Why we like it:
• The stretch of white beach is stunning
• Bukhara Indian restaurant is one of the best in the UAE
• It has a licensed bowling alley with karaoke room
Location: The Kempinski is at the northernmost end of Ajman’s coastline, and has the look of a resort hotel about it. The huge white building is bigger than the other hotels on the same stretch and is noticeably older. Its age certainly doesn’t detract from its impressiveness, however; this is a striking structure, albeit without the bells and whistles of newer resorts in the UAE. On the seaside there is a fantastic garden area and a pretty white beach (it’s one of our favourites in the country).
Character: Outside, certainly when looking in from the sea, the hotel looks like the type of resort you’d see in holiday brochures for Greece or Spain back when people still used holiday brochures. Inside, the theme is more Arabic, large pillars, palm trees and flashes of gold in the reception and hanging lanterns and colourful throws in the rooms.
Service: There are some very friendly people working at the Kempinski, service at the bars and restaurants is very personable and the staff in the lobby make check-in and check-out a smooth, painless process.
Rooms: The rooms are spacious and come with a fantastic view of the Gulf coast. Arabic touches to the lamps and bed linen give an old-school charm to them, and while these aren’t newly appointed rooms with a host of mod-cons, they are charming and relaxing. There is free Wi-Fi and the spacious bathrooms are stocked with good toiletries.
Restaurants & bars: The hotel really shines when it comes to the bars and restaurants. They are all different from each other, relaxed and can get quite lively. The 1987 Bar is low-lit and loungey, with live music most nights. This looks like a place to unwind in a dark corner, but we found it to be surprisingly loud, especially when the band began to play and people started to dance and sing along. World Cup Bar is an unpretentious sports hangout with pool and darts for those who want a bit of action themselves and plenty of TVs for those who just like to watch. We liked it best during late afternoon; it’s a little quieter and a fun place to be.
Across the corridor is Cosmic Bowling, a neon-lit, licensed bowling alley. We surely don’t need to say anything else about it. We ate at Bukhara, an Indian restaurant where there is no cutlery allowed. Staff will help you order and give you tips on how to get the food in your mouth rather than all over your face and clothes. The food is interesting, authentic and very, very good. We love this restaurant and can’t wait to go back. All-day dining restaurant Café Kranzler is average in comparison. Breakfast and lunch are fine but won’t blow you away. Zanzi Bar on the beach, however, is another highlight. Great views of the sea by day and a romantic candlelit hideaway at night. The seafood platter is definitely one to try.
Facilities: A regular spa, an ayurvedic spa and gym, as well as tennis courts outside. An innovative new beauty treatment is available – the HydraFacial – that uses water and air to remove impurities from the skin. We found it to make a real difference, so much so that we want to try it again. There’s a large pool outside too and loungers and cabanas on the beach.
Activities: There’s a regular shuttle bus to the Kempinski from Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. Water sports including jet skiing, kayaking and surfing are available at the beach. There is a Friday brunch and regular deals on stays and activities.
GET A DISCOUNT WITH HOTEL TONIGHT
Value: 150 AED
Min Spend: 400 AED
Redemption period: 14.12.2015 - 21.12.2015
Booking/Checkin period: 06.12.2015 - 23.03.2016
Markets: all markets