Airlines

Evaluation: Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain Airport (BAH)

Throughout my whirlwind Aeroplan journey, I had a roughly 5 hour layover at Bahrain Airport (BAH). I used to be arriving in Gulf Air’s A321LR enterprise class from Rome round 7PM, and departing in Gulf Air’s 787-9 enterprise class for Singapore round 12AM.

I spent a lot of my layover within the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge, which is the provider’s flagship lounge on the airport. The terminal at Bahrain Airport terminal solely not too long ago opened, so I used to be excited to take a look at this lounge.

In the long run, I assumed the Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain was… first rate? It options comfy seating, is spacious, and has a reasonably good choice of meals. Nonetheless, I had heard that the lounge featured a la carte eating and barista espresso, although sadly neither of these are being provided anymore, which was a disappointment. Moreover, the lounge’s bathe scenario leaves loads to be desired, and I really feel like a correct relaxation space would even be good.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain location

Upon arrival at Bahrain Airport I cleared transit safety, the place there was a devoted enterprise class queue, so I used to be by very quickly. As soon as by safety, you’ll end up within the central a part of the terminal, the place there’s a round atrium with an enormous display within the center.

There’s a lounge on either side of this space — when dealing with the gates, you’ll see the Pearl Lounge to the left, and the Gulf Air Lounge to the best. The doorway to the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge is closest to gate 18, if you wish to as a substitute comply with signage towards a gate.

Bahrain Airport terminal
Bahrain Airport terminal

The lounge is situated one degree up from the principle concourse, and it may be accessed by elevators or escalators.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain escalator
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain entrance

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain hours

The Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain is open 24/7, as you’d anticipate for a Gulf provider. The nighttime is rush hour within the area, so the lounge goes to be busiest proper round midnight, earlier than numerous in a single day flights depart.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain entry necessities

The Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain is open primarily to Gulf Air enterprise class passengers. On prime of that, Gulf Air Falconflyer Black, Gold, and Silver members, even have entry to the lounge. Lastly, lounge entry may be bought should you’re touring in Gulf Air financial system, although the value varies.

Be aware that the Gulf Air Lounge isn’t open to Precedence Go members. Apparently the contract lounge on the airport additionally isn’t open to Precedence Go members, which I can’t wrap my head round both, because it tends to be quiet. Nonetheless, the Bahrain Airport Lodge has some Precedence Go choices, which I’ll be masking within the subsequent installment.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating & format

The Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain measures roughly 6,500 sq. toes, with a capability for 400 passengers. The lounge is not at all large, however appears sufficiently massive on condition that Gulf Air is a smaller airline than a few of its rivals within the area. The lounge acquired pretty busy over some transient intervals throughout my go to (proper round my arrival, and once more shortly earlier than my departure), however at different instances was principally empty.

The lounge has an uncommon format, because it’s not one massive room damaged up into areas, however moderately consists of a number of areas that go in several instructions. Inside the doorway to the lounge and to the best is a sitting space that’s principally a “lifeless finish,” as there’s nowhere to go from right here, and no meals & beverage stations. In consequence, it tends to remain empty.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating

While you enter the principle a part of the lounge, you’ll first see a enterprise heart on the best, with half a dozen displays and a printer.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain enterprise heart

Previous that could be a little bit of conventional lounge seating, with chairs organized round tables, largely dealing with each other.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating

There’s then a eating space, with a number of cafe-style tables, every that includes two seats.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating

Subsequent to which might be 5 daybeds with pillows. You’d assume they’d put this in a quieter space of the lounge, because it appeared odd to simply put this proper smack dab in the midst of the lounge, particularly with the variety of folks on this lounge making cellphone calls on speakerphone (grrrrr).

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain daybeds

This portion of the lounge faces the inside of the terminal, which isn’t too thrilling of a view.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain view

When you go deeper into the lounge, you’ll see a customer support desk, in addition to numerous seating alongside a central walkway.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating

At the back of the lounge is the bar space, with high-top seating for seven folks.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain bar

Behind the bar, there’s a golf simulator (which didn’t appear to be turned on), a foosball desk, a pool desk, and a automobile simulator (which additionally didn’t appear to be turned on). The setup of this appeared fairly poorly thought out to me. This must be in a devoted space, moderately than by a walkway resulting in the bogs. When you had been taking part in pool, you’d consistently have folks strolling proper previous you to go to the toilet.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain golf simulator
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain foosball desk
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain pool desk
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain driving simulator

Again towards the doorway to the lounge and within the different course is an leisure space, with reclining seats and a wall of TVs.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain leisure zone

Previous that’s the fundamental eating space, as most of this portion of the lounge options cafe tables, with two to 4 seats every.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain seating

Behind this eating space is a play space for teenagers.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain play space for teenagers

The opposite attention-grabbing function of the lounge is that it has a terrace. This may be an superior idea if it had been properly carried out, however… it’s type of not?

