Lapita Hotel’s daycation brunch: why it’s perfect for families


Before I continue to write about my huge backlog i.e., blog posts about our travels last summer, let’s take a break and see what we’ve been up to lately. I can’t believe it’s November already. Wasn’t it just yesterday when the new year rung in? It’s scary how fast time flies. One more month and then boom, there goes another year gone.

There were so many changes in our family this year – the husband had quit working in Saudi Arabia since last April (he was in Saudi for one whole year, 3 months each time with a 2-3 weeks break in between) and started working in Abu Dhabi. He still isn’t home everyday but at least we’re in the same country and can be with us on weekends or some days, if his work schedule permits. This past year, the kids and I have gone to places without him and whenever we get a chance, we go back to the awesome places to show to him and to let him experience it too when he is here in Dubai.

One of those places is Lapita Hotel & Resort at Dubai Parks and Resorts. We’ve been to Lapita for the first time in February when they first introduced the Daycation brunch. We thoroughly enjoyed it however, it was too cold to swim in the pool at that time. We wanted to go again – the kids wanted to go again, with their dad this time. And we did!

The Daycation brunch at Lapita was back right after summer and we scheduled to go last week which was perfect because their Halloween celebrations were in full swing. The setup was awesome and scary enough for the little one.

halloween entrance

And before we could start eating at brunch, we went around to appreciate what they have prepared. The hotel’s F&B crew did a really good job with all the spooky food! Look at these works of art.

[envira-gallery id=”78672″]

Honestly, up until we visited, I never realized Halloween was such a big craze here in Dubai. Now, Halloween has passed but know that Lapita could be one of your best bet for Halloween themed brunches next year. 🙂

Also, what’s wonderful with Lapita’s #DaycationBrunch is that it’s buffet brunch + pool access. Swimming is a really great exercise to burn some of those calories away, you know?

Not many people were in the pool though the time we were there from 4pm. Benjamin was overjoyed to have his dad swim with him.

pool time with dad

There’s also a shallower pool for kids with a water play area and a lazy river.


lazy river collage

The adult pool.

pool 1

pool 5

There’s a special buffet for kids, too and they can enjoy the Luna & Nova Kids and Teens Club between 1pm-5pm. There are hotel staff who can supervise and watch the kids leaving parents some time of peace and quiet while brunching.

Do I recommend the Daycation brunch at Lapita?

YES! Great food with lots of emphasis on fresh ingredients (the only problem you’ll have is how to get a taste of all the varieties in one visit), beautiful setting – where else can you get the laid back tropical Polynesian vibes without ever leaving town?

lapita outside food stand 1
lapita outside food stand 2
Additionally, the hotel is a unique gateway to endless fun at Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is the home of three world-class theme parks and one water park, as well as Riverland Dubai. All guests staying at Lapita Hotel & Resort will enjoy unlimited multi-park access for the duration of their stay, in addition to complimentary Q-fast to all parks.

General Information:

When: Fridays, 1pm-5pm
Price: AED195 with soft drinks; AED295 with house beverages; AED95 for children up to 12.
Contact: +9714 810 9999, website

Beach time at Ajman


The United Arab Emirates is composed of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah – all of which have coastlines. We’ve been to the beaches of all the Emirates except one, in Ajman. Ajman is the emirate just 30 minutes drive away from where we live so going to a beach in Ajman is actually nearer for us than say to go to the beach in Jumeirah (in Dubai). I’m not really sure why we’ve not been to a beach in Ajman till now.

The husband’s going away for work again and we thought it was a good time to spend a weekend with the kids at the beach. He himself wanted to go so a spontaneous decision lead me to looking for a place to stay in Ajman. It was already Thursday night on a long UAE weekend for Eid Al Adha so all the major hotels in Ajman are either fully booked or with inflated rates. We stayed at the Ajman Beach Hotel, a 3-star property seemingly dwarfed by the huge hotels along Ajman corniche. You could tell that this hotel must be one of the first ones to be built along the corniche before the big wigs like Ajman Palace or Ajman Saray or Fairmont came to be. The hotel is very basic but clean and decent enough.

