Bahrain is perhaps one of the most scintillating countries in the Middle East. Home to a burgeoning food and art scene, the country even has its own Formula 1 Grand Prix! What’s more, Bahrain is often considered one of the more tolerant of the Gulf States, especially when compared to its neighbor Saudi Arabia. So much so that the Saudis nickname for Bahrain is “the Bar,” since one can easily drive in for the weekend and buy alcohol and meet people freely! It’s also why there is even one gay hotel in Bahrain, let alone many, even though 99 percent of them lie in the capital of Manila. However, once the rose-tinted glasses come off, you’ll see that the LGBTQ crackdown is still there, despite Bahrain legalizing homosexuality in 1976. The idea is not to violate “public decency,” which is the case in many countries.
So, if you stay discreet and on the down-low, then gay Bahrain is your oyster. Nevertheless, Bahrain does seem to be the shining gay star in the Arab world, especially since it has gay-friendly hotels and alternative male-only ‘coffee shops.’ Even if it has no gay scene, there’s so much for LGBTQ travelers to do here. For instance, few people know that at Bahrain’s southern tip sits Durrat Al Bahrain, one of the World’s Most Amazing Artificial Islands. Shopping malls, luxury hotels, and residences have even been photographed from the International Space Station! On the other hand, there’s the capital Manama and its Top Things To Do and see. So, if the Middle East is on your gaydar, then Bahrain is a must-see, even if all its gay hotels lie only in the capital. To that end, here are the top 11 gay hotels in Bahrain.
Table of contents
- Ramada by Wyndham Bahrain
- The Merchant House
- Wyndham Grand Manama
- Le Meridien Bahrain City Centre
- The Grove Resort Bahrain
- The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
- The Domain Bahrain Hotel & Spa
- The Palace Boutique Hotel
- Movenpick Hotel Bahrain
- Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort
- Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Bahrain
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Bahrain
- Best Gay Saunas in Bahrain
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Bahrain
Ramada by Wyndham Bahrain
Set in an exclusive islands community in Adliya, Ramada by Wyndham is an excellent upscale gay hotel in Bahrain. Located just a short drive from the city center, this swanky art deco hotel boasts a multilingual staff that helps travelers explore the city. Begin every morning with a complimentary hearty breakfast before setting out to explore the city. After a long day, unwind at the outdoor pool or enjoy a coffee at the cafe or on the sun deck. Wind up the day with a delicious meal at the restaurant or a nightcap at the lounge bar. Retire to the comfort of your air-conditioned rooms. What’s more, every room comes with a fridge, a minibar, a plush bed, and a swish bathroom with bathtubs and bespoke toiletries and bath products.
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The Merchant House
Traditional indulgence rules the roost at The Merchant House, a gay-friendly luxury boutique hotel in Manama. Set in a 1949-built structure, the hotel lived earlier lives as a government office and a commercial building. Step back in time in the lobby, complete with grey columns and black-and-white artwork and photographs. Discerning gay travelers will love the warm and cozy library stacked with books across every subject imaginable. Think everything from Bahrainian history to folklore and fiction. What’s more, you can even enjoy drinks and food here while being lost in the world of books. Begin your day at the lovely rooftop swimming pool, which offers bird’s-eye views of the city.
After a day of exploring, relish local cuisine at the rooftop restaurant. It’s the perfect place for date night, with sweeping views of Manama’s skyline and stunning floral decor. Choose from just 46 suites at this boutique hotel, which promise an intimate and exclusive stay. Moreover, they all have modern art, kitchenettes, dining and sitting areas, and plush bedrooms.
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Wyndham Grand Manama
There’s yet another Wyndham gay hotel in Bahrain on this list; this time, it’s the Wyndham Grand Manama.
A pioneer in modern Bahranian hospitality, this hotel is easily recognizable due to the ‘Twisting-Tower’ structure it sits in. It’s no wonder that the striking 19-story hotel is an instant head-turner, besides offering breath taking views of the Persian Gulf. In fact, gay travelers will love splashing about in one of the three huge outdoor swimming pools. It’s the perfect way to cool down on a sun-kissed day in Manama. After a swim, relax on sun loungers and sip on cocktails and even relish light snacks. Besides a slew of gourmet dining options, it’s the Wyndham Spa that’s famous for its massages and body treatments.
Every inch of the hotel is Instagram-worthy, especially the pools, the restaurants, and even the 10th-floor gym that offers panoramic views of Manama to accompany your workout. Even the rooms are decadent, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering mesmerizing views of Bahrain Bay and the Persian Gulf. Are you looking to splurge? We’d suggest the bedroom suites, which have lavish bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs set amidst stunning backdrops.
