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  • Julia 43 posts

    Has anyone been to Bahrain for a break? It seems to be in the news a lot lately and I’m looking for another destination that’s easy to get to from Abu Dhabi or Doha. There is nothing from my readings which suggests it should be avoided as a tourist spot so would the HFP community recommend it?

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    I can’t speak from experience, but I have an in-law who lives and works there. I don’t know that’s there’s a huge amount to see and women seem to be expected to dress ultra-conservatively. I would personally go for Oman if exploring the region further.

    TGLoyalty 526 posts

    Been to both Bahrain and Oman and personally I’d say Oman is much better

    TJ 91 posts

    Absolutely Oman. Not a lot to do in Bahrain and still lots of development going on. Oman has a certain authenticity which you won’t find anywhere else in the ME. Hotels far superior too.

    Olly 242 posts

    We’ve been to Bahrain for a holiday twice, and the way I’d describe it is like a much smaller (and IMO more pleasant) version of Dubai, without the hordes of western expats and tourists. Culturally there isn’t much to write home about, but most people heading to that part of the world are predominantly looking for reliably warm weather and nice hotels over culture.

    I can heartily recommend the Four Seasons which occupies the prime spot on Bahrain bay, but there’s a relatively new Hilton Garden Inn just across the bay which is more than serviceable, and that’s attached to a mall (Avenues) with plentiful local restaurants (both local and international chains). Further across the city there’s also a Ritz Carlton and a new Hilton, and I believe a Jumeirah opened on the far side of the island last year. At weekends, a lot of Saudis come over the bridge and that makes it a bit busier but it never feels congested in the same way Dubai can.

    It’s also far easier to find BA redemption availability at peak times than Dubai.

    stevenhp1987 331 posts

    We were in Bahrain earlier this week.

    If you’re looking for culture I’d say go somewhere else (we preferred both Abu Dhabi and Doha). Might be good if you’re just looking for a beach break.

    No metro system and plenty of traffic. Great Tikka (local street food not to be confused with tikka masala) though!

    tiberius 34 posts

    Currently in Bahrain having just been to the F1! we come back frequently to visit family and have used day passes at the Ritz, Jumeirah resort, Sofitel and Four Seasons this week.

    The hotels are to a very high standard and are designed beautifully with some very nice restaurants. That said, there isn’t anything of note to do in the country as a whole. The malls are fine, Bahrain fort is small and not very interesting (and I am very interested in history generally) and there is quite a bit of traffic

    There is however lots to eat (and to a very nice standard). Regarding western dress you can wear anything sensible to be honest, Bahrain is filled with expats and US troops who wear “moderate” clothing.

    If you’re after a hotel break Doha is generally cheaper for the same quality, for shopping and eating food Dubai, for culture go Oman or maybe even Abu Dhabi. But just my opinion and may be a nice 2 or 3 day stay to experience it.

    BBbetter 638 posts

    It’s also far easier to find BA redemption availability at peak times than Dubai.

    Wonder how BA keeps this route open despite loads of availability.

    Olly 242 posts

    It’s also far easier to find BA redemption availability at peak times than Dubai.

    Wonder how BA keeps this route open despite loads of availability.

    Lots of business between there and the UK, which means a single daily flight is likely sustainable.

    GillyDee 92 posts

    Had a short break in Bahrain last February, warm but very windy.

    Originally we were going to spend a few days at the Sofitel until the hotel advised that they were hosting a wedding during our stay and that various areas would be off-limits; it’s apparently very popular for large, glamorous Indian weddings. So we ended up at the Hilton Manama. Perfectly nice hotel but out of the way – walkable to the Al Fateh Grand Mosque and a couple of shopping malls – and across from a lot of beach front development.

    Then we thought it would be a good idea to visit Al Khobar in KSA.

    On our return we stayed at the Four Seasons – not a fan – beautiful grounds but overly blingy inside and shockingly awful parental control in the breakfast buffet – kids running around, taking bites out of food and putting it back on serving dishes. You couldn’t walk anywhere unless you got the little ferry over to The Avenues shopping mall (which has the HGI and a good range of restaurants)

    I actually really enjoyed the Bahrain Fort and it has a lovely cafe with nice views. The National Museum was interesting too.

    Apart from having to wear an Abaya and head scarf in the mosque (for the ladies obvs), normal weather-appropriate western clothing was fine.

    Colin MacKinnon 283 posts

    Daughter was there in December and found the pollution horrendous – triggered a mild asthma attack.

    Don’t know if that was unusual weather conditions

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    @Colin, was your daughter visiting a friend from Perthshire by any chance?!

    chachatipu 5 posts

    5 day break in Bahrain with wife and adult son last June – ‘twas a little warm!!

    Very little to do, unfortunately.

    No restrictions on clothing.

    Shopping malls are good and the food was exceptional.

    I would suggest visiting any other Middle East location.

    LD27 171 posts

    We had friends who lived there for over 10 years until recently moving to Monaco. We never visited them although changed planes there a few times with Gulfair en route to Bangkok. We met them instead in Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and once in Doha. If you’re interested in culture, would definitely recommend Oman. The forts and Mosque were well worth visiting as is the Louvre and Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Have close family in Dubai, but usually meet them somewhere else too as not a fan of Dubai.

    Colin MacKinnon 283 posts

    @Colin, was your daughter visiting a friend from Perthshire by any chance?!

    No, a Chinese friend she met when they were a student at Glasgow School of Art.

    Isn’t the world a multinational space these days!

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    Definitely – I thought that might be too much of a coincidence!

    Mandy 43 posts

    Yes, I have been to Bahrain with my husband and daughter for 4 nights. We stayed at intercontinental and enjoyed it. We went last Feb and took the opportunity to fly BA first class using Avios just for the experience. We enjoyed Bahrain and was a chance for us to take it easy. Weather was pleasant and a bit windy. We visited the Mosque, Museum and the Malls. Also did a boat taxi ride which was fun. Went to 4 seasons I think for brunch which was good.

    davidflies 18 posts

    There’s nothing much to do in Bahrain, I’ve worked there for several months. It’s better to visit Oman.

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