I know this post is a bit late, but for my birthday in December Ed booked us in for a little staycay at Bab Al Shams.
Perfect for those looking to escape city life, but can’t or don’t want to drive too far, Bab Al Shams is a mere 40 minutes by car from the centre of Dubai. The drive through the dunes immediately sets the mood for what’s ahead: a taste of old Dubai with traditional Arabian-style forts situated in a spectacular desert oasis, making you feel like the rest of the world doesn’t exist.
The staff greeted us with a fresh lemon and mint juice (how local!) and a refreshing flannel whilst we checked in. We were then guided throw the beautiful courtyard, across the hotel’s grounds, to our room: a cosy cave-like with traditional decor and a balcony that opened up right into the heart of the desert. The bed was laden with roses spelling out ‘Happy Bday’ – a lovely touch from the hotel staff to kick off our stay.
Once we unpacked, we headed to the pool for a dip, some lunch and a cocktail (or two). The resort has a few different pools dotted around the grounds (which is ideal if you’re trying to escape noisy babies and annoying children), and we set up camp next to the stunning infinity pool, spilling out over the tranquil desert.
Eventually we headed back to the room to spruce ourselves up for dinner, and I was so surprised to walk into a vase of roses and a bottle of prosecco – and if you don’t know my boyfriend, you probably won’t understand just how surprised I was! That night, the hotel treated us to a delicious birthday dinner at Al Hadheerah, an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant (oh don’t worry, they still serve wine!), which boasts a live Arabic band, Tanoura dancer, heritage show, and a firework display, which we enjoyed whilst indulging in my oh so chocolatey birthday cake – another birthday surprise from Ed! Can I turn 25 every day?!
The only thing I was slightly let down by the next day was breakfast, which didn’t live up to the amazing standards the rest of the hotel had set. But, apart from that, our stay was perfect and I only wish we could have stayed another night (or three).