Review: Bahrain Airport Hotel (Priority Pass)

Review: Bahrain Airport Hotel (Priority Pass)

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NAME: Bahrain Airport Hotel
LOCATION: Manama, Bahrain
DATE: January 2023
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Bahrain Airport Hotel is a convenient airside transit hotel, and also offers sleep pods and massages to Priority Pass members. This is worth a visit through Priority Pass if you're eligible.
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During my five hour layover at Bahrain Airport, I spent most of my time at the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge. However, I also checked out the Bahrain Airport Hotel, which offers some features for Priority Pass members, including sleep pods and massages.

Bahrain Airport Hotel Priority Pass perks

The Bahrain Airport Hotel is located in the airside portion of the terminal at Bahrain Airport. Whether you’re just looking for a nap or want to spend the night, you can’t beat the convenience of not having to clear immigration or security.

The Bahrain Airport Hotel features a total of 83 accommodations, including 24 sleeping pods, 17 compact rooms, and 42 “proper” hotel rooms. The hotel also features a spa and gym.

Since I only had a five hour layover in Bahrain, I wasn’t going to get a hotel room, but rather I was here to check out the Priority Pass perks. Bahrain Airport Hotel offers two separate perks for Priority Pass members:

Now, there are a couple of catches:

  • Since both of these experiences are arranged through the front desk of the Bahrain Airport Hotel, you can only use one or the other once every 24 hours, and Priority Pass members can’t use both; so I got one for free through Priority Pass, and I decided to pay for the other one, so I’d be able to compare what’s on offer
  • This is considered a Priority Pass “experience” (similar to Priority Pass restaurants), meaning that Priority Pass memberships issued through American Express and Capital One cards don’t qualify for this; however, those issued through Chase, including through the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), do qualify for this

Bahrain Airport Hotel location

The Bahrain Airport Hotel is easy to find. Once you’re airside in the terminal, just head in the direction of the gates.

Bahrain Airport terminal

At that point you can either go in the direction of gates 11-15, or gates 16-22. Turn left, and follow the signage toward gates 11-15 (you’d think the hotel would be listed on these signs, but nope).

Bahrain Airport terminal

When you turn left, walk maybe 200 feet, and then you’ll see the entrance to the Bahrain Airport Hotel on the left. It’s immediately across from gate 15.

Bahrain Airport terminal
Bahrain Airport terminal
Bahrain Airport Hotel entrance

Bahrain Airport Hotel reception

The Bahrain Airport Hotel has a nice reception area, which will kind of make you feel like you’re in a real hotel, rather than in an airport terminal (well, other than hearing the constant announcements).

Bahrain Airport Hotel reception
Bahrain Airport Hotel reception seating

I explained to the front desk agent that I had Priority Pass, and was looking for a sleep pod and a massage. After she explained it was one or the other, I went ahead and paid for the massage, and got the sleep pod with Priority Pass. While I didn’t really have a need for a sleeping pod, I thought it was worth checking out for review purposes.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pods & bathrooms

For those curious, below you can find the standard pricing for a sleep pod at the Bahrain Airport Hotel. As you can see, the pricing is currently $52.62 for a three hour stay, and then each extra hour costs $7.52.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod pricing

I should mention that the whole check-in process took quite some time. It’s not just as simple as the receptionist looking at your passport, but rather it was one of those situations where it seems like they’re typing an essay into the computer before you can get a key.

Eventually I had my key to pod 236. All the sleep pods are located on the same level as the main terminal, behind a door that can be accessed with a key.

Bahrain Airport Hotel hallway

The main floor seems to mostly have the sleep pods and compact rooms, while the real hotel rooms are one level down.

Bahrain Airport Hotel hallway

The 24 sleep pods are separated into two areas, with each area having a dozen pods. There were two pods stacked on top of one another, with three in each row.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pods

My pod was the last one on the top right, so it required going up a small ladder.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod
Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod

For personal belongings, there are storage compartments that you can lock, with each pod being assigned one unit. It was big enough to hold my full size carry-on, as well as my backpack.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod lockers
Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod lockers

The sleep pod can be opened by scanning your key card, and there’s also a do not disturb signs you can illuminate (not that you’d really be disturbed, other than if you overstay your allotted time).

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod exterior

The sleep pod was cozy and clean. Think of it as basically being like an awesome first class airplane suite in terms of the amount of space you have. The bed was maybe the size of a twin bed.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod interior
Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod interior

There was a wall-mounted TV, as well as a pair of headphones, so that you could watch TV if you’d like.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod interior
Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod headphones

When you’re on a long journey, sometimes it’s nice to just be able to lock your door and get some rest.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod interior

Using the lighting in the sleep pod required entering the key into a slot. There was also a button by the door to unlock the sleep pod.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod key control

The sleep pod had some pretty good bedding, including a proper pillow and blanket.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod bedding

There was a panel near the top of the bed with power outlets (AC and USB), as well as the lighting controls.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod outlets

Each sleep pod also had a safe, which some people might appreciate.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod safe

There was also a large bottle of Aquafina water in the sleep pod.

