Set in the Garden City of Al Ain, in the UAE, the five-star Danat Al Ain Resort is the perfect retreat for those looking for a quiet, relaxing weekend. So peaceful, in fact, it is an old favourite with Dubai dwellers looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
A 90-minute drive from Dubai, it’s the serenity that first strikes you as you arrive at the resort. It’s quiet. In fact, the design of the hotel envelops its guests upon arrival, sealing them off from the world outside.
The Danat Al Ain Resort in not a brand-spanking shiny new hotel. Gold-plated horses do not line the driveway and crystal chandaliers do not hang overhead as you enter. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good. In fact, this 35-year-old-plus hotel bestows an inviting charm that could teach so many of today’s new five-star hotels a thing or two.
The 159 spacious rooms – and 35 luxurious suites – offer views of the hotel gardens, pools or the Jebel Hafeet Mountains and come complete with king or twin beds, satellite TV and free high-speed Internet connection. The latter is becoming something of a rarity, with many hotels opting to charge guests for connection. This is not the case at the Danat, with good connection available throughout the property, even poolside. There are also 22 luxurious, one- or two-bedroom villas, all boasting private access and parking.
But, it’s the recreation and dining facilities where the hotel really excels.
The Danat Al Ain Resort boasts three temperature-controlled swimming pools, including a family fun pool, with rock formations, waterfalls and swim-up bar, kids’ pool and 33-metre adult lap pool. There is also an outdoor heated Jacuzzi, plus a games area with table tennis and giant outdoor chess board.
The two very well-equipped gyms are in addition to indoor squash courts, outside tennis courts and fitness classes, including morning and evening yoga in the garden.
The full-service adult spa offers indoor Jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas and cold dip pools, along with a good variety of massages and body treatments.
For dining options, there is an equally impressive selection.
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International all-day dining restaurant Arabesque serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in its modern, clean-line restaurant – the outdoor terrace opening in the evening for a more relaxed, intimate experience – while Indian restaurant Tanjore offers tasty, authentic Indian cuisine and Luce traditional Italian fare. There is also the Tea Lounge, offering morning coffee and afternoon tea, the Oasis Café serving Middle Eastern food, Oasis Pool Bar serving light bites and Shooters offering guests drinks and snacks as they play a game of pool and darts.
Yet, it’s the recently opened, modern Irish bar McGettigan’s from where you should savor and reflect on what the Danat Al Ain Resort has to offer.
McGettigan’s serves up great Irish food and a warm welcome, while its glass terrace provides a great view of the resort’s pools and manicured gardens. A great view of an altogether great resort.
Now in its mid-30s, the Danat Al Ain may well be older than the new, younger generation of boutique hotels that are springing up in the Emirates, but it is stylishly, confidently, setting the standards and can still show them how it should be done.
Offering exceptionally clean, comfortable, rooms, outstanding leisure facilities, tasty cuisine and mountain views, the Danat Al Ain Resort is everything – and more – a resort should be and proves the perfect escape from the city for the entire family.
You won’t regret it. In fact we think you might quite like it. Everything gets better with age, after all.