TIP: If you’re a family of four and keeping budget by choosing only one room, better choose the twin beds rather than the double bed. Otherwise, get another room for the kids. Ajman Beach hotel was great value for money if you only go there for the beach (it’s the same stretch of beach anyway from the nearby big hotels) and not mind the lack of hotel facilities.beach-2

The hotel elevator was very small and the reception was really slow. Ah, I could list so many other inconvenience but it’s just because we’re used to staying in bigger hotels with better services and amenities. But come to think of it, with the price we paid, the hotel wasn’t really bad.

The saving grace of this hotel, though? The lovely private beach, which is the same stretch of beach with powdery, soft white sand and clear waters. When we went to the beach, we completely forgot about the small room or the not-for-the-claustrophobic elevator or the noisy split aircon in the room!



When we arrived just after lunch, it was still so hot (yes even in mid-September when we were there) so we had to wait for a while to go maybe right before sunset. The kids of course, couldn’t wait and though we’re speaking in all the languages we know, they can’t seem to understand when we say, “it’s still too hot!” or “wait till 5 pm”.

Finally, when we went out, the heat was milder. The tide was low so you have to really walk so far out to get in the water.


I must admit, I am not a really big fan of going to the beach. Maybe because with a small kid, it takes a bit of work to prepare the things, the clean up but then when I am there, I realize how stupid that thought is because when I am there, I can get lost in time just lying on the soft sand and listening to the waves. (It helps if someone is there to watch the kids and I can only do this when their father is here so I took this rare opportunity!)

The beach in Ajman was wonderful. We loved that it wasn’t so crowded – actually the morning after, we were the only (crazy) ones to be swimming at 10 am. Look how clean and clear the water is!




The beach was idyllic. The powder-like sand, the warm sea breeze and sea water, the rhythmic ebb and flow of the waves were setting the right ambiance for a relaxing family vacation.

However, when we finished swimming, I got the kids to the shower and I was wonder why my husband did not follow. I saw him on the shore picking up snack wrappers, candy wrappers, plastic bags and other objects and other marine debris. I guess they might have floated into the water from the nearby public beach or had been left behind by previous vacationers. 

Did you know that marine debris, especially plastics, is harmful to wildlife and the environment as a whole? Seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles often ingest floating plastic bags and debris with lethal consequences.

So, next time you go to the beach or park, please pick up after yourself. Don’t leave trash behind. The trash on the beach/shore was an insult to the lovely, pristine beach – something we all would like to preserve for our kids and the generations and generations after that, right?

A little update


I just got out of a very bad cough, the ones that wakes you up at night and at times keep you awake until early morning. Work had been hectic so I can’t take a break. Plus, I can’t spend my sick leave days this early. We only  have 6 days of sick leave every year and we’re just on the first few months of the year. After taking medication for 3-4 days, I thought there would never be an end to the incessant coughing. I’m finally better right now and ready to tackle other things, including blogging.

Or I thought so.

My sciatica pain (in the lower back) has come back. I’ve been exercising non-stop since January 1st and have been actually commendable (if I say so myself!) for sticking to my workout schedule, without skipping, without the excuses. Then on the last week of February, the end of my 60 days workout schedule, I broke my back. I am not sure if it was because of too much heavy weight or over exhaustion. Don’t you just hate it when you’re not anywhere your goal and your body already breaks down? It’s frustrating because we all know carrying too much body weight can cause lower back pains and then some exercising to hopefully reduce the weight, when not done properly can trigger back pain too.

I’ve been following the Les Mills Combat, a mixed martial arts routine for cardio because I love boxing, kickboxing and muay Thai and alongside, been doing Chalean Extreme, a resistance training program by Beach Body involving dumbbells.  (I lift heavy.)

I feel so defeated when this happens – it’s like taking one step forward and two steps back. The pain is sharp and agonizing and it doesn’t help that I mostly just sit for long stretches of time at my work. The pain bears down on me when I sit for even a few minutes. Last night, the pain was too much that I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t bend, couldn’t crouch and every movement takes so much effort and heavy breathing to execute. Am I really just in my late 30? More like an 80 year old body.

I’ve done a few stretches to relieve sciatica pain. If you have them too, I found a great video that really helped me.

The pain comes and goes and I dread the feeling that it might really be time to visit the Osteo clinic soon (I go to the Osteopathic Health Center). The sessions are not covered by my insurance and is really not cheap. I used to frequent and Osteopathic Center in Japan before to “repair” my body. I love the feeling of like being born again, with absolutely no pain anywhere.

