Friday, September 6, 2013

Vacation - Hatta

     There are abut 800 pictures that I took during our 1 week road trip around UAE, so it only made sense that I spread them into several posts. This doesn't mean they won't be photo-heavy posts, but c'mon... Look at these places! How am I going to choose less than 10 pictures to show you all a proper glimpse into how beautiful and fascinating these lands are!?

     Hatta was our second destination and definitely a place we will return to. I think it's safe to say it's the place we've enjoyed the most from the entire trip.
     Getting there was a joy in it's own, since we past orchards, camel farms, desert, some area that looked like the African savannah and we literally crossed borders in and out of Oman (non- UAE state) to finally reach our hotel.

     We stayed at the Hatta Fort Hotel (probably THE place to stay in the area) and I must say it took me by surprise at first how close it was to the main road and especially how it didn't seem to have such nice surroundings, but boy, did my impression changed once we crossed trough the main gate.

     It is literally like a different land! The hotel is comprised of individual chalet-like suites overlooking the Hajar Mountains, surrounded by tranquil gardens, green as far as the eye can see! (anyone who has even a bit of knowledge about the climate here in the UAE, knows this is a symbol of luxury in its own).

     The hotel also doubles as the main activity and entertainment provider. There are a couple of very good restaurants, a bar that serves the best cocktails I've had since being here, terraces with stunning views (sunset is something particularly beautiful), 2 separate pools (for families with children and for adults only), spa (for women only), tennis courts, mini golf, archery range, plus 4WD sightseeing and driving experience.
     Everything about it was so welcoming and comfortable, I could definitely see it as a super relaxing, secluded retreat, for the people who need to alleviate stress or simply get away from it all!

    Nearby is the town of Hatta, which is very small and looks like it's trying really hard to make itself tourist-friendly. There has been some investment made into the Hatta Heritage Village, which is supposedly constructed around an old settlement and was restored in the style of a traditional mountain village.

      Although it's nice to see the people here make a real effort to showcase their culture and exhibit their history, we have found it a bit unauthentic, with air-conditioned buildings, LCD screens that just didn't belong and pieces of furniture that looked more like 1920's France than old local settlement. Still, we enjoyed the story and think it is worth checking out, especially since there are no entrance fees.

After getting a bit over-heated wondering around, we hopped on in our car, gave our blessings for the existence of air conditioning and carried on our way to Ras al Khaima.

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