My family and I had just returned from our vacation at the Sofitel Zallaq Sea & Spa. Throughout the year, my wife and I work tirelessly, between our Real Estate business and our four boys. In working so hard, a vacation is a perfect event to end the year for our whole family.
When we first arrived to Sofitel, we were a bit disappointed that they could not accomodate their 'houseguests' for the Christmas Brunch, in which we re-enquired of them the day of check-in. However, about five days prior to checking in, we arrived to inquire of the rooms and we asked about the Christmas Brunch (because on a brochure, its' only mention was of the Christmas Eve Brunch). We were told that there is no Christmas Brunch, only the Christmas Eve Brunch. So, when we re-inquired just to check on the day of our checking-in, we were told that they were fully booked. We were a bit perplexed by this whole scenario. It was very unfortunate that we had to leave the hotel-our vacation, to drive somewhere nearly 20 minutes away to have our Christmas Brunch at the Ritz Carlton.
Moving on, we arrived to our rooms. The kids room had an awful smell (sewage). When we went into our room, it was freezing. The temp inside was 16.1 degrees celsius and the Air Conditioning was on full blast. Although we checked into the hotel fairly early around 1030am and was told that our room was ready, we didn't go to our rooms until around 4pm. We phoned the front desk, who sent someone to fix it. They said that it will take 20 minutes for the room to warm up. We waited for 1 hour. The temp in the room is now 16.7. We opened the doors to the balcony because it is warmer outside then the room. Some really nice maintenance guys came, claimed to have fixed it (and I believed them because I can smell the heat smell), however, the room did not get to a comfortable temp until the middle of the night, where it reached 20/21 degrees. Although the room itself was very luxurious and the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was tops, our first night in the hotel was marred by a very uncomfortable room temperature.
My wife placed our 1-year old to sleep in the Baby Cot that was provided. A few hours later, I go to check on him and notice he is laying a peculiar position. I pick him up to check and I notice that the base of the cot is broken. This is very untolerable. Your hotel staff, if well-trained, should have noticed something to this effect and changed it. I don't know how this could have possible gotten past the manager during room inspection or, especially the person setting up the cot.
During that night, we also called front desk about the smell in the kids room. They asked if we wanted them to come that night to fix it. We told them no, that in the morning during housekeeping they can fix it. No one ever came for the duration of our stay.
The next day for breakfast, my wife was very upset because she found a bug (a gnat) in her breakfast food. She's very upset because although she found one, how many did she miss??? We alerted the staff and left immediately. Because of this, my wife refused breakfast in the dining area the next day, forcing me to handle my four small boys independently.
During our check-out day, I arrived at breakfast with my children. My wife reluctantly followed about 30 minutes later sighting to end the vacation with breakfast together with the family. Fifteen minutes into her breakfast, she discovered a long black hair in the fruit bowl that she acquired. Livid, we alerted the staff and left and checked out.
The other issues were:
We asked the lady, while checking in, if she could put 3 small robes and slippers in the kids rooms. She replied yes. This didn't happen. There were only two robes. We requested one more robe and two slippers via a call through to the front desk.
There was only one robe in our room. Had to call front desk to request one.
The only highlight of our stay was the Kids' Club. I queried my children many times and they all really liked it. I have no real complaints from that side (although, on the first day when we took our kids there, when inquired if there would be a Santa, we were told on New Years' Eve, only to find out on Christmas Day when we picked our kids up, Santa had been there---and we really wanted to take pictures). The Kids' Club is an OUTSTANDING idea to say the least for any hotel of this caliber. It really provides families with more than one option.
We go on vacation, for the same reason. To go on vacation. To be rid of all the stress that goes on with work. We did not expect to go to a place that has the worst of services that we have EVER experienced. We should only have to phone the front desk for requests. Not for issues with the room. Everyone that works at the hotel should know who their 'houseguests' are. We've had several staff/security inquire of our room number and reacting to us as though we were 'lost' inside the hotel. At one point, while rushing to get my children from the Kids' Club during checkout, I was approached by security, asked for my room number a 4th time during my stay, and then waited patiently while he fumbled through his 15-20 page booklet to find my family on the guest list. The kitchen staff should be wearing a hair net. The food should be properly covered, even when it is out at the buffet to minimize occurances outside of the kitchen.
Our vacation was great . The hotel is great. The management is not. There were far too many events occurred that should not have happened in a 5-Star Luxury Hotel. With this being said, we were never once approached by the management in regards to the issues with the bug and hair found in the food on two different occurences, two days apart.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa offers guests a paradise setting to enjoy an idyllic stay with spectacular views over the Arabian Gulf. The hotel is an exclusive resort catering to both leisure and business travelers and offers the uniqueness of a luxurious location amidst views of the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. Sofitel Bahrain celebrates the Kingdom’s legendary hospitality with a French flair and is the first hotel within the GCC countries to offer the unique relaxation of Thalassotherapy. The Thalassa Sea & Spa at Sofitel Bahrain covers 2,000 square meters on two floors; the complex features 14 treatment rooms utilizing marine based products to offer a unique series of Thalassotherapy treatments, massages and wellness programmes. Guests of the Thalassa Sea & Spa can also enjoy a seawater hydrotherapy pool, a freshwater pool, saunas, steam rooms, a hairdresser for men and a beauty salon for women, as well as a Yoga & Pilates studio. Sofitel Bahrain offers 262 rooms and suites, combining comfort and elegance and offering lavish furnishings with breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf. Within the hotel are 28 suites including 21 Prestige Suites, 6 rooftop Opera suites each offering a private terrace and infinity pool and one Royal Suite complete with a Jacuzzi, private terrace, infinity pool and a uniquely regal design and furnishings. The hotel offers a large swimming pool complete with a swim-up pool bar situated adjacent to its private beach and 5 restaurants. Located on Zallaq Beach 5 minutes from the Bahrain International Circuit, 25 minutes from the heart of Manama and 30 minutes from the Bahrain International Airport, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa offers the perfect location for a relaxed vacation away from the city or a luxurious vacation with convenient access to the city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea And Spa
- Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea Hotel Manama
- Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa Manama