Hatta has developed a reputation as Dubai’s outdoor action neighbourhood in recent times.
But for all the kayaking and mountain biking at its centre one thing has remained constant – JA Hatta Fort Hotel.
For a generation the resort has provided a quality base for outdoor activity fans, as well as staycationing families and anyone else seeking a rural escape from the city.
Of course, the accommodation has moved on in that time. While the rooms remain in a low-rise setting the styling is up to date, befitting location yet offering the comforts Dubai folk have come to expect.
They offer views of the hotel’s lush gardens and dramatic Hatta landscape, including Al Hajar Mountains beyond.
Accommodation options range from a Deluxe Mountain View Room for two people, or a family, to a three-bedroom Deluxe Villa.
Stonework and the tone and materials of the furnishings and headboard take their cue from nature, lending warmth to a white vaulted wooden ceiling, walls and bedding.
Good internet connectivity, a widescreen HD television and modern bathroom with an effective shower tick other creature comfort boxes.
Each room has a balcony with chairs and table from which to take in rich sunsets soundtracked by exotic birds. Time it right you’ll also catch the family of dear that roam the lawns in an area teaming with wildlife.
Natural elements also inform the main hotel building where a rocky water feature and greenery give way to modern fixtures with a nod to Arabic culture, including a discreet majlis.
Upstairs you’ll find refreshment opportunities. These include Jeema, the stylish main restaurant with an a la carte dinner menu and nightly buffet offering imaginative salads and mains that, on our visit, included stuffed quail and seafood thermidor.
Prior to that there’s a choice of happy hour cocktails and a nightcap in the adjacent Roumoul Bar, or sundowners on the Sunset Terrace.
The hotel boasts two pools; the Gazebo Pool for adults and Rock Pool for families. Cafe Gazebo overlooks the former and is where breakfast is served, as well as meals at lunchtime and refreshments for guests lounging poolside.
Plenty of other aspects set JA Hatta Fort Hotel apart from its city competitors, the obvious major one being location – of which it takes full advantage.
While the resort is a great base for off-site kayaking and peddle boating at Hatta Dam and nearby mountain hikes, it offers plenty to keep guests occupied within its 80 acres.
This includes zip lining with qualified instructors, wall climbing, archery, mini golf, floodlit tennis, a target driving range and even a life-size maze. You can also rent bikes to follow mountain trails – with a guide, on request – or simply wander the smart lawns and a stone pathway up to the hotel’s own viewing point from which to take in the local landscape.
If pampering is on your radar, you might want to beat a path to Senses Spa for a menu of treatments, including massage.
A short drive takes you to the scenic Hatta Dam, a cultural village, a honey farm or along winding roads through mountain villages.
All of this is looked upon by large Hollywood-style white letters on the Hatta hillside that spell out the town’s name for new arrivals.
What was once a quiet gateway to Oman is now the filmic back lot for a thriving culture of outdoor activity, with dramatic scenery and a demeanour that invites visitors to do as little or as much as they desire.
JA Hatta Fort Hotel indulges both – as a platform from which to explore -or a place to simply rest and relax after a day of activity.
Dubai Week stayed as a guest of the hotel
One night at JA Hatta Fort Hotel in a Deluxe Mountain View Room, including breakfast and based on two adults checking in May 9, costs AED 405 (excl taxes & fees and correct at time of writing) with the resort’s current ‘Summer Lovin’’ seasonal discount.
For reservations, call 971-4-8099333 or visit www.jaresortshotels.com/en/dubai/ja-hatta-fort-hotel