A little less than 3 weeks ago, we drove for nearly 2.5 hours for our next staycation at the Le Meridien Al Aqah Resort in Fujairah. It was a lovely drive through the endless mountains of the northern emirates. However, the journey from Abu Dhabi seemed excruciatingly long and we were hoping that our two day stay would be totally worth it.
The entrance to the hotel was simple. But hey! don't let that fool you. Check-in was swift and while we were there, we were offered a glass of chilled apple juice. It felt so refreshing after the heat and long drive.
ROOM - Our room which was a Royal Club room was on the 17 floor of the building. The moment I entered the room, I saw "BLUE". Yes, the Indian Ocean was right in front of me. And even before exploring the room, I headed straight to the balcony to enjoy a breathtaking view.
All the rooms here face the sea while the other side faces the mountains. Our room was spacious and bright in shades of grey, red and white. It gave us a homely feel. The beautiful work of art on the wall caught my attention. The bathroom was spacious and well equipped. The only drawback was that the AC didn't seem to work well on the first day. However, when we informed the staff they immediately sent the technician over and got it repaired. We enjoyed complimentary wi-fi too.
During our stay, the talented housekeeping team surprised us with a towel dog and a heart made of roses. Something that we really loved and appreciated.
RECREATIONAL FACILITIES - Le Meridien Al Aqah has a lovely swimming pool and a beach. The pool has a shallow side for the kids as well as water features. Do not miss out on the delicious cocktails in their pool bar!
We explored the beach too. As we waddled in the waters of the Indian Ocean, we saw a number of people enjoining water sports like parasailing, doughnut rides and other cool stuff.
For kids and teens, there were larger than life size games such as snakes & ladders and a little cinema as well.
DINING - The hotel has a number of restaurants and bars. So, there's plenty of dining options if you are staying here on a long term basis. We tried two of the restaurants during our stay - Taste and Gonu. The buffet breakfast at Taste was good. It wasn't too big but it had everything that you'd expect from a buffet with a kids corner too. There was a live egg station and a choice of fruits, salads, cheese, cereals as well as Indian stuff like puri bhaji.
For dinner, we headed to Taste again. This time we didn't opt for buffet and chose a-la-carte instead. The menu had a good selection of dishes from around the world. Their creamy seafood soup is a definite must-try!
We visited Gonu Bar & Grill for dinner on the second night where we enjoyed scrumptious seafood by the beach accompanied by lovely music. To our luck, the weather seemed pretty good that evening. And even though we were outdoors, it was comfortable. The grilled squids at Gonu were absolutely delicious. The squids were so fresh. Gonu also arranges romantic candlelight dinners for couples on the beach. The setup was stunning!
CLUB LOUNGE - Since we stayed in a Club Room, we were allowed to access the Club Lounge. I loved the Club Lounge for its view. Soft drinks and warm beverages were available throughout the day. However, light snacks were served only for a hour in the evening, which I found rather disappointing. Some of the hotels that we'd stayed in earlier (including Le Meridien) served finger food atleast thrice a day. The selection of snacks were good though. Plenty of sandwiches, quiche, sweet treats and more. Later, we were told that they do prepare sandwiches on request. However, it was too late.
Overall, we had a great stay. The staff are super friendly and the service is great. With the exception of a few minor details, we were very well taken care off. The resort is child-friendly and offers a great getaway for residents and tourists alike.
Staycations are meant only for weekends...said no one ever! When my husband had a 2-day conference at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Abu Dhabi and decided to stay at Traders Hotel QAB, I was ecstatic. This would be a mid-week staycation ... atleast for me.
Traders Hotel is just a 20-minute drive away from Abu Dhabi downtown and located in the Qaryat Al Beri complex. It is a four- star hotel and a part of Shangri-La. Though a bit away from the city, it is exactly what you need if you're looking for some peace and quite.
The hotel lobby is the first thing that you'll notice when you enter this stylish hotel. It is beautiful with a splash of vibrant colours. Definitely gave us some good vibes! The only drawback was the parking. The hotel does not have a parking structure of its own. You have to either park your vehicle across the road or use their valet parking service. We opted for the latter. Check in was swift and on our request, we were given a room with a partial sea view.
On entering our room, we were rather stunned at how big our room was. It was furnished with stylish contemporary decor, using warm tones and created a relaxing, comfortable environment. It was so spacious, you could literally have a party in there! We were greeted with a welcome message on the TV. On the table, was a bowl of fresh fruits. The bathroom was well equipped with bath amenities and had a tub as well as a rain shower. Oooh and the bed was so soft (tried & tested immediately).... it literally took the shape of my body! Internet was complimentary.
To me, the hotel seemed like a good choice for business as well as leisure. I did not see many families around though, probably because I was in the room most of the time.
The hotel has its own private beach. The moment we sat down on our sun loungers we were offered a bottle of complimentary ice cold water each. I personally liked the idea. It provided some relief from the scorching heat. There was a bar near the beach where we could order drinks or smoke shisha.
The outdoor pool and gym is located on the first floor. I did not visit the gym but I did visit the pool. Although not very big, it was good enough and wasn't crowded. There was a pool bar right next to the pool that had "happy hour" going on.
Besides the pool bar, the hotel has two other restaurants - Lobby Lounge and Afya. While Lobby Lounge is good for drinks and snacks, Afya serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also have a fantastic in-room dining menu with dishes from around the world. Besides the pool bar, we did not try any of the other restaurants. Instead we walked over to the The Souk next door.
On the whole, I loved my time at Traders Hotel. They were even kind enough to give us a late checkout until 2 p.m. The prices are affordable and it definitely offers far more than what you would expect from a four-star hotel.
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