a real greenhouse feel where the sun shining in through the tall glass windows gives the illusion of being under the open skies. Already, the whole set up feels more open and fresher.
Being back at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain evokes all the warm feelings I associate with this hotel, however, this time, it feels more bespoke, classy yet still very inclusive. I like it. Up to the room we go…
SWEET SUITE LIFE
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts around the world is known to many as a modern, upscale hospitality company that is passionate about ‘making moments’, recognising that small gestures make a big difference to guests, and they certainly do ordinary things in an extraordinary way here at the Bahrain hotel. Stepping into our one-bedroom suite is like closing the doors on a bustling party and sinking into a personal sanctuary. Wow. Where do I start? The neutral tones of plum and beige is a total upgrade from the previous rooms. The king-size bed is comfier, the pillows and cushions are plusher, there’s a separate work desk and a marble-clad bathroom with deep-sinking tub, that I couldn’t wait to have a soak and amenities galore. Most of all, as is key to the brand’s approach, the small details make the biggest difference. There are plug sockets and USB ports on BOTH sides of the bed, enough storage for a family of four, water bottles to last you a week, and a mini-bar packed with all our favourites – crisps, chocolates, nuts, and more, with an excellent choice of drinks and hot beverages too. Do I even need to leave the room?
That’s not all… wait for it. There’s a connecting door – and is it just me or do you also give connecting doors a little nudge when at a hotel? Thinking that it wouldn’t open, I confidently push down on the handle and to my utter surprise, the door opens up onto a whole new room which is part of the suite – speechless. This space features a full-out living room with a couch that also turns into a bed, a whole new storage wardrobe, an entire bathroom with walk-in rain shower, a second mini bar and, my favourite part, sliding doors out onto a massive balcony-cum-terrace where you can hear the cool breeze, birds chirping and breathe in the fresh winter air. The views are also something to behold as the city’s skyscrapers align in the distant as a backdrop to the cultural surroundings of Muharraq. This would be the perfect spot to capture all the best insta-worthy pictures.
There is a noticeable change in the functionality of the rooms too. Technological features include iPod docks, free WiFi, air conditioning, light dimmers, IDD telephone, voicemail and a LCD TV with satellite channels, however, everything is controlled via strategically-placed buttons by the bedside – something I can really appreciate. I have some of the best night’s sleeps and wake up refreshed, only to jump into a shower that has so many cool settings that you may not want to actually get out! This is the perfect room type for up to two adults and two children to stay in comfortably.
FOOD GAME, STRONG
I’ve always enjoyed the food at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain, however, the dining venues themselves were a little outdated. Not anymore. Walking into Silk’s Restaurant is like walking into a European manor house in the countryside – it’s laid-back, sophisticated and absolutely stunning. There is an entire forest wall which adds a woodlands vibe to the eatery, which stretches into a bright conservatory with cosy seating. It feels intimate yet inviting, and the service is impeccable as usual.
The lunch buffet is an ever-changing affair of delicious food. Fresh salads, yummy sushi, flavourful mains and a la minute dishes like pasta and shawarma are made to order. It’s interactive, friendly and very much feels like being at home in the kitchen with your family. The chefs have also revamped the a la carte menu which blew us away. I’m talking Szechwan Spiced Scallops which came with a creamy vanilla-scented cauliflower puree that left our taste buds positively dancing. The Avocado and Quinoa sees grilled avo meet with roasted pumpkin and orange and chickpea salad – a wonderful concoction of ingredients. The Goats Cheese Ravioli is, simply, a revelation. Pockets of pasta generously filled with roasted pears and goats cheese, sitting on a bed of spinach and drizzled in hazelnut butter – it’s like something from the Food Network and tastes light and creamy. Just order it!
From the Grill is my favourite section of the menu. I ordered New Zealand Prime Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin 180gr with a side of potato gratin and peppercorn sauce. Cooked medium-well, the steak was glazing when it arrived and juicy with every bite. The surprises and interaction surrounding dinner is what left us amazed. You get to choose your very own steak knife from an exclusive selection, and there’s even a “Salt Box” (I went for a grating of the Pink Himalayan Salt) and a very cool “Mustard Bar” (Dijon all the way). These elements add a sense of excitement and “newness” to the menu and remind me that the hotel’s renovations have gone beyond aesthetics – it’s all about enhancing the guest experience and the staff really do make it memorable.
There are plenty of themed nights and culinary events to try at Silk’s, but in all honesty, we would highly recommend stopping by for a casual dinner and tucking into the a la carte menu – it’s on par with some of the biggest and best names in the business
TIME TO RELAX
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that the gym at Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain is one of the best we’ve experienced in the whole country. Every machine was chosen to give you a head-to-toe workout where you’ll feel like you’ve undertaken a more vigorous workout in a shorter amount of time. Even if you’re not a gym buff, this could be the ideal place to start.
Of course, after the gym, there’s only one thing to do – relax. The hotel’s Rimal Spa features 12 treatment rooms, including single treatment suites, one double female suite and two traditional Turkish hammam suites with their own steam rooms and heated wet tables.
All treatment rooms are designed to the highest standards and have private showers. To ensure privacy, the wellness facility offers segregated male and female wings with relaxation waiting areas where organic herbal infusions and fruit water are served.
I’m here to try one of the revolutionary CACI (Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument) Synergy facials. CACI is a system that uses the series of electrical pulses to stimulate muscles, with microcurrent facial techniques in conjunction with faradic slimming and toning applications. The CACI Quantum and Synergy redefines facial muscles, reduces lines and wrinkles and tightens and tones sagging body muscles.
Firstly, I’m a little bit in love with the spa bed which is adjusted to lift up my knees for extra comfort and is also heat controlled so get ready to fall into a deep slumber. My therapist is super knowledgeable. She identifies that my skin is a little dehydrated and tired, especially around the eyes. She cleans the face with a hot towel before cleansing the skin gently to remove any lingering dirt. First, what feels like a blunt blade is in fact the Ultrasonic Skin Peeling device which feels strange but relaxing. Its benefits are abundant, including: destroying bacteria, cleansing, readying the skin to enhance the absorption of skincare formulations, stimulating and improving circulation and overall revealing more youthful looking skin. Next up is Orbital Microdermabrasion which deeply cleanses and exfoliates, removes imperfections and impurities and leaves your complexion clearer and smoother. Results are visible immediately. My favourite part of the facial had to be the use of S.P.E.D (simultaneous photo electrical delivery) Microcurrent LED Technology. It combines antibacterial and anti-inflammatory red and blue LED light therapy to help heal the skin and trigger tissue repair.
By the end of my treatment, after the application of a cooling eye gel, I am radiantly glowing. My face feels tighter and looks sharper. My complexion tone looks brighter and refreshed – something which lasts for days to come. Is this worth the time and money? One hundred per cent yes! I mean, you’ll also get the chance to have a little nap and there’s a very soothing face and head massage to accompany. Highly recommended!
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain’s resounding success in the market is more than just because of its location (which is VERY convenient, of course) – it’s located a mere few seconds from the airport. The team combines the brand’s celebrated Swiss roots with the embodiment of Bahraini hospitality, which is completely unmatched elsewhere. Rich culinary offerings, home-away-from-home accommodation, caring for local and global communities through various initiatives and protecting the environment, are all factors that make this hotel the shining star that it is.
What makes it even better now are the mindblowing changes after the renovation which will surely impress all returning and first-time guests. For me, I literally felt the same values of the old building etched into the new design and décor; this has always been a place with character and charm, and now it has a new lease of life to compliment it. Excellent job, Mövenpick team. ✤