Last weekend, I flooded my Insta Stories with live updates from our weekend away at Radisson Blu Ajman. This is one of the Radisson Blu group’s newest hotels and opened its doors a little over a year ago.
Located in a quiet corner of the industrial heart of Ajman, the grandeur of the hotel façade stands out with its European-inspired arched windows and astute driveway. The location is actually ideal for tourists wanting to explore the Northern Emirates as it is just off-road from the E11 highway that connects Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.
Ajman is probably the most underrated Emirate of the UAE, but there is so much to see and do here. First off, a weekend away in Ajman proves to be a peaceful respite from the glitz and glam of Dubai city life. Moreover, a stay at Radisson Blu gives easy access to a number of Ajman attractions:
- Al Zorah, the Jack Nicklaus designed 18-hole golf course is just a 10-minute drive away. But you don’t have to play golf to enjoy the scenic beauty of this lush green oasis. Al Zorah also offers a number of family-friendly outdoor activities including kayaking through mangroves inhabited with wildlife, wakeboarding and archery.
- Festival Land is located right opposite Al Zorah, and offers a range of family entertainment, cultural events and fun filled rides.
- Marina 1 is the latest hot-spot of Ajman, and the area is dotted with enticing eateries and family-friendly activations.
- Bargain hunters need to make a trip to China Mall, Ajman’s answer to Dubai’s ever-popular Dragon Mall that is filled with everything you may be looking for and more.
- And if you are more of a mall shopper, City Centre Ajman is just a kilometer away from Radisson Blu!
But to be honest, I didn’t step out of the hotel once we got checked in! Radisson Blu Ajman has an old-world charm about it despite being brand new. The plush carpeting and the hushed tones at the reception had me on chilled out mode. The staff are courteous, and the bell-boy took over the responsibility of our luggage as soon as we got off the car.
We started off with a hearty lunch at Larder & Lounge, Radisson Blu’s all-day dining restaurant. The lunch features a buffet of starters including a hot soup of the day, an array of breads and spreads, intercontinental salads and dessert. The mains are to be ordered from a set lunch menu.
I went for the grilled fish and stir-fried noodles, and my daughter had the Kadai Chicken which came with a bowl of rice, daal and paratha. The portion sizes here are generously large. We could have easily shared a main-course between the two of us.
The heavy lunch had me craving a siesta, and our luxurious Executive Suite with its divinely comfortable queen bed was a dream come true.
Our room was equipped with all the standard hotel amenities including complimentary WIFI that doesn’t require any sign-in, a 32” television with new-age Apple connectivity and a wide range of channels, bath and body amenities, a mini fridge, a safe and hair-drier. I only wished our room had a tub; my bubble bath went unused. But what impressed me most was the espresso machine. I’ve stayed in quite a number of hotels across the UAE and being a coffee snob I usually go sans coffee in the room as I detest the over-sweet Nescafe sachets. At Radisson Blu Ajman, I was on a caffeine high!
We had a pool-view room, and the very sight of the pool had my little mermaid of a daughter go hyper with excitement. We headed to the pool late into the afternoon. The pool has not one but 2 lifeguards on duty, and there are plenty of pool-deck seating with and without the shade. The recreational pool includes a baby pool for little ones, and a public jacuzzi where I spent most of the afternoon.
We headed to Radisson Blu Ajman’s signature Italian restaurant Filini for dinner, click here for more details on our experience.
Back in our room, we connected the television to my Netflix account and watched ‘Going for Gold’, a story about a cheerleading squad. Nothing like a light-hearted chic flick to end the night on a happy note.
A room booking at Radisson Blu Ajman includes complimentary breakfast at Larder & Lounge. The selection here is quite impressive. They have a wide range of cereals, oats and porridge, a live station for eggs, waffles and pancakes the way you want them, and a selection of international beakfast favorites that also included Indian uppama and Arabic foul medammes. My favorite at the breakfast was this ultra large hand-held orange juice squeezer. I tried my hand at making my own glass full of freshly squeezed orange juice and seeing my plight a kind staff member came to help. The juice was delicious!
The reception staff were kind enough to give us a late checkout of 3 pm, so we had ample time to hit the pool once again before lunch.
I later got to know that Radisson Blu Ajman has a private beach 15 minutes away and provides a shuttle service for guests. I wish I was informed about this, for surely my little one would have loved an afternoon of sea and sand.
We were back in Larder & Lounge for lunch. Every Saturday from 12.30 to 3.30 pm, the restaurant runs its very popular ‘Kebabs & Kurries’ buffet that starts at AED 95 per head.
I loved how the entire restaurant had changed its theme so swiftly since breakfast! By lunch, there was a life-sized chaat crate at the entrance, the tables were lined with red and gold Indian napkins and the walls were bejeweled with exotic Rajasthani mannequins.
I started my Indian lunch at the chaat crate. I had one too many Pani Puri’s and a plate of Papdi Chaat.
The soup of the day was Daal Sorba. After a bowl of soup, I checked out the salad counter. Loved the Rice Curd and the Dahi Bhalla here.
If you are a fan of curries, you really are spoilt for choice at the Kebabs & Kurries lunch. They’ve got North and South Indian cuisines covered, and on offer was a Palak Gosht, Chicken Korma, Chicken Bukhara, Malabar Fish, Paneer Kali Mirch. Loved the Palak Gosht, but my favorite was the mildly spicy and sinfully creamy Chicken Bukhara.
The Kebabs are served fresh off the grill right at the table. I’d recommend asking for an assorted platter, after which you can reorder the kebabs of your choice. My favorites were the Tandoori Fish and the succulently soft and flavorful Lamb Kebab.
Ending on a sweet note, the desserts at the Kebabs & Kurries lunch were absolutely delicious! They had a range of Indian favorites including crunchy-sweet jalebi, carrot halwa, decadently rich rabdi and ras malai. However, my favorite was the Shahi Tukda, aka Indian toasted bread served with reduced sweetened milk.
Back in the room, I had my last shot of espresso before packing up to head back home. The check-out service is fast and smooth, with luggage being loaded into our car before the valet announced its arrival. My daughter got friendly with the reception team and loaded her pockets with the complimentary jelly sweets they had on offer.
Overall, we had a very pleasant stay at Radisson Blu Ajman. The hotel proved to be the perfect respite from the daily humdrum of city life, and next time I will try to book in an extra day to explore Ajman city and their private beach!