So, it’s Friday now and I’m awake early because I’m used to it. I always wake up early on my weekends to start exercise early and exercise longer since I don’t have to run to work. Unfortunately, it’s been a week since I haven’t exercised due to the bad cough and sciatica pain. I hate that my schedule is ruined and mostly, I fear of the DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) once I get back to doing it again. And I miss boxing. I miss kicking. I miss sweating. I miss the happy hormones I get from exercising.

That’s a little update about me for now. I’m going to transfer my laptop somewhere I could stand and work on something, like editing photos. Sitting too long and my back pain is at it again.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Where we stayed: Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri

lobby 1

We spent a wonderful weekend at Traders Qaryat Al Beri in Abu Dhabi and couldn’t be happier.We’ve never been to the Qaryat Al Beri area before but within minutes of arriving, we’re already pretty sure we would like to be back soon. Just a little over an hour drive from The Dubai Mall on Sheikh Zayed Road, Qaryat Al Beri is a little piece of paradise very close to Dubai.

sunset under maqta bridge

TIP: When you go to the hotel around sunset time, don’t miss to stop when you drive beneath Al Maqta Bridge.

We were lucky to be at the right place and at the right time to witness this beautiful sunset with the silhouette of Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque against the crimson sky.

When I first heard of Traders Hotel, all that was in my mind was that this must be strictly for business hotel. However, internet research showed it is not just for business but for leisure and families as well. The lobby is huge and welcoming and the vibrant, funky colors are proof that this hotel is upbeat and modern – certainly not just for the modest business traveller!

lobby 3

View outside the hotel – you can easily tell this is a resort type hotel.

traders front 1

Traders is managed by Shangri-la and follows all the protocols, service and food quality standards of the Shangri-la brand.


Traders Hotel is located within the Qaryat Al Beri complex and is a 10-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport, five minutes from Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and 15 minutes from the city centre. It overlooks its own private beach and is directly across the water from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (covered by another property but visible as you walk towards the neighbouring property Shangri-la).

Christmas tree on the beach

The beach area out at the back side of the hotel is well kept and the sand is clean. There are lots of sunbeds and other comfortable seating available .

beach side morning


We stayed at interconnecting rooms (perfect for families staying with children) at the Traders Club floor. The Traders Club Superior rooms on the 7th, 8th and 9th floors are sleek and modern, affording guests access to the dedicated Traders Club Lounge and full Traders Club benefits.

room 1

room 2

The rooms are very spacious, with king sized beds which were very comfortable.

The bathroom is large with a monsoon type shower, amenities and a separate bathtub. A hotel with a separate bathtub is always a winner in our book!


We had a sea view room on a top floor with magnificent views from the balcony. One of the first things I check after entering a hotel room is the view outside. I couldn’t complain…

view from balcony 1

TIP: Booking a club floor is such a great value. Guests who stay at any rooms in the club floor get access to the Club Lounge with breakfast, all day tea/coffee, soft drinks and alcohol and nibbles between 6pm and 8pm, and of course, free WiFi and a place to work, overlooking the private beach.


The property was very family friendly, starting with the staff who never fail to make us feel at home, especially our kids. There’s plenty of space to run around and a playground to boot!

playground 2

playground 1

If swimming on the beach is not your bet while staying here, there’s also a pool, which unfortunately small for the size of the hotel. We did not have a problem with the crowd though as not many were keen to swim at the time we went there (around 10am).


But how many would prefer to be in the pool if the beach is so close by?


The hotel is serviced by the all-day dining restaurant Afya that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet was good and staff were alert and attentive to everyone’s needs. You can also opt to sit outside for al fresco breakfast while enjoying the lovely sea breeze.


afya 2


Every Friday is barbecue night at the beach with wide spread international buffet, mixed grills of meat and seafood. Shisha also available.

bbq night 2

bbq night 4

What’s great about it, other than the food? There’s a play setup for kids which means quiet dining time for the parents!

bbq night 3

It was quite chilly when we were there so we’re glad there were heaters placed all around the dining area to keep us warm. Strange things happen when you live far too long in desert land – you become sissy with the cold once the temps drop below 20C!

