Five Luxury ‘Staycations’ in the UAE
For long weekends, the places to go.
Book yourself into one of these 5 hotels in the UAE.
Kingfisher Lodge (pictured above)
The eco-friendly lodge located in Sharjah near the Omani border has 25 luxury tents, each with their own swimming pool. There is another tent that has been converted into a wellness spa too. The tent in which guests stay opens out to views of the Indian Ocean and to mangroves which are a breeding ground for turtles and rare bird species. You can keep busy during your stay by booking activities such as kayaking, hiking or even signing up for a bird watching exercise.
Kingfisher Lodge, Sharjah Kalba, Al Bahaies, Kalba Cornish, Sharjah, from Dhs1,300 excluding taxes and fees. Tel: (09) 228 2176. shurooq.gov.ae
Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort
The art-inspired resort has 180 guest rooms, with the most opulent being the 360 sqm Royal Suite. Of the various dining options on the property, a favourite is the Copper Lobster headed up by executive chef Giovanni Pugliano. There’s a special marina built here and the staff will provide the necessary gear including kayaks, paddle boats and water skis, should you want to partake in some marine activities.
Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort, Mina Al Fajer, Dibba, Fujairah, from Dhs600 per person excluding taxes and fees. Tel: (09) 204 1111. fairmont.com/fujairah
Zaya Nurai Island
The Nurai island is located close to Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi and is accessed via a 10-min speedboat ride from Saadiyat. There are 32 one-bedroom villas on the island which is entirely car-free. Although each villa has its own pool, the larger common pool located near the beach is where you’ll find the guests duly congregating every day. Each villa has a Bose entertainment system and is finished with wood floors and floor-to-ceiling white drapes. Their star restaurant, Olive, is open all day and serves up Mediterranean fare. If you’re in on a Friday, be sure to book the Friday brunch at the hotel which includes five hot courses and a cold buffet.
JA Fort Hotel Hatta
If you are a mountain person, more than you are an ocean one, head to this hotel which is surrounded by the Hajjar mountains. This hotel, 1 of the older ones in the UAE, was built in Y 1981 but through refurbishments along the way has managed to stay fresh and contemporary in its appearance. There are 48 chalet-style rooms which have exposed stone walls and pitched wood ceilings. The buffet breakfast at Café Gazebo is reason enough to convince yourself that it’s well worth it to get an early start to the day.
JA Hatta Fort Hotel, Hatta, rates start from Dhs625 per person including breakfast (excluding discount). Tel: (04) 814 5400. jaresortshotels.com
The Polynesian-themed resort is located close to Bollywood Parks, Legoland and Motiongate. That means there are plenty of entertainment options to keep the young ones entertained if you’re planning a staycation with children. The 504-key hotel includes 60 suites and three private villas. There’s a kids club on the premises too if you prefer the children stay within the resort. There are plenty of dining options including the all-day dining venue Kalea, and an exhaustive Friday brunch spread. If shopping is also on the agenda during the staycation, head to The Outlet Village located close to the resort that offers massive discounts on brands from Roberto Cavalli to Hugo Boss.
Lapita Hotel, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, from Dhs1,200 a night. Tel: (04) 810 9999. dubaiparksandresorts.com
Enjoy the weekend
By Varun Godinho
Paul Ebeling, Editor