Bahrain makes for an ideal weekend escape, with the island Kingdom less than an hours flight from the UAE. An archipelago of 33 islands, the name Bahrain roughly translates as ‘two seas’ and interestingly, Bahrain was the first Arabain country to discover petroleum and is also believed to be the biblical location of the Garden Of Eden.
The country may be small, measuring just 50 kilometres in length and 16 kilometres in breadth, yet there’s much to see with the tree of life, royal camel farm and the souqs of Manama and Muharraq taking presidency on many tourists itinerary. Our second trip to Bahrain brought us back to Rotana, a brand we’ve long been championing for offering value for money, family-friendly properties and above-average service levels.
With a trifecta of properties in Bahrain, our previous visit included the luxurious beach resort ART Rotana and the centrally located modern city hotel Downtown Rotana. On this occasion we opted for a slightly different experience, checking into the Majestic Arjaan by Rotana, a property of 128 suites located in close proximity to the airport and newly opened Avenues shopping district.
Majestic Arjaan may have been Rotana’s first foray into the Bahrain hospitality sector, offering a mix of studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites that feel more like apartments than hotel rooms. Spacious in nature and perfectly suited for long-term guests, the Majestic Arjaan is a four-star hotel (there’s no on-site spa) with big ambitions.
The ‘bubble’ style architecture of the properties exterior feels futuristic and wouldn’t be out of place in the animated television show The Jetsons. Step inside, and guests are greeted with the familiarities of the Rotana brand, pops of colour from the soft furnishings, stylish light fittings and a hospitable warmth emanating from the staff. Service levels are a consistent strong point for Rotana and Bahrain is no different. Whereas staff interactions in the UAE sometimes feel overly rehearsed and scripted, there is a genuine sincerity and warmth from everyone we encounter at the Majestic Arjaan.
The Room: Spread over four levels, the communal corridors leading to the rooms take on a distinct curvature representative of the sand dunes and ocean waves of our desert island location. Our 125 SQM two bedrooms suite is somewhat of a revelation and spread over two levels, the duplex style apartment comprises of a living area on the lower level, with the two ensuite bedrooms situated upstairs. In typical Rotana style, the decor is simplistic and unoffensive but what’s lacking in personality is made up for in sheer space.
A communal lounge featuring a large sofa and armchairs wrapped around a central coffee table gives way to a six seater dining table and open plan kitchen. The lower level also features a guest bathroom, maids quarters (a first for us in a hotel) and a large balcony overlooking the pool and gardens.
Bedrooms are comfortably furnished in neutral tones and light wood, with the master bedroom also featuring a dressing room, ample wardrobe space and double vanities in the bathroom. It’s very comfortable and the idea of apartment living is certainly appreciated, especially for families or those looking for a self-catering option. At times the Majestic Arjaan feels like a home away from home.
Facilities: Meeting rooms and a small business centre adjacent to the lobby will please those travellers visiting Bahrain for work, while a small temperature-controlled swimming pool set amongst grassed gardens is ideal for those visiting the hotel for leisure. The pool also features a shallow kids area built into the water and the outdoor showers take on a pleasant spiral design reminiscentcant of snail shells. A shaded children’s playground following the theme of a pirate ship is bound to keep the little ones happy.
A small shop can also be found on the ground level of the hotel, alongside a modern gymnasium home to a variety of cardiovascular and weight training equipment. The Majestic Arjaan may not feature a spa but saunas and steam rooms can be found in the Bodylines fitness club, open from 6am – 11pm daily.
Dining: Despite being a relatively compact property, the Majestic Arjaan’s food and beverage outlets are staples of the Rotana Brand. Ginger is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant (also found at Abu Dhabi’s Park Rotana), a casual spot featuring a vibrant colour scheme and small outside terrace. Breakfast is served buffet style and features a nice array of salads, pastries and cold cuts, alongside a live-station for eggs, waffles and some of the fluffiest pancakes we’ve enjoyed. For lunch and dinner, Ginger transforms into an a la carte offering with an international menu covering all the expected basis from salads to sandwiches and grills. We’d recommend the Rocca salad, roast beef sandwich and the children’s mac n cheese.
Poolside, guests will find Aquarius (another Rotana fixture) for light bites and beverages and the option of 24-hour in-room dining is ideal for those in search of sheer relaxation.
Our stay at the Majestic Arjaan by Rotana offered a completely different experience to our previous trip to Bahrain. One that was far more relaxed and proved to be a sensible choice for a weekend of seclusion away from the busy street of Manama, yet still a great jumping off point to explore the islands artsy neighbourhoods and cultural attractions.
Hospitality is always going to be the element we remember from our visits to Bahrain and once again Rotana deliver on all fronts. Granted this property may not offer the luxury of ART or the strong F&B and city living associated with the Downtown Rotana, but for a convenient weekend escape (especially for those with the families) the Majestic Rotana ticks all the boxes.
Out & About UAE were guests of the Majestic Arjaan by Rotana. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.