bbq night 5

We enjoyed the lovely dinner under the stars (that sounds so romantic, I know and it was) while the children played in the bouncy castle and in the sand. It is really the loveliest time of the year to be outside.

bbq night 1


great weather

Our stay at Traders Qaryat Al Beri was faultless. Everything from the rooms to the service was ace. Add to that, the property was really a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city – the green surroundings, the soft sound of the lapping waves…it is a breath of fresh air, literally.

walkway to Shangrila

We really liked our early morning walks in the promenade to the Souk/Shangri-la Hotel and back.

walkway to Shangrila 2

water across mosque

Souk Qaryat Al Beri (the souk between Traders Hotel, Shangri-la Residences and Shangri-la Hotel), is a contemporary adaptation of a typical Arabian market, with abras (water taxis) ferrying visitors round the waterside complex via meandering man-made canals.

abra 2

abra 3

The children are thrilled to be in the small motorized boat. We passed through the narrow canal to Traders from the Souk and back again to Shangri-la. Hotel guests can enjoy this service free of charge.

abra 4


If my photos don’t do this place justice, you simply have to go and see for yourself (you won’t regret it). I would have no hesitation recommending this hotel to anyone, whether travelling on business or leisure and highly recommend for families. We had a great time and would love to celebrate family milestones in this hotel or simply a long weekend staycation in the future.

santa surprise

If you’re looking for a high quality class of a hotel and not at 5 star prices, then give this hotel a look. 

sunset from the balcony 2

To learn more about Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri and their special offers, check out their main website as well as connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

We were guests at Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri but all opinions are my own.

Warm winter this year in Dubai

dubai winter 1

Something’s wrong with this year’s “winter”. Well, before I begin – I know the thought of “winter” in the Middle East might have you all laughing. But as a matter of fact, there IS winter in desert land, even if people living outside of the Middle East would like to prefer to it still as summer. 

I can’t blame you…it was 29C at 2pm today.

It’s really strange because for the past few years, we turn our aircondition off by mid-November. What’s the date now? It’s already December and it would still be difficult to sleep well without aircon.

P and me in Prague

Pristine and I was just in Prague exactly a week ago. We were wrapped in layers and layers of clothing and waterproof jacket, with leather gloves, beanie hats and half knee boots.

P and me

Today we are in Dubai, feeling the warm desert sun and digging our heels into the soft, powdery sand.

us at the beach

I realized I’ve not posted photos of the kids lately, so here are some taken this afternoon while we were at the Ritz Carlton Dubai (Jumeirah Beach Residence) for their Christmas tree lighting ceremony. We had ample time before the event started so we headed out to the beach.

dubai winter 4

dubai winter 2

Can you tell how they love the beach?

dubai winter 3

The water was already a little bit cold (I wouldn’t swim in it, personally). But the afternoon sun felt so warm.

The cloudless blue sky was perfect background for the airshow as well.


airshow 2


We didn’t know there would be an airshow. December 2nd was the UAE National Day thus the display of the colors of the UAE flag. It’s my first time to see anything like it.

dubai winter 5

I am expecting the weather and temps would mellow a bit in a few days. While I do not mind the warm winter, it would be nice to turn off the aircon to save on energy and sleep with the windows open.

New for Saturdays: Pik-nik at the Westin

It’s another weekend in Dubai and with much relief from the past weekends, it’s actually already pleasant and bearable outside. These kind of days make you want to lay a mat on the grass and just stare at the sky while the kids run around.

The Westin Mina Seyahi has introduced a fun, family friendly offer called Pik-nik – an English country style picnic at the Westin lawns, enclosed in white picket fences with tartan family rugs spread out over fresh green grass.

The picnic basket is included in the basic package while the below are not, billed separately. 
Each family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) will get one picnic basket packed with different salads in country style labelled jars, french bread, assorted soft breads, madeleines, muffins, cheeses, cold cuts, a bottle of sweet tea and water. The basket also includes plates and cutleries so you won’t have to do anything else but just lay the food on the picnic mat and enjoy.

westin piknik

There was entertainment for the kids as well. With plenty of space to run around, a little jungle gym of sorts with face painting and because of this juggler, we seldom see the kids at our picnic mat!

