As connections expand and flights get faster, city breaks are venturing beyond the well-trodden paths of Paris, Prague and the Portuguese coast. More travelers than ever are embracing a bite-sized break in exotic destinations, for a jolt of culture, sunshine and out-of-the-ordinary experiences.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, just a stone’s throw from Manama, the country’s vibrant capital, provides the perfect base from which to explore its bleached beaches, bustling souks and Arabic architecture – all within a weekend.
Dive for Precious Pearls
Known as the pearl of the Gulf, Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, meaning boat trips around its sandy enclaves and lagoon-like coves are a popular way to explore the coastline. Board the resorts’ new Pearl 1, and head out to find a precious pearl; the Kingdom is renowned for its ancient pearl diving heritage, and its natural pearls are the world’s finest. Absorb the city skyline from the sea, before diving for treasure – keep any you unearth for the ultimate souvenir.
Dine on a ‘Vanishing Island’
Celebrate your find with an authentic Bahraini picnic on ‘vanishing’ Jarada Island; a strip of land only visible for two-hours per day, before the tide washes it away. Perched atop traditional woven floor cushions, feast on regional delicacies prepared by the resort’s resident chefs, before heading back to shore. While away the sleepy late-afternoon within the Ritz Carlton Spa or on the resort’s very own private island with a Zen Island experience; inspired by ancient Arabic rituals, spa treatments take place on a private, beachfront cabana, with lapping waves the only sound.
Be Immersed in Bahraini Culture
Deemed the cultural capital of the Arab world, Bahrain is brimming with history; from burial grounds to temples and forts. Wake-up early and ramble Manama’s ancient ramparts while the rest of the city sleeps; discover one of the world’s largest mosques, Al Fateh Mosque; explore the Gold Souk, one of the best places in the world to buy natural pearls; dive into 5,000 years of Bahraini history at the National Museum, before walking the country’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bahrain Fort. Head back to The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain and enjoy lunch at the resort’s award-winning Primavera, an Italian eatery with views over the Arabian Gulf.
Souks and Spices
An infusion of cultures, people and traditions from across Arabia makes a stroll through Bahrain’s streets an edifying experience. The bustling alleyways of the colourful Manama souks are not to be missed; enter through the historic Bab Al Bahrain and meander narrow streets filled with stalls selling gold, vibrant fabrics, clothes, perfumes and traditional delicacies. Take your spices back to The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain and learn how to prepare authentic Bahraini dishes with the resort’s resident Chef, before toasting your experience with an exclusive dining experience at the new La Table Krug by Y, in partnership with Krug Champagne; the first of its kind in the Middle East.