It’s not what a hotel gets right that shows you how good it is, it’s how it fixes what went wrong
I think it was my friend Alison from Cheeseweb who first something like that to me about somewhere she was staying. I couldn’t really relate at the time, but after my trip to Bahrain, I know that she was absolutely correct.
I was sat on the balcony watching the sunset just a couple of hours earlier and I said that I probably wouldn’t do a review of our trip. It was pretty much five days spent relaxing, getting treatments at the spa, eating delicious food and making the most of Bahrain’s budget friendly alcohol prices (in comparison to Dubai) but then almost like I’d managed to jinx it, we ended up changing rooms twice in 12 hours and I realised there was a post in this trip after all!
2015 was a great year, but also an exhausting one, so on Boxing Day Phil and I headed to the airport and braced ourselves for the whopping 60 minute fight to Bahrain.
The Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa (bit of a mouthful, we’ll go with Sofitel Zallaq instead) was stunningly beautiful. From the hundred lanterns hanging in the lobby to the beautifully ring-shaped swimming pool. The staff couldn’t do enough for us and the food options were just excellent.
My only niggle was that the wifi as really not very good at all. It’s great that it was complimentary and it did get there in the end, but it was so very slow. Skype and YouTube were completely out of the question. Even loading up images on FB and Instagram was painful. So that’s something to bear in mind for us digital nomads.
On the first night we sat and watched the waves lapping against the beach while eating delicious tapas at Tapas. The next day (Phil’s birthday!) we took a trip to Manama to see the Bahrain National Museum, which was a fantastic introduction into the history of Bahrain. We ate amazing Vietnamese food at WOK and enjoyed both the birthday cakes (yep there were two) they had provided for my lovely man.
Day three was beers and traditional mezze by the pool (at Lagoon) a trip to the Spa and room service for dinner. See how perfect everything was, just imagine how happy and chilled we were. And then the music started.
To cut a very long story short, the live music from the Lebanese restaurant directly below our room was particularly loud that evening and we weren’t able to sleep. We rang reception to see if they could turn it down, but the manager of the restaurant was having none of it. Which is why I ended up shuffling down the hotel corridor at nearly 1am in my slippers to a quieter room. To say that we were unhappy would be quite the understatement.
Phil and I were both wondering what Sofitel would do next, but it turns out they knew just how to make everything better. Firstly both of the managers that we spoke to couldn’t apologise enough. They then moved us up to a suite on the sixth floor, which included access to the exclusive Club Millesime and an incredible view out over the Arabian Gulf and Bahrain.
They also invited us to dine as their guests at Fiamma, which served the best Italian food I’ve eaten since I was last in Italy.
Apart from all the free stuff they gave us, Phil and I were both really impressed that the manager took the time to meet with us personally, she offered her apologies again and explained that they are going to be soundproofing the rooms above the offending restaurant to ensure that guests wouldn’t be bothered by music in the future. Well done Sofitel Zallaq, excellent customer service and you turned our trip back into a happy relaxing one again.
The next time we’re looking for a weekend break, we would definitely go back, but we’d avoid room 1203!