Nestled between the towering peaks of the Hajar Mountains and the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean lies the picturesque Intercontinental Fujairah Resort. David Tapley experiences an exceptional staycation where Arabian hospitality meets luxury.
Approximately two hours drive from Dubai lies the emirate of Fujairah. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to get away from it all, where rocky outcrops and isolated beaches make up a landscape quite unlike anywhere else you may have seen in the UAE.
From the outside, the InterContinental Fujairah Resort resembles a gleaming white fortress and from the moment the exterior doors swing open we know we’re in for an exceptional stay. A sweet and aromatic fragrance wafts through the air as we catch a glimpse of palm trees and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The lobby area is simply stunning with a bright open foyer encompassing metal structures of frolicking horses and the hotel boasts a simple elegance in terms of both decor and service. The check-in process is efficient and takes place in a majlis environment that embraces the Arabian hospitality of the region.
Pure Luxury With Ocean Panoramas:
All of the InterContinental Fujairah Resorts 190 guest rooms and suites are ocean-facing which is precisely what we would expect when spending time at the beach. The guest rooms take over the hotel’s upper levels and are generously sized when compared to other properties in the emirate. Our one-bedroom Deluxe Suite provides plenty of living space and room for relaxation with stunning views over the hotel’s perfectly manicured gardens, to the infinity pool and the ocean which crashes upon a natural sandy bay.
The suite provides everything (and more) that we could want from a beach holiday. A large balcony full of comfortable seating offers a sense of tranquillity, while the living area is beyond conformable with its marble flooring, four-seater dining table and plush sofa area that surrounds a large flat-screen television. Did someone say movie night?
Modern comfort is paramount within the suites and ease for the guests is of high priority. Everything from the lights to the curtains can be controlled at the touch of a button on the illuminated wall-mounted control panels. The bedroom features hardwood floors and a ridged blue carpet that gives the impression that waves from the ocean have been brought inside. A large comfortable bed is flanked by light wood furnishings and a chaise lounge, perfectly positioned for reading or taking a cheeky afternoon nap. The constant crashing of waves is a soothing sound that lulls us to sleep each night.
The marble bathroom features a deep tub that could comfortably fit two people, a double vanity, plus a dressing room with an abundance of wardrobe space, alongside a separate rainfall shower.
When it comes to gastronomy, the culinary team at InterContentinal Fujairah Resort take things very seriously. All-day-dining restaurant NAMA features a mixture of buffet and á la carte options which are heightened thanks to the strong service levels that are not always associated with an all-day- dining spot. Whether it’s breakfast waffles and pancakes or the Beef Wellington, dining amongst the towering palm trees and the light and airy ambience of NAMA is a distinct pleasure.
Drift Seafood Kitchen and Bar should not be missed on a visit to Fujairah and the restaurant is likely to draw guests from around the emirate even if they aren’t necessarily staying at the property. At lunchtime, the venue feels like a beach house with its light snacks, poolside fare (don’t miss the shrimp tacos) and sunken seating overlooking the beach. With the arrival of nightfall, the venue transforms into a serious fine-dining contender with an exquisite selection of seafood-inspired dishes. Dine under the star-filled sky next to a blazing fire pit or head inside and be delighted by the sounds of the in-house band, The Butchery Boys who will have your toes tapping in no time. The menu may primarily revolve around seafood, but our recommendation would be to order the Nespresso beef short ribs with parsnip puree which are undeniably tender and packed full of flavour. For those with a sweet tooth, the Chocolate Box dessert is not to be missed! We won’t ruin the surprise but we will say that the presentation and execution of the dish are impeccable and will likely leave you with a lasting impression of Drift Seafood Kitchen and Bar.
Fantastic Facilities in Fujairah:
In terms of facilities, the InterContinental Fujairah Resort offers yoga, tennis and a selection of three swimming pools – two family pools, plus an exclusive adult-only day club. The infinity pool with its spacious floating cabanas would be our preference, for not only are the waters pleasingly temperature controlled but the pool is a stone’s throw from the beach, so you can hop between the two areas easily. Speaking of the beach, the private stretch of sand is patrolled by lifeguards and offers plenty of sun loungers for relaxing and working on that all-important tan. The beaches of Fujairah are not as busy as those in Dubai and feel far more natural, with darker-coloured sand and a topography of steep mountains tumbling towards the ocean waves.
Fujairah is a popular weekend staycation spot for UAE residents and global travellers looking for a quieter experience than what is offered in Dubai. While many will visit purely to flop on the beach, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. Culture vultures shouldn’t miss Al Bidya, the UAE’s oldest mosque, perched high on a mountainside, and well worth a visit. During the cooler months, head into Fujairah town to see the weekly bull-butting competitions or take to one of the many mountain paths and wadis for hiking. Suppose you’re more about finding your sea legs. In that case, water sports are available, or you can travel north into neighbouring Oman and explore the Musandam Peninsular for a dhow cruise with snorkelling and the chance to see dolphins.
As an outdoor paradise, the InterContinental Fujairah Resort makes for the perfect base to explore the Northern Emirates or to spend some much-needed relaxation time. Supported by the natural beauty of Al Aqah Beach, this resort is located upon one of the most delightful stretches of sand in the country and is a wonderful choice for those looking to get away from it all. The beauty of a stay at the InterContinental Fujairah Resort is the ability to relax and unwind, with everything you may need located within easy access. As a popular weekend spot for UAE residents to visit, there’s no pressure for sightseeing itineraries or choosing a restaurant, for everything is right there within the confines of the resort. Relax on the private beach, sunbathe by the temperature-controlled pools or get your mind and body in sync with tennis and yoga.
GO: Visit www.fujairah.intercontinental.com for bookings and more information.