Marissa’s back with her 5 Emirates in 5 Weekends feature and this time she’s taking on Ajman…
Did you know that Ajman is the smallest of the seven Emirates? They say: ‘small is beautiful’ and this is no less the case for Ajman. With its white powdery sandy beach, it ranks up there as far as UAE beaches go, plus the sea views are refreshingly uninterrupted, and it is just sea as far as the eye can see (pun intended).
Due to its tiny size, there is plenty to within a 10-minute drive even if in another Emirate, so it makes a perfect base from where to explore.
Family Time: The Land of Museums
We took a little drive to Sharjah and immersed ourselves into the world of the Sharjah Museums: for young kids we love the Sharjah Aquarium, the Classic Cars Museum, the Al Mahatta Museum, the Sharjah Discovery Centre and the Sharjah Science Museum. Sooo much to do and learn! If you have older kids, you can also take them to the more advanced type such as Bait Al Naboodah, the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, or the Sharjah Archeology Museum. But there are a whopping 16 museums in the emirate covering all sorts of interests, and every one of them just as cool as the next – you can find them all on Sharjah Museums.
‘Me time’ for mummy
Have you ever fantasised about taking a milk bath, just like Cleopatra used to? Kempinski The Spa at Kempinski Hotel Ajman has turned that up a notch and is offering a complimentary 24K gold collagen mask when you book their 60-minute HydraFacial MD (the type of treatment people like Kate Winslet, Beyoncé and the Prince of Monaco swear by), before end of September. Complete with Hyaluronic acid, protein peptides and of course, 24K gold dust which is known to be regenerating, anti-aging and hydrating, this mask is heavenly and will get your skin glowing for your little getaway and beyond. Do you need any more celebrity names to convince you of its powers? I don’t …
But if you decide to be a bit more adventurous and want to give Ayurveda a try, this ancient healing philosophy dating as far back as 5,000 years, will work wonders on your whole being. The most popular is the Sirodhara (or Kshira Dhara) where an invigorating massage is followed by a stream of warm Ayurvedic herbal oils poured onto your forehead in a rythmic pattern. No, it does not smell of flowers but boy, does it work wonders! During and after the treatment you will feel utterly and blissfully relaxed, at a complete different level from the more conventional treatments. Now bring on the tantrums, mummy is ready for handling anything now!
‘Me time’ for the boys
It is time for ‘boys and their toys’. If you live in Dubai, it is quite likely that the jet ski restrictions mean your hubby has not ventured to the seas on a jet ski yet. So let him become a wild child for an afternoon – if he can swim that is 😉 – and conquer the waves. The water sports centre at the Kempinski Hotel Ajman rents these toys that can go as fast as 70 km per hour (!).
Where to Stay: The Kempinski Hotel Ajman
The pioneering hotel in Ajman and also for the Kempinski group in the UAE and Middle East, this is not the tallest or most expensive or trendiest, but it definitely is absolutely fabulous and a big hit for families looking for relaxation, fun and oh-so-delicious food. Kempinski prides itself in its European heritage but has also adapted each hotel’s style and service to the locales, and the Kempinski Hotel Ajman is a fine example that we just love.
One cannot book a room at this hotel and later on realise they should have paid more attention at booking time to make sure they had a sea view: they ALL have sea view (panoramic)! And a balcony! And they are all are so close to the beach that at night you can actually hear the lulling of the waves from your very own balcony. Relaxation: tick!
My favourite rooms: the Leisure Club Rooms. They come equipped with in-room service, all-day club lounge access for those snacks that the little people like to have in between meals, and complimentary WiFi for those (most of us, really) that cannot survive a couple of hours without Internet connection. Early check-in and late-check-out are also huge added benefits that help when travelling with the family from another emirate, although they are subject to availability.
The Kempinski Kids Club is right next to the pool, so great location to have a quick check on the kids if you are the type of parent who is uneasy about leaving your precious child in another person’s care. But chances are you will miss your child more than they will miss you: they will be busy doing Zumba dancing, making pompoms or pinwheels, or treasure hunting on the beach.
For dinner, go ethnic and have a little Indian feast – I must admit I am not a lover of Indian cuisine but I could eat Bukhara meals every day of the week (if pounds did not count). The unbelievably succulent and tender meats and seafood that come out of the Tandoori are filled with the most exotic yet subtly fragrant flavours. They obviously have lots of vegetarian options too and one of my favourites is the to-die-for Dal Bukhara: hearty, rich and creamy, which is the result of slow cooking overnight and needs to be scooped with the delicious Butter Naan for the perfect combination of flavours and textures. What we loved the most and your kids will surely love too: it’s a ‘no cutlery, just apron’ type of restaurant – just dig in!
A healthier option is the new menu with 100% organic food at the Italian Restaurant Sabella’s, that even has plenty of Gluten Free options … Now that is innovation as far as Italian goes!
And for early family evenings, the Cosmic Bowling is just what the doctor ordered to burn all those shameless calories after the Bukhara dinner (or the Sabella’s if you could not resist and overindulged).
Kempinski Hotel Ajman, Ajman Corniche www.kempinski.com, (+971) (0)6 714 5555