Review: Luxury comes to north Fujairah
Fujairah’s only art-inspired resort isn’t completely finished yet, but it’s been welcoming guests since mid-December. We checked in to check it out…
Nestled away from sight amongst the Al Hajar Mountains, Fairmont Fujairah is one of only a handful of accommodation options along the coastal region of Dibba.
Art is the focus of the resort, homegrown and international works adorn the walls, and there’s designated spaces set aside for artists in residence to showcase their work.
Here’s our verdict on what we think are the six most important categories for anyone looking to go on holiday…
The luxury hotel is a departure from Fairmont’s usual sprawling and grandiose style, with just 180 guest rooms and suites which all face the ocean or marina. The rooms range from 40sqm for a standard Fairmont Room, to 80sqm for a one-bedroom suite, to 360sqm for the opulent Royal Suite.
While we would love to tell you we pulled up in a Ferrari and went for the latter, our Fairmont Room with two cloud-like queen beds, a quaint balcony, and a marina view was more than adequate.
The décor is Arabesque with a hint of Morocco – a theme that flows throughout the hotel, right up to the peachy Moroccan shade of the exterior – with lots of wood detailing and pure white.
Our highlight was undoubtedly the bathroom, specifically the bathtub that’s been installed on a slight lean so you can open the divider and stare straight out to the ocean while listening to the Les Mis soundtrack and being suffocated by over-enthusiastic bubbles. Bliss.
Spa: 4/5 (for what’s open)
While the Willow Stream Spa wasn’t up and running when we visited, we still got to meander through bits of it during our stay. The dimly-lit hallways and art-inspired finish really helped us get into the relaxation mood, and we especially loved the heated loungers and experience showers.
We aren’t even ashamed to admit we spent upwards of 30 minutes caught in a hypothetical Caribbean Storm, squealing with delight with each crack of thunder. Yes, we are new to the Middle East…
The spa will also feature four single treatment rooms (nail salons, spa treatments, male grooming areas) and two VIP suites.
Fairmont is keen to separate the five on-site dining options from the hotel itself so it will be considered a stand-alone dining destination. And if what we experienced is anything to go by, we think they’ll probably succeed.
Fresh salads, an ice-cream and dessert bar and the most delicious focaccia bread you’ll ever get your hands on are on order at European bistro-style Café Pronto, your quintessential buffet can be found at Canvas, the resort’s all-day dining option, and Arteasan provides a beautiful backdrop for tea and cake, amid latticed white walls and grand wicker chairs.
But the clear winner for us was Copper Lobster – the resort’s gastro bar restaurant. Pro mixologist Alex Khvastunov had us enjoying bell pepper and tarragon-infused beverages much more than we ever thought we would, and executive chef Giovanni Pugliano had us ordering dishes that sounded dubious in theory, but were delicious upon sampling.
The menu has taken its inspiration from various places (a Wagyu beef burger and half a lobster reminiscent of Dubai’s Burger and Lobster), but has carved its own niche too. Our favourites were the Fujairah clay pot harra lobster (Dhs145), and the Lobster Mac and Cheese (Dhs65).
The Fairmont Fujairah beach and beach club are still a while away from being useable, but there’s plenty more seaside activities on offer while you wait. The resort’s own purpose-built marina is brimming with water-sports paraphernalia; think kayaks, jet skis, paddle boats, water skis, a jetpack… the options are endless.
With some of our party being a little hesitant on adrenaline-fuelled activities (no, I’m not sulking at all…) we decided on a trip out to a small nearby island for some snorkeling. And what that lacked in gravity-defying stunts (still not sulking), it made up for in sheer beauty. Just like Pixar, we can now safely say we found Nemo and Dory (we’re sorry, we had to…).
When the beach club is ready, it will include restaurants, chalets (pictured above), a pool and Jacuzzi, a swim-up bar, a DJ station, tennis court and heaps more. Until the hotel’s 1,100 sqm beach opens, they’re offering a shuttle service to a neighbouring hotel’s private beach.
The hotel’s pool is a stylish affair, with black swirling patterns on the bottom modeled after a Persian rug. The pool features a swim-up bar, and is flanked on all sides by cushy loungers.
But the real masterpiece will be beach club’s pool, which is going to be 850sqm and will feature a kids pool and “splash pad water play”. The beach club is set to open in the later half of this year, and you can bet we’ll be back for a nosy around that.
There’s plenty for kids to do at Fairmont Fujairah. When everything’s up-and-running there will be a dedicated children’s area, but for now a temporary one is set up in one of the large meeting rooms. There’s plenty to keep them entertained, and eventually we think it will be a great family destination.
The hotel is offering a special Discover Fujairah discount for their soft opening. The offer includes 20 per cent off the room rate, buffet breakfast at Canvas, 24-hour check-in, one welcome drink and welcome amenities in the room. Bookings must be made before March 31, for stays until September 30.
Prices are from Dhs640 for a Fairmont Room with the Discover Fujairah discount, Dhs800 without the discount.