Outdoor activities in Bahrain

Make the most of the good weather and explore outdoor Bahrain Discuss this article

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While the weather is perfect take full advantage of the fact that you’re actually on a tiny desert island complete with palm trees, sand dunes and swim-up bars. Here’s our guide to doing it all in style.

If you’re sat reading this on the couch in the comfort of an air-conditioned room then shame on you! The weather is never quite as perfect in Bahrain as it is in November, following the long and humid slog of summer and just before the nippy breeze of winter. It’s the time when the idea of staying on a little desert island is tropical and could easily encourage spurts of jealousy from friends and family far away. That’s what we’re here for after all – to fully enjoy the alluring laid-back and friendly nature of beautiful Bahrain. So here’s our essential guide to doing just that…

Let’s get tropical

What better way to enjoy the cooler climes than by floating around in a pool, juice in one hand and a good book in the other? Every so often, take a quick dip to cool off, do a little breaststroke (at least make yourself feel like you were active) and jump right back on your inflatable. Quite possibly, Bahrain’s most tropical facilities are over at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, which features on our front cover this month, where a beautiful pool area merges with a stunning, lengthy beach strip across from their notable standalone island. Not only can you enjoy the exotic ambience but you can also benefit from some great poolside dining options. Pop by poolside Overlook Café for a light snack or smoothie, or try the chic Thai Lounge for a selection of mixed beverages, Thai bites and delicious sushi.

To find out about rates for week day and weekend passes you need to contact the hotel directly.
Call The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, Seef, www.ritzcarlton.com/bahrain (1758 0000).

Other recommended spots
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa Perfect for families looking for a fun day out together with access to great dining options. BD20 (weekdays, BD25 (weekends) for families and couples only. Zallaq, www.sofitel.com/bahrain (1763 6363).

Novotel Al Dana Resort Also boasts a small strip of beach and popular seafood joint, La Perle. BD10 (weekdays), BD25 weekends and public holidays. Kids go for BD5 or BD12 respectively. Muharraq, www.novotel.com (1729 8008).

Bake yourself on the beach

If you’re looking to kick back at a friendly beachside club with access to a swim-up bar in the infinity pool, shore-side tanning spots and a range of exhilarating watersports activities, then look no further than Coral Bay on the Al Fateh Corniche. We love this spot, not just for the abovementioned reasons, but also because bar spot Karma Lounge has some excellent daily deals, restaurant Rayes serves some of the island’s best Lebanese food and you even get the opportunity to work off all the guilt with full gym and spa access too! It’s BD10 for access on weekends or BD8 on week days including a towel and locker. For kids it’s BD8 or BD5.
Call Coral Bay, Al Fateh Corniche, www.coral-bay.net (1731 2700).

Other recommended spots
Al Jazayer One of the few decent public beaches in Bahrain, it’s also known as Zallaq Beach on the western coast of the island. It’s located near the sailing club and boasts white sands and blue seas.

The Yacht Club Go back to basics at this friendly members-only club with a beach, marina, pool and restaurant/bar. If you’re a member of the Rugby Club, Dilmun Club or British Club then pay BD1 (weekday) or BD2 (weekend) to enter, or find a member friend to sign you in. Alternatively it’s BD200 (single) or BD300 (family) for an annual club membership. The Bahrain Yacht Club, Sitra, www.thebahrainyachtclub.com (1770 0677).

The ultimate desert staycation

As you drive towards Al Areen Palace & Spa you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled upon a mirage. This stunning desert oasis happens to be a luxury five-star hotel that boasts 78 fabulous pool villas, an epic 10,000 square metre spa, as well as a number of great dining outlets including the dreamy South East Asian spot Keizo. Your Desert or Royal pool villa features separate living areas, modern amenities, 24-hour butler service, a swimming and jet pool. Meanwhile, the Royal Spa Al Areen offers the epitome of tranquility with a Hydrothermal Garden featuring 15 signature rainmist corridors, a vitality pool, nine hydrotherapy stations, a Garden Hammam and much more. Whether you head here as a family to take advantage of their great kids’ facilities or book a romantic weekend away for two, this place could hardly come more highly recommended.

Enquire directly with the hotel for up-to-the-minute room rates.
Call Al Areen Palace & Spa, Al Areen, www.alareenpalace.com.bh (1784 5000).

Bed down in a private cabana

Nothing screams ‘I’m living the life of luxury on a desert island’ quite like staying in a beachfront chalet or cabana at one of Bahrain’s resorts. For a real weekend escape, we recommend booking yourself in to Al Bander Hotel & Resort where the chalets are clean and comfortable, and you have access to a wide range of facilities including the beautiful beach and pool areas, gym and health club, games room, dive centre, tennis and squash courts, and junior kid’s club. There is also a huge marina for docking boats and a whole host of water sport activities on offer. On top of all that, you can also dine in style at any of the on-site food and beverage outlets including our favourite, the award-winning Fish Market where you pick your catch of the day and choose how you’d like it cooked. The rates this month for a regular cabana are BD90 per night on weekdays and BD100 on weekends. For a chalet with a bedroom, separate dining area and balcony it’s BD122 and BD146 respectively.
Call Al Bander Hotel & Resort, Sitra, www.website.albander.com (1770 1201).

Other recommended spot
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa This five-star hotel boasts the islands most luxurious chalets with multiple bedrooms, private pools, kitchen and living spaces, plus more. Room rates in November start from BD1,015++ per night (costs subject to change). The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, www.ritzcarlton.com/bahrain (1758 0000).

Go desert glamping

Fancy yourself as Lawrence of Arabia, camping out with your camels and having quite the desert adventure? Or, perhaps, you just love to feel at one with nature, getting back to our caveman roots by bedding down in the sand every once in a while. Well, this November, you’re in luck because official camping season begins mid-month and typically lasts until March. This means you need to register on the relevant government portal so you can legally camp. Then, by all means, head out to an open desert area and set up camp but if you’re a bit fancier than that then glamping with Al Wedyian Camps is a must-try. This company offers 14 variously sized tents in three sites and each feature bathrooms, barbecue stations, kid’s playgrounds, flat-screen TVs and more depending on which option you choose. Costs start from BD70 on weekdays and BD120 on weekends per night which might sound pricey but you can split that cost with plenty of other people. You can also request weekly and monthly rates.
Register for camping season on www.southern.gov.bh. Call Al Wedyian Camps, www.campingbahrain.com (6633 7887).

Poolside brunch indulgence

Granted, Bahrain brunches are a little special no matter the weather but as the mercury drops some great outdoor options begin to open up. This year we’re obsessing over the barbecue offering at Elements Pool & Lounge in the InterContinental Regency Bahrain not just because of the stunning and glamorous venue but also because they offer such a genuinely great deal. Every Friday, from 1pm to 4pm, head here for a range of barbecued goodies made fresh to order by their talented chefs while sipping on refreshing mixed beverages, enjoying tunes by DJ Pyrokiss, and taking advantage of complimentary pool access. All for BD25 net per person. Call InterContinental Regency Bahrain, Manama, www.intercontinental.com/bahrain (1722 7777).

Other recommended spot
Elite Resort & Spa This incredibly family friendly Friday brunch affair takes place inside and outside, and you can pay an extra BD3 for pool access. BD12 (adults), BD6 (kids under 11). Elite Resort & Spa, Muharraq, www.elitegroup4u.com (1731 3333).

By Time Out Bahrain staff
Time Out Bahrain,

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