As a reader of House of Coco, I’m going to wager that you like travel – and maybe get to do it for work. Lucky you, right? Well, no, not really.
Travelling for work is like the last unicorn…we all want it, but when we’re stroking its glittery mane we’re sleep deprived, air conned to the max and have eaten way too many processed foods – any conference venue will have the most addictive, crappy quality biscuits and you will eat c. 12 a day. More if you suffered through drinks with clients the night before. You realise why it was the last unicorn standing, no-one wanted to keep him. Some of our top tips on how to make the most of your trip can be found here.
Then we get home and people are jealous we’ve been away, curious to see what tourist stuff we did and how many hours of sunbathing we crammed in. Answers: 1) are you actually mad? 2) does the mall count? 3) how much sunshine exists outside of the hours 8am to 6pm when I am WORKING, pray do tell me?
On a recent event management trip to Bahrain, our girl Anna vowed to get out and see some authentic sites and also indulge in a day of luxury at the Ritz Carlton – hah, that’ll give them something to be jealous of.
The Ritz Carlton is set within 20 acres of lush gardens and golden sandy beaches, has a private island, 11 restaurants, a seriously well-equipped spa, 245 rooms and 23 seafront villas with private infinity pools. It’s a town in itself and I happily spent a good 8 hours there on my day trip….
If you aren’t able to stay at the hotel, don’t despair as you can purchase a one-day Royal Beach Club Pass for weekdays (BHD 25 per person) which gives you access to all the facilities so, you can slam your laptop closed and then head for the beach cabana for a long G&T.
While at the resort, book in for an hour long massage and be sure to ask for Betty. You know when you have one of those treatments where you come to, from a dozy state and realise that you are about to drool on the therapist’s floor. It was one of those. From travelling and hunchbacking over my laptop for a week my back was, how shall we put this – buggered – and Betty got stuck in. I’m always reminded of the Clueless quote “Even Fabian,my masseuse, said I had a lot of tension in my back” when having a treatment and remember how teenage me had no clue why you would need a massage, how little did I know… In addition to Betty’s badass massage skills, the spa has deliciously heated adjustable beds so sorry loves, you are going to drool.
Before / after treatment the spa area was blissfully quiet so I could live my best life, alone, in the salted thalassotherapy pool and sip the spa’s signature delicious ginger tea. Putri the Spa Manager confided in me that the guests sometimes bring their our thermos’ along to take the tea home. Note for next time.
Showered and looking presentable and peaceful, I drifted to the hotel’s Gourmet Lounge for a spot of afternoon tea. The lounge is decorated like a chic parisien bistro and plays chansons. The teapots are kept warm over tealights and, in a real triumph in a country full of delightful looking desserts that just don’t taste like all that much, the treats are incredibly high quality and presented beautifully.
I dwelled over afternoon tea, catching up, fittingly on our recent FOODIE volume before wandering outside to snag a cabana and watching the moon come up over the hotel’s bay and marina.
As sunset greeted the resort, I walked along the seafront to visit the hotel’s resident flamingos, on the way to treat myself with a Zombie tiki cocktail at the resort’s outpost of famous chain, Trader Vic’s. Sadly the cocktail didn’t come in a classic tiki mug on this occasion but it was beautifully presented and mixed.
I then moved outside for tacos from the adjacent Cantina Kahlo, led by chef Hector Miguel Mendoza Becerra, a delicious authentic Mexican restaurant. When you go, order a Silver Margarita and the taquiza taco selection for the best dinner you can buy in Bahrain (which is notoriously expensive) for only BHD 18, including tip. Try and catch their Mariachi band who play outside on the terrace most evenings and cosy down with a blanket for an entertaining early evening with the stars and lanterns winking at you.
I essentially packed a long weekend resort trip into only 8 hours meaning I have NOW something exciting to tell those at home about.
Now, back to cabin fever in that conference centre…
Ritz Carlton Bahrain, Bldg. 112, King Mohammed VI Ave. Block 428, Al Seef District, Manama
Phone: (+973) 1758 0000