The picnic starts at around 11:30 but we got there at 12:30 pm. Good thing there were still so many vacant spots – TIP: if you want the table setting rather than the picnic mat on the ground, you must come early.

We chose to sit on the mat with big comfy bean bags. Pristine and I went to get the picnic basket along with the beverages and made sandwiches from the breads, cold cuts and cheeses and were happy with this light lunch. I guess when you’re expecting Dubai’s over the top weekend brunches, this might not be for you but this is actually a break from those lavish brunches. It’s simple, it was filling for us and we’re happy with our picnic time – the most appealing factor is that we didn’t have to prepare any of the food or clean up afterwards!

The only downside I can point out are the flying insects you have to battle when the food is out of the basket. I suppose it would be better to use the elevated picnic tables otherwise cover the food to prevent such inconvenience or choose a different place, preferably not near the tree? I feel thought that we must be the only ones struggling with the flying insects as the others were just fine. I don’t know.

We had a great day out in the sun, lunging in the mat outdoors and seeing the kids happy. This is something we certainly would like to do again. If you live on the other side of Dubai (like us), The Westin Mina Seyahi is easier to access now with the tram. Get down at Damac Properties (Red line) and take the tram to Al Sufouh direction. Get down at the Mina Seyahi tram station. The hotel is just across the street.

I believe those who want to enjoy the outdoors will love The Westin’s fab new concept – Saturday Piknik. From 11.30am-4pm, Dh390 will get you a rustic picnic basket for two adults and two children (drinks extra) full of traditional goodies such as sandwiches, salads, dips and pastries, as well as a host of fun entertainment for the little ones. To book call 04 511 7139.

Disclosure: We received a complimentary brunch for 2 adults and 2 children for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Where we stayed: Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City

Intercontinental Dubai Festival City

We had a long weekend for the Islamic New Year and after living in Dubai for almost nine years, we find ourselves running out of ideas of where to go or what to do when a few days of holidays strikes. Recently, we’ve been staying at home more than going out but it would be unfair for the children so I thought it would be the perfect time to use the loyalty points I got from the IHG Rewards Club for one night hotel stay!

What is the IHG Rewards Club?
Through IHG’s Rewards Club, you can earn rewards at more than 4,900 properties within IHG’s extensive network of hotels, including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites properties. The program also offers a variety of ways to use your accumulated points, ranging from paying for hotel stays and air travel to purchasing goods and services online.

I chose that we spend our rewards night at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City because it’s the nearest IHG hotel from our home.


Intercontinental Hotel is at Dubai Festival City, a large residential, business and entertainment development in Dubai. It is very close to the airport and access to other parts of the city is easy via taxi or private cars.

Intercon DFC lobby

Hotel staycations are always a hit with the kids (actually for all of us) – there’s a change in atmosphere, big comfortable bed, nice view outside, pool time and for me, not having to wake up early to cook breakfast on a Friday morning (our weekend here).


living room 2


50,000 IHG Rewards Club points = 1 night stay at a deluxe room at Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City. The room as surprisingly huge. It’s very comfortable for families staying with children. There’s also a kitchen, a separate walk in closet, bath tub and separate shower room. It is very spacious! 

And the view outside our hotel window…lovely.

header shot


One of our favorite part of any hotel stay is time at the pool. The weather is easing up on us and it’s so wonderful to swim and just relax by the water.

Intercon stay 5


And of course, just lounging in bed watching a movie. We never do this at home because we don’t have a tv inside the bedroom!

friday relax

We loved our short but wonderful stay at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City. The staff were courteous and always helpful, we’re happy with the room and the pool and the breakfast (not included in the rewards club redeemed room).

Intercon DFC lobby 2

You can read and see more pics of our stay at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City from the IHG Destination Guides page.

Disclosure:This post is brought to you in collaboration with InterContinental Hotels Group as part of their Rewards Club scheme promotion. The views and opinions are entirely mine.

Where we stayed: Park Rotana Abu Dhabi

lobby 1

After living in Dubai for more than 8 years, we feel we’d like to explore the other Emirates more and spend some time there on some weekends. We previously explored Fujairah again and had a day trip to Ras Al Khaimah lately. We have found family friendly hotels during our stay. School’s out and it’s summer, Eid is also coming around soon. If you’re not going out of the country like most of the expat population, you might want to check out this hotel we stayed in Abu Dhabi: Park Rotana Abu Dhabi just off Maqta bridge, near Khalifa Park.

