10.05.2007 - 15.05.2007 29 °C
We travelled light as this was only a very short distance from Qatar and we assumed that Bahrain is roughly the same as Doha. The excitement was to visit a new country where Nina had never been before, whereas Keith my travel companion also had the same feeling as he was going back to a place he last visited more than 10 years ago.
We departed from Doha with the 15.45 flight to Bahrain; and arrived in Bahrain 25 minutes later and it was still daylight when we landed so we could hang around a bit longer before we started exploring.
I tried to warn Keith that the hotel might be not as good as the hotel we previously used, as The Grand Mercure Hotel is located in a new neighborhood and secondly, although this hotel is part of the Qatar Airways package is one of the cheapest and nobody else had recommended this hotel on any website. Thirdly, the new suburb was a little bit separated from the main city activity…. Is this a good choice? I was glad when he said it didnt worry him.
To our surprise this was an excellent choice of hotel. Yes it had all those things above, but was not just like any other hotel as it was an all suite hotel. Every unit had it’s own kitchen, dining room, and living room as well as separate bedroom. We certainly enjoyed the facilities.
Location wise, yes it is away from the city, but we could hire a car and the road to the hotel was straight forward and Bahrain easy to find your way around. Is it away from city activity…? Not at all, as right next door are 2 biggish and new shopping malls. We could just walk over there to see the Expats and Bahraini Shoppers.
Best of all, they put us on the top floor, so that we could see the city. Our balcony was facing the sea and to see the beautiful blue colours of the Persian Gulf.
We also had a couple of visits into Manama, to visit the gold souk and the other older parts of Manama and the newly refurbished 'old Arab suburb' of Al Muharraq and a couple of Expat Bars in the Delmon & Crowne Plaze Hotels plus a drive round the island having lunch at the Riffa Golf Club and a trip across the Bahrain-Saudi Arabia Causeway, which was a pretty impressive feat of civil engineering. Didtn get all the way across the Causeway to Saudi Arabia as we had no passports and certainly no visas for Saudi!