Spring/Summer 2018

Hotels & Resorts
Serene Stay in the Heart of Manama

Nestled amid expansive tropical gardens leading up to a pristine lagoon, Reef Resort is perfect for a laid-back holiday, a romantic escape or an intimate family getaway in the heart of Bahrain’s capital Manama

A new resort, set on an island off the heart of Bahrain’s capital Manama, is now inviting guests to its serene and stylish shores following its grand opening.

Reef Resort, the luxurious island paradise, offers the best of both worlds as guests can enjoy the calm and peaceful atmosphere at the resort while being within a few minutes’ drive from the buzzing city and its major shopping and other attractions.

Reef Resort is the jewel of the Reef Island development, an island conceived to be the ultimate in luxury, waterfront living, welcoming residents and guests to the tranquillity of an island getaway in the middle of the city.

The business hub of Bahrain Financial Harbour, traditional suqs and world-class shopping, dining and entertainment destinations are just a few minutes away; yet once you enter the resort’s gates, you are in a different world.

Hospitality industry veteran Darryl Marsden is leading the charge with his senior management team in place for the destination’s restaurants and spas.

“Reef Resort brings a new level of luxury in the heart of Manama,” says the Australian, a first timer to the region, but who has extensive experience in managing resorts, mainly in South East Asia. “We look forward to welcoming more guests and exceeding their expectations as well as our own high standards of service quality,” he says.

He is extremely satisfied with the initial response to the resort from the market. “The customers, whether they are from the local Bahrain community exploring the dining options and other facilities at the resort or guests from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, have been very positive. The feedback that we have received is good and they appreciate the layout, the facilities, the interiors and the warm and welcoming staff,” he says.

So what’s the main USP of the resort? He has no hesitation in saying: Aside from the quality and luxury finish, “There is a special calm and peacefulness about this resort, with so much water and green spaces around.”

Nestled amidst expansive tropical gardens leading up to a pristine lagoon, Reef Resort is perfect for a laid-back holiday, a romantic escape or an intimate family getaway. It has 39 residences offering an array of 102 lavishly decorated and luxuriously-appointed living spaces including villas, suites and deluxe rooms, some with patios and verandas for added comfort.

The resort offers a dazzling set of amenities and fun activities that are in absolute harmony with its environs. Be it swimming in temperature-controlled pools, reading a book by the lagoon, entertaining children at the Kids Club or simply rejuvenating oneself in energising spas, Reef Resort is set to become a sought-after address for active leisure and absolute relaxation in Bahrain.

One of the highlights of the resort is a cleverly-designed softly-sanded artificial beach leading to the infinity-edge adults-only pool that is heated in winter and cooled in summer!

The resort’s villas lace the stunning 5,000-sq-ft sand-filled swimming pool, which almost opens itself to the sea, providing a panoramic view of the lagoon and the Manama skyline.

The accommodation offerings within the villas can be booked separately or fully, providing flexible options to guests with large families or for those coming with relatives and friends.

The room/suite options range from the 47-sq-m Superior Room to the 150-sq-m exquisite Royal Suite with large living and dining rooms and lavish two bedrooms with en-suite luxury bathrooms. It also comes with a private outdoor seating space.

Bespoke design is at the heart of Reef Resort. Every villa is different, every guestroom’s interiors is exclusive.  Reef Island Chairman Robert Mouawad’s passion for art has influenced the design of the resort and the interiors. No room looks similar with distinctive furniture, artworks and decorative pieces adorning each one of them. The décor’s attention to detail, exclusivity and classic style are truly pleasing to the eye.

“I had the opportunity to meet and discuss the project and my role with the chairman,” Darryl explains, “and was very excited to join the team and help realise this vision of the resort and island that he has developed from the conception of his idea to now.

“It is inspiring to work with someone that has the vision and passion required to take on a project of this magnitude. Reef Resort was born out of a passion and desire to create an element of beauty for people to enjoy; with this in mind our chairman has created bespoke living spaces, each individually designed and with handpicked fabrics, artworks and furnishings.

“This attention to detail is carried throughout the resort, not only in design but in the service and offerings,” says the General Manager. 


The resort has six speciality restaurants, each developed around exceptional cuisine and exemplary service, apart from offering stunning views overlooking the Bahrain Bay. The dining options include:

Chocolaterie: With the stunning, white and dark chocolate interior and lagoon backdrop, it’s a lobby café perfect for coffee mornings and sophisticated Arabian and English high teas.

Fine café: Offering stylish and refined café dining, the wooden interiors mingled with earthy colours create an elegant space that is captivating by night. The à la carte menu displays an exquisite blend of Mediterranean cuisines with a focus on fresh and healthy cooking. A table by the window comes with stunning views of the resort’s infinity pool and garden.

Sunset Saloon: With a breathtaking sunset view over the lagoon, it is a haven for those seeking a refined setting for enjoying premium beverages and cigars. A cigar connoisseur’s delight, Sunset Club serves an astounding variety of cigars sourced from some of the world’s finest blenders and manufacturers.

Shisha Lounge: Promising impeccable Mediterranean hospitality, the lounge offers an indoor setting with private enclosures, as well as a relaxed outdoor terrace overlooking the pool. Apart from exotically flavoured shishas, the menu comes with an enchanting twist of the Levant, to include an assortment of Lebanese grills and Arabian desserts.

Pool Delight: With direct access to the poolside, Pool Delight is a bright, lively, interactive restaurant which offers lavish breakfast and lunch buffets with a diverse international fare, including fresh pizza from the show oven. Pool Delight is an ideal location for corporate events, banquets, conferences and weddings.

Tokyo Reef: This contemporary Japanese restaurant flaunts a menu rich in creativity, history and Japanese culture. Guests can sample fine Japanese cuisine overlooking the ornately designed fish pond. 


Kids Club: A memorable family holiday is one where one can bask in the luxury of some private moments with the assurance that the kids are playfully engaged in a structured environment. Children are kept safe and entertained at the Kids Club by the resort’s experienced caregivers. It has a series of artistically enriching and intellectually stimulating activities to ensure that the young guests are gainfully engaged.

Reef Aqua Spa: The resort’s Reef Aqua Spa provides relaxation and rejuvenation for men and ladies. It has indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, treatment rooms, ladies yoga room, sauna and steam rooms, fitness studios and a beauty salon. A series of customised face and body treatments are delivered in the well-equipped treatment rooms.

Reef Hair & Beauty Salon: The hair and beauty salon is located in the women’s spa. It offers complete head-to-toe relaxation and grooming with massages, hairstyling, facials and more.

Health Club: Two separate health clubs for males and females are located within the spa area. The fully-equipped health club is fitted with free weights, and the latest cardiovascular and resistance machines. Gym training lessons along with personalised instructors run throughout the week. Yoga, Pilates and Zumba can be included in the fitness programmes with one-to-one support and advice by experienced personal trainers.

Reef Resort has around 200 staff members now and hopes to employ a total of 300 people when all facilities become operational.

“The hospitality industry gives you the opportunity to help someone else have a memorable experience that may last a lifetime, whether it be a superb dining experience, an unforgettable holiday, or it simply can be a moment of magic in someone’s day,” says Marsden. 

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