I spent the night in the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge in Bahrain between Gulf Air flights. There is a lot to like about this lounge, which represents a lounge fitting for a flag carrier’s hub airport.
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain Review (BAH)
12 hours in one lounge gave me plenty of time to review it.
Hours + Access + Location
The lounge is located one level above departures near Gate 18A and is open 24/7.
Access is granted to:
- Falcon Gold (business class) passengers
- Black, Gold and Silver Falconflyer card holders (the loyalty program of Gulf Air)
Lounge access can also be purchased in conjunction with an economy class ticket on Gulf Air.
I arrived just before midnight with a transit time of nearly 11 hours. My first order of business was to sleep and I found a “quiet room” off to the right as you enter the lounge. There, I managed to sleep for about six hours (though after a midnight snack…).
Side note: for reasons I cannot explain, I somehow missed the Gulf Spa, which is part of the Priority Pass lounge network and where I could have enjoyed a better rest and even a workout. Such a missed opportunity!
This is a massive lounge. As such, there are hundreds of seats around the lounge and even during peak periods (there is a late-night rush and mid-morning rush), plenty of seating is available.
There’s a whole rear area of the lounge that provides even more seating (plus a full bar) that was only open during the busier periods.
In addition to the seating area, a dining area featuring dozens of tables and chairs mostly suited for two people.
Massage chairs were also available (well, theoretically…they were “out of order” during my visit).
Food + Drink
The centerpiece of this lounge is the dining experience, which offers a wide assortment of food and drinks around the clock.
Upon arrival, after securing a chair to sleep in, I took a walk around the lounge, noting a salad bar, buffet with hot dishes (mostly of a Levantine and Indian cuisine), and a dessert bar with fruit, cheese, and cakes. Soups and sandwiches were also available.
Separately, a station included five a la carte items, including:
- falafel wrap
- chicken shish tawook
- cheeseburger with potato wedges
- cheddar and asparagus quiche
- cheese and tomato panini
Orders could be placed by QR code.
I tried the falafel warp and chicken kabobs and both were delicious (so delicious I had seconds). I also enjoyed a bowl of mixed nuts, including pistachios, as well as some yogurt and hummus to dip my kabobs in, as well as some tabouleh and stuffed grape leaves.
In the morning, the same salad bar was available (interestingly, the fruit in the morning was in individual containers rather than a communal bowl) as well as hot breakfast items, this time mostly western like omelets, halal sausage and bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, and cooked tomatoes.
Coffee was from Lavazza, though the automatic machines were subpar…it would have been great to see a nice manual machine and a barista.
Soft drinks, tea, and juice were available and self-service and a wide range of beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages were available at the bar (even during Ramadan).
It appears there is a pizza oven, though it was not in use during my visit. An ice cream station was also not in use.
Overall, the food is excellent in this lounge.
Showers + Restrooms
Shower facilities and restrooms are available. The shower suites are unlocked, but you must request shower use at reception in order to get towels.
Restrooms were clean and did not smell like an ashtray since the lounge has a smoking room.
Speaking of smoking, if you are smoker you do not have to leave the lounge to find a place to smoke. There is a separately-ventilated smoking room near the entrance (and through double doors, unlike the Emirates First Class lounge where you can just smoke in the open).
Wi-Fi worked well, which I was particularly thankful for since I spent over two hours on the phone with Aeroplan over Skype.
In the rear area of the lounge near the bar was a gaming area with a pool table, fußall table, and some sort of race car video game.
Adjacent to the reception at the entrance of the lounge is a work area with six computers as well as a printer and fax machine. Mobile printing is also available.
The so-called “entertainment area” includes six easy chairs looking up to six widescreen TVs. Each seat has headphones form which you can tune into the channel of your choice.
Children’s Play Area
A children’s play area two small tables, a slide, a couch, and some beanbags.
For Islamic guests, a prayer room is available (as well as ablution).
I had a long but lovely layover in the Gulf Air Lounge in Bahrain International Airport. Sure, I’d love to see better coffee, but that aside this was quite an impressive lounge. I am thankful the lounge is open 24 hours because it provided a tranquil place not just to pass time, but to rest.
It looks very competitive compared to the other carriers’ lounges in the region. Personally, I’ve only flown with EK and QR in terms of Gulf carriers so I don’t know all of the lounges for each carrier in the region, but this lounge is pretty comparable with the Al Mourjan lounge QR has at DOH.
Thanks for the review, Matthew.
As you mention, it is a very decent lounge with good service. It also does not get too crowded (at least that was the case when we visited enroute to KWI In January of this year).
I also wish they had a barista.
Did the sleeping area have a plug in the table?
Yes, it did.
Pearl lounge is better
Tell us something we didn’t know! Matthew, respectfully, “after a midnight snack” might be unnecessary, your (regular) readers are all very well aware of your gastronomic proclivities 🙂 🙂 :-).
“… falafel warp and chicken kabobs … (so delicious I had seconds). … mixed nuts, including pistachios, … yogurt and hummus … tabouleh and stuffed grape leaves.” Whew, I feel stuffed just reading it. Did you omit a cheeseburger for health reasons or because you were sated by everything else or some other reason?
BTW, in WHY DO I EVEN EAT AIRLINE FOOD? 2/14/23, you wrote: “I am mulling over a radical change to my diet … the radical difference between my diet at home and diet in the air has grown too incongruous to continue.” (Part of any radical change of diet must include calorie restriction which has invariably shown in studies to be healthier.) I commented: “As long as you are not unhealthily overweight (compared to cosmetically overweight) you shouldn’t stress over this, the stress will be more deleterious to your health. …” Excellent to read that you’re not stressing over it (and remaining healthy)!!!