Bahrain Airport Hotel sleep pod bottled water

Overall the sleep pod was comfortable, though definitely on the tight side. The biggest downside to these sleep pods is that you can hear everything going on, since there’s not much sound insulation. So either bring earplugs or headphones or something, or else you’re probably not going to get much rest (at least if you’re a light sleeper).

Another nice feature of these sleep pods is that they have dedicated bathrooms and showers. Frankly these were much nicer and quieter than the ones at the Gulf Air Lounge.

Bahrain Airport Hotel bathrooms

It seemed like almost no one used them, and they were immaculately clean.

Bahrain Airport Hotel bathrooms
Bahrain Airport Hotel bathrooms
Bahrain Airport Hotel shower

Bahrain Airport Hotel gym

Here’s another cool feature. If you book a sleep pod at the Bahrain Airport Hotel, you also have access to the hotel’s gym. I think that makes this the only Priority Pass “lounge” in the world that gets you access to a gym. The gym is located one level down from the main terminal, and can be accessed by elevator.

Bahrain Airport Hotel elevators

This is the level with the standard hotel rooms.

Bahrain Airport Hotel hallway

I loved the aviation themed art in the halls, including a picture of the British Airways Concorde, which at one point flew to Bahrain (oh, how the region has shifted!).

Bahrain Airport Hotel art

The Bahrain Airport Hotel has a solid gym for an airport, with two treadmills, an elliptical, a bike, and free weights. If I weren’t so exhausted, I would have totally taken advantage of this amenity.

Bahrain Airport Hotel gym
Bahrain Airport Hotel gym

Bahrain Airport Hotel spa

The Bahrain Airport Hotel has a spa, though don’t get too excited. This isn’t a spa with proper treatment rooms, but rather there are two dedicated areas (one for men, one for women), each of which has two reclining chairs and two massage chairs.

Bahrain Airport Hotel spa hallway
Bahrain Airport Hotel spa
Bahrain Airport Hotel spa

You can find the Bahrain Airport Hotel spa menu below (for context, 1 BHD is equivalent to $2.65).

Bahrain Airport Hotel spa pricing

Priority Pass’ website indicates that you receive your choice of a destress back massage, reflex therapy for hands and legs, or Indian head and shoulder massage. However, in reality I was never asked what kind of treatment I wanted, but rather was just massaged for 30 minutes.

The massage was “no frills” but very good, and it lasted a full 30 minutes, and covered by back, arms, and head. The ambiance wasn’t terribly relaxing, as there was no music, but rather you just heard the noise from the terminal.

Admittedly this is a low bar, but I definitely think this is the best massage experience you can have through Priority Pass.

If you’re a Priority Pass member and trying to decide whether to choose a sleep pod or massage, I’d say:

  • If you’re at all interested in resting, and/or want to use the gym, then get a sleep pod
  • If you have no interest in resting or using the gym, enjoy the massage

Bottom line

The Bahrain Airport Hotel is a great airside transit hotel, with unbeatable convenience. Even if you’re not looking to spend a night here, the hotel has some features for Priority Pass members. Priority Pass members can enjoy either a sleep pod for three hours, or a massage for 30 minutes.

Both are great, though note that you can only choose one or the other. These are some pretty unique features, as this is probably the best massage you can get anywhere through Priority Pass (it’s certainly the longest), and it’s the only Priority Pass “experience” I know of that includes gym access. If you have a long enough layover at Bahrain Airport, I’d highly recommend checking this out.

What do you make of the Bahrain Airport Hotel?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Liam Guest

    That shower looks a hundred million times better than the one in the GF lounge.

    I was quite shocked with how bad the shower was in the GF lounge when I was there back in May, but hey, it's a shower. I'm not going to say that the shower in the lounge they use in FRA is much better.

    That said, I'm not sure I would pay for this sleep pod experience given your comments. The GF lounge is quite nice indeed.

  2. crosscourt Guest

    Not a chance will I try those sleep pods. Almost like being in an MRI machine. No thanks.

  3. Julien Cooper Guest

    Those sleep pods, they are the least an airline can pay for in hours of expected delays especially over night. There could be some in all airports and or nearby hotels with shuttle vans. Sometimes all a person needs is a mattress and walls to keep out others' snoring and the noise and eyes of the passerby public with a wake-up alarm or wake-time attendant. Though I think for flight delays, airlines with unknown delays...