Once I walked there, I puzzled if I had by chance ended up in an space I wasn’t imagined to be allowed, as a result of there was no signage, there was nobody there, and it nearly didn’t really feel prefer it was full (perhaps it isn’t?).

It was an attractive night, so I nearly want that they had a bar out right here with meals and drinks, so you would sit right here comfortably. Moreover, it will be good if the lounge’s Wi-Fi labored on the market. Provided that you need to stroll up a set of stairs to get right here, it’s not likely notably sensible to go to with baggage, meals, and so on.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain walkway to terrace
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain walkway to terrace
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain terrace
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain terrace

The design of the Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain is completely advantageous, however am I the one one who thinks it’s a bit drab and uninspiring for a lounge that only in the near past opened? There’s completely nothing dangerous in regards to the design, however there’s additionally nothing that makes me say “wow.”

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals & drinks

Right here’s what sort of upset me, although it’s most likely simply because my expectations had been too excessive. The earlier opinions I learn of the Gulf Air Lounge steered that the lounge had a small buffet, after which primarily had a superb and intensive choice of a la carte eating.

Because it seems, that was only a short-term function resulting from coronavirus, so the lounge now not presents a la carte eating, apart from a couple of choices on show, which may be heated for you.

The lounge has a few totally different areas with meals and drinks. One is close to the doorway by the primary sitting space, whereas the opposite is at the back of the lounge, within the eating space. The principle eating space consisted of three totally different buffet areas — one with chilly choices, one with scorching choices, and one with (kind of) made-to-order choices and pizza.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain buffet
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain buffet

Chilly choices included quite a lot of salads and mezzes, bread, cheese, finger sandwiches, and a few dessert.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice

There have been a number of scorching choices, together with hen biryani, beef stew, seared fish, steamed greens, a few sorts of soup, and extra.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice

Then the opposite space had freshly ready pizzas, in addition to a couple of show gadgets that might be ready for you upon request, together with Malay hen skewers, mini hen burgers, mini beef burgers, and a pasta dish.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice

Subsequent to the principle buffet space was a counter with all types of ice cream and popcorn. This can be a cute idea, however the lights had been off and there was nobody working the realm. Was it not accessible, or are you simply imagined to flag somebody down?

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain ice cream choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain ice cream choice

Close to the doorway was a buffet space with bread, muffins, pastries, and so on.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain meals choice

There have been self-serve drink stations all through the lounge, which included tender drinks, water, espresso, and tea. Alcoholic drinks are solely accessible on the bar.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain drink choice
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain espresso machine
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain tea choice

As an enormous fan of excellent espresso, I used to be excited to have learn that you may get a barista-made espresso on the bar as properly. Nonetheless, after I went as much as the bar, I used to be advised that the machine there wasn’t working, and there was a greater possibility. The bartender went as much as a machine, pushed a button, and made me a cappuccino that manner. It wasn’t nice.

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain espresso

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain bogs & showers

The Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge had two units of bogs. I’ve positively seen nicer airport bogs, they usually additionally weren’t that properly maintained (in contrast to Emirates and Qatar Airways lounges, the place they appear to go in after each use and clear — I really feel dangerous for the folks with that job!).

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain bogs
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain bogs
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain rest room

Most weird of all, although, was the bathe scenario. The lads’s rest room had a single bathe room within the very again of it, which just about felt like a janitor’s closet. I’m confused how a Gulf provider primarily transporting transit passengers with a brand new lounge that has simply opened doesn’t have a extra spectacular bathe setup?

Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain bathe room
Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain bathe room

Backside line

Gulf Air’s hub has been massively upgraded with the current opening of a brand new terminal. The brand new terminal and lounge signify an enormous enchancment over the outdated setup. Nonetheless, dare I say that I’m a bit upset by Gulf Air’s lounge, or at the very least I really feel just like the airline might have made it a bit higher?

I’d say the one objectively dangerous factor in regards to the lounge is the bathe setup and the dearth of a devoted nap or relaxation space, which is embarrassingly dangerous for a brand new lounge within the area. Nonetheless, past that I’d say the lounge is simply okay, and nothing particular. It has an honest choice of meals and drinks, terrace, and so on., but many features of the design really feel extra like an afterthought than anything.

Sadly I really feel just like the lounge is much like the general Gulf Air expertise, within the sense {that a} bit extra funding and energy would make an enormous distinction. Sadly this isn’t to the extent of the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge Doha or Emirates Enterprise Lounge Dubai.

What do you make of the Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain?

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