REVIEW: ALOFT AL AIN
Earlier this month we discovered from the rooftop of the brand new Aloft Hotel Al Ain that the garden city has truly great views at night. In this metropolis of low-rises with zero skyscrapers, the winding street lights of Jebel Hafeet’s mountain road resemble a levitating stairway, and the place to see it from is the only rooftop lounge in town.
While the lounge (called the Rooftop) and its stunning views is the star attraction at the new hotel, part of Starwood Hotels’ boutique Aloft brand, there’s plenty more here that makes it a great staycation. For starters, the 175 guest rooms are some of the most spacious we’ve seen in the city. In keeping with the design-led style of Aloft, all are decorated in cheerful bright colours, with arc floor lamps and roomy walk-in bathrooms stocked with Bliss toiletries. The hotel, the fourth Aloft hotel in the UAE, is located in the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium mixed-use development, which houses the 25,000 capacity sporting arena that’s also Al Ain Football Club’s home – make sure you’re wearing purple during a home game. Those who aren’t fans of the game can kick off proceedings in the rooftop pool or check out the snooker table in the lobby. Aloft Al Ain’s F&B concepts include the brand’s W XYZ bar and re:fuel, a 24-hour grab-and-go snack bar that’s stocked with chocolates, juices, water, protein bars and even magazines to mull over as you munch. At Olive Tree, the all-day dining restaurant, try the spicy noodle box or the threecontinent risotto, then burn it off in the 24-hour fitness centre re:charge. There’s also a meeting space called Tactic. Contrary to popular belief, Al Ain is far from sleepy. Have a word with the hotel front desk and they’ll arrange for visits to Wadi Adventure, an adventure theme park with white-water rafting, zip lining and a giant swing; or guide you to Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain Palace Museum or Al Ain Zoo. Rooms from Dh350 including breakfast for two.