There’s something comforting about a funky, functional and fuss-free hotel.
Aloft Al Ain, a boutique hotel with modern (keyless entry to loft-style suites) and quirky touches, ticks those boxes and is a cool budget-friendly option. Plus, the affable staff and their warm greeting as you enter the modern lobby will make you feel right at home. There’s also a corner where you can buy an apple or a muffin, right off the counter.
All this may make the property come across as a modern hotel that’s a perfect fit for business travellers and couples, but I went along with my family — my husband, twin boys, 2, and an eager six-year-old.
But the staff made you feel instantly welcome and those three cupcakes welcoming my children into their property, won our hearts. It’s that personal touch won them brownie points. So my tiny army fit right in.
If you are bored of staying in dull hotels with muted, grey or beige tones, then the suite at the Aloft Alain will be right up your alley. The mustard chairs, the eclectic modern paintings, the clean lines and its contemporary decor and vibe of the room will instantly appeal to you. The view from the room window isn’t amazing, but the colourful blinds can always be drawn if you want to shut that out. The beds are comfortable and there was a work station, a bench and flat-screen TV to keep things rolling. The rooms have an open or exposed bathroom. In other words, as soon as you enter you will be greeted by the sight of a modern bathroom. Plus, there’s no lock on it, just a sliding door. Some may find this sexy and pragmatic, but when you are with children, having a bathroom with sliding doors and no lock can be cumbersome. There was some amateur singing to warn off the others. Sorry, neighbours.
What to do:
Located 8 kms from the Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium, this is an ideal property for families planning to explore some wildlife and the marine world. It’s close enough to come back for a quick break from the sun too.
During our stay, we had our buffet breakfast and headed to the zoo.
But be sure to plan your day in such a way that you are back by sunset because the infinity pool and the lounge bar, W XYZ bar, on the terrace awaits you. It’s also your chance to soak in the views of this garden city and the Jabeel Hafeet mountains from the rooftop terrace.
Where to eat:
Want to grab a quick cup of coffee before you tackle the zoo? Al Ain Aloft has you sorted. A 24/7 convenience store is on the lobby level stocked with a slew of grab and go options such as muffins, coffee latte, apples or cookies. However, if you are craving a meal at a fine-dining restaurant, then there are not many options in this hotel. During our day-long stay, we ate at the multi-cuisine restaurant, Olive Tree. The biryani, the pasta and the summer-friendly, zestful salads are safe to order. But the options are limited. The breakfast buffet had the usual eggs, croissant and cheese, but the spread is limited. If you are up at the rooftop lounge, then the bar food is tasty and is great to wash down with some refreshing mocktails.
What we recommend:
It will be a shame not to relax by the pool with green umbrellas and beige cabanas on the side. The views, the music and the easy vibe will propel you to wind down and truly enjoy your weekend.
Ratings: 4 out of 5
Rooms: 3 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Value: 4 out of 5
Cleanliness: 4 out of 5
Location: 3.5 out of 5
Where: Aloft Al Ain
Price: Ranges from Dh400 to Dh2,400.