Luxe Escapes: The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah
FACT’s David Tapley checks into the tranquil retreat hidden amongst one million square metres of protected mangroves in Ajman.
When it comes to a mid-week escape or a long weekend of luxuriating, we’re spoilt for choice in the Northern Emirates. If you’re looking for a real escape though, you can’t beat The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah.
Away from chaotic city life this pristine beachfront locale feels like the best kept secret in the sleepy emirate of Ajman, where turquoise waters, a sandy beach, stunning grounds and luxurious accommodations and discreet service are waiting to be discovered by those in the know.
Driving past natural mangroves and the verdant greens of Al Zorah Golf Club, we meander towards a destination that has eluded us for quite sometime. The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah feels like an urban legend. Whisperings from friends and acquaintances constantly champion the resort as not only the best hotel in Ajman, but perhaps the whole country.
Weaving our way towards the ocean, we arrive at the gleaming glass cuboid structure of the resort. Greeted at the valet and escorted into the gorgeous lobby for check-in, it takes a moment for us to catch our breath as we admire the beauty of the impressive architecture, where glass meets water in a seamless continuation of nature. It’s all very zen, as mesmerising architecture and a scenic setting unfold before us, as we navigate our way through the manicured grounds towards our chic weekend abode.
Housed in structures that appear to float above pools of water, we’re hit with an instant sense of serenity before we even enter our room. With accommodations ranging from 74 spacious premier rooms to expansive suites and lavish villas with private pools, there’s something to suit every preference and budget, whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic escape or a family looking for some fun in the sun.
We stay in one of the spacious premier rooms, where a blend of natural materials and glass provide the impression of bringing the outside in. Unobstructed views of the manicured gardens and central swimming pool (reputed to be the longest in the UAE) are enhanced by the hotel’s bespoke scent that is both alluring and appealing.
Designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni, all rooms offer sunset views and boast a private terrace, comfortable living area, a plump king bed and one of the most marvellous bathrooms we’ve ever witnessed. Contemporary stylings combine with Arabic cultural elements to reflect our location, whilst discreet Indian touches honour Oberoi’s brand heritage. The result is a chic yet unique property where mismatched Italian tile work, bold artworks and subtle textiles add a touch of homeliness to an otherwise luxe approach to living.
The dining options are just as impressive as the location of the resort. Serving an array of cuisines, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah offers elegant restaurants from all-day dining to an al-fresco seafood spot perched close to the beach.
The fully à la carte breakfast at Vinesse is an absolute delight. It’s a place to begin your morning with roaming trays of freshly baked viennoiseries, in addition to a menu of eggs, Indian specialties and Arabic favourites whilst taking in views of the Arabian Gulf on the horizon.
This restaurant exudes refinement with high ceilings that are complemented by clean and understated tones. Yet, by night the venue takes on a different feel, where low lighting exudes a sense of intimacy to complement an impressive menu featuring charcoal grills, pasta and fresh seafood.
As you explore the resort, staggered stairways descend from the pool area, past a series of luxurious villas before arriving at the cooling waters of the Arabian Gulf. As the name suggests, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah’s stretch of private beach offers one of the UAE’s most desirable patches of sand, and best of all, it’s likely you’ll have it completely to yourself.
Available for guest use only, the dramatic panorama of the natural beach is the most striking area of the hotel. Dotted with comfy sun loungers, you’ll easily fall in love with the crystal-clear water that glides against the shoreline as you have a quick nap or sunbathing session under a beautiful blue sky – cloud nine or what?
The hotel fits effortlessly into its a natural environment, promoting a calmness and respect to its locale rather than disrupting the waterfront enclave. The highlight is the 85-meter-long swimming pool, flanked with palm trees and gorgeous cabanas. Elsewhere a 24-hour library, fitness centre and tranquil spa are available for guest use. There’s really little need to leave the comfortable confines of the resort, but should you choose to do so, the nearby mangroves are home to 65 species of birds, and provide exciting kayaking opportunities.
Discretion and privacy are key and The Oberoi, Beach Resort Al Zorah is a place guests come to escape, safe in the knowledge that they will be looked after. Yet despite being a thoughtfully designed retreat, expansion is on the horizon. An Italian restaurant, additional villas and an adults-only swimming pool are all under construction ahead of the forthcoming winter season, diversifying the culinary options and recreational activities across the already impressive property.
Having opened its doors in 2016, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah shows few signs of wear and tear. It’s awe-inspiring blend of contemporary architecture, wide open spaces and a natural palette that harmonises with panoramic ocean vista, provides everything we expect from a luxury escape – privacy, seclusion and one-of-a-kind stay.
GO: Visit www.oberoihotels.com for reservations and more information.