After a night spent at the Le Meridien, I went to check out The Westin next. These are the two main Marriott Bonvoy hotels in the city. As mentioned, I decided to spend 1 night each at the Le Meridien and Westin respectively. Both the Le Meridien and Westin are part of the City Centre Mall development and they belong to the same owner as well. Both of the hotels are directly connected to the mall which anyway is one of the best malls in Bahrain. There are numerous dining outlets and shops in the mall. I am curious to see the difference between two such similar brands that are just next to each other. The Westin is priced a little higher than the Le Meridien. Both properties share the facilities and I have already reviewed them in the Le Meridien post, as such, I will skip them out here.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
I book an MMF rate directly from Marriott for this stay. Thankfully the MMF rate soften the blow a bit. For my 1 night stay, I book the Executive room for 77 BHD after tax. That is 293 SGD including taxes. Be expected to shell a lot more for a hotel room during the F1 period. The Westin City Centre Bahrain has 200 rooms and suites spread across 5 categories. All rooms and suites here come with a bathtub. You can see from the figures below that the rooms here offer 7 Sqm more space.
|Rooms||Westin Club Lounge Access||Bathtub||Room Size||No.of Rooms|
|Junior Suite||Yes||Yes||78 Sqm||33|
|Oriental Suite||Yes||Yes||111 Sqm||6|
|Pearl Suite||Yes||Yes||148 Sqm||1|
I came from the Le Meridien which is just next door and less than a 5 mins walk away. This must be the fastest check-out and check-in that I made ever. The staff very kindly ushered me over and assisted with my bags as well. It will be easier walking thru via the mall and probably a good choice with the air conditioning. I was at the hotel at around 12ish when the Le Meridien called ahead to confirm that my room is ready. There is no wait at check-in at the time and I was immediately helped by the staff.
Despite having the same age the Westin looks newer and more refreshing. I believe that this is due to the high ceilings and plenty more natural light. It also seems to be more well maintained. The staff very kindly extended a late checkout till 5pm which is a really nice touch. I was then given all the information about the facilities as well as the club lounge. There are plenty of seatings by the lobby.
I was assigned a room on the ninth floor, room 910 to be exact. It is a short walk away from the lift lobby. I love the cool dark brown tones of the common areas as well as the flower pattern. It is a very classy look.
The room measures 36 Sqm and they have a bigger room than the Le Meridien. This will be good for business travellers. I love how bright the room is and the modern decor of the place. You have a walkway before splitting left into the bathroom and towards the right for the wardrobe area.
The room comes with a little walk-in wardrobe concept. I love this configuration, you can easily fit your baggage inside and it is also equipped with a safe, bathrobes, bath slippers and an ironing kit.
The bathroom is very spacious and almost as big as the one I had in the suite the previous night at Le Meridien. It is impressive to see this in a room. It comes with both a separate standing shower as well as a freestanding bathtub. The bathroom comes with a glass “wall” where a switch can be used to control the opacity. You can thus get a view even while soaking in the tub.
All sorts of toiletries are provided and amenities are from Pharmacopia, this is one of my favourite products. They are generously provided with one set by the bathtub and another one by the standing shower. This is something different from the usual Heavenly Spa products. The standing shower comes with both a handheld shower head as well as a rainforest shower head. Water pressure and temperature control are excellent.
Then you enter the main space of the room. The mini bar area is located to the side and you can find some packaged coffee and tea as well as bottles of water. It is also equipped with a kettle and a fridge that is left empty for your use. I was a bit disappointed not to have a proper coffee machine in the room.
The room was bright and spacious and I love the wall feature behind the bed. It is mainly in a squarish configuration and the plus king-size bed takes up most of the space. You have nightstands on both sides of the bed. One side of it even comes with an alarm clock. They also provide some sort of Lavender Oil by the side which you can use when turning in. A lovely amenity. Outlets and switches for the lights can be conveniently found on both sides of the bed. Again, the bed and pillows are on the softer side. While comfortable, I am a person who prefers a harder surface which provides more back support. Harder pillows can be requested from the staff.
Opposite the bed, you can find a huge high-quality Smart TV. It is a bigger size than the one at Le Meridien and it is of a good size for this room. You can connect your phone through Chromecast and there is a good number of cable TV channels as well. The working desk is a great setup for working. It also functions as the vanity area with a flip-up mirror. You can also find the hairdryer here. Outlets can be conveniently found. The Wifi is fast and easy to connect to. While the chair provides decent back support for a short period I do wish that they had a proper ergonomics office chair especially when the hotel is mostly marketed to business travellers.
Leaning against the window, you can find a day bed. It is always nice to have some sort of sitting area in your room other than the bed itself. The view is much better here and unblocked with a good view of the neighbourhood.
Westin Club Lounge
The Westin Club Lounge is located on the 10th floor. They are open from 7am to 11pm. From 6 to 8pm evening cocktails are served. The club is modern and was of a good size. I love that there is plenty of natural light coming in. The view from the lounge is great.
You have a good view of the buildings nearby and even the water. You can find different types of seating including proper dining tables that are more suitable for eating. They also have a meeting room for guests’ use. Those dining tables with sofa seats are pretty relaxing.
There is also an outdoor space and this is conducive for someone who wants to get a smoke.
During the day, the lounge has some all-day refreshments. This includes some light snacks, bread, coffee, tea and juices.
Evening cocktails service is undoubtedly the most crowded time of the lounge and it can get quite packed. All alcoholic drinks are served by the staff and the offering is the same as the ones from Le Meridien. 2 types of beers, 2 types of red and white wines, rum, vodka and whisky. The staff are prompt with refills and service is excellent.
The food refreshments are different here and the selection is much better. I enjoyed the food. On the evening that I was here, they have some caesar salad, sandwiches, sweets, beef broth and three different types of hot dishes. The breaded chicken, fish and mashed potatoes were quite good. I enjoyed the caesar salad. It was delicious.
Breakfast at Furn Bistro
Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 11am at Furan Bistro which is located on the lobby floor. This is where you link to the City Centre Mall as well. The restaurant is of a good size and not too huge but pretty gorgeous in my opinion. I love the decor and the lighting. It was quiet when I was down for breakfast. Staff service is excellent and I was offered a drink as they show me to the seats.
Similar to the experience at Le Meridien, they do a mean cup of coffee. The cappuccino was lovely. They were made by the staff from an actual barista espresso machine. Look at the latte art.
There wasn’t a huge selection for breakfast, you can find some fresh juices in the middle of the restaurant. Then you can find some pastries, the croissants are quite good. There are also various types of bread and danishes. Here you can find other continental selections too.
Here are the other items on the buffet line, you can find some cheese, local Arabic choices and the usual western options. Do try the egg shakshuka and balaleet. You also have an egg station where you can get eggs cooked to order. They do a pretty good benedict.
Both hotels have disappointing breakfast offerings and this is one aspect that I hope they will improve on. The club lounge at the Westin had a better offering and perhaps this is a reason why they have a slight price premium over the Le Meridien. The rooms and suites are also newer and bigger at the Westin. The Westin is better in my opinion. If the prices are the same, I will definitely go for the Westin, but if not the Le Meridien will do just fine. Both of these hotels are great if you are looking for a stay in Bahrain and I appreciate the easy access to the mall where you can get all that you might need. There aren’t many aspiring hotels in town. The two best hotels would be the Ritz Carlton and Four Season but that is at least double the prices here.