The hotel is located in the centre of Manama, which consists of 2 paralel streets around the gate Bab el-Bahrein. I just entered some of the hotels in this area and asked to see a room, and this hotel gave the best first impression. I paid 18 BD for a single room with breakfast, which was great value for money.
The staff are very friendly, professional and knowledgeable, from reception and waiters to housekeeping. The manager wanted to know my impression of the hotel when I left, and was also very friendly. The interior of the rooms was newly refurbished. There was a free digital safebox, TV with many channels, full length mirror, shower, bath... I have stayed in 4 star hotels with fewer amenties. Breakfast (continental, American or Arabic) is served in the room until 10.30 am and you just have to ring F&B and then they bring it. After 10.30 am they might even ring you to see if you still want breakfast.
The food in the coffeeshop was average, a little bit greasy and with only white sandwiches. The hotel had an Arabic club, an Indian club and a discotheque and the singers were good. At least 4 days a week there were free drinks for women. I didn't go to the clubs, because there were only scruffy Saudi men sitting.
That brings me to another thing. On Thursdays and Fridays Manama is full of Saudis who cross the border for the weekend in order to get drunk etc, so in the weekend I found the quiet hotel and the coffeeshop suddenly full of scruffy men. I think in summer it must be even worse and all budget hotels suffer from this. That day I was hassled 4 times by Saudis who assumed I was some Russian prostitute, and also the coffeeshop was full of women who offered "massages".
I discovered the best entertainment around the corner in the Adhari hotel, close to Pizzahut. They have a very nice bar full of young people from various nationalities who are working in Bahrein (Europeans, Americans, Asians) and I didn't experience any hassle. Every night the Filipino band Kaktooz is performing and they bring rock, pop and reggae covers and I also attended a body paint competition. The manager Jeff is a very friendly and experienced young man, who made this the best bar in town, and organises several activities per week. This bar and band really made my holiday.
It is possible to have free transfers to and from the airport by hotel shuttle bus. It is best to book this bus to pick you up in the airport, because taxi drivers overcharge or pretend they got lost just to increase the fare.
I enjoyed my stay in this hotel very much, because the furniture in the room was good, the staff was professional and there is nothing negative to say about the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Awal Hotel is ideally and conveniently located in the center of Manama, the main commercial & business district of the Kingdom of Bahrain, only 10 minutes drive from the International Airport and a short walking distance from the Bahrain seashore and the upcoming Financial harbor. The Hotel rooms are newly refurbished & renovated with all comforts and modern amenities of a three star luxury Hotel. The Hotel also has 03 specialty Restaurants with live bands and a Coffee shop. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Awal Hotel Bahrain/Manama