The UAE has a new kid on the beach block. The Oberoi Beach Resort and Spa, Al Zorah, in the Emirate of Ajman has only just opened its doors during the first week of April 2017. It is yet another impressive architectural masterpiece set on our shores. Are you looking for a staycation in the UAE over the summer months or just somewhere to get away for the weekend? Read on.
Drive time - an easy hour from The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, to the valet of the hotel. The resort has yet to open all of its facilities, but the management is in the process of finalising all of this. Therefore, the bike trail through the mangroves, bird watching, kayaking, jet skiing, all beach sports and activities will be coming soon. The hotel complex itself has been designed to be a major resort with a golf course, marina, residential complex, luxury hotel accommodation, spa but we will need to wait for the completion of the entire resort.
The hotel building, swimming pool, spa, gym, restaurants and main reception are well and truly open. It is managed by the uber luxurious Oberoi Group, that boasts many fine establishments all over the world, as part of its property portfolio. In fact, the hotel had flown in its General Managers from its Bali and Mauritius resorts so as to ensure 5 star service for those seeking a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
As soon as you arrive at the valet service, the staff jump into action with a smile, taking the luggage and directing you to the lobby area and reception for check-in. Again, the staff welcome you with a smile and are eager to check you in with speed, professionalism and offer a cold fruit cocktail and jasmine scented hand towel.
Well hey, a jasmine scented cold hand towel just starts you thinking have you arrived the Maldives or Ajman! You automatically know that this is setting the bar for what is to come.....
Nadeem was genuinely pleased to check me in and discuss the hotel features, and at my request, the lobby design - simple, stylish and very chic. Nadeem, an Arabic, English and Japanese speaker was at-hand when ever I had a question or needed anything throughout my stay.
The hotel has been split into, effectively, two buildings. Building one is where the lobby, reception and library are and the other building (where I stayed) was a short walk away. The two buildings are identically designed but are separated. I am unsure why this is, but architecturally, very pleasing to the eye as the buildings are mostly made of glass with wooden outdoor panels and a very large water feature separating the two. I was told that an Italian designer was responsible for all the interiors, which I have to say is just beautiful. I was showed to my sea-facing room by the wonderful Priya, who's personality was truly lovely and her knowledge of the resort was second to none. Having worked for the Oberoi Group for six years, she had a wealth of knowledge to impart and was truly enthusiastic about welcoming me to my king-size (premier) room.
WOW - this is, by far, the largest king-size hotel bedroom, with balcony, I have ever stayed in - globally. This even beats the USA for size. It might as well have been called a junior suite, and everything is absolutely brand new and very modern. Electric curtains with black out, a swivel TV, Italian tiles in the bathroom, an electric blind for privacy separating the bathroom with the bedroom, a walk in closet with leather shoe holders. There is nothing any one can moan about, and there is a selection of pillows for your comfort and fresh milk in the fridge, should you want a cup of tea/coffee.
The hotel accommodation buildings are not situated on the beach. Whilst you get a sea view you do not get a sea shore view as the gym, spa and private villas (with private pools) for families or larger group of guests, are situated between you and the beach.
Let me jump to the pool.......it is a whopping 80 meters in length, perfectly chilled and all the sun loungers, cabanas, umbrellas, towels, side tables with baskets are of superior quality. There are life guards on duty and ample staff to cater to all your requirements. Upon arrival, again the staff are quick to roll-out the beach towels on the super comfortable sun loungers and within a few minutes - just when you thought things could not get any better - you are given complimentary water, a fresh homemade strawberry popsicle and a luxury brand face purifying spray. Food, drinks and cocktails are served throughout the day at pool side.
The beach, which is a short walk from the pool in under development but I can see there will be cabanas, beach volley ball and plenty of activities for all ages.
Currently, there are two restaurants. A fine dining (indoor and al fresco seating options) which specialises in seafood, called Aquario and the other is an all-day dining (including breakfast) restaurant, which caters to all appetites, tastes and eating timings. Again, the staff go out of their way to ensure that you enjoy the food, and should you have a taste for something that's not on the menu, the chef will do his best to accommodate.
During my stay, I did manage to try the gym but not the yoga and pilates - which has a separate section in the gym. The American-made gym equipment is state-of-the-art, and, for once, the 45 minutes of treadmill and cycling machine flew by! The gym is light, open and airy surrounded by glass yet the air conditioning was the perfect temperature. There are plenty of towels and complimentary water, so no one needs to get dehydrated.
After the gym, the spa was calling my name! I opted for the Balinesian, full body, one hour massage. My therapist Mukti, the treatment room, the temperature, the treatment bed, the ambience, the room scent, music level, explanation of what I was going to have done, amount of oil used and quality was all first class. The rate for an hour is the same as any other hotel in Dubai around the AED 500 mark.
There are many many hotel options in the UAE ranging in price, luxury, ambience, facilities and activities on offer for a staycation. This property might not be everyone's cup of tea as it is quite small, only has the one swimming pool and there's something quite grown-up about it. Currently, in its form today, there are other hotels that cater better for families while the Oberoi Beach Resort and Spa, Al Zorah, offers tranquility, relaxation, luxury and great service with a smile.
Have you been yet? Would you like to go? If you want to make plans or just want more information - please click here. Happy Saturday - go make some UAE memories!
The CitiSpi Team