“To experience the height of luxurious comfort, look no further than Rotana.” Rotana Hotels
With a prime location in Bahrain’s bustling Manama centre, the Downtown Rotana hotel is within walking distance of local amenities and historical sites including the famous Manama Souq. The twenty-six storey hotel rises high above the city with it’s picturesque rooftop pool affording guests a panoramic view across the dusty metropolis.
This modern five-star property, Rotana’s third to open in Bahrain is popular with business and leisure travellers alike. Two hundred and forty three rooms and suites are available along with four dining destinations and the Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club with gym, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
Our top floor Club Rotana Suite was a large open-plan space featuring a king size signature Rotana bed as well as living and dining areas. The generous sized bathroom had a separate walk-in shower and was well-stocked with luxury L’Occitane products. The corner suite benefits from floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views across the unconventional cityscape with it’s quirky shaped buildings and Bahrain’s waterways beyond. This room entitled us to use of the Club Rotana lounge where complimentary snacks and drinks, including alcohol were available.
All-day dining restaurant, Flavours on 2 has elements of bold lime green and is flooded with light from the expanse of glass on one side. It serves an international breakfast selection from it’s open-style kitchen along with a live egg station. I’m not the biggest fan of vast buffet style venues for anything other than breakfast but the space did transform for it’s Friday Brunch Steak Special. The chefs showcased their culinary skills especially in the pink themed dessert table with a centralised tree of hanging chocolate dipped strawberries.Vegetarian options were minimal and more labelling is necessary, I was given ‘guacamole’ mistakenly by one confused chef that turned out to be avocado with lobster. My dining companions nonetheless were happy with their choice tucking into the array of seafood and enjoying the steaks cooked to order. Entertainment came in the form of a candy floss machine and a DJ providing a medley of tunes.
High tea is served daily at the open plan red hued City Lobby Lounge which is adjacent to the reception desk and open 24/7. Attractive handcrafted sweet and savoury delicacies presented on a circular stand were presented alongside freshly baked treats and fruit scones accompanied by a choice of tea, coffee or bubbles.
Various different indulgent valrhona chocolate fondue experiences are also offered that can be tailored to your own requirements. Signature Kyoto cold brew is served with a choice of flavoured syrups, we tried the recommended hazelnut which was a sweet contrast to the strong filtered coffee. Iced teas, juices, mocktails, milkshakes and alcoholic beverages are also on the menu along with light bites.
East meets West at Teatro, the sizable modern restaurant on the fourth floor, where the menu takes you on journey of Asian and European cuisines. The bar and lounge at the entrance gives way to an expanse of blue carpet that guides you through the various elements of the colourful venue.
A separate sushi bar, two open kitchens with specialised duck and pizzas ovens, as well as two tandoors are used to create Asian and Italian favourites. We feasted on sushi, the recommended crispy wasabi prawn tempura, green bean tempura followed by a spicy red Thai curry and vegetable risotto paired with signature cocktails.
The twenty-fifth floor is home to Alto, the newest addition to the hotel’s entertainment options. The Arabian inspired bar and lounge offers guests signature drinks, food and local live entertainment with a modern twist until the wee small hours. The large outdoor terrace boasts panoramic views of Manama and beyond from its elevated position, the perfect spot for pre-dinner drinks or a cheeky nightcap. It’s certainly proving popular with the glamorous Bahraini set who ascend after dark to enjoy the late night vibe.
The highlight of the hotel has to be the rooftop pool that offers plenty of loungers and good views. Relax with a book, swim lengths of the pool or chill poolside with a cocktail or two. The Sundeck menu offers a range of cuisine from light bites to burgers and seafood, after problems with our order our lunch came in stages and the quality wasn’t on-par with the other outlets in the hotel. I see the Downtown Rotana as predominantly a business hotel that attracts leisure guests at weekends. Although families are welcomed realistically the pool is the only child friendly activity whereas sister hotel ART Rotana located on nearby Amwaj Islands has a beach, children’s pool and waterpark as well as a dedicated kid’s club.
Easily accessible from the UAE with several airlines offering daily flights the Kingdom of Bahrain located in close proximity by bridge to Saudi Arabia is an ideal weekend getaway. Visitors can choose to explore the island’s history and culture, stay in a contemporary hotel, explore the fantastic independent dining scene or relax at a beach club. The capital Manama is a bustling cosmopolitan city with traditional souqs located alongside enormous modern malls, the downtown area is vibrant and busy and Downtown Rotana provides the ideal base from which to explore everything Bahrain has to offer.
The Nitty Gritty
Downtown Rotana, 110 Government Avenue, Manama, Bahrain
Telephone:+973 1311 9997
Check-in: 2:00 pm
Check-out: 12 noon
Large modern and comfortable suite
Polite and welcoming staff
Attentive service and cuisine at Teatro and City Lobby Lounge
The Not so Good…..
The service and food was hit and miss at Flavours on 2 and Sundeck Pool Bar
Disappointing in-room dining breakfast
I was invited to review Downtown Rotana. All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.