“Traveling — it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller.”*

I must admit to knowing little to nothing about Bahrain before visiting. And then having been there, I had so much to process before beginning to write this piece. In fact, I was a bit ‘stuck’.

So I started again. I closed my eyes and recalled how this island actually made me feel, the sights, sounds, smells, colours and the first thing that came to mind was warmth. If Bahrain was a colour it would be a perfectly peachy pink, the buildings, the desert and the sunsets all radiating this wonderfully warm and glowing hue.

Said warmth also radiated massively from the people that I met along the way. Wherever I went, I was met with smiles and genuine friendliness. But, of course, there was more to Bahrain than that.

Travelling in style with Gulf Air

It’s easy to say the journey is the destination but it definitely felt that way as I turned left on the airplane, for the very first time in my life feeling like a fully blown A lister. Treated to business class, I sipped chilled champagne and slid into my complimentary pj’s (like a second skin on my curvaceous frame but super comfy nonetheless!). I quickly got to grips with all the various buttons and switches in my pod and adjusted the seat to a fully flat bed. Goodnight!

The service from the Gulf Air cabin crew was extremely efficient yet personal and friendly. I was actually a little sad when the plane landed after the 6 hour flight and I had to leave my little luxury den. The problem now though is I’ve been spoilt for life as regular economy will never be the same!

Leaving a very cold dark and wet morning in Manchester it was lovely to be greeted with a wonderful waft of warm Arabian air as I left the cleanest, most pristine airport I had ever seen. It certainly deserves its certified 5 star status for comfort and cleanliness.

Winter sun

When I had previously googled “winter sun holidays”? Bahrain was not somewhere that had come up on my searches. The usual suspects are either the Canary Islands or Dubai. So with Bahrain never being on my radar until now, I was excited to find out what this country had to offer and to see if it could compare and compete with these other popular winter sun locations.

The climate is certainly a winner. Bahrain only has two seasons – summer runs from May to October with temperatures often exceeding 40 ° C during the day. Winter is a little cooler, from November to April the average daily temperature is between 20 and 25 ° C. That said, when I visited in November the temperature reached 30-32 degrees.

Shop till you drop in Bahrain’s souks

It’s no secret that I love to shop! However on this occasion I decided to swerve the commercial malls in favour of the traditional souk. I absolutely love a market – they tell the real story of a place and the souks of Bab al Bahrain are no different.

If gold is your thing then you will literally be in your element here. Shop after shop selling pretty gold jewellery, often inlaid with the famous Bahraini pearls. In fact, in 2012 UNESCO declared the Bahraini pearl beds a world heritage site, I was fascinated to learn that natural pearls are made when a foreign object like a grain of sand enters the oyster and is coated in a luminous material thus forming a pearl!

My tour guide showed me a little pouch containing pearls he had found during his scuba diving exploits over the years. Some were the size of a pea and others no bigger than a pin head. He told me that he once opened an oyster and found nine pearls! With natural pearls occurring in only 1 in 10,000 oysters this was a real find.

if you love perfume then the souk is the place for you. Many of the perfume shops are packed to the rafters with oils, perfumes, oud and musk all kept in beautifully intricate glass bottles. In one shop I asked if I could blend my own perfume. I chose amber, rose and oud which was poured and mixed for me. I indulged in plenty of smelling and sniffing along the way! I paid 10 Bahrain Dinah for a bottle of perfumed oil (about £22) and a tenth of the price of my regular perfume Portrait of a Lady by Frederick Malle. Every time I wear it I will be reminded of my trip. The souks also have rows and rows of tailors and fabric shops selling silks, satins, velvet and trims as well as an array of spices, dates, pottery and handicrafts.

The disappearing island

Somewhere in the middle of the ocean after a particularly fast and exciting speedboat ride, an island of pure white sand appeared like a beacon in the distance. Comprising of a strip of bright white sand 25 foot wide and it struck me just how magical this place is. When I first heard about this disappearing island I thought it was something to do with climate change, but it’s actually a tidal Island which means that it appears and disappears at certain times of the day.

We ate a delicious bbq of steak and lamb chops and as I took my last bite it was time to head back. It was timely because the island was reducing quickly now and there was only another 20 minutes before it would be completely submerged. It would re-appear for another boat load of people to enjoy tomorrow.

Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain

It was during a balmy evening swim in the resort’s stunning infinity pool, with the twinkle of fairy lights glistening on the water, that I started to wish I was staying longer in this paradise. Having the entire pool to myself, I had a rare moment of serenity and a happy relaxed feeling washed over me.

The Vida beach resort hotel is a new and luxurious hotel perfectly positioned on its own private beach, complete with said infinity pool and tasteful opulent interiors. Sun loungers are aplenty and there’s a nice relaxed feel where nothing was too much trouble. It’s definitely a place to unwind and rejuvenate in unpretentious luxury.

The Address Hotel

The Address hotel is brand new. It’s beautifully designed and incredibly luxe. The rooms and suites are all spacious and impeccably designed.

The Address Beach Resort Bahrain features an outdoor pool for adults and a dedicated kids’ Splash Pad, adorned with landscaped gardens and tempting lounging areas with private cabanas.

It also boasts an amazing infinity pool with skyline views. When I say the beach is pristine, it was the most perfectly manicured beach I’ve ever walked on, white sand that is raked every day.

There is also a brand spanking new 200,000 sqm shopping mall called the Marassi Galleria which will open between the two hotels later this year housing some of the world’s top retailers.

Jumeirah Hotel

Pulling up to the Jumeirah hotel is a bit like driving through the dessert and stumbling upon Las Vegas. The hotel is immense. It is huge, super luxe and virtually on its own. It’s a holiday destination in itself with huge swimming pools, a wide variety of restaurants and bars, perfect if you just want to relax in one place with everything you need on hand.

The hotel was at full capacity when I visited and yet because of the size it felt perfectly quiet. No mad rush for a sunlounger here!


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