Last October to coincide with half term and as it happened – our tenth wedding anniversary, we decided to book a short break to Bahrain. It’s not a place we’d ever visited before, but we quickly fell in love, both with Manama itself and the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay hotel…

We decided to stay at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay in the capital Manama, not only because it had only just opened and had some great deals on, but also because it looked bloomin’ amazing.

And of course we weren’t disappointed. The hotel was most definitely amazing. It had everything you could ever need, and if there’s anything else you ever find yourself wanting then they’ll do whatever they can to get that for you too. The hotel is situated on it’s own private island in Bahrain Bay with a gorgeous (man-made) beach that gives you panoramic views of the Manama skyline.

Of course the interior of the hotel was fabulous and the room more than comfortable (we opted for a one bedroom suite so when the little one went to bed we still had some space and freedom of our own), but the thing that we loved the most was the beach and pool.

The family pool in the hotel was about as perfect as I’ve ever seen in any hotel because of the way it was designed. It’s perfect for parents with young kids as you can sit by the edge of the pool and relax while the kids splash about right next to you. There is a large area of the pool around the edges that is very shallow, and though it does get deeper, it does so very gently, leaving loads of room for little ones to play about very safely. For me, that’s a massive bonus as it means either myself or my husband didn’t have to be in the water with our son at every moment. Parents get to relax with a little drinkie by the pool, kids get to play happily – everyone’s a winner!

Of course if your kids are old enough for the kids club (they have to be over four to be left without parental supervision) there’s always the adult pool too for a quiet corner of serenity. Although I say that, while the pool was lovely indeed, it was overlooked by neighbouring building works that weren’t the quietest when we visited so it might be worth checking before visiting if this has completed.

Four Seasons Bahrain Bay adults only pool

And of course as you’d expect from a Four Seasons the food was also fabulous. At the time of our visit I was following a strict diet plan to help improve symptoms of my chronic illness (if you missed that you can read about it here) which basically meant not being able to eat an awful lot of things. I was following the strict auto-immune protocol (AIP) and for those who aren’t familiar with what that means, for ease, let’s just say that the list of things I couldn’t eat was very, very long! Thankfully though, this didn’t turn out to be an issue at all. I informed the hotel of my dietary requirements in advance of our visit and I was blown away to find on arrival that the chef had created me my own very special menu for our stay. How good is that?!

They had even made us an AIP compliant cake for our anniversary, and you can imagine that when you cannot eat gluten, refined sugar, dairy, eggs, and refined oils amongst other things that is no mean feat!

And although it was pretty easy to get whatever I wanted at any time of day (my personal menu was also available from room service), breakfast was the meal I found myself most excited about. The Bahrain Bay Kitchen breakfast restaurant is of course gorgeous, but it also had I think everything you could ever want from a breakfast. This was the without a doubt the mac daddy of breakfast restaurants with so much choice.

AIP compliant breakfast made just for me!

For our anniversary dinner we booked a baby-sitter from the hotel and headed out to Cut Restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, a modern American steakhouse. Whilst this was a lovely meal and a memorable evening, I was a little disappointed with the variety on the menu, particularly as there were no grass-fed meats available which I found surprising given the calibre of the restaurant. Regardless, we had a lovely meal and the staff were brilliant again with my dietary requirements, whipping me up some roasted vegetables to go with my steak. Maybe not the most exciting meal, but when you have such restricted choices, believe me, roasted vegetables are a god-send to get away from the all too common bland tasting boiled vegetable alternative!

We stayed three nights at the hotel and we had the best time. The Four Seasons has a good reputation for a reason, they really do exceed expectations at offering great service, and beyond that, anticipating your needs before you even know you need something! They’re also brilliant with kids and the kids club was a lovely indoor and outdoor space with heaps of activities going on (but very busy on Fridays when brunch takes place). Even my son was given his own welcome treat plate when we arrived in the hotel room which kept him more than happy and amused for a while!

All in all, I’d not only highly recommend this hotel as a great place to relax in, but also to check out Manama from as it’s very centrally located (despite being on an island) and is also just across the water from The Avenues mall if you need other dining and shopping options nearby. It’s also worth noting that the mall is served by a free water taxi from the hotel on a ride that takes only two minutes.

For us, it was just the perfect short break from Abu Dhabi with just a one hour and ten minute flight time that allowed us to have the perfect mix of sightseeing and relaxation. We spent the mornings by the pool and beach splashing about and relaxing, then went out sightseeing in the afternoons. I’ve waffled on about the hotel far more than I intended to so I’ll have to save the sightseeing part of our trip and why we LOVED Bahrain for my next post!

My final word is this: I don’t really like to return to the same hotel again on our travels, but in the case of the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay, I’d absolutely make an exception – it really was that good!

Find out more about the hotel on their website here.