As my whirlwind Gulf Air adventure comes to the ending phases, it is time for me to visit and share the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge at Bahrain International Airport. I have been quite hyped about the lounge after checking out some reviews and learning how new the place is. I will be sure to spend plenty of time in the lounge to properly review it. The lounge is open 24 hours. The lounge has been renovated recently and only opens back in Jan 2021 together with the terminal. Bahrain International Airport is one of the most gorgeous ones that I have been to. It is simple, spacious and airy. Same with the lounge. I love how spacious the place is and the white facade which makes it so welcoming with the abundance of natural light. The white, gold and grey theme of Gulf Air makes it so cool and sleek. The lounge measures 6,500 square feet and never felt cramped even with the crowd in the evening.
Gulf Air only has one level of lounge, Falcon Gold Lounge. This is a business class level lounge. Passengers in Falcon Gold Class as well as Black, Gold and Silver Falconflyer card holders can access the lounge. Black and Gold members may also bring in guests. You can also pay for access in advance using 5000 miles or 30 BHD. I did hear stories that the immigration is refusing to allow guests departing more than 4 hours later to enter the transit area and clear immigration controls, as such the time that you are allowed to spend in the lounge is limited to 4 hours at a maximum. With regards to my experience, I did not face any difficulties but the Gulf Air agent at first refused to check me in before I insist that Falcon Gold Class passengers can check in in advance.
Arrival & Location
I was thru immigration and security in no time given how quiet the airport is at this time of the day and the fast track lane was empty. Falcon Gold passengers are invited to use the facility. You can then find clear signs to the lounge which is located one level above the main terminal. It is on the right side of the terminal. The lounge looks very lovely and new given how they have only renovated it recently. Upon exiting the escalator, I was greeted by the host by name and was warmly welcomed in. The staff was polite and professional. They also prompted that I could keep my bags at the locker just next to them anytime I want. The open concept or design ready allows plenty of natural light to flow in making it very welcoming with a good view of the tarmac too.
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge
Immediately to your right of the host desk, you have a small overflow sitting area. This will not be my preferred choice given how bare it is. It felt like you are being banished to this area. It might be a good spot to take calls given how empty it is. You should only come here if you can’t find any other seats elsewhere.
If you have an extended stay in the lounge or wish to check out the terminal, the lounge has luggage facilities. You can keep your carry-on in the lockers which are just next to the host desk. Great amenity.
Turn left for the main area of the lounge itself. You will first pass by the business centre where you can find a couple of computers and a printer. This is a good spot if you do not have your laptop with you. Wi-Fi is available in the lounge and lighting fast. They were good enough to stream HD shows without interruption. The lounge is really really huge and they have plenty of seating areas. The seats are more or less the same and outlets can be easily found between all seats. I appreciate that they had USB outlets as well. I love that they have some sort of partition set up between seatings to make it more private and exclusive. Some are great for group business travellers with a huge number of chairs along the walls. Here are some pictures of the seating areas.
Along the edge of the lounge near the glass grillings, you can find some sort of daybeds which are more suitable for resting and winding down. This is great for solo travellers. They also have some massage chairs here but sadly all of them are out of service when I am there.
My favourite spot is definitely one of those seats that face the tarmac so that you have a good view of the apron and the plane. You are also near the bar which makes it easy for refilling your champagne. Let me come back to the food and drinks.
The Falcon Gold Lounge is nothing but boring and it is both an adult playground as well as one for the smaller ones. While I stick mostly to Champagne, some of the other entertainment activities that you have in the lounge include a pool table, futsal table, F1 simulator, golf simulator as well as some 4D simulator kind of thing.
If that doesn’t impress you, perhaps the lineup of the PS5 game console will. These are like gold to gamers.
Between the dining and the main lounge area, you can find the TV area. It is set up with daybeds and 6 huge TV perched on the wall each tuned to different channels. I appreciated that the televisions are kept silent and routed into headphones that you can tune into them. This allows for a quiet and nice setup. Disposable headphone covers are provided as well so it’s hygienic. This area is also a good spot for catching some shuteye when waiting for your flight.
The toilets and showers are the most disappointing aspect of the lounge. They are tiny. It is as if you entered into a totally different space of the lounge. It is like as if they left out this part when renovating the lounge. A different area from the main lounge. There is only one shower by the way.
Food & Drinks
Let me share the food and drinks part. The main dining is located on the right of the lounge near the television area. You can find plenty of proper dining tables as well as some seatings around the wall. It is a very nice place. I love the decor and decoration. Even in the dining area outlets and plugs are still easily found.
The lounge has a dining menu and I had at first thought that the food is served a la carte with table service but it turned out that most of the food items are on the buffet line and in fact, only the pizza and pasta are freshly made to order. You can find the menu here. Coffee and tea, as well as drinks, are found to the side here as well but the better selection will be by the bar on the other side of the lounge. You can find bottles of sparkling and natural water, fruit juices and soft drinks as well as coffee and tea.
I will let the pictures do the rest of the sharing on the food. It is quite good and some of my favourites are the biryani and the pizza. The pasta was lacklustre.
I tried some of the items from the buffet line and complement them with the diavola pizza as well as the salmon pasta. The pizza was excellent with plenty of ingredients as well as a nice crust. Pasta however was way too salty perhaps with the use of the smoked salmon.
The bar is located all the way at the other end of the lounge and this is where you can get the alcoholic drinks which are served by a bartender. They serve coffee from an actual espresso machine here too. I took advantage of it to knock off a couple of espresso martinis. The bartender is awesome and very engaging.
They serve up champagne, a very respectable Charles De Laroche, you will also find beers, spirits, cognac, liqueurs, and various red and white wines. They have a really good wine list. Check out the link above for the actual details on the alcoholic options. As mentioned, the bartender is great and could whip out any cocktails you fancy.
It feels very weird that they don’t offer at the very least some self-serve alcohol by the buffet and food area. It doesn’t make sense to make the hike all the way to the end for a glass of booze and make your way back to eat, furthermore refills.
This is definitely one of the better business class airline-operated lounges that I have visited. It is decent and you can definitely spend some hours here relaxing as well as enjoying some bubbles. The one disappointing aspect that I would wish that they can improve on would be their washrooms and showers. That is downright bad. It is like they designed and renovated the entire lounge but left out the washrooms and showers. Furthermore, one shower for the entire lounge with this capacity? No! It is not at the level of its Middle East peers like Qatar or Emirates. I love the modern design and how spacious the place is. The food selection is pretty good and much better than expected. I love the freshly made pizza. I just wasn’t wow like I would have expected at one of the Gulf Airlines. I enjoyed my stay here and have plenty of time to burn given that I was forced to spend more time than anticipated at the airport. Gulf Air Checked!