The smallest emirate in the UAE, Ajman is by no means the least glamorous.
Often overlooked as a stylish staycation destination, overshadowed by its all-singing, all-dancing neighbours, Ajman has remained relatively subtle in its approach to attracting residents and tourists and this is one of the reasons we can’t get enough.
Having had its development stalled by the financial crisis of a decade ago, Ajman is now experiencing welcome growth and with this change comes a wealth of new luxury hotels. One of which is the 2-year old Fairmont Ajman.
Located along Ajman’s popular corniche – a favoured spot for families and locals during the evenings and weekends – the rather imposing Fairmont Ajman is nestled among a strip of five-star properties just waiting to show off their white sand beaches and spectacular sunset spots.
Paying homage to the reputable Fairmont name, this hotel oozes elegant sophistication and is a gleaming beacon of luxury – its neighbouring emirates should be quaking in their well-healed boots.
Stepping into the Fairmont Ajman you’re immediately struck by the sheer scale of the building; its lofty height emphasised by a shimmering, crystal chandelier – an interpretation of a traditional fishing net used in the Arabian Gulf. This beauty installation frames the Azrak lobby lounge, a decadent space that serves as a focal point for social activity, rich in its arabesque design and the perfect place to relax and watch the happenings of the hotel.
The hotel boasts 252 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, all with stunning views of the ocean. The design is typical of Fairmont hotels in the region with modern decor splashed with contemporary touches; dark wood panels cleverly conceal sockets and switches and cool marble flooring lies in contrast with the buttery, soft leather of the headboards.
Staying in a spacious Junior Suite, we were struck by the use of space that made an already sizeable suite at 76 square meters, appear even bigger. The elegant space provides both separate living and bedroom areas alongside a private balcony where you can sit back and relax and breathe in the breathtaking unobstructed views of this part of the Arabian Gulf. Suites are located in the conveniently located in the central part of the hotel and staying in tune with this allocation, the interior design has been curated to highlight a sense of symmetry. For example, everything in the suite has its place. The 42’’ flat screen High Definition LED televisions are slotted into the mahogany room divider at the end of both your king size bed and the generous L-shaped sofa.
A desk is tucked into the corner of the room where you can take advantage of the free WiFi that is available throughout the hotel and your fully supplied mini bar and tea/coffee-making facilities are tucked away in a cupboard opposite. Full-length mirrors dominate the suite creating the illusion of more meters and make for the ideal dressing areas. The bedroom is as cosy as you like, with a large bed laden with plush bedding made from 100% cotton and a sense of snugness that you often fail to see in hotel suites. Perhaps one of my favourite parts of the suite however was the large corner bathroom complete with detached bathtub (the rose petals on arrival scattered within were a nice touch) and separate rain shower. Enjoy a long, well-deserved soak as you pamper yourself with the luxurious and impossibly fragrant La Labo toiletries that come as standard with your room.
From the comfort of your room to the wealth of facilities that this flagship Fairmont property offers its discerning guests, you’ll continue to be pleasantly surprised throughout the duration of your stay.
The air-conditioned bliss of inside may envelope you in its luxurious embrace but the 200 metres of pristine beachfront will soon beckon. An expansive infinity pool takes centre stage outside, emblazoned with the hotel’s logo where you can relax around on one of the many sun loungers, day beds or in the privacy of your cabana.
Even with a popular pool bar, the Fairmont Ajman is not a rowdy nor an overly sedate resort, it manages to be a little bit of something for everyone. We found the peacefulness poolside a welcome respite to our busy home emirate and felt comfortable and relaxed enough to enjoy our experience without the air of pretentiousness that some UAE hotels can promote among their international clientele. The beach, although protected by two stone jettys (one housing a helipad none-the-less) manages to still maintain a sense of escapism and the uninterrupted view of the sea makes for many a picture-postcard moment. In fact, during our stay we were even lucky enough to witness an enormous sea turtle happily playing near the shore.
If you’re after a little extended R&R, the Fairmont Ajman offers one of the best spas in the UAE and one you may have heard of before. The Spa at Fairmont Ajman is run by NINE Degrees, who have popular branches in Dubai nonetheless and invite guests of the hotel to experience a holistic approach to their wellbeing during their stay. A truly modern spa, the opulent Turkish Hamman comes highly recommended and is entirely unique in its amazing view and light, airy space. Beat the heat with the invigorating ice shower or enjoy the signature line of treatments as you drift off into a blissful slumber. There’s a fully equipped gym for fitness buffs and even a barber if you need to smarten up a bit before dinner.
This is a hotel that is putting Ajman on the map for gastronomy. Bringing a portfolio of international-standard restaurants to the region, you might be so spoilt for choice you’ll have to stay another day. With eight restaurants and lounges, many with alfresco terraces for when the weather allows, there’s something for even the fussiest of palette.
Spectrum, the all-day dining restaurant offers live-cooking stations as well as buffet style fare where you can enjoy international classics as well as Arabic cuisine throughout the day. Pasta lovers should head to Gioia, an impossibly quaint Italian restaurant that has rustic, hearty Italian dishes at its core. Kiyi Turkish restaurant is a delight to be in, all traditional dishes and interactive family style dining. For those thinking that Ajman is all slippers and pipes before midnight, best head to XOLO Bar, a stylish sports bar with a legendary cocktail menu (sparkling grape lovers we recommend the ‘Airmail’), flavourful shisha and all the live-sports action broadcast as a backdrop to its swanky interior – complete with pool tables.
With all this under one shiny roof it’s hard to believe you’re just 30 minutes away from Dubai International Airport. Fairmont Ajman has brought the emirate alive, creating a luxuriously, laid-back hotel where guests can do as little or as much as they like whilst experiencing a sense of true escapism.
Fairmont Ajman… we salute you.
The urban area runs directly into the city of Sharjah along the coast to the south west, which in turn is adjacent to Dubai, forming a continuous urban area.Ajman is home to the Ruler’s office, companies, commercial markets, and about 50 international and local retail shops. Banking interests include: Emirates National Bank of Dubai, Ajman Bank, Arab Bank PLC, Bank Saderat Iran, and Commercial Bank of Dubai. Ajman is also home to fishing industry & Seafood Importers/Exporters in UAE.