Al Ain Rotana
Time Out Says
Why we like it:• Stylishly designed and spacious rooms
• Great for families and couples alike, with plenty of space and a choice of two swimming pools
• Perfectly located to explore Al Ain, very close to Al Jahili Fort and Al Ain Oasis
Location: After a leisurely drive along Al Ain’s palm tree-lined roads – and over its slightly less leisurely collection of roundabouts – the Al Ain Rotana is easy to spot. The complex is comprised of white-washed buildings, in keeping with the architectural style of the city, while the main reception building has a gleaming glass-fronted façade. History is right on the doorstep of the hotel, with Al Jahili Fort just across the road.
Character: The sleek style of the exterior continues inside, with a vast atrium providing a bright and airy welcome. There are protruding glass lifts gliding up and down the back wall, while the centre of the space features plush Arabesque seating. The Arabian-inspired theme continues throughout the hotel, from the lanterns that light up the outdoor pathways to the decorative archways and ornamental urns dotted around the property.
Service: Wherever we went in the hotel, we found unwaveringly friendly and helpful staff. Hearty greetings met us upon arrival and the service level remained high throughout. The check-in process was smooth and swift; we were invited to enjoy some Arabic coffee and dates during the short wait. All queries were met with efficiency and a smile, and the staff seemed genuinely pleased to interact with the guests.
Rooms: We stayed in a Falaj Studio, one of the property’s most recent additions. The studio is a spacious 51 sq m with a living room, two bathrooms, one bedroom and a kitchen. The well-equipped kitchen has a washing machine, oven and fridge-freezer, making it ideal for families or those planning an extended stay. A patio door from the living room leads directly to one of the hotel’s two swimming pools, this one with a swim-up bar.
The Falaj Studios also come with underground parking, convenient all-year round and particularly welcome during the summer. In addition, the hotel has a selection of classic and premium rooms, chalets, villas and suites.
Restaurants & bars: Al Ain Rotana is home to a branch of Polynesian restaurant and bar Trader Vic’s. We visited on a busy Friday night, when both the restaurant and bar sections were bustling. Despite the crowds, including a party of 16 diners arriving at the same time as us, service was excellent throughout.
Trader Vic’s serves Chinese-inspired food and we opted for one of their wood fire specialities of roast duck accompanied by rice cakes and asparagus. The tender duck was coated in a rich sauce, offset perfectly by the lightness of the rice and asparagus. A dessert of ice cream coated in coconut flakes and served with bitter chocolate sauce was the perfect way to round off the meal.
Breakfast at the Al Ain Rotana is served in all-day dining restaurant Zest, with a buffet of cold cuts, fruit, bread and hot dishes. There’s also an omelette station with a chef making orders to request. Zest also has buffets for lunch and dinner, when there is a special section set out for kids. For Lebanese cuisine and shisha, the hotel’s Min Zaman restaurant is the place to go, while Moodz lounge serves mixed beverages and has live music. For a more a chilled-out atmosphere, head to Aquarius pool bar.
Facilities: Zen the Spa features eight individual treatment rooms, a couples’ suite, separate relaxation rooms for men and women, saunas, steam rooms, a plunge pool and a hammam. Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club has a fully-equipped gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and squash courts, with classes in activities such as yoga, kickboxing and Zumba. The hotel also has a tennis court and two swimming pools – separate ones for adults and children.
Activities: The concierge staff offer plenty of information on Al Ain’s main attractions, many of which are within walking distance of the hotel. Al Jahili Fort, which was built in 1891, is across the road and a short distance beyond that you’ll find Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain National Museum and Al Ain Palace Museum.
Family friendly: There’s a temperature-controlled pool for kids in the Falaj wing, while Zest restaurant has a children’s buffet set up during lunch and dinner. Babysitting is also available upon request.
GET A DISCOUNT WITH HOTEL TONIGHT
Value: 150 AED
Min Spend: 400 AED
Redemption period: 14.12.2015 - 21.12.2015
Booking/Checkin period: 06.12.2015 - 23.03.2016
Markets: all markets
By Time Out Staff Writer | 06 Dec 2015
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