I stayed here several times while assigned as a consultant in Saudi Arabia during 2012--primarily due to its very close proximity to the U.S. Navy Base (1 block walking distance to the base main gate). The hotel is part of the Ramee Hotel chain, and my sense is is that it was one of the first hotels in the chain to be built in Bahrain. It has sort of a faded, shabby elegance to it--on one hand a bit exotic (due to it's predominately Hindi staff) who are friendly enough, and hodge-podge of international tourists looking to be smack in the middle of a seedier, party area of downtown Bahrain. There always seems to be a damp mildew smell in the rooms and depending on which floor you're on, the faint smell of tobacco smoke (even in their no-smoking rooms). Being a non-smoker I found this to be the most disconcerting turn-off. Also, the complimentary internet service is kind of hit or miss. It seems from the 5th floor up, getting a good signal may or may not happen. Best bet is to just take your laptop to the lobby lounge area. The best meals to eat in the hotel's main restaurant are lunch and dinner, and the Sunday seafood buffet. Apparently the buffet is a cash cow (no offense to Hindus) since it seems to do fantasic business from surrounding locals. I've eaten at the buffet a few times and must admit, for seafood lovers, it's a pretty good spread. For breakfast I'd suggest going around the corner to one of American-style eateries that cater to non-Bahrainis appetite for the U.S. style breakfast, (e.g. eggs, bacon (beef not pork), omelettes, pancakes, steak, waffles, etc.)
Some people have made comments about the noise from the ground floor nightclubs. I must admit that I noticed this too on my first few stays. However after a few times of hearing thump, thump, thump till 2 in the morning, I learned to always book a room from floor 5 up. To be sure you're out of range I suggest booking from floor 10 up.
If you're into fast food you'll be pleased to know almost every big, American franchise has an outlet within a two block radius of the hotel. Additionally there's a few Bahraini food joints and a smattering of Arab, Indian, and Asian eateries as well. Many of these ethnic eateries are not what I would call fine dining, but more like "glamourized" fast food joints. Remember, you're in the Al Hoora district. This is Bahrain's version of a red-light area, and a weekend getaway for young Saudi's who want to get their freak-on then return back to the ultra-conservative restrictions of the Kingdom.
Ultimately, this hotel could be so much better than it is. In my opinion the rooms need total updating and air conditioning, and plumbing systems and drywall totally redone. But that would require the hotel closing down wouldn't it? Perhaps profit is more important to hotel management than people like me (and others) complaining about noise and mildew smell. I don't think its important to them. And maybe the majority of their clientele have just come to expect nothing better. So if you want a better hotel there's certainly better ones to choose from in this area of Bahrain. But If you want something a bit tacky in the middle of all the action, then this place will be right for you. Families and kids not recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This international hotel has been created around traditional Arabic hospitality and European levels of comfort. So unwind and pamper yourself at Ramee in our spacious rooms. Our staff has the aptitude to make our guests feel comfortable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramee International Hotel Bahrain Manama