Last weekend, my wee family and I headed off to Ras AL Khaimah for a staycation at Acacia Hotel. A drive across the brilliantly red dunes with scenic views of the sea heading towards Um Al Quwain is always a retreat in itself for city dwellers like ourselves.

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Acacia Hotel, operated under Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts, is a 4 star property located in the heart of the industrial area of Ras Al Khaimah. The property was built in 2010, and has an airy, welcoming vibe about it. The check-in process here was smooth, and as we got there at 2.30 pm (and the buffet lunch closes at 3.30 pm!) we dumped our belongings in our Junior Suite and headed off to Al Nakhla.

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I am insanely jealous of all the UAE residents who get to hibernate off to exotic locations across the globe just when the summer heat starts spiking up. With no holidays clocked up at work, I have to make do with the weekends. But hey! Living in the UAE, we are spoilt for choice with some of the best hotels and resorts.

 

Ringing in the end of July, my little fambam and I packed up the four-wheeler and headed to the greener pastures of Al Ain. I feel a sense of calm just driving into Al Ain. It must be the lush greenery and the absence of towering, tall buildings that city dwellers like me silently crave.

 

We were invited for a staycation at Danat Al Ain Resort. The Danat collection of properties expands across the UAE, and this includes the Tilal Liwa Hotel we had visited around this time last year. I for one love a property that reflects the cultural vibes of its adopted home country (unlike the very commercial run of the mill properties that look identical regardless of where you are). Every property under the Danat collection has been accentuated with a touch of Arabesque charm.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have noticed my overflow of Insta Stories from last weekend. My wee family and I were invited over for a staycation at Media One Hotel, and I have to say this has to be one the most Instagram-worthy hotel stays I’ve been to in Dubai!

 

Media One Hotel had us click-happy for a number of reasons. First off, its so refreshingly different from the staycations I’ve been to in the recent past. Media One Hotel makes suave, ‘run of the mill’ sophisticated, uptight interiors look so cliche! This 4 star property can best be described as an artsy boutique concept and has, so far, been a well-kept secret among Media City coworkers. 

We went on a mini road trip to the capital last weekend, and decided to spend the last few days of Ramadan in Centro Capital Centre. Conveniently located in the hub of Abu Dhabi’s business district, this 3-star property has proven to be a very popular hotel among business executives. The pricing is very reasonable without compromising on the quality of the experience itself.

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Infact we had a dejavous experience! Walking into the lobby, I mistook this property to be Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana And even told the receptionist I’ve been here before! When we stayed at Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, we were upgraded to a suite but they don’t have suites in Centro Capital Centre. The bedding, the sofa and even the accessories look identical to our last stay, with everything being compressed into a smaller, cozier space.

Last weekend saw our little family packing up our overnight bags and heading off to the capital. Located in the heart of the financial hub of Abu Dhabi, Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana seems to be an unlikely choice for a family getaway. With offices and convention centres a stone’s throw away, the hotel has a regular influx of business guests. However, much to our delight, the property also proved to be a nest of comfort as a home away from home.

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About a week ago, I headed off with the family for a mini break to Tilal Liwa Hotel. Located 175 kilometers beyond central Abu Dhabi, Tilal Liwa Hotel is located in Madinat Zayed – the Western region of Abu Dhabi, in close proximity to the Saudi border. Getting to the hotel from Dubai entails an infinitely long road-trip across the desert, and adds to the thrill of adventure and exploring a brand new territory right in our very own backyard.

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Tilal Liwa Hotel is a strikingly Arabesque 4-star property that was originally created for VIP guests and royalty visiting the annual Camel Beauty Contest. Yes, such a thing exists – and only in the UAE! Celebrating its tenth year, this event showcases the best breeds of camels both from the UAE and beyond. During the event, the occupancy at Tilal Liwa is on record high. However, given the unique concept of this beautiful property, the hotel has been opened up to the public and is slowly but surely gaining a steady stream of tourists and local staycationers alike.

Playing tourist in my own city, the family and I headed out for a staycation at Manzil Downtown last weekend. Located at the heart of Downtown Dubai, just a stone’s throw away from The Dubai Mall and closeup views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, Manzil Downtown is the perfect choice for tourists and residents alike.

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‘Manzil’ translates to ‘home’ in Arabic, and with its minimalist design accentuated with Arabesque decor, this hotel is an ideal place to unwind. Despite being a long-term resident of Dubai, Manzil Downtown made us forget we are in the center of the city. The ambiance is one of serenity and calm, and the staff are well versed, efficient, and very hospitable.

The weekend before last, we had the pleasure of being invited by Hilton Al Ain for a mini break. Did you know that this is the very first international hotel to have opened on UAE soil? Hilton Al Ain opened its doors to the public way back in 1971, and has an impressively long list of celebrity vacationers with the likes of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Their Majesties – The King and Queen of Spain, and legendary boxing champion Mohammed Ali himself.

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A postcard featuring an areal view of Hilton Al Ain in 1971

Flying into Sharjah? A stay at Centro Sharjah might be just what you are looking for.

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The stylishly contemporary lifestyle business hotel is a stone’s throw away from Sharjah International Airport (we could even see the airport from our window!), and my family and I had the pleasure of being invited to try it out for ourselves last weekend.