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Le Meridien Bahrain City Centre
Gay travelers with families or children will love the five-star Le Meridien Bahrain City Center. This modern luxury hotel is directly connected to Bahrain’s largest mall, City Centre Bahrain. Not only does it have a waterpark and a theme park, but it even has a cineplex and high-end department stores, thus ensuring fun for the whole family. As you step inside the hotel, you’re treated to timeless decor that pays homage to both Bahrain’s culture and Le Meridien’s Parisian heritage. A pool and a fitness center aside, you’ll also find a decadent full-service spa on the property. After a long day of exploring Manama, there’s nothing better than a soothing massage or a body treatment. That said, the finest aspect of the hotel is its luxurious and contemporary rooms.
A unique touch in every room is an artwork above the bed inspired by Islamic calligraphy. Are you in the mood to splurge? We’d recommend the Club Rooms that also get you special access to the Club Lounge. For families and honeymooners, the upgrade is excellent since it includes evening happy hours and hearty, in-room breakfasts.
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The Grove Resort Bahrain
Have you ever fancied staying on a private island? Then the Grove Resort, an excellent and luxurious gay hotel in Bahrain, is your ticket to do so! The resort is tucked on the Amwaj Islands, an elite tourist destination overlooking the Arabian Gulf. At the same time, it’s a mere 20-minute drive to Manama’s Central Business District. The resort offers many amenities and activities, with the restaurant and cafe being a rather favorite joint. There’s even a well-equipped fitness center for those who love their workout regimes. And, of course, who can tear their eyes away from the stunning infinity pool with drop-dead gorgeous views of the Persian Gulf? The best bit? There are even water sports down by the beach!
What makes the Grove Resort so popular is that it offers luxurious villas and private apartments rather than hotel rooms. The best of them all is the beachfront villas in a stunning private beach setting, each with private pools! From the shoreline, they look nothing less than high-end luxurious homes where you’d want to stay for the rest of your life. What’s more, all villas and apartments have plush bathrooms, elegant sea-inspired decor, swanky mod-cons, and fully-equipped kitchens.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
Few gay-friendly hotels are as popular as The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. The hotel boasts a spectacular Persian Gulf location on an unending white sand beach in Manama, acting as a tropical escape right in the city. The rooms and suites are just like the impressive outdoors – swanky, luxurious, and gorgeous. Even the entry-level rooms feature luxurious furnishings, right from plush king beds with goose-down comforters to spacious bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs and bespoke bath products. For even more indulgent living, why not book one of the seafront villas? They come with lush gardens and their private pools, where you and your partner can lounge all day long.
Every bit of the hotel is designed to impress, right from the inviting lobby and its gleaming marble floors and a huge central sunburst. Book yourselves a massage or a body treatment at the ocean-inspired spa, complete with a hammam and flour plunge pools. Moreover, foodies can look forward to enjoying a variety of cuisines at the seven restaurants and bars! During warmer months, enjoy walking around the lush grounds, which even have a Flamingo Lagoon! Cooler months see a pop-up farmer’s market on the front grounds; that’s a real treat. And, of course, the lovely outdoor pools with their refreshing waters are always an inviting prospect.
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The Domain Bahrain Hotel & Spa
The Domain Bahrain Hotel & Spa is yet another excellent gay hotel in Bahrain. Located smack dab in the heart of the city, it’s the perfect base for intrepid LGBTQ travelers who want to explore Manama and the rest of the country. The vibrant 36-floor hotel boasts lavish accommodations with a royal color palette of rich russet, gold, amethyst, and jade. A signature touch is gilded installations above each bed that are inspired by Islamic calligraphy. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of the city, while cloud-like king beds ensure a good night’s sleep. The best bit is the decadent all-white bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs, making this the perfect place for a romantic tryst too.
Every bit of the hotel is impressive, right from the rooms to the 16th-floor checkerboard-like lobby. Splendid artwork, art-deco elements, bold accents, and design pieces lend the place a unique appearance. At the top of a laundry list of amenities – literally – sits the 36th-floor rooftop indoor infinity pool. It’s a place that offers perhaps what are the best views in Manama. After a swim, book yourself some pampering time at the spa with body treatment. Finally, you have a choice of restaurants that serve sundown cocktails, Mediterranean brunches, and buffet breakfasts.
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The Palace Boutique Hotel
The boho-chic gay-friendly Palace Boutique Hotel is located in the heart of buzzing Adliya. The hotel is grand, to say the least, and yet it’s a tranquil lobby that welcomes you within. Think of this hotel as a place to enjoy on your day off from exploring, and it’s easy to see why. For one, the rooms and suites here are spacious as well as intimate. Some of the best rooms have French doors leading out to patios and deep-soaking bathtubs in the chic bathrooms. The rest of the hotel is the same; for instance, a bevy of restaurants serve everything from buffet breakfasts and afternoon tea to lavish dinners.
