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The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
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Reviews (1,085)
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Reviewed December 31, 2006

There are only two areas the excellent Ritz-Carlton management and staff can't compensate for. Firstly the weather; it was freezing cold (8 to 14°C) between Christmas and New Years Day. Secondly the architectural structure of this factory-look building. Our small room had a very small window looking straight into the other rooms. The room was basic, relatively small but provided everything you need. It's an ideal room for a single business traveller but rather small for leasure. Also the bathroom was very small (although nicely decorated). This all is the Le Meridien heritage. Next time I will consider the (much more expensive) Club rooms.

All the rest was superb. The welcoming at arrival was of the level you generaly only experiece at the "Leading Hotels of the World".
Food is excellent and there are 7 places in house where you can enjoy local and international dishes. We prefered the diner buffet and the Italian restaurant, both very affordable as is a quick bite in the Lounge bar. The other restaurants are somewhat more expensive.
The pool area, beach and private island provide excellent relaxing oportunities in beatifull decorated gardens. Again staff is very helpful and are always there for you to serve drinks or when you need extra towels. The outside pool is not heathed but than there is the inside pool and Spa.

The hotel is very well located and nearby the biggest malls of Bahrain - just a 10 minutes walk.

In general, the superior guest relations, excellent food and great gardens compensate for the biggest architectural mistake ever seen in my travel life. But if you are interested in nice modern buildings of top architectural quality, just visit the booming financial centre of Manama.

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2  Thank MECHELEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2006

Visited in November for business and have stayed in a couple of other hotels previously in Bahrain but would always look to return to the Ritz-Carlton in future. Very friendly staff (I like it when people say 'hello' to you rather than just walking past in the corridor....). Convenient location for the business district, room has all the modcons you need and very nice bathroom although a little on the small side. Didn't have a great view but I'm not bothered about that. Had dinner in the Indian restaurant in the hotel which was excellent, very nice atmosphere and they let me take a look in the kitchen where they were preparing naan bread - very hot! There's a Trader Vic restaurant in the grounds which was loud and boisterous but good fun. Breakfast buffet was pretty good. Overall, a very enjoyable stay and hope to return on business soon. Personally, I don't view Bahrain as a holiday destination but there did seem to be a few people lounging around the pool so quite a mix of business and pleasure people there....

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled on business
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2  Thank Sags72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2006

Let's start with the highlights of this hotel: it is the only hotel in the Kingdom to have a (man-made) beachfront setting. The landscaped grounds are extensive, providing a lovely walk of maybe a mile, past lavish beachfront villas to the 'island' which faces the hotel across the 'lagoon.' There is an enormous spa, an indoor pool, a huge outdoor pool (chilly in Nov), kiddie play areas, tennis courts, etc etc. The food is also excellent and there's a huge choice of eateries, even a Trader Vic's franchise that's jumping with gold-plated Bahrainis dreaming of Bora Bora and wishing it wasn't so far and so expensive.

So what's wrong with this place? The important thing to realise is that it was built as a Meridien. Once a Meridien always a Meridien because there are structural-architectural things no amount of Ritzy black marble and gold decor can cover up. The building is way beyond ugly. It is hideous, like a cement factory. The small guestroom windows are sealed and look straight into all the other bedrooms. You can pay for very luxe accommodations but standard rooms are rather small and the bathrooms are almost unacceptable - tiny, pokey, dark spaces without the expected walk-in showers or space to turn around in. That's the Meridien legacy for you.

Public areas are oddly retro - a soaring atrium reminds you of those flash Hyatts of the 80s - and the dress code is very businessy. The hotel had very few tourists but many earnest Englishmen in sharp black suits wooing another billion from white-robed Bahrainis. Because of this, security is much higher than you notice in Qatar or Dubai. And at this Ritz the service - by Bangladeshis - simply isn't on the ball. I spent 20 minutes staring at an empty plate, tried everything to attract a waiter, and finally cleared the table myself. Also, the check-in was laughable: we were greeted by name by everyone (it was like The Truman Show) and escorted to our room for the form-filling. But the girl messed the thing up, had to ring us twice and finally return to the room because she forgot things like credit card number, address, that sort of thing. There's often a lot of show here but little substance. Like a Meridien, in fact.

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3  Thank Pausanias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2006

Very nice hotel but rooms were small and the service ranged from non-existant to sychophancy. The pool area and spa were overun by local families who had no consideration or respect for other guests.
Food and service, especially in Plums Restaurant, was excellent though expensive. The sort of hotel that made you wonder how much do you have to pay in order to have a relaxing holiday at a five star hotel without having to encounter other peoples unruly children?

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled with family
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4  Thank BigBlueSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2006

We spent 6 days here in November 06. The place is wonderful, from start to finish the holiday was just fantastic.
We especially liked the hamman and the spa. Although gents are not allowed in the spa area, we did book a "tete a tete" treatment, which is a massage treatment side by side. I knew we had done the right thing when we were taken up some stairs, strewn with petals and led into a beautiful room with more petals over the beds and flowers and candles all around. We then had the most wonderful massage with hot stones. After that we had a very nice 3 course lunch in the spa with a glass of champagne. It was divine.
The rooms were lovely and the stafff just execellent. All in all, the most wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank harbi99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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