The Meydan Hotel is not somewhere I would have even thought of when booking a baby moon destination but my sister Ceara very generously gave us a voucher for a one-night stay in the Meydan and we were very excited to try it out.
I had been to the Meydan a few times before with visitors (a great sundowner idea after a day of shopping) so I knew that the hotel itself was very impressive but I didn’t expect the rooms to be so big and almost futuristic in style. There is a nice slow pace to the hotel which provides a very relaxed atmosphere, you would never know that you are in the heart of Dubai.
I loved the roof top pool which overlooked the race track and we spent an entire afternoon sunning ourselves. I usually don’t have the patience to just lounge around and prefer to be out doing something productive but the laid back atmosphere of the hotel and the great view from the rooftop made for a nice, languorous afternoon. We arranged for a golf cart to take us to Qube Sports Lounge for lunch where Simon was eager to catch a rugby score and I enjoyed a nice snack in a comfortable sports bar setting.
Later that evening after a nice bath and cup of tea on the terrace we invited our friends to join us in Prime Steakhouse for dinner and boy did it not disappoint! I had heard from a number of people that this particular restaurant is one of the best steakhouses in Dubai and a firm favourite of Sheikh Mo himself. We were all impressed by the fantastic service and attention to detail (our steaks were flame grilled in front of us) and for the four of us it was quite reasonably priced too.
The Indian Ocean and the Hajjar Mountains get me every time. This hotel is the perfect weekend spot. Aside from the superb location, the staff are super attentive and the food is excellent. While it’s not the kind of hotel you might ordinarily be used to in Dubai, there is a special kind of charm and character about the place that is due largely in part to the hotel’s beach side location.
Sharkey’s Beach Bar for lunch is a definite hit and we have enjoyed many a cocktail with friends in Tropicana Pool Bar over the years in an attempt to escape the urban hustle and bustle of UAE life.
In the evenings we found Mozaique Restaurant to be a nice spot for dinner and the last time we dined there they even gave us a voucher to stay in their Media City Rotana branch (it came in very handy after the jazz fest) which was a lovely touch. If you are only staying one night then the Grilled Seafood Platter at Waves Beach Restaurant is not to be missed!
Book in advance in order to get a good deal as all the hotels in Fujairah book up quickly during holiday season.
If Abu Dhabi is where you are headed then look no further than the Yas Viceroy. The hotel is sort of built in and around the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit and its decor mimics that sleek and clean vibe that you find down on the track. You have the option of watching the high speed races or laying out by the pool if that doesn’t tickle your fancy.And what an incredible roof top pool it is! Sometimes all we need is some sun and a swim in order to unwind.
Check the “special offers” section of the website to get a good deal on a weekend break. We enjoyed the buffet at Origins International Cuisine one of the nights ,which was very nice, and I do remember an extensive breakfast the following morning.
While there is not a whole pile in terms of resort entertainment, the hotel is perfectly located to venture out to places like Yas Water World, Yas Mall, Sheikh Zayed Mosque or, as we have done on occasion, use it for a base when heading to Abu Dhabi for a concert. Yas Viceroy guests do have complimentary transfers and access to Yas Beach where, if you are feeling a little adventurous, you could do a tour of the eastern mangroves.
One of the most enjoyable weekend breaks we’ve ever enjoyed was in the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah in Oman. It was absolutely worth the (crazy) six hour drive from Dubai to Muscat on a Thursday night and back again on a Saturday.
There is something incredibly special about Muscat anyway but the Shangri-La is a true 124 acre haven away from the hustle and bustle of UAE life. Firstly, the hotel itself is set amidst a dramatic backdrop, nestled into a huge mountain face on the shores of the Sea of Oman. Whilst it is not the shiny new hotels we are used to in Dubai, what it lacks in modernity it more than makes up for in location, service and ambiance.
The evenings at the resort are so incredibly relaxing and one can’t help but feel the 1001 Arabian nights vibe. The Thursday night we arrived we chilled at the tapas bar and sat back in awe of the beautiful surroundings.
On Friday morning we enjoyed the most incredible breakfast buffet (complete with raw Omani honey on fresh labneh and hot pancakes) before hitting the beautiful white sandy beach for a morning of reading and swims. We also took advantage of the lazy river that runs throughout the resort which was a lot of fun and probably a highlight of the resort.
Later that evening after watching the sun go down on the beach we got dressed and drove into the city (about a half an hour jaunt up and down the rugged mountain pass) to go to the Royal Opera House where we watched the Stuttgart Ballet Company. The arts are very much invested in by the Sultan of Oman and the Royal Opera house is no exception, this iconic construction is absolutely incredible and we enjoyed an amazing comic ballet performance of ‘The Taming of the Shrew”.
Next time I plan on availing of the many water sports as well as a cheeky spa visit!
It is true that in the UAE we are absolutely spoilt when it comes to the beautiful hotels and resorts that we have available to us at almost every turn. In our experience nothing compares to the beauty of the Cove Rotana Resort in Ras Al Khamiah. We have been escaping to this hotel on and off since it was first built a few years ago.
The hotel has a distinct Grecian feel to it (maybe it is the architecture of the villas on what seems to be a cliff face) but it is still very much an idyllic Arabian resort located on the pristine Ras Al Khamiah coast. It comes as no surprise that the hotel won 2015’s “Best Luxury Coastal Resort” award.
I highly recommend Basilico Mediterranean Restaurant‘s Friday brunch. We went there several times with Louise and James when Alexander was a baby and it was always a relaxed and delicious affair.
While I haven’t tried the spa myself, I’ve bought treatments for a few friends over the years as gifts and they have all raved about the experience.
Check out the Rotana Escapes section of the website where at the moment they have a weekend escape package that includes a 1 night stay, breakfast buffet, dinner at Cinnamon and a 60 minute couples massage.
Even if you can’t stay over night, a drive down to Breakers on the Beach on your day off to enjoy an iced latte on the coast is truly one of the most relaxing things to do in the UAE.