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New facilities impress.

THERE'S room for a snooze for travellers taking flight from Bahrain International Airport thanks to Gulf Air's improved lounge facilities, writes Stan Szecowka.

The Falcon Gold Lounge was officially inaugurated last May under the patronage of Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain's Minister of Culture, and has also received a raptuous response from the public.

Passengers have tested each aspect of the facility and servicse offered and the feedback, Gulf Air says, has been 'very positive'.

The Gulf Air Gold Lounge is distinct in many ways -- specifically, the architectural design of the 1,188 square metre space combines a traditional Arabian theme with modern amenities. The lounge features well laid-out business, dining, lounging facilities and TV areas in addition to offering panoramic views of the runway.

It can accommodate up to 200 people and received its major upgrade and renovation as part of an extensive lounge-renovation programme across the Gulf Air network at an undisclosed sum.

For the first time, passengers have the added benifit of a Quiet Lounge, which holds seven private sleeping rooms with comfortable beds, dimming lights and the 'do not disturb' option to rest in complete privacy.

Additional facilities include shower rooms with towels and toiletries provided. There are also separate prayer rooms and secure lockers.

Travelling from the UK back home to the Gulf States is also a far more enjoyable experience thanks to Gulf Air's premium Falcon Gold Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4.

The national carrier continues to attract praise from travellers about its improved facilities.

Edward Walker, a British businessman based in Saudi Arabia, said: "I regularly travel between the Gulf States and Europe and the ambience and feeling of 'coming home' when you step into the lounge at Heathrow is second to none. It's all about comfort, service and food and this is one of the best I have come across."

And mother-of-one Lyndsey Steven from Dubai said: "I was genuinely impressed with the Gulf Air lounges. Spacious and slick, with the soothing blue and cream colour scheme they are also wonderfully serene -- helping to put you in the perfect frame of mind for your journey ahead."

The expansive, 600 square metre Falcon Gold Lounge, one of the largest in the terminal, also combines contemporary design and architecture with Arabic influences, creating an environment that combines peace and tranquillity with extensive business facilities.

The open-plan design of the lounge's architecture gives a sense of space and freedom with the central area featuring a bar surrounded by business, dining and lounging facilities as well as TV areas and private rooms.

Another feature of the lounge is an exclusive Illy Cafe counter serving a variety of Italian coffee blends.

"Air travel these days has become savvier and passengers, particularly premium travellers, have become more discerning. With airports increasingly becoming busier, lounges are no longer just a place to wait for flights or transit spots between connections; premium passengers look for an oasis of peace and comfort, expect higher levels of facilities and personalised service," a Gulf Air spokesman said.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:May 29, 2013
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