OHLALA was invited to visit one of the latest sought-after spots on the island: the water villas at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, and we left with a sense of pure bliss.

As an island, Bahrain is surrounded by beautiful clear waters and enjoying the sea views is a must. To help you in this quest, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa has recently launched four stunning water villas boasting private pools and vast ocean views.

Well-known as a beloved staycation destination in the Kingdom, Sofitel Bahrain is now offering an upgraded stay. Nestled in an oasis of luxury, the villas embrace a Parisian refinement fused with local accents. They are named after precious gems: Topaz, Ruby, Emerald and Pearl, which set the tone for the colour palettes used in the interiors.


The villas have a private entrance right after the spa or, if you know the property well, you can take the path to these incredible mini homes after the kids’ pool and play area. At the end is Topaz – the villa we had the chance to explore.

A grand, intricate wooden door and floors mosaicked in arabesque patterns welcomed us as we stepped inside, emphasising the importance of the architectural aspect in these unique villas. When we entered the space, we first noticed the floor-to-ceiling windows with the Arabian Gulf in front of our eyes. We were driven to the deck area past the glass to soak in the stunning outside space; I believe we could have stayed there the entire day if we’d had the chance. The sun hitting the water, giving it turquoise, green and blue tints, was absolutely breathtaking.

All the villas are the same, featuring one master bedroom on the ground floor and two standard rooms on the first floor, each with its own bathroom. The living room has a high ceiling, with the upper bedrooms on a mezzanine – a clever way to fully embrace the outside beauty. They can accommodate six guests comfortably.

The décor is a show apart. There were intricately sculpted wooden panels everywhere we looked, from the handrail by the stairs to a massive art piece on the wall. These details resemble those found in the heritage Muharraq houses, but in this case, done with impeccable refinement. The chandeliers are modernised Fanous (traditional Arabic lamps), and all the lighting elements follow the same inspiration. The furniture is tasteful, complementing the same theme with a sophisticated six-person dining table and extremely comfy chairs with blue upholstery (the colour changes in each villa). The massive rug in the living area spans from beneath the dining table to the other side of the room, where you can spot the comfortable sofa and many cushions in arabesque textiles – it is immense! To give even more magnificence to the space, Sofitel Bahrain sourced the finest materials and craftsmanship from around the world. Light fittings from Turkey, hand-crafted Zellige tiles from Morocco, rugs from India and the finest fabrics from France, Italy and the United Kingdom adorn the interiors, exuding opulence and refinement.

To further elevate the guest experience, each villa has a dedicated personal butler, ensuring every need is met. Guests can also indulge in the exclusive in-villa dining menu, curated to tantalise the taste buds with an array of delectable options. Moreover, the water villas are equipped with Balmain Paris bathroom amenities.


At Sofitel Bahrain water villas, the usual welcome treat is as grand as the décor. A wooden trunk is filled with fresh fruits with two drawers bearing special touches: macarons and chocolates in the shape of precious gems (painted in the room colour).

There is a kitchenette with a Nespresso machine, a regular-sized fridge and necessary amenities. The powder room boasts two doors – it can be used from the living area, but it is also connected to the pool.

One of the biggest surprises was the TV hidden in a beautiful wooden unit activated with a remote control. It looks like a divider for the dining and living areas, but it actually stores a television that can be rotated to face either the table or the sofa.

The private infinity pool has artistic mosaic tiling, which makes it even more inviting. The water is also temperature-controlled, allowing it to be used throughout the year. The sunbeds facing the uninterrupted views of the sea offer a spectacle apart.

But the highlight goes to the tub in the master bedroom facing the infinity pool and sea – undoubtedly the best part of the entire place.

The villas pay homage to traditional Bahraini architecture – a great way to showcase the culture of our beloved island to local guests, but mainly to international visitors. They represent a seamless blend of heritage, modernity and sophistication.


Sofitel Bahrain is well-served by restaurants with an array of specialised cuisines. Rivaaj for Indian fare, Maison Sushi with delectable Japanese staples, Fiamma is an Italian restaurant offering homemade pasta and fresh ingredients, Pashawat dedicated to Lebanese and Persian cuisine, Saraya for casual all-day dining and the recently opened Yamaz.

We had the opportunity to enjoy the flavours of Yamaz for authentic Mediterrenean-Greek cuisine. Created by the skilled hands of Chef Nikolaos Koulousias, the dishes transported us to a Greek island by the Mediterranean Sea. We feasted on cold and hot starters, such as the chef ’s interpretation of the traditional Greek Salad (definitely a must-try if you enjoy fresh green leaves with a delicious twist), Lepto Mosxari, a delicate beef carpaccio, Arni Crochetta, beautifully cooked slow-braised lamb croquettes and, the most delicious of them all, the Troyfopita, a phyllo pastry stuffed with organic feta cheese, black truffle and honey glaze – yum!

We also had a selection of mains such as the fantastic Xtapodi, cooked to perfection octopus accompanied by white beans and celeriac puree and lemon potato, and Kritharotto, made with orzo, seasonal seafood, saffron and orange scented – a recipe from Chef Nikolaos’ grandmother – an exquisite dish for seafood lovers.

And for the sweet tooth, the desserts are unmissable. The Mykonos Karavi is a fun-looking boat with seven chocolate desserts in various textures. But our favourite was The Athens Castle, a reinterpretation of one of the simplest and yummiest desserts in the world: Greek yoghurt and honey. At Yamaz, it comes as a Greek frozen yoghurt with honey and a surprise interior of poached apple.

If you are looking for a restaurant that will play with your taste buds and take you on a memorable culinary trip, Yamaz is the place to go.


While exploring the resort, the Thalassa Wellness and Rehabilitation Center is worth experiencing. The whole beach vibe and relaxing spots make a spa session the final accompaniment to the perfect stay.

The spa team highly recommends the OLIGOMER Pure Invigorating Energizing Re-Mineralizing Balneo and Massage Treatment. An 80-minute therapy that uses ingredients that reduce fatigue, relieve tired legs, promote healthy sleep, relax muscles and improve general well-being. It is an excellent way to relax and detox.


Sofitel Bahrain allows you to get away from the city buzz and embrace life by the sea (and who doesn’t love that?). The new villas are the ultimate escape for a state-of-the-art stay, while the spa will make you forget about the world outside. And the cherry on top? A delightful dining experience to the sound of Greek tunes, uninterrupted sea views and one of the best meals you will ever have. Cheers to life!

For more information or to make a reservation,
please call Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

on 1763 6347.

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