    Those sleep pods, they are the least an airline can pay for in hours of expected delays especially over night. There could be some in all airports and or nearby hotels with shuttle vans. Sometimes all a person needs is a mattress and walls to keep out others' snoring and the noise and eyes of the passerby public with a wake-up alarm or wake-time attendant. Though I think for flight delays, airlines with unknown delays or for families need to pay for full rooms, that's a necessity where a person or a family may be awaiting days or even several hours as a family unit, always separate pods or rooms for traveling business people of two or more to protect from work peer abuses and bigger spaces than pods for those not accepting of a tight space, that's a real concern. For say $20 Canadian, I would have paid for that pod space when I booked my own complicated travel, stayed awake in the airport over night without a fitting bench to lay on and with fear of sleeping through my next travel time anyhow. I was badly sleep deprived before and into arrival to my destination, that can be debilitating and dangerous, especially since travel is all built out of many service people, mobile machinery and complicated routing systems.

  4. henare Diamond

    Those ladders look like an evacuation nightmare!

  5. Mick Guest

    Nice review! Love the ingenuity of this “lounge”. I do think it’s interesting that this is so cheap for what essentially looks like a first class suite in the air but is seen as tiny and claustrophobic on the ground. A first class cabin is probably just as noisy and does come with food and drink of course. Yet people want to only fly Air France first (as an eg) for something that would kind of suck as a hotel room on the ground.

  6. JS Guest

    Lucky - I gotta tell ya, you took one for the team on this one. I think claustrophobia would immediately kicked-in with me. Having grown up in the South, this is kinda like going into a cellar during a storm. Too tight and scary for me!!

  7. DubaiLondonNewYork Guest

    Hi Ben, do you know
    1) if you have 2 Priority Passes (say from Chase + Citi Prestige), can you get both options?
    2) does the gym and shower time count as part of your 3hr pod time?

  8. Steve Guest

    How is there 3 hour time for the sleeping pod defined ? Is it between check in one check out of the hotel or just the time in the pod itself?

    Essentially I am wondering if you spent additional time in the gym or shower, would that count towards the three hour time limit ?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Steve -- It's calculated from the time you check-in, and then you're expected to vacate within that timeframe. I can't say with certainty whether they'll hunt you down if you use the pod for three hours and then go to the gym after, but it seems the intent is that you spend up to three hours there total.

  9. D3kingg Guest

    This entire trip report series has been great.

    1. Donna Diamond

      Agree, realizing that a trip with all these stops like in pre-pandemic times would not have been executable until recently given all the travel restrictions. Good to be back to normal travel again! Missed these reports.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ D3kingg -- Thanks, I appreciate it! :-) Always nice to hear when people enjoy these reviews, and makes them all the more fun to write.

  10. Suhail Guest

    Did a therapist by the name of Kanya massage you, Ben? The back and shoulder massage I got at the spa a month ago was one of the best I've ever gotten!

  11. Tortuga Diamond

    Claustrophia-related anxiety kicking in... though for people who are not me, it seems like a decent way to wall off the world for a few hours.

    1. Mick Guest

      Yet if this was Sharjah airs first class suite everyone would be rushing to spend 220k points to fly it for 9 hours!!!

  12. Alonzo Diamond

    Nice review, something different and definitely helpful.

  13. Jance Guest

    What on earth is the story with the flooring in the hallways? It looks like the carpet has been torn up and the floor surfaces are rotting plywood or moldy concrete, covered with dirt, leaves and filth? Is that some faux desert -cammo-pattern carpet?

    1. Donna Diamond

      Reminds me of US Army digital desert camo uniform.

  14. Ethan Guest

    Wish you had checked out the rooms - If paying out of pocket, the surcharge of proper hotel rooms doesn't seem to be much comparing to sleeping pods. Can't they offer a room tour before deciding which to pay?
    And overnight price is decidedly not cheap.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ethan -- There was typically only one person working the front desk, so it didn't seem like there was a practical way for anyone to show me a room. For what it's worth, the hotel's website has some photos of the room.
      https://www.bahrainairporthotel.com.bh/galley/

      They're definitely much more spacious.

  15. JakePB Guest

    Thank you for this Ben! Might you have an estimate of the bed's length? The pod itself looks kind of short, and bed length can be a challenge for many.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JakePB -- I don't have exact dimensions, but the bed was a bit more than six feet long, since I could be fully flat without touching the end.

  16. Anthony Diamond

    Sleep pods? I can say is - nope!

    1. Donna Diamond

      Agree, last resort in the event that no other lodging options exist.

  17. Alec-14 Gold

    So if the power goes out are you stuck in your pitch black pod?

    1. Travelfoot Guest

      Newly built terminals are expected to power back up, this place shouldn't be any different. You can always rely on your phone lighting.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mick Guest

Nice review! Love the ingenuity of this “lounge”. I do think it’s interesting that this is so cheap for what essentially looks like a first class suite in the air but is seen as tiny and claustrophobic on the ground. A first class cabin is probably just as noisy and does come with food and drink of course. Yet people want to only fly Air France first (as an eg) for something that would kind of suck as a hotel room on the ground.

2
D3kingg Guest

This entire trip report series has been great.

2
Alonzo Diamond

Nice review, something different and definitely helpful.

2
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