Even though I’m just back from what felt like a month of hotels
that I still need to write about, sometimes we need a vacation from our holiday, do we not? In this instance, a quick getaway to nearby Ajman fit the bill. While I’ve now conquered visited most of the Fairmont properties in the UAE (Fujairah, SZR, and my favorite weekend visit Abu Dhabi), I had not yet visited the Ajman venue (and don’t worry, The Palm — I have plans for you). Also, if we’re being honest, in my ten years in the GCC, I really haven’t had a reason to specifically visit the emirate of Ajman.
Things I loved:
- Sweet suite. The layout of the junior suite was one of the best I’ve come across. With a generous amount of space, including an easily divided bedroom and sitting area (with an expanded ‘office,’ large terrace, and two televisions), it’s a design I would replicate in my dream house one day.
- Affordable luxury. Fairmont is a name synonymous with a high-end product, but rates (even for suites) can be found under AED1,000.
- Professional, friendly staff. This has to be said. A visit to a Fairmont always involves a warm greeting and follow through on things that matter — bonus points as it does not feel manufactured in the slightest.
- Super comfy beds. Similar to my stay in Fujairah, it took a lot of effort to get out of such a comfortable bed. Plush pillows and duvet? Check. High thread count? You bet.
- Dat lobby smell. No, I’m not kidding. I’m thoroughly enamored with the aroma of the Fairmont lobby. While it wasn’t as strong in Fujairah, the Fairmont perfume is something I actually look forward to. Yes, I realize this is probably not normal behavior.
Potential for improvement:
- A more robust culinary experience. I was whelmed by both the Italian restaurant and the Turkish venue, both in terms of food and service. While I understand most people on holiday aren’t looking for much more than pizza and other forms of carbohydrates, in all the dishes I tried (across lunch and dinner), there was nothing that stood out to impress me (neither did my solo dinner taking 90+ minutes). Small changes would help bring these menus further, starting with not adding rocket to every single plate.
- Missing USB ports. If there is one major pet peeve I have (especially in hotels opened after 2012 or so), it’s that connections for electronic devices within an easy distance of either side of the bed should be standard. As someone who uses a sleep app and a white noise app (precious!), I really need to charge my phone throughout the night. I tried to unplug some lamps to make an outlet available, but they were too difficult to get to.
- Bring some patience. No matter where you’re coming from in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, crossing over Sharjah to get to Ajman is going to be a bit of a challenge (either coming, going, or both). While I managed to time out my trip towards the hotel just fine, my return trip involved National Paints (always a struggle). Furthermore, getting around in Ajman isn’t entirely straightforward (I literally had to look at my return route 3x to make sure Google Maps wasn’t trying to play a joke on me), so my suggestion would be to commit to and enjoy the property.
Would I go back? While I think my heart still rests with the Fujairah and Abu Dhabi properties, I can see something special about the Fairmont Ajman facility. If you’re looking for a (very) quick getaway or perhaps to take visiting friends and family to another emirate, I think this is a good option. I think my ultimate staycation in the UAE is in RAK (Banyan Tree, Waldorf RAK), but for a budget-friendly luxury experience, I think the Fairmont Ajman offers a strong choice.
Where’s your favorite staycation property in the UAE?
A to Za’atar was a guest of the Fairmont Ajman. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.