One of the highlights of my stay at Al Ain Rotana a couple of weekends ago was my much-needed pampering session at award-winning Zen the Spa.

Located on the newest wing of Al Ain Rotana, Zen the Spa has won a large number of accolades including nominations at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards for 3 consecutive years since 2016.

If you’ve been following my Insta Stories, you already know where we were last weekend 😊 We were in Al Ain, the ‘garden city’ of the UAE. We had a room booked at Al Ain Rotana, one of the oldest properties in the Emirate which also happens to be the only 5-star property of Al Ain as of now.

We drove into Al Ain a little past 12 noon on a Friday afternoon. Loved cruising through the near-empty roads! We were there in a little over an hour.

The beauty of the Al Ain Rotana property is its flat, spread-out structure. Not your typical towering hotel building here, but rather a collection of mid-heighted structures with a spread of exclusive villa properties, spacious greens and wide, inviting pool areas.

We had a wonderful stay at Danat Al Ain Resort, and one of the culinary highlights of our weekend away was dining at Tanjore. Although we have an endless set of options when it comes to Indian restaurants in the UAE, what sets Tanjore apart is its very history.

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The restaurant has been on the premises for nearly 3 decades, even before InterContinental became Danat Al Ain. It is, infact, Al Ain’s very first Indian fine-dining establishment and has an interesting little story behind it.

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.

We had a very memorable, chilled-out staycation at Hilton Al Ain. Our day was lined up with siestas in our suite, splashes by the pool, and a delicious lineup of gastronomy at Flavours restaurant and Makani Cafe.

Hilton Al Ain is also renowned for Paco’s, Al Ain’s most happening Tex-Mex bar featuring award-winning live entertainment by a very talented band called “Steel”.

Paco's Tex Mex bar Al Ain nightlife review The Tezzy Files travel lifestyle food blog UAE (1)

Our staycation at Hilton Al Ain involved a great deal of snoozing, floating about the poolside and having an idle lunch at Flavours restaurant. Our dinner reservation was made at Makani Cafe, Hilton Al Ain’s open-aired restaurant specializing in Arabic grills and shisha.

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Click of the front entrance of Makani Cafe, taken in the morning light.

Flavours Restaurant at Hilton Al Ain is the hotel’s all-day dining venue. The restaurant has recently been renovated, and features stunning Arabesque decor.

During our staycation at Hilton Al Ain, this was the very first restaurant we tried out. We got to the hotel around noon, dumped our luggage in our suite, and after a quick cup of tea, we headed to Flavours for their international buffet lunch.

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.

Hilton Al Ain staycation review The Tezzy Files travel lifestyle food blog UAE Dubai Sharjah Abu Dhabi (19)

Hilton Al Ain staycation review The Tezzy Files travel lifestyle food blog UAE Dubai Sharjah Abu Dhabi (20)
A postcard featuring an areal view of Hilton Al Ain in 1971

Last Thursday saw us in Al Ain. For my day job, I put on the marketing hat for a retail giant here in the UAE, and we will be opening our very first store in Remal Mall this month.

Remal Mall is the newest addition to the mall scene in Al Ain, and is strategically located in the populated residential area of Al Sanaiya. So far only 30% of the mall is operational, and the management plan to have it up in full swing by the end of this year.

The mall has a distinctively Arabesque architecture, and after my meeting with the management, I discovered the perfect place to sit down and relax: the food-court on the topmost floor leads to the roof of the mall, and has a number of cushy seats for idly enjoying the evening breeze. I can envision this space being taken over by a shisha lounge in the near future!