The drive took us about two hours from Dubai. The hotel is easily accessible from Dubai (with the help of Google maps) but it’s a bit far from Abu Dhabi city center. The hotel offers shuttle buses to the city center as well as there are plenty of taxis available right from the hotel entrance.

lobby 2

We were assigned at the 7th floor and excited to see the view outside. This is the chic hotel lobby.

hotel lobby

We had interconnecting rooms, perfect for families with children so there’s more space. Family rooms at Park Rotana features two rooms: one with king size bed and the other, with twin beds.

king size bed room

It is ideal for families or friends and could sleep up to 4 people. The rooms were clean, spacious and nicely decorated.

twin bed room

Look at this sweet welcome not just for me but for the kids too!

welcome sweets

It was the first day of Ramadan when we arrived at the hotel. We had our first Iftar at Ginger Restaurant, the hotel’s all day dining restaurant. I’m not only impressed by the variety of the dishes available (mostly Arabic, though) but also the taste. After indulging in so many iftar buffets in the past, I found that the more I dine ‘buffet style’, the harder it is to please my palates. Confession: I easily get bored or had become sensitive to bland food. But to be honest, the food we had here did not disappoint. Kebabs and Arabic mixed grill was really tasty.

iftar june 18

This was the view from our room. This is part of Khalifa Park, if it had not been too hot, we would have loved to go out and explore this very huge park with the kids.

khalifa park

After a good night’s sleep, (the bed was nice!), we look forward to breakfast. As I’ve said,  it has been difficult for me to appreciate buffet food because most of them are either too common or just don’t have anything special. These are just some of the food at the breakfast buffet. I think it could cater to anyone’s breakfast needs.

breakfast collage


Coopers Bar is open from 9pm during Ramadan while the Italian fare Teatro is closed till Eid holidays. Ginger all day dining restaurant is open all throughout the holy month.


The green space between Park Rotana and Park Arjaan by Rotana was wonderful with pool , lounges, a tennis court and mini playground for kids.

green spaces 2

green spaces 1

The best part of our staycation was definitely the pool! 


pool 2

There is a small shallow children’s pool which had shade so it’s perfect for the little ones!

childrens pool


  • Only 20 minutes drive to the airport so it’s convenient for travelers.
  • Very close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (a must see when you’re in Abu Dhabi!)
  • There is a shuttle to take you to the grand mosque
  • has Bodylines fitness and wellness club. The gym is very well equipped!
  • In-room WiFi is not free but according to their website and other reviews online, the hotel is regularly reviewing competitor’s services and assure that their rates for wireless internet is very competitive.
  • The bathroom has no tub. It wasn’t an issue for us as we really don’t have time to soak in the tub and spend most of our time in the outdoor pool
  • 20 minutes drive to Yas Island (Ferrari World, Marina Circuit, Yas Waterworld, Yas Mall, Yas Beach)

It was a very pleasant staycation and I would highly recommend this hotel for families who want something different, a drive out of Dubai. We had a very chill time and the children really enjoyed the pool. Staff were very polite and very attentive to guests. I think this hotel can be a great staycation hotel in Abu Dhabi for this coming summer!

To learn more about Park Rotana Abu Dhabi hotel and their special offers, check out their main website as well as connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We were guests at Park Rotana Abu Dhabi but all opinions are my own.

Daycation at the Ritz Carlton Dubai

ritz pool 1

What makes Dubai an exciting place is that we don’t have to go far and out of the country to enjoy resort type vacations. In this case, we don’t even need to be out of for a few days…enter “daycation” – a new term to add to the already trending “staycation”. We spent a daycation at the Ritz Carlton – one full day to sit back, relax and bask in the sun to enjoy the warm ocean water or the refreshing pools and waterfalls within their extensive gardens.

The resort sanctuary experience ideal for families who just simply need to unwind and relax without having to leave the city.

pool collage

It’s getting really hot in Dubai lately and cooling off at this pool is a great respite from the heat. They also have a mini slide and fountains, making the pool look like a small water park. The kids almost didn’t want to get out of it!

