“Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.” Unknown
The current uneasiness surrounding global health issues is seeing concerned travellers, especially those with families, reconsidering their international travel plans. With long nursery and school closures announced in the UAE this week it’s time to look closer to home for staycation ideas and take advantage of the region’s luxury hotels and resorts. Here’s six ideas for some regional road trips …..
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Located in the more remote Al Gharbia Region of Abu Dhabi, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island offers three distinctly different luxury resorts on one island accessible by boat. Guests can choose from the fortress-style Desert Islands Resort hotel, rustic villas in the savannah at Al Sahel Resort or Al Yamm Resort with its ocean front villas on the beach.
Sir Bani Yas is a place to relax and reconnect with nature, a vision of the late Sheikh Zayed to conserve the area for future generations and part of his ‘Greening of the Desert’ initiative. Guests can enjoy a guided visit of the wildlife park, a sanctuary to a variety of free-roaming native and non-indigenous animals and spot marine life including turtles and dolphins in the coastal waters. Book a massage at the Anantara spa, snorkel in the crystal blue ocean, kayak in the mangroves, rent a paddleboard, take a boat trip to a shipwreck or cycle the island at sunset ……. read more
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island, Al Ruwais, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 801 5400 Website: www.anantara.com/en/sir-bani-yas-abu-dhabi
Read more about places to stay and visit in Abu Dhabi HERE
Ajman, which is bordered on three sides by Sharjah, is reminiscent of a British seaside town, albeit with an Arabic twist. The five-star Fairmont Ajman is a huge, elegant hotel that certainly offers everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. There’s an abundance of dining options, leisure facilities, luxurious accommodation, friendly, helpful service and treatments at Nine Degrees spa.
The hotel’s distinct exterior and public areas are notably influenced by traditional Arabic design whereas in comparison the rooms, health club and spa are modern. Dining choices are varied at the eight different outlets that include the Cave Bar, an underground sports pub. Water sports are available on the beach and there’s a children’s entertainment programme at the kids club. Ajman is becoming popular as a golf destination, the Troon Golf 18-hole championship Al Zorah Golf Club is just a ten minute drive from the hotel ……. read more
Fairmont Ajman, Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Street, Ajman
Telephone: 06 701 5757 Website: www.fairmont.com/ajman/
Rixos Premium Dubai
The Rixos Premium Dubai, located at Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR), is a luxurious beachfront hotel in a favoured part of the city. The spacious contemporary rooms are stylish with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer spectacular views of the pool, beach and Arabian Gulf below. In-house dining options are complimented by popular independent venues such as NYC burger joint Black Tap, STK Steakhouse and lively music and sports bar Lock Stock & Barrel.
The Mediterranean inspired Azure Beach Club has a large infinity pool and swim-up bar. Poolside dining is also offered at the family-friendly Asian inspired restaurant, there’s also a shisha terrace and kids club. Treat yourself to a traditional Turkish hammam or a signature treatment at the spa. The hotel’s location on JBR is perfect for exploring the shops and restaurants at both The Walk and The Beach which has a cinema, watersports, 600m running track and outdoor gym. The Marina, The Palm and Bluewaters Island are nearby and the Dubai Tram (that connects to the Dubai Metro to explore further) is within walking distance ……. read more
Rixos Premium Dubai, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai
Telephone: 04 520 0000 Website: premiumdubai.rixos.com
Read more about places to stay and visit in Dubai HERE
Damani Lodges Resort, Hatta
If you are looking for a mountain glamping adventure and activity filled staycation then look no further than Hatta. Stay in a mountain side cabin, retro airstream or static caravan and enjoy an array of outdoor pursuits in the Hajar mountains. Hatta Wadi Hub is activity HQ and home to Damani Lodges Resort and the Caravan park. The family-friendly resort offers plenty to do with a range of free and paid activities. The airstreams are located at Sedr Trailer Park near Hatta Dam. Dining options are quite limited with only Hatta Wild Cafe and food trucks so bring your own food for a BBQ at one of the designated areas.
Activities such as archery, axe throwing and 3-wheeled downhill mountain carts are free but there are many paid pursuits too, an all-activity pass is available for those who want to try everything.. The hub also has Hatta Drop-in, the region’s first water jump park with a crazy jump, crazy slide, drop-in donuts and drop-in tracks. The Hatta Mountain Biking Trails (MTB) has four different levels and offers a MTB coaching facility with three dedicated areas for new riders, children and people with limited biking experience.
Mountain bikes are available to rent and there’s hiking trails that take you through wadis and different terrains of the Hajar mountains near the Oman border. Water based activities such as kayak rental, water bikes, donut boats and pedalos are run by Hatta Kayak and take place on the lake at Hatta Dam, a 15 minute drive from the Hub ……. read more
Damani Lodges Resort, Hatta Wadi Hub, Hatta
Telephone: 800-637227 (800 MERAAS) Website: visithatta.com
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa
Whether you are seeking an outdoor adventure trekking and camping in the regions highest mountain or looking for a luxury hotel experience, Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE’s northernmost emirate has it all. Relax at one of the many luxury beachfront hotels (day passes are available at most resorts too), hike in the Jebel Al Jais mountain range and ride the world’s longest zipline, explore the spice and fish markets and visit the mall, marina and 18-hole golf course at Al Hamra.
The enormous five-star Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa is nestled on a 1.5km stretch of private beach overlooking the Arabian Sea. The hotel features a traditional Arabic design and offers guests an abundance of facilities including seven swimming pools (with salt water, family and adult only pools), several restaurants and bars, spa, kids club, 24-hour gym and water sports centre. I highly recommend staying in one of the newly refurbished and spacious two bedroom villas that occupy one end of the resort on the beach front. The food options are a little disappointing considering the hotel’s five-star staus but you can opt for an all-inclusive package which gives you plenty of options ……. read more
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, Al Maareedh Street, Ras Al Khaimah
Telephone: 07 228 8844 Website:www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/uae/hilton-ras-al-khaimah-resort-and-spa
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah
Set in a prime location on the beach in Fujairah, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort has panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and a backdrop of the Hajar Mountains. This huge family-friendly hotel offers a variety of dining options and plenty of leisure activities including a large swimming pool, spa, fitness and water sports centres. Younger family members can be entertained at the Penguin Kids Club, children’s swimming pool and playground.
It’s an older hotel so while it might be quite dated the rooms are a good size and comfortable, family rooms are also available which makes it a good choice if you have younger children. The hotel’s location near Dibba makes it an ideal spot to take a traditional Dhow trip which I highly recommend. Cruise through the Musandam Fjords, spot dolphins, go snorkelling, fishing and some excursions also offer scuba diving ……. read more
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, PO Box 3070, Fujairah
Telephone: 09 244 9000 Website: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/fjrmd-le-meridien-al-aqah-beach-resort/
If you fancy something different why not try some desert or beach camping – click HERE for some ideas. Take a longer road trip across the border into Oman for some speculator scenery and an abundance of places to stay – click HERE for Oman suggestions.
All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2020. All rights reserved.