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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Review: Aloft Al Ain an oasis of superlatives

A smart four-star address added last year, right next to the stunning Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Rooftop pool at the Aloft in Al Ain.
Rooftop pool at the Aloft in Al Ain.

Whether you visit Aloft Al Ain for business or pleasure it seems there are plenty of distractions at this design-led hotel.

For a start, it is hard not to be impressed by the view from the rooftop of the Garden City property – regardless of footballing allegiances, or whether you follow the game at all.

A brand of Marriott International, Aloft Al Ain is a smart four-star address added last year, right next to the stunning Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium. It, along with the hotel, forms part of an extensive mixed-use development area.

The home of Al Ain Football Club is an award-winning structure, and its eye-catching design is in good company with the addition of a hospitality brand already familiar to visitors to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where you’ll also find the UAE’s first Aloft.

The Aloft Al Ain offers a sophisticated mix of colour, artwork and relaxed cool that is set to become more familiar to GCC travellers, with 10 new such properties set to open across the Middle East over the next five years.

This includes two in Dubai; Aloft Hotel Palm Jumeirah, on The Palm’s East Crescent, and Aloft Me’aisam, in Dubai Production City (formerly known as IMPZ).

From the modern circular check-in desk to the pool deck with its views across the city, there’s a sense of freshness about Al Ain Aloft, including rates that suit leisure and business budgets.

Aloft in Al Ain.
Aloft in Al Ain. Courtesy Aloft Al Ain

The use of bold colour in decor around communal areas, as well as sassy furniture and fittings, steers a positive mood that extends into the hotel international all-day dining restaurant.

Olive Tree serves up a variety of international cuisines, bathed in generous natural light from windows giving a view on to a square created by the stadium, hotel and other buildings incorporating apartments and other dining destinations in this evolving development.

For those not on a regular timetable, hotel food and beverage options also include re:fuel - a 24 hour grab and go snack bar – while the interior designers have also been busy in the signature W XYZ bar and The Rooftop, Al Ain’s first lounge. Closed or open to the splash pool, the latter offers views of the majestic Jebel Hafeet Mountain.

A 24-hour fitness centre occupies the same level, offering a good supply of up-to-date equipment.

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The 175 guest rooms and suites continue the urban-influenced design theme, with energetic styling, large walk-in showers and SPG Keyless in operation; an example of the industry’s first truly mobile check-in system where guests can utilise their mobile phone as a room key.

Some hotels can be accused of putting design over comfort. While Aloft Al Ain places modern touches at the heart of its look in creating a smart, youthful vibe, it is the right side of clinical cool, including a sumptuous bed with handy USB charging ports within easy reach.

Double bedroom at the Aloft in Al Ain.
Double bedroom at the Aloft in Al Ain. Courtesy Aloft Al Ain

You also get a safe, ironing board and hair dryer, plus a Bluetooth speaker alarm clock.

There’s good WiFi throughout - 300MB/s for the entire property - including at the bedroom’s practical desk and on the rooftop where there are plenty of tables for laptops, or cabanas for those screen breaks.

The hotel is ideally situated in Al Ain, within easy reach of weekenders, staycationers or business visitors from elsewhere in the UAE, yet a short drive from the city’s treasured attractions, such Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort, the imperious Jabel Hafeet and Al Ain Zoo.

Slightly further afield, you’ll find Wadi Adventures at the foot of Jabel Hafeet, featuring the longest artificial whitewater channels in the world.

The hotel is, crucially, close to Al Ain Convention Centre and its calendar of events and meeting rooms.

The Aloft Al Ain also features four on-site meeting spaces of its own, equipped with state-of-the-art A/V equipment, 50-inch plasma TV, and that “fast and free” WiFi. They accommodate theatre, classroom and U-shaped configurations.

Packages are flexible and can be tailored as per client budget and requirements. The daily delegate rate starts at Dhs170 per person, including two coffee breaks and three-course lunch.

Al Ain has a range of hotel choices suited to travellers, veering from the long-established Danat Al Ain Resort and Ayla brand to the Al Ain Rotana and lofty Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet.

Aloft Al Ain - owned by Abu Dhabi-based developer Al Qattara Investments - has brought a touch of modern sophistication to the Garden City and diversifies its leisure and business accommodation offering in an attractive and evolving district.

The writer was a guest of Aloft Al Ain

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