The Business Traveler: The Domain Hotel Bahrain
There are two types of travel for people like us; leisure travel and business travel. Articles and reviews for five-star hotels with once in a lifetime experiences are too many to count. And yet there is not that much out there for us business travelers.
When I look for a place to lay my weary head on my travels to meet specific people in specific places I always inform my assistant to book a place that is not only economical but that has certain amenities that are important to me.
My disciplined, scheduled life does not stop just because I’m in another country. I still need to have healthy food available, a gym to workout in, and at the very least a concierge staff that doesn’t have a problem with my asking to print something occasionally.
This new section is all about the Business Traveler and how we can maximize your time while you’re out of your comfort zone.
I made a reservation for a standard room and ended up in a palace. Upon check in they upgraded me to a full suite, with a spa bathroom, bedroom with separate dressing area, an entrance way, and a full living room with office with an amazing view of the Bahrain skyline and water. I was staying there alone but I could have easily fit a family of four with space to spare. Everything was electronic with a master control that I could not figure out how to work! I probably should have paid better attention when the Concierge staff came up to ask me how I found the room. Overall, the room was clean with an air of relaxation in the bedroom and bathroom and a focused view in the living room perfect for a business meeting. The two rooms are separate and divided not only by walls and doors but also the previous mentioned entrance way. If there were people in the living room and someone was trying to sleep in the bedroom they would have no problem sleeping soundly with the heavenly pillows.
I encountered many people from the hotel as well as the hotels “brand ambassador” and everyone was kind and knowledgeable. I tried to order a car upon my leaving to the airport but unfortunately there weren’t any available so book ahead!
Every gym must have a resident gym rat. The personal trainer was a strapping Arabic man who looked like he could take on ten men alone. He was there to help with the machines and one’s form. The gym was adequately stocked and not that full when I was there. Plenty of space to workout quietly or to join in the fun banter that the personal trainer brought with him to the gym.
The Russian women who worked in the spa were nice but lacking. The facial was fine but what annoyed me the most was how they gave me a newbie for a manicure. I basically did it myself while she sat across from me offering to do anything to help. I am very particular when it comes to my nails and how they are filed, etc. She looked only mildly concerned while she spoke Russian to her colleagues and I held a Skype call and painted my nails simultaneously. There were other beauty and relaxation options like sauna and steam room, but I didn’t get a chance to try them out on such a short stay.
The hotel boasts many restaurants and is a hub for the Expatriate community. Restaurants tend to fill up at about 10 PM and host people from every country. The food I tasted was all very ok. Not great, just ok. The nicest of the choices of restaurants offer a sommelier and often host different events.
The hotel is never empty, but I wonder about the chefs. The could do better with the taste and less about making it Instagrammable.
Txoko is where a lounge with cool beats and a place to chill with the new friends you made that day.
Imari is the place to get your sushi fix. I spent about 2 hours up there looking at the view, sipping some wine and enjoying the music.
Le Sauvage is the kind of place you go to if you want a good steak and a wine curated by their resident sommelier.
Le Domain is a Mediterranean Sea where the menu changes based on the catch of the day, flavorful picks of the season, and the chefs’ mood.
Figs and Olives is their lobby café serving fresh salads and healthier eats. I enjoyed a smoked salmon salad here the morning I left (and included my last meeting for the trip.)
The Cigar Lounge: Dark leather Chesterfield sofas and cigars. Need I say more?
Le Domain Prive: High up on the 36th floor is an art deco themed lounge, proffering the best panoramic views of the Manama skyline.
Perfect location. A ten-minute drive to the airport, a five-minute drive to the four seasons and a five-minute drive to the Capital Club Bahrain. Easy and accessible.
I’m not a fan of the five-star scale because I don’t think it’s broad enough. Too few stars for so many aspects. But I will say it’s a three-star hotel that needs an update in décor. Too much velour for us to take it seriously as a hotel, look’s more like the owners’ personal playground.