Dubai is not short of glitz and glamour and finding anything remotely boutique is almost impossible! Not many people know though, if you leave the city and travel north for an hour or two you come across the quaint town of Hatta, a place on the Oman border that is reminiscent of life back in the 70s. In the heart of Hatta you’ll also find the JA Hatta Fort Hotel, a charming property sitting amongst the majestic Hajar Mountains.
Channeling Dirty Dancing vibes, the hotel is made up of 50 deluxe chalet-style rooms, suites and villas all decked out with a private balcony or terrace overlooking the lush green grounds and mountains – the fresh air clear out the city smog in no time!
Having recently undergone a refurbishment, the new design remains true to the hotel’s Arabian roots and existing charm but at the same time, the rooms are lighter and brighter and the bathrooms have had a much-needed upgrade. In each room, old blends with new as traditional fretwork contrasts with modern furniture and soothing pastel colours.
It might only be four-star, but believe me when I say it definitely doesn’t feel that way. The rooms are some of the biggest I’ve seen in Dubai and the famous JA beds are perfect for ‘starfishing’. The new design means every room is more family friendly; each has enough space to accommodate two adults and two children up to age six. The terraces are great for those morning coffees whilst the TV channels on the flat screen will keep you entertained long into the night (if you can stay awake). Bathrooms offer soaking tubs and climate controlled showers which, combined with sun-filled terraces and balconies, add to the hotel’s relaxing ambience.
There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from! The fine-dining restaurant Jeema has also been refurbished, creating the perfect spot for international food and live music – the a la carte menu offers a wide selection of delicious dishes, whilst the buffet provides plenty of choice – we loved the Beef Wellington and Duck Risotto. Meanwhile, Café Gazebo offers all-day dining serving light dishes overlooking the main pool – shot gun a table outside and try the carbonara – it was my favourite! In the evening, there is always the chance to unwind with a cocktail at Sunset Terrace or Roumoul Cocktail Bar.
During the day, take advantage of the two temperature-controlled pools both offering fabulous views of the mountains. The Rock Pool is great for families, with a waterfall and children’s plunge area whilst The Gazebo Pool, which is exclusive for adults, exudes a more tranquil and relaxed atmosphere.
Set in 80 acres of gardens, the hotel also offers various leisure and entertainment choices including a small spa, gymnasium, field and target archery range, mini golf course, tennis courts and a mini zoo featuring ducks, goats and camel rides – perfect for families and couples alike.
Take part and aim at the provided targets with an air gun or enjoy a light-hearted game of mini-golf with some interesting challenges. The hotel is also home to loads of animals – spot the roaming peacocks, listen to bird chatter, feed the ducks, tortoise and say hello to the mountain deer and goats.
After all of that, if you still have time, make a cultural journey and explore the authentic Emirati heritage and culture or visit a nearby dam and kayak, surrounded by mountains and filled with stunning turquoise water – it’s an activity you don’t want to miss!
Home away from home, JA’s award-winning hospitality shines through at Hatta Fort! The staff are so welcoming, friendly and helpful and every single staff member greets you as you pass. If you haven’t been yet, don’t hold out for longer!