Al Ain Trip – Rotana, Jebel Hafeet & Trader Vics

Oh Crap! I missed a Saturday post last week and I knew I would.

Many things are currently happening in my personal and work life. Well everyone has things going on but you know when a lot of things just suddenly happen at the same time well that’s what is currently happening to me.

For Tim to have an enjoyable long weekend, I booked a standard room for a 1-night stay at Rotana Al Ain. We usually arrive 1 or 2 hours before check in however this time we decided to check in on time but on that day, we were so unlucky that the hotel had a lot of guests so because of the delay we checked in after 2 hours. As curtsy, the hotel upgraded our room to a 1-bedroom suite with a living room and dining table. In addition, they offered a late check out.

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You can skip my mini story and continue to Hotel Review….

Story Time:

As soon as we got to our rooms, we changed into our swimming suits and went to the pool. I have a weird and funny story to tell you. As Tim and I were sitting by the pool, kids from the ages of 4 – 7 years were jumping in the adult pool. So the signs say clearly no jumping, no diving and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Anyway we were getting splashed a lot by those little kids and Tim just got up and looked at the life guard without even saying a word.

The life guard approached the parents to tell them that their kids have to swim in the children’s pool and that they are disturbing hotel guests. The mothers started shouting at Tim for no reason and we did not even make eye contact with their kids or even shouted at them.

Anyway some drunk man sitting next to me starts shouting at Tim and making hideous comments in Arabic and that’s where I come in place. I started an argument with the man in Arabic which made him speechless because he didn’t expect me to speak Arabic. After few minutes, he comes to us and apologises for his action and we became friends. He even asked the mothers to apologise to Tim but obviously they did not. He even told us that we taught him a lesson to not speak in Arabic in front of anyone.

Anyway he took us to Jebel Hafeet (mountain) to view the city from the top.  The view of the town was amazing and the drive was adventurous but dangerous. Here is the funny part, the drunk guy insisted to take our photo at the mountain and this is how it turned out.

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Hotel Review:

Although they checked us in really late, I would still recommend the hotel. The fact that they upgraded our room and even provided late check out, that says it all. While waiting to check in, Tim and I sat in the private lounge where they served free coffee, juices, tea and croissants. The hotel is not that expensive for a 5 star. The pool is reasonably big and also has a mini Jacuzzi for the adults.

Tim and I had breakfast at a restaurant called Zest that serves buffet throughout the day. The hotel also has a pool bar, a Lebanese restaurant and a Latin, Caribbean and Asian Fusion restaurant called Trader Vics which is well known in Dubai. We went there at 10pm and there was a live band performing Latin music. The food was delicious and the setting makes you feel like you are on an island. We really enjoyed our time.

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Weekend in Ras Al Khaimah – Cove Rotana Resort

When Tim and I were dating, we managed to travel almost every month to a new country and explore new places. The thing is, circumstances have changed, the market isn’t doing great and everyone is careful on how they are spending their money.

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So instead, Tim and I thought why not stay at resorts and visit historical places around UAE. And that’s when we booked a night at a 5 star resort in Ras Al Khaimah called ‘The Cove Rotana Resort’. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… Ahaaa careful with their money and staying at 5 star hotels. Well here’s the thing we book months in advance and in addition, booking.com always updates me about upcoming deals and of course I check groupon.ae everyday for affordable deals.

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Our stay included breakfast so when it came to dinner, Tim an I drove 10 minutes to a new development called ‘Mina Al Arab’. It was a stretch of restaurants and coffee shops and since we have the ‘entertainer app’, we picked a restaurant that was included in the app so we ate at a Vietnamese restaurant called ‘Hanoi’. The food was extremely delicious but the coffee was just too sweet.

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We spent the night at the lounge called ‘Breeze’ till 1AM. The place served Hookah aka Shisha. There are so many restaurants to try at the hotel. Our actual first stop was at ‘Breakers on the Beach’ but we got there at 10PM when they were already closing. Like C’mon who closes a bar at 10PM. Anyway that’s when we continued to Breeze. For breakfast we went to a restaurant called Cinnamon which is an all-day dining place. Before leaving the hotel, we had a pina colda sorbet at the Sunset Bar.

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I spent a few hours sitting at the terrace of our room, blogging and editing photos for upcoming blogs.It was so relaxing and it was exactly what Tim and I needed of the weekend. Hotel has a vibe of Spanish and a mix of Moroccan which we really love and the best thing about the hotel was the infinity pool that overlooks the beach and the hotel rooms.

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I recommend the place for the weekend, it’s one of the best hotels we stayed at in UAE.

 

 

Hipster Hotel in Dubai

Rove Hotel offers an urban hipster kinda looking style hotel for budgeted travellers. The company I work for offered discounted rates for staff in any of the 3 branches in Dubai. So Tim and I selected Downtown area, it is closer to Dubai Mall and the hub of the city.

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We’ve booked 2 rooms so that my father and brothers can experience the hotel and it’s accommodating services. We paid £40 (AED 200) a night inclusive of breakfast and tax. We all arrived at 1PM for an early check in. Later, we got into our swimming suits and went for a swim and of course sun bathing.

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As it got dark, we went back to our rooms to rest a little and get ready for dinner. We then went for a walk to Dubai Mall which took us around 15 minutes. We had the entertainer vouchers so we ate at an Asian restaurant called ‘Japengo’.

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We went back to our hotel to have tea and juices at their only restaurant called ‘The Daily’ and it’s the same place where we had our breakfast. The next day, we woke up at 6AM went straight to the gym and afterwards had breakfast and of course went for a swim.

