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Review: Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain

Location
BAH
Date
February 2022
Rating

After a short stint in Bahrain, I visited the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge in Bahrain International Airport before my onward flight to Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain has a very impressive newly renovated airport with a new Gulf Air lounge to go along, so I was keen to spend some time in the lounge as part of my overall Gulf Air experience.

The lounge has doubled in both size and capacity as part of the recent renovations, which reflect a new vision for Gulf Air as it moves towards strengthening its position in the Middle Eastern aviation ranks.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Access

The new Bahrain International Airport is a stunning space, having completed its $1.1 billion renovations in early 2021. Gulf Air’s premium check-in zone is located at the eastern end of the terminal, featuring soaring ceilings and beautiful Gulf Air insignia.

Guests are invited to take a seat at a row of private desks for their check-in formalities. 

Bahrain International Airport – Gulf Air premium check-in

After check-in, there’s a dedicated immigration and security queue for business class passengers, which then leads into the main airport concourse. From there, the Falcon Gold Lounge sign and escalator were directly on my right.

Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold business class passengers are entitled to lounge access; moreover, Gulf Air’s own elite members have complimentary lounge access, and can bring up to two travel companions into the lounge. 

Meanwhile, those travelling in Gulf Air economy class can pay a fee of BHD 30 ($102) for lounge access. However, lounge access is not available for those travelling on flights operated by other carriers.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Sign

The lounge can be found just up the escalators in the departure area on the right-hand side, near gates 18A and 18B. 

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Entrance

The Falcon Gold Lounge is open 24 hours a day, and access is granted at the check-in desk, which features the Gulf Air logo against a striking dark blue backdrop.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Seating

The new Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge in Bahrain is exceptionally spacious. When I arrived, the main seating area was about one-quarter full, but could hold a capacity of up to 400 people.

Indeed, a large swathe of the lounge had not yet opened for guest access, but was scheduled to do so in the coming months as passenger numbers increase. 

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Seating area

The lounge carries a minimalistic Arabian design style, with modern concepts that still incorporate the rich history of the 70-year old brand.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Seating area

The interiors consist of rich dark wood elements and warm tones. Gold, black, and light tones reflect the design of the airline’s Falcon Gold business class cabins.

Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the airport runway on one side, while a clear pane of glass overlooks the departures hall on the other.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Seating area

A business centre can be found immediately to the right as you walk into the lounge, featuring work desks, computers, fax machines, and printers. Furthermore, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Business centre

Opposite the business centre, there’s an enclosed quiet area featuring a few leather armchairs and S-shaped blue seats.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Quiet seating area

Then, as you move further towards the dining area, the room opens and fills with dining tables. Massage chairs are placed at the windows, looking out towards the airport concourse and runway. 

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Seating area
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Dining area
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Massage chairs

Further is available in two- to six-person seating arrangements, and includes recliners, lounge chairs, armchairs, and theatre chairs. Most seats have a set of power sockets accessible nearby.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – High-top seats
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Dining area

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Dining

The lounge features a couple of buffet stations, which include a deli bar, a salad and dessert counter, the main intercontinental buffet, and a kids’ buffet.

However, the buffet spread was ultimately fairly limited, as the main dining options were à la carte. 

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Hot buffet
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Cold buffet
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Cold buffet

A QR code can be scanned at every seat, allowing you to open the menu and order your food with one of the wait staff roaming the lounge.

The menu read as follows, featuring a variety of items such as pasta, pizza made in-house, and beef stroganoff. 

I ordered a grilled red snapper with lemon butter sauce from the à la carte menu, which was delicious, along with some champagne.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Grilled red snapper with lemon butter sauce

Once the lounge has fully opened, a well-stocked full-service beverage bar can be found near the back, serving up alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Bar

Service in the lounge was attentive and professional. I’d note that the staff was eager to show off their lounge, and when they noticed me taking photos for a review, they insisted on fully stocking the buffet before letting me shoot it.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Amenities

There’s a surprisingly wide range of amenities to help guests pass the time, many of which reminded me of the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge Istanbul.

A TV viewing area features six lounge chairs and six plasma TVs mounted on the wall in front. Furthermore, seven private sleeping rooms are available, with beds, a dimming light, and a do not disturb feature. These rooms are also equipped with plasma TVs and wireless headphones.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Lounge chairs & entertainment area

A race car simulator, pool table, foosball table, virtual golf, and a VR gaming machine can be found at the back of the lounge. These are all a part of the lounge’s new entertainment zone, reflecting Gulf Air’s wider efforts to include cutting-edge technology into their brand.

 

 

The lounge offers a large kids’ play area and offers professional “Sky Nannies” available for families – lounge staff who will look after your kids for the duration of your stay. 

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Family area

There’s also a gaming section equipped with four PlayStation units, again reminiscent of Turkish Airlines’s offerings in Istanbul.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Gaming chairs

Lastly, the lounge offers a prayer room, a cigar lounge, and a set of private nap rooms for guests who are passing through on a longer layover and need to get some rest. 

Many of the Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge’s amenities are housed in the area that hasn’t fully opened to guests yet at the time of my visit, but when the lounge fully reopens, I’m sure all of its facilities will prove to be very popular.

Once the Falcon Gold Lounge begins operating at full capacity, I’d say it rivals the world-renowned Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul as one of the world’s most interesting business class lounges.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Showers

The lounge had limited shower rooms with basic facilities. Unfortunately, I found them to be not nearly as glamorous as the rest of the lounge.

The showers were situated at the far end of the restrooms, and was a very narrow and sterile space with nothing more than a simple handheld shower head and a towel rack. It was as though the shower rooms were a mere afterthought compared to how well-appointed the rest of the lounge was.

Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Restroom
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge Bahrain – Shower rooms

Compared to many other airlines’ flagship lounges around the world, which offer fully enclosed shower rooms with premium amenities, I found Gulf Air’s offering to be quite disappointing to say the least.

Conclusion

Overall, Gulf Air offers its premium passengers an excellent lounge and ground experience in Bahrain, with comfortable seating, good food and drink, and an impressively wide range of amenities.

I certainly wasn’t expecting to find a pool table, racing simulator, and virtual-reality gaming machine in the lounge, but I’m certainly much more intrigued to revisit it in the future now that I know what to look forward to.

Combined with Gulf Air’s solid if unspectacular business class experience, transiting through Bahrain en route to other destinations in the Middle East or South East Asia should be a fun occasion all around, especially now that we can easily book these journeys using Aeroplan points.

2 Comments
  1. Shayaan

    “At 1,720 square feet, the new Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge in Bahrain is exceptionally spacious.” Is 1,720 an error?

    1. Ricky YVR

      My error when editorializing, as I referred to some Gulf Air material referencing the old lounge. It’s double the size now!

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