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By Kirsten Stocker » The Ritz. The name alone evokes images of luxury, fine living, indulgence. The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Spa is, without question, perceived as Bahrain's very best, but does the image hold up to the actual guest experience?

Bahrainguide.org decided to put it to the test, which meant my husband James and I, along with our two little children, were ready for a rather enjoyable weekend.

If ever we had doubts about how the kids would take to living in a hotel room, they were quickly dispelled. From the moment we checked in – having been whisked up to the seventh floor’s Club Level facilities – three-year-old William and ‘almost two’ Annie thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

While the very kind and patient Isabel was explaining the hotel facilities to us, Will and Annie were excitedly trying out the homemade chocolates, peering down at the ‘tiny’ people on the beach below and trying out the complimentary – and very comfortable – Ritz Carlton slippers for size.

Our room was perfect: easily big enough for a family of four, with the option of an interconnecting door between rooms for bigger families or older children. A deliciously enormous bed meant that having both children in bed with us was actually do-able as a one-off treat. Although the hotel offered to bring in spare beds – and the room was certainly more than big enough – our children were having none of it. Before we knew what had happened, all four of us were tucked up in bed watching Postman Pat!

And there we would have happily stayed all day, if not for the lure of the beach, pool, boats and brunch at La Mediteranee. More about that later…first, we set off to explore and build our appetites!