Al Ain has to be one of the most underrated cities in the Emirates. There’s so much to see and do if you want to get out and explore, and it’s also just a great little place to get away from it all with a cheeky staycation. With Aloft Al Ain just opened in April 2017, I decided we were long overdue another trip to the ‘Garden City’. 

Aloft Al Ain is located right next door to the Hazza Bin Zayed Sports Stadium, which is a great place to start if you like football as it’s currently the most state of the art stadium in the UAE, but it’s also a pretty interesting landmark in itself. Though fear not, this location is not just a place for football fans.

The hotel was surprisingly cheery and colourful on arrival, with a very modern and immediately likeable feel.

The rooms are also spacious, colourful and comfortable. Though the toddler made sure it didn’t stay tidy for long and quickly began piling the pillows in the middle of the bed to dive on!

If you don’t fancy exploring Al Ain, you don’t even need to leave the hotel as there’s a lovely rooftop pool that was pretty popular. While we were there a number of families had travelled from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi to spend the weekend in the hotel owing to its good value.

In terms of food, as well as room service, you can choose to eat at Olive Tree the all-day dining restaurant on the ground floor, or at the rooftop pool area. We enjoyed lunch at Olive Tree before heading off to the pool and then a tasting plate style dinner in the evening at the rooftop area with calamari, prawns and octopus, and then the obligatory pizza on the side to keep the toddler happy. I know pizza is just pizza, how good can it be really – and everything else we ate was pretty good, but the pizza was a stand out, it really was absolutely delicious! I enjoy a good pizza, what can I say?! 😀

What I really liked about the hotel though was the amount of detail. There was lots of little things that you’d not even necessarily notice but that individually added to the relaxed and welcoming vibe of the place. There’s even a pool table in a relaxation area behind reception.

We spent Friday afternoon by the pool to cool off from the summer heat – being on the rooftop meant it caught a bit of the breeze which made quite a difference. We really had a lovely little break and even ran into a few people we knew and got chatting to some others that we didn’t, it was that kind of relaxed and friendly atmosphere which made for a pleasant and definitely less anonymous experience than you might find at some places.

And after basically just feeding our faces most of the time, enjoying a good nights sleep and more food with a hearty hotel breakfast we decided to head off to Al Ain Zoo for the day. Normally, this might be a really good idea as Al Ain Zoo is really great, but in hindsight, during the August heat we probably should have just got back in the pool for the morning… The zoo was still lovely but it was crazy hot and although we got to see the full range of toddler pleasing wildlife, we were all a very sweaty mess for the drive home. My advice – stay in the pool and visit the zoo in the late afternoon, or even better in the evening!

Overall we enjoyed our weekend at Aloft Al Ain and I’d say it makes a great spot for a change of scenery that won’t break the bank. I’d definitely recommend it if you want somewhere not too pricey as a base for the zoo or some exploring of the other things to see in Al Ain (did you know Al Ain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?), but plenty of people were also there simply for the pool time.

The hotel also has loads of ongoing promotions around the hotel including curry nights, early evening BBQ brunch and pool parties, happy hours (who doesn’t love a happy hour?!), cocktail masterclasses and loads more so there’s a bit of something for everyone.

For more information and to book a stay at Aloft Al Ain check their website here.

For a list of things to see and do in Al Ain check out 12 Things to Do in Al Ain.