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The hotel is a lovely place to stay, it’s cozy and affordable. The ambiance is urban but homely and the reception has a play station for the people to play. Definitely a good hotel to stay at for budgeted travellers.

UAE – Our trip to Tilal Liwa

UAE – Our trip to Tilal Liwa

Tim and I took a day off to be able to spend a night at the hotel located in the middle of no where, a place called Liwa near to Madinat (City) Zayed and close to the boarders of Saudi Arabia.

We stayed at a hotel called Tilal Liwa, it looked like an Arabian palace, the pool was located in the middle of the hotel but with a spectacular view of the Arabian desert. After swimming for hours and of course getting sun kissed, we decided to book quad bikes to explore the desert. Little did we know what was going to happen. Tim had an accident. His quad bike flipped up in the air.

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I told my husband to wait for me till I get back with the emergency team from the hotel, so I went to get the first aid team and got back to the site not finding TIM so obviously I thought I lost my way and started crying thinking I will never find my husband in the Sahara. But then he found us, YES!! HE GOT BACK TO THE QUAD BIKE INJURED AND ALL because he thought I won’t be able to find my way back. OMG! I had the scare of my life.

Anyway our mini vacation continued having dinner in the desert, swimming and reading a book. We are planning to visit the hotel another time because it was marvellously wonderful.

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UAE – Christmas Eve by the Desert and Beach

UAE: Christmas Eve by the Desert and Beach

Ever since we were children, Tim would celebrate Christmas with his family back in England while I celebrated it with my mum’s family in UAE. This year was a special kind of Christmas for both of us. Tim’s mum ‘Shirley’ is visiting us for the holidays and my uncle and cousin are staying in UAE to enjoy the festive season.

What more can you ask for than celebrating with the ones you love. We love everyone back home in England and Philippines but it was nice to have some of our families celebrating together. 2 months before Christmas, I made reservation at a hotel located by the Indian Ocean in another Emirate called Fujairah. We booked 4 rooms in Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort at a place call Al Aqqah which has a strip of amazing resorts.

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We took two separate cars, my brothers and uncle ‘Alpe’ accompanied my cousin ‘Mark’ and of course Shirley and I rode with Tim. We had an unfortunate moment when one of Mark’s tires broke down and found it difficult to find a tire shop open on a Friday morning. FYI, UAE’s weekends are on Fridays and Saturdays because Friday is a Holy day not HOLIDAY but HOLY DAY and the majority of the country attend the Friday prayers. Luckily they managed to find a shop that was about to close so they quickly got their tires fixed and we all continued our road trip to Fujairah.

It took us 2 hours to reach our destination however since check in was at 2PM, we decided to stop at a historical site. We visited Al Badiyah aka Al Bidyah Mosque and my brothers performed their Friday prayers in that ancient 15th century mosque. It’s the oldest mosque in UAE and was built with stone and mud. The view of the farms from the towers and area was spectacular and although you are surrounded by dry nature such as the rock mountains, the place is a must to visit. It’s located near the mountains and farms overlooking the sea.

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Anyway we continued our journey to check in at the hotel. Tim and I went kayaking around snoopy island * while the others went to nap because they needed the energy for the mini party we were going to have late night. At around 7PM, I borrowed Mark’s car and drove 20 minutes to another area called Khor Fakkan with my uncle and mother in law. We bought KFC and Pizza Hut family meals for dinner and also picked up a third cousin who lived there to join us for the Christmas party. The night lasted till 1:30AM after playing cards against humanity. My uncle won the game and YES he is dirty minded LOL. (google the game its hilarious)

The next day, we got up really early to have breakfast and also went for a morning swim and afterwards said our goodbyes and checked out from our rooms.

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*Note: it’s called snoopy island because it looks like snoopy laying down.

Below are the location maps of the hotel, the mosque and Khor Fakkan for your reference.

Hotel:

 

Mosque:

 

Khor Fakkan:

Weekend in Hatta- Hatta Fort Hotel

Well we had nothing else to do on a weekend but enjoy a nice swim near the mountains of Hatta. Tim’s colleague who lived in Dubai for quite a long time, recommended the Hatta Fort Hotel.

Hatta is pretty close to Oman. Ironically my GPS led me to a shortcut where we had to pass by Omani boarders and got asked to show ID’s. It was funny because we exited UAE then entered Oman and then drove for 10 minutes exiting the Omani boarders entering UAE again. Yup! that was a short travel. LOL

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Anyway we arrived to our destination and were amazed by the view. We booked a really nice chalet with an amazing view of the garden and mountains. ( I WANT THAT ROOM) After chit chatting for hours at the terrace, we both decided to check out the hotel activities. We ended up taking an archery class, OH I SUCKED BIG TIME.Not even aiming at the board LOL. Tim was pretty good and got bulls eyes several times; while myself, had no idea where my arrows disappeared to, maybe it hit someones bum.

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Later at night, Tim and I went for dinner at an Indian restaurant in the hotel and had a somewhat traumatic meal. There was an old couple sitting by the window and the husband unexpectedly fainted. Everyone just stayed quiet while the manager of the restaurant tried waking him up and eventually did. It was sad to see the old lady crying and trying to wake her husband up. Ultimately the hotel called a doctor to check on the old man and thankfully he was fine. The hotel emergency service was remarkable.

The night continued smoothly with a beautiful Filipina lady singing classical love songs. Tim and I decided to go for a walk outside the hotel. We later got back and enjoyed a peaceful night watching OSN movies.

Tim and I highly recommend the hotel because firstly it’s far away from the city life and is surrounded by nature and secondly the service is incredible.

Plan a trip there. It’s fun with friends too because they’ve got a good sized pool and outdoor activities.

 

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