For young guests, the superb Ritz Kidz club, situated in close proximity to the sun-shaded children’s pool and play areas, allows parents the opportunity to unwind. This popular kids club is spacious, bright and clean.

ritz kids room

ben in ritz kids 2

I love that the staff at Ritz Kids are very friendly and professional. I wouldn’t worry a bit about leaving my kids here.

ben in ritz kids

The Ritz Kids program offers daily supervised activities for children, including magic, ballet and swimming lessons, story time, and even cooking activities. Here are the kids learning to make fruit smoothies. They get to choose which fruit combinations they like.

smoothie making

Time flies when you’re having fun, right? It was already lunch before we knew it. We had lunch at Caravan, an all day dining restaurant, serving Arabic, pasta and Indian dishes. The lunch was modest but hearty. But to be honest, I expected more variety because, Ritz. (Even the dessert section was very limited)

lunch 1

lunch 2

After lunch, there was a cookie making session for moms and cookie decorating session for kids. Someone was really serious about the task at hand…

cookie making ben

The other kids were also busy decorating their cookies.

cookie decorating 1

These are Pristine’s masterpieces. The one with G and T initials are for me and her dad. So sweet…the message and the cookies!

P cookies

We did not stay at the Ritz Carlton but I already feel this is a great hotel for families travelling with kids because of their kids club. The staff are well trained and genuinely nice, and Ritz Kids has a lot to offer for kids: unending activities to keep them entertained and busy. It’s always a relief for parents to be able to have a place to leave the kids for a few hours – after all, even adults need child-free, me time!

More information about daycation at The Ritz Carlton:

  • Price: AED 500 per adult** / AED 300 per Ritz Kids (includes access to the resort, use of gym and spa facilities and Ritz Kids but excluding food) ** special rate of AED750 per couple
  • On Fridays, when guests book a Rotisserie Friday Brunch (with price starts from AED 450 for non-alcoholic package), a special half day pass rate of AED200 per adult & AED100 per child is available
  • Opening hours: 8.00am to 7.00pm

You can find more information at the Ritz Carlton main website or connect with them on Facebook

We truly enjoyed our day at the Ritz especially the children however, this is where I have to be transparent. I think it is very expensive (at least for me!). For a family of four (that’s us: 2 adults and 2 kids), that’s a whooping AED1,350 for one day only and excluding food and drinks (applying special couple rate of AED750). Unless they have a special (discounted) package for families with children, it could be smarter to just stay for the night.

* We were guest at The Ritz Carlton but all opinions are mine.

Radisson Blu Fujairah

Where we stayed: Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah

Radisson Blu Fujairah

The modest entrance at the end of the long, narrow driveway of Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah would not wow guests upon arrival. It actually looks mysterious and will get you asking, “What lies beyond that simple entrance?”

Well friends, after spending two nights here, we found out you shouldn’t judge a hotel by its outside appearance.

We were in Fujairah some days back for some rest and relaxation – left Dubai on a Thursday night after work and spent the weekend at this only Emirate facing the Gulf of Oman. We’ve explored the city of Fujairah before so we decided to stay at a beach property this time. Think 500 meters of beautiful private beach and all rooms facing the shore. Inviting, yes.

It’s hard not to fall in love with the idea of waking up to this.

rad blu room

*Photo taken from their Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah’s official website


Radisson Blu Fujairah is located in Dibba, Fujairah, about 90 minutes from Dubai if you take the Sharjah-Dibba Road. However, we didn’t take that road because we left at night and there’s a patch of that road where there is no center barrier and many trucks passing through. We took the new Dubai-Fujairah highway, the one that gets you to the rolling mountains of Fujairah in forty minutes, then went north to Dibba.

It was already late when we left Dubai, around 8 pm so we expected we’ll arrive at 10pm max. However, we encountered bumps along the way with the youngest passenger throwing up inside the car! Being a mother, I shouldn’t freak out with this scenario but I still freaked out. My clothes were soiled with sour smelling stuff so we had to stop at the nearest gas stand to clean up before proceeding to our journey.

The new road to Fujairah is relatively straight but after that, there were too many roundabouts, humps on the road (to slow down traffic) and congestion. It must have triggered Benjamin’s motion sickness.

We arrived at nearly midnight after that ordeal.


