Pack your weekend bag and enjoy a relaxed retreat in the UAE
Louise Emma Clarke
While the weather is still glorious, pack your weekend bag and enjoy a relaxed retreat in the UAE whether you go glamping or golfing.
The staycation: Prince and Princess Package at Rosewood, Abu Dhabi
The Rosewood Abu Dhabi is one of the UAE’s most family-friendly hotels, with baby-proof rooms, gifts for little guests on arrival, baby monitors and sterilisers upon request, and child-sized cutlery provided at mealtimes. The hotel’s new Prince and Princess weekend package goes one step better, with a castle tent set up in your room to keep the brood entertained, and a kids-only Friday brunch for little ones to enjoy while you dine next door.
Want to spend a night in the desert, but not keen on roughing it? Arabian Incentive offers a comfortable camping experience within the burnt orange sand dunes of Ras Al Khaimah. Following a barbecue dinner, you’ll join your fellow campers around a bonfire to relax, and after a night under canvas (on a soft mattress and with full shower and toilet facilities nearby, naturally), you’ll wake up to an incredible sunrise. Just don’t forget to take your camera.
The staycation: Sense of Exploration Package at Banyan Tree Al Wadi
Escape to Banyan Tree Al Wadi for a vacation packed with sustainable, green, and rejuvenating activities. After a welcome drink of homemade hibiscus tea, you’ll be carried to your villa by camel (the greenest way to travel in the desert), to relax by your private pool. Your trip will include nature walks through the reserve, sunset yoga, and cooking your own barbecue dinner under a canopy of stars. And if your muscles are aching from all the activities, you may as well head to the spa for the free 60-minute massage or enjoy the resort’s impressive Rainforest hydrotherapy experience.
The staycation: Deluxe Chalet Package at Emirates Park Resort
Who knew that a resort less than an hour’s flight from Bahrain, where you could step out of your hotel room and feed giraffes from your window, existed? Emirates Park Resort in Abu Dhabi is attached to Emirates Park Zoo, which is widely regarded as one of the best small zoos in the Middle East. Your stay includes unlimited entry to the zoo, so you can meet your fellow (furry, scaly, and slippery) residents.
The cost: From BD62 (standard chalets), from BD82 (deluxe chalets) per night.
The staycation: Par 3 Golf Experience at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
If your idea of a good time is swinging a ball around a golf course in plus fours, the three-night Par 3 Golf Experience at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa is for you. The package includes two green fees per person per stay (you can choose between Abu Dhabi Golf Club or Saadiyat Beach Golf Club), plus unlimited practice balls and a personalised bag tag, too.
The staycation: Desert Romance at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
There are few more spectacular ways to show someone you care than by whisking them away to the luxury Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort for the opulent Desert Romance package. The one-night stay includes sparkling grape or date juice and chocolates on arrival, a couple’s massage in the spa, an intimate dinner surrounded by sand dunes and private butler service. If that doesn’t impress, then we don’t know what will…
The staycation: Ferrari World Package at Yas Island Rotana
Thrill-seekers, head to Yas Island Rotana for this package. Along with your accommodation at the hotel and free Wi-Fi throughout your stay, the deal includes entry to Ferrari World, where you can scream your hearts out on the world’s fastest roller coaster or learn about one of the world’s favourite automobile companies.
The cost: From BD72 per night.
Contact: Yas Island Rotana, Yas Plaza, Abu Dhabi, www.rotana.com (+971 2 656 4000).
Themes in Dubai…
Underwater Suites, Atlantis The Palm For a once-in-a-lifetime experience book into one of Atlantis The Palm’s two underwater suites; Poseidon or Neptune. With floor-to-ceiling windows offering views into the Ambassador Lagoon, you’ll enjoy a very exclusive glimpse at more than 65,000 marine inhabitants. The suites come with a steep price tag, but you’ll have a dedicated butler on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From BD3,080 per night. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (+971 4 426 2000).
XVA Gallery Art Hotel & Café
Occupying a former family home in Dubai’s historic Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, this charming boutique hotel comes complete with three original wind towers, a cosy lounge and stunning rooftop terrace for relaxing on. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. From BD77 per night. XVA Gallery Art Hotel & Café, Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, www.xvahotel.com (+971 4 353 5383). Alpine retreat, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
Struggling to feel as though it’s winter? Check into a Ski Chalet Room at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates and snuggle under the duvet as you watch skiers and snowboarders negotiate the slopes of Ski Dubai from your private window. From BD2,053 per night. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, www.kempinkski.com (+971 4 341 0000).