That said, it’s the small but lovely pool that’ll be the highlight of your stay. Surrounded by whitewashed walls, sunbeds, and tropical palms, it’s one of the most serene places on the property. A refreshing dip here is the best way to cool off and unwind.
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Movenpick Hotel Bahrain
Middle Eastern hospitality meets European style and sensibilities at Movenpick Hotel, a wonderful gay hotel in Bahrain. The contemporary five-star hotel lies across from Bahrain International Airport, snuggled against the striking Arad Bay Lagoon. Thus, the hotel feels much like a luxurious desert oasis, and it’s not difficult to see why. All rooms and suites are spacious, decked out in neutral hues. White-clad marble bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs and high-tech mod-cons lend a luxurious feel. When it comes to the amenities, the freeform infinity-edge pool fringed with sunbeds and foliage is the shining star on the property. The heavenly spa comes a close second, especially since it has a Moroccan hammam and a Turkish bath. What’s more, the hotel also boasts a fitness center, two floodlit tennis courts, and award-winning restaurants and bars with themed nights.
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Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort
It’s hard to go wrong with Novotel, and the Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort is no exception. The luxury four-star gay-friendly beachside hotel in Manama is your perfect luxurious base to experience life king-size in the city. All rooms and suites at this hotel overlook either the pool, the Manama city skyline, or the Persian Gulf. What’s more, all units have mod-cons such as satellite TVs, minifridges, and patios with alfresco seating. If that wasn’t enough, they even have spacious bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs. The hotel does well on the amenities front, with the standout being the temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pool. That said, the private beach out front does give it a fair bit of stiff competition.
Besides a fitness center, the resort also has a slew of relaxation options in a spa, steam room, and hot tub. There are even two dining outlets serving local and international cuisine and water sports facilities out at the beach.
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Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay
Without a doubt, the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is the swankiest and most luxurious gay hotel in Bahrain. Sporting a gorgeous all-glass exterior, rooms and suites at the hotel don’t have balconies. But, what they do have are floor-to-ceiling windows with some of the most breathtaking views of Manama, the Persian Gulf, and the desert beyond. Rooms boast Murano glass chandeliers, while bathrooms are lavish dens of marble and mirrors. You’ll love everything about the rest of the hotel, especially the two Wolfgang Puck restaurants. Since it lies on a private Bahrain Bay island, the hotel feels like an ocean liner; think black Carrara marble, flowers, and paintings everywhere.
The lobby is adorned with eight gorgeous olive trees, where a live piano-and-violin duet takes place every afternoon. You have four swimming pools with daybeds under umbrellas to choose from to swim and lounge at. Likewise, there are four restaurants and three bars on the property, which means meal times will be like mini-celebrations! Finally, pamper yourself with a Middle Eastern massage or a body treatment at the hotel’s fabulous spa. It’s no wonder that this is one of the Best Hotels in Manama too.
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Best Gay Neighborhoods in Bahrain
Since Bahrain isn’t openly gay friendly, none of the cities, including Manama, have any gay neighborhoods. However, the capital city does have a slew of gay-friendly bars/clubs that are usually limited to the hotels in the city. These include, but are not limited to, BJ’s nightclub in the Carlton Hotel, Z Club at Pars International Hotel, the wine bar and Irish pub at Mansouri Mansions Hotel, and Likwid. However, since homosexuality is still not legal, per see, all these parties happen on the down-low. That said, gays can enjoy a free dinner buffet every Wednesday at Wrangler’s in the Best Western Hotel!
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Bahrain
- Wendy’s Bar: One of the only open nightclub and cruising place in Bahrain is Wendy’s Bar at the Gulf Hotel. The bar is particualrly famous on Thursday and Friday nights because the crowd is beautiful and the atmosphere is steamy. And, of course, there’s the amazing drinks!
Best Gay Saunas in Bahrain
Unfortunately, Manama or the whole of Bahrain, for that matter, doesn’t have a gay sauna, even though gay massages take place discreetly. That said, Manama Park is a very popular cruising space in the capital.
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Bahrain
Since Bahrain considers homosexuality illegal based on morality and public decency, the country has no gay events per se. In fact, NSA Bahrain held a 3K run to support LGBT Pride in the city a few years back, but nothing has come of it yet. However, since Bahrain has the most progressive of the Arab world’s laws, we’re hoping that we see a change in the near future!