Check in was fast and smooth. We were really already very tired and it was late and the two staff at the reception did their best so we can go to our room as soon as possible. We were also asked to choose from a warm dinner menu. How kind! The warm dinner menu is offered to all package guests


We had two interconnecting rooms – one with king size bed and another with two semi-double beds. This is great for families staying with children. Spacious enough for the children to run around!

king bed room


We have a bed and pillows quality checker with us and she said, “nice!”

pristine in bed

Our warm in-room dinner arrived shortly. This is actually very timely because the kids got hungry after that long ride (and one kid got especially hungry after he emptied his stomach from that throwing up session in the car!).

dinner collage

We slept very comfortably and though we went to bed past midnight already, I woke up very early…because my body clock is cursed/blessed like that. I wake up at almost the same time, almost everyday, no matter where I am!

But it pays to wake up early at this side of town. I was rewarded with this view from our room balcony.


sunrise 2

I tiptoed into the balcony making no noise as much as I can so as not to wake Benjamin up. But of course that did not work. A few snaps of the beautiful sunrise later, he was awake and looking for me.

glass sunrise

ben gm

What a lovely morning we woke up to – there had been days of sandstorm/dust storm lately and the staff had told us they hoped the sun would shine the next day and the weather clear. Well, the staff’s prayers were answered!


breakfast view

Breakfast is served at Breeze all-day dining restaurant. The servers had a ready smile and were quick enough to serve coffee or tea and ask us of our needs. The breakfast buffet was not bad although some may expect more variety. One thing we also noticed is the lack of rice option in the buffet spread whether it’s breakfast or lunch. I guess that can be attributed to the main patrons of the hotel which are Russians and Germans (at least during our stay there)?

After breakfast, we walked to the beach to test the waters.

radisson blu fujairah

Many people had the same thing in mind. We love the feel of fine, white sand in our feet and the water was calm and very clean. The private beach stretch of the hotel makes this property really charming.


How was the water? “Can we swim mama?”, asked my toddler. Even if the sun was already warm (actually hot at midday), the sea water was still cold. Not many people went for a swim so we headed to the pool.

We’ve been eyeing the pool from our room balcony. The staff said it’s temperature controlled, so grateful for that!

Radisson Blu Fujairah Pool

Radisson Blu Fujairah Pool

p in pool

pool collage 2

What’s with kids and water? They never ever wanted to leave!

SPRUNCH = Spa + Lunch

Friday brunch at Breeze restaurant was a lavish affair with international dishes and a huge array of desserts. But because this is the first photo I took of the Friday brunch spread does not mean this is the only thing I love (heh).

I love brunches that has special dedicated sections for kids. Because, you know, with a toddler around, it is difficult to even hold a one minute conversation with your spouse.

kids area brunch

Radisson Blu Fujairah brunch

We were introduced to the concept of “sprunch” or spa + lunch package at Raddison Blu Fujairah. That’s free 15 minutes of neck or shoulder massage at the O2 spa. Also, the sprunch deal entitles you to 15% off any spa service. Sounds like your thing? I know, I love massages too!

The husband and I booked our short spa session after our filling lunch so guess what happened next? We were all knocked out and had a 3 hour nap!!


We had two options for dinner: one at the beach side (romantic dinner under the stars, sand on your feet) and another was the barbecue buffet dinner at the pool side. There were plenty of this:


We are not really fan of seafood because the two kids and I are allergic to it, except for fish but they really looked fresh and tasted good according to the husband. You can choose whatever you like from the array of fresh shrimps, fish, mussels, crabs and lobsters and the chef will grill it for you. Beef, mutton and chicken are also available along with salads and dessert.

Then there’s a live band that plays all sorts of songs. You can even request a song. Any song, no judging!


seafood collage

The kids loved the dinner setting and the weather was just perfect for eating outside at night.


After dinner, we went up to our room thinking how to cope up with the fact that we will be leaving this wonderful place the next day.

Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah’s entrance may be modest but the experience is stellar. Prices are reasonable, all the staff from towel boys to cleaners to restaurant and reception are very helpful and courteous make staying in this hotel very worth your time.

sun loungers 1

sun loungers 2

To learn more about Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah and their special offers, check out their main website as well as connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We were guests at Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah but all opinions are my own, as always.