The old: Mezzaluna
Adliya is a bustling area with tables and chairs spilling out onto the pavements from casual cafés and licensed restaurants. One of the best of the latter is international restaurant Mezzaluna, found within a converted traditional Bahraini house.
Adliya, Manama (+973 17 742 999)
The new: Bushido
This new Japanese restaurant is run by the same people as Buddha Bar, and the decor is no less staggering. Take it all in while allowing the sushi and sashimi to melt on your tongue.
Seef, near the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (+973 17 583 555)
The old: Gulf Hotel
The first five-star hotel of Bahrain, built in 1963, it has watched the landscape of the Kingdom transform. Far from dated, however, the hotel has a newly renovated Tower Wing, with panoramic views from its floor-to-ceiling windows.
Al Juffair Street (+973 17 713 000; www.gulfhotelbahrain.com)
The new: L’Hotel
L’Hotel is Bahrain’s first boutique hotel, with 90 guest rooms, a sauna, hammam, outdoor pool and a restaurant led by the renowned chef Philippe Marc. All exquisitely designed, you can’t fail to be impressed by this sleek, serene and modern hotel.
Seef, Manama (+973 17 567 222; www.lhotelbahrain.com)
The old: Tree of life
It may seem a bit odd that we’re recommending you go and look at a tree, but this particular one is somewhat of a natural wonder: the 400-year-old mesquite tree stands alone in the desert, with no source of water. Who knows, if you go and see it, some of its longevity might even rub off on you.
Two kilometres from Jebel Dukha
The new: Bahrain Summer ’09
If you’re quick, you can catch some of the Bahrain Summer ’09 festival, which runs until August 20. With Cuban music, jazz singing, flamenco dancing, and, er, Barney the dinosaur, there’s something for everyone (www.bahraintourism.com). If you can’t make that, head for Wahoo! Waterpark, opening soon. It’s by the same people behind Ski Dubai – so it’s bound to be ludicrously fun (www.wahoo.com.bh).
Flights from Sharjah to Bahrain currently cost Dhs590 with Air Arabia