Palatial comfort, exceptional hospitality, awesome gastronomy and remarkable family atmosphere sum up the Ajman Saray – a Luxury Collection Resort in Ajman
By Ali Al Baker
The Ajman Saray is an enchanting coastal sanctuary centrally located on the western coast of United Arab Emirates. Bordering Sharjah, Ajman is conveniently close to Dubai International Airport and the area’s major attractions including Al Zohra Golf Club and the local Fish Market which were on my itinerary too.
I reached the hotel by 10 pm having taken a late evening flight from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. But the drive to Ajman from Dubai took a little longer than expected given it was a Thursday. However, the weekend traffic woes were quickly forgotten by the special welcome that awaited at the hotel along with a yummy ice-cream served at the check-in desk. Despite the luxury, the place had a familiar feel – similar to what you experience on coming home. The gorgeous decor of the lobby, the stunning colours, the marvellous lighting, the lively music and the warmth of the people – it all make you feel wanted.
The cool evening breeze and sound of restless waves, crashing against the coast, set the mood for a beautiful weekend
I stayed at the magnificent Deluxe Sea View Room, and the first thing that struck me was the breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf that instantly stole the scene as I opened the curtains and stepped on to the private balcony. The cool evening breeze and sound of restless waves, crashing against the coast, set the mood for a beautiful weekend. I stood there besotted by the sea as it gently whispered ‘sweet nothings’.
It was hard to step back into the room but I had a job at hand and that was to review the resort and its various facilities, as well as explore a few neighbourhood attractions – all within a span of few hours!
The decor of the stylish bedroom, with its inviting bed and elegant seating area, was equally fascinating. Combining Arabesque features with contemporary furniture, every detail from the atmospheric hanging lamps to the artworks on the walls were tastefully selected. Rich fabrics played off against austere earthy tones creating a cozy ambience. Included in the facilities were Illy coffee machine, iPod dock, Wi-Fi access and 40-inch flatscreen TV. The luxury bathroom completed the setting with a double vanity, walk-in shower and spacious bathtub.
Here I was ready for the weekend and it turned out to be an awesome one.
The room experience would not be complete without a mention of the special bed. Lying on it I had the feeling of being on a bed of clouds floating away in a fantasy world. The bed, I was told, is designed exclusively for The Luxury Collection Hotels. I must mention that it was simply out of this world.
The Ajman Saray boasts exceptional dining venues featuring gourmet cuisine with a blend of indigenous flavours. Between the hotel’s various outlets namely Safi, Vista, Bab Al Bahr, Mejhana, Escape and Al Shorfa, there is plenty to excite food lovers.
Safi I was booked at the Safi for dinner – a seafood restaurant and bar with the menu featuring a superb mix of seasonal and regional produce prepared in Asian style. Enhanced by the sumptuous surroundings, every dish was a unique culinary experience.
For starters I tried the Gulf Shrimp, that is a delicious crispy shrimp wrapped in katafi dough on a bed of Vietnamese mango salsa and plum sauce, as well as Chicken & Beef Satay, cooked in Indonesian style with a finger-licking peanut dipping sauce. Both dishes were done to perfection with just the right mix of spices.
There was an excellent choice of soups and salads too on the menu but I dived straight into the main course and ordered a Lobster Linguini served in a rich saffron scented tomato bisque. The delicate flavour of the bisque superbly complemented the tender and juicy lobster resulting in a multi-sensory sensation!
To round off the meal I indulged myself with a delicious Lemongrass CremeBrulee (caramelized pistachio and lemon biscotti) and Passion Fruit Chocolate Sphere. Balancing the slight sourness of the passion fruit was the sweet chocolate.
For breakfast, I tried Vista – the all-day-dining restaurant with both indoor and alfresco dining areas on the terrace. The outlet offers a variety local and international specialties in buffet style with live cooking stations. I had the opportunity to speak to Chef Ammar who was there to oversee the arrangements.
Bab Al Bahr
Lunch was at Bab Al Bahr that is an easy-going charming a la carte beach bar and grill. The menu offers a fantastic selection of starters, salads and main dishes.
I opted for Bab Al Bahr Platter that included mixed grill selection of lamb chops, beef tenderloin, beef rib eye, chicken steak and classic kofta with French fries on the side. My meal is never complete without the sweet and this time it was a delightful plate of tropical Fresh Fruit with Mango Sorbet. What more can one ask for!
It was an absolute delight to stay at the Ajman Saray. The staff makes you feel like you are a part of the family. Discreet and courteous, you are left alone to enjoy your time in privacy but they are there for every little thing you may need. Also, the hotel has some of the best-informed concierges that are certified destination experts eager to reveal the secret treasures of the city.
• Luxury collection concierge
• Private beach and outdoor pool
• Water sports activities
• GOCO Spa
• Fitness centre and squash court
• Free Wi-Fi in public areas
• Check-in from 3.00pm
• Free shuttle bus service in the area
• Free valet parking
• Kids club on site