Have you noticed how trying to book a weekend away is a logistical nightmare in this city with so much to entice you each weekend? However, sometimes you just need to say enough is enough and click that ‘Decline’ button on yet another facebook event and resist that discounted offer for your eighth brunch this year (it’s only the end of February you know) and get out of the city for a couple of days.
There is no better place than the east coast to escape the skyscrapers and socialites and if you’re looking for affordable luxury, with a whole host of activities on offer to keep you entertained, then the Fujairah Rotana is the perfect choice on the Al Aqah strip. While it may not have all the excessive glamour of its Dubai counterparts what this hotel lacks in opulent chandeliers and extortionate price tags it makes up for in hospitality and charm – by the bucket loads.
Perfect for a family escape the hotel has the feel of an old-school holiday resort (think the Kellerman’s resort in the film DirtyDancing) with tannoy announcements throughout the day tempting you with aqua aerobics sessions, volley ball matches and fun games for kids. The staff are super (and genuinely) friendly and always on hand to make sure that you don’t miss out on any activities, or if you do it’s because you have a cocktail in your hand.
Duck out of the office on a Thursday afternoon and if the picturesque drive through the majestic mountains of the east coast doesn’t dissolve the stresses of the working week then the infectious smiles and hearty hospitality that awaits you at the Fujairah Rotana will certainly do the trick. By sunset, as you enjoy a brightly coloured drink in beach bar Sharkey’s, you are guaranteed to feel 100% in holiday mode. Start the weekend here, slowly reclining in comfy sofas, looking out over the Indian Ocean, before moving on to the adjacent Waves restaurant for a fine dining experience to the soundtrack of the ocean. This is alfresco dining at its best, with wooden gazebos resting on the golden sand and a star-filled sky that is free from the shackles of big city light pollution.
By day the Fujairah Rotana is all about fun, fun, fun – however you like to order it. You can relax at the pool while the kids enjoy the waterslide and organised games or indulge in a full-body massage at the spa while your little ones check out the kids club. If you’re all about the sports and activities there is the ubiquitous beach volleyball – with sideline beverage buckets of course – or perhaps a spot of tennis. And when the ocean beckons a whole array of watersports are on offer from parasailing to kayaking.
Whether you’re with the family, your other half or have got a group of friends together for a weekend of fun in the sun you can write your own weekend recipe and sample as little or as much that the resort has to offer.
After a fun-filled day you can treat yourself to total culinary indulgence in the buffet restaurant Mozaique which, as is the case with the entire hotel, has not compromised substance for style. A relaxed atmosphere and welcoming attitude underline all aspects of the Fujairah Rotana and while the finishings of this delightful resort may not be crafted by a hoity European architectural artist the rooms and facilities are comfortable and inviting. After sampling a few too many deserts, Tabu bar beckons with the promise of a contortionist belly dancer and spot of Karaoke, resort-style.
And what would be shunned by the there-to-be-seen crowd in Dubai is unavoidable fun in Fujairah. As they say– what goes on tour, stays on tour...