Hotel breakfasts, crisp sheets and heaps of family fun – sometimes a mini vacay is just what you need to get your gang recharged and relaxed. And with little ones in tow, a staycation is perfect – no passports to forget, flights to deal with or major planning required, just bundle everything in the car and hit the road.
The Hatta Fort Hotel, just an hour’s drive from Dubai in the gorgeous Hajar Mountains, is one of the most kid-friendly and super chilled places you can hope for. Oozing old-world charm and with that sleepy ‘you’re away from it all’ vibe that most of the newer, bigger resorts lack, we first visited The Hatta Fort Hotel almost 6 years ago to escape the July heat when my newborn prevented travel further afield and now, 3 kids later, it’s become a regular go-to for a tantrum-free getaway. Here are 10 reasons why we love it.
The Hotel is only an hour (or so – it’s a teeny bit longer now that you have to drive the Kalba route due to road closures) away from Dubai yet you really feel like you’re away from it all. Mountains, nature, greenery and slightly cooler temperatures mean that this is a fab place to go when you just can’t stand the heat – or the pace – in the city.
The 48 rooms are chalet style so there aren’t lots of corridors to navigate – just a lovely stroll through the gardens to find your door – a home from home. And once you’re inside there’s plenty of space, a HUGE bed and lovely terrace looking out over the gardens below. Bathrooms are great too with a tub, standing shower and lots of Elemis products to indulge in. A sofa converts to a mini double for the kids and the hotel can arrange a travel cot too – even with these 2 there’s still plenty of space. If you’d prefer, interconnecting rooms are available too.
The staff here are all about making sure that the kids are just as happy as the parents. From taking them on golf buggy rides to helping load up their breakfast plates with goodies – even the porter (same one we first met 6 years ago!) was so happy to push my 3 and our bags to the room.
There are 2 pools – one for families (where we spent most of our time) and the other for kid-free guests. This means that there’s no stress about keeping the teenies quiet – the pool is laid back, has a baby bit for floating about in, a waterfall to hide under and loads of sunbeds from which to watch the kids splash about with big smiles on their faces.
The resident peacocks who roam the grounds – also goats, deer and birds galore – the kids love to visit the peacock enclosure with the staff to help feed all the birds who live there. And finding stray peacock feathers is always a treat!
Mini-golf, a bouncy castle and a huge shady playground mean that when the kids want a break from the pool there’s plenty else to make sure they’re happy – we also scamper around the mountains pretending to be adventurers which they love!
The hotel’s restaurants (Jeema for dinner and Cafe Gazebo for breakfast or lunch) are welcoming, laid back and have outdoor spaces so the kids can wander around when they get antsy at the table. And nothing is too much of an ask – if the kiddos are keen to eat their favourite type of pasta but can’t find it on the menu, the chef will do everything he can to make it happen.
The Hatta Fort Hotel isn’t glitzy or glamorous, it’s a lovely change from marbled hallways and fancy shmancy decor. This is retro chic complete with crepes suzette flambed at your table, chocolates on your pillow at turn-down and good old-fashioned service.
A staycation at Hatta proves that you don’t have to empty your wallet to have a lovely break away with the kids. The resort often offers special deals (keep an eye on their site for info) and meal packages. If a stress-free staycation is what you’re after, then Hatta is just the ticket.
For bookings and information visit www.jaresortshotels.com or call +971 4 814 5400