Comprehensive, unbiased reviews of all my 4/5 star hotel stays in the UAE. Are you looking for a review which is honest? Look no further. All reviews are based on actual stays and all questions welcome. You can leave you comments at the bottom, or please feel free to email me with your questions.

Locations to be reviewed include -

Friday, 16 September 2016

Sandy Beach Resort -Al Aqah beach.

Sandy Beach Resort and Hotel - Al Aqah , Fujairah (UAE)

I visited the Sandy Beach Resort, Al Aqah (UAE) during the Eid holidays in September 2016. Below is my unbiased review of the resort and its amenities. All opinions are my own and not the views of the resort or any other associated party.

At Eid, the prices are pretty inflated but it is quite normal for hotels to inflate prices due to an increase in demand. I paid 1560 Dirhams for 2 nights. Please note that the normal price ( non holiday season) is much cheaper than this, but the place does get booked up pretty quickly, so if you do decide you want to stay at the resort, make sure you book well in advance. Another benefit of this is that they offer free cancellation up to a certain number of days prior to your arrival, so if you change your mind, you wont be landed with a fine.

  The bedroom.

I stayed in a deluxe bedroom overlooking Snoopy Island. As you can see from the photo below, the room is pretty standard. It was clean and spacious and had everything I needed. A standard room comes with the usual amenities such as a TV, fridge, tea and coffee, a safe etc. The room is pretty basic for the price I paid, but it's suffice to say that, in my opinion I think that the location is what you are paying for. If you do decide to stay at the resort, I doubt you will be spending much time in your room. The resort is situated on the back drop of the Hajar mountains and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The views from the bedroom are quite picturesque and as such, although I do think the price paid is very expensive, the experience is definitely worth it. My advise is to avoid booking this during the busy period as prices become over inflated and may leave you with a soar taste in your mouth when the bill arrives.


The bathroom was quite compact but functional. The hotel advertises itself as a 4 start resort. In my opinion,most of the hotel would fall under this rating category (4 star), however the bathroom facilities should really fall under 3 stars-  so don't expect luxury, BUT remember.....its all about LOCATION LOCATION.
As much as I have to take away some points for the lack of 4 star amenities in the room, the location, the gardens and the overall surrounding and ambience definitely surpass 4 stars. I will discuss the location further below.

I had the buffet breakfast on both days of my stay. It's a pretty standard breakfast but it lacks a little variety as the same menu was served on both days. On day 1, I was quite satisfied with the breakfast, albeit that I was starving by the time I had it. Day 2 however left me a little wanting and I would have preferred some other options. All in all, I would give the breakfast a 2.5/5. If you decide to stay in the self catering facilities, I would recommend perhaps cooking on some days, just to give yourself a bit of variety.

The pool area was pleasant with lots of sun loungers and a pool bar.The general vibe around the pool was great. My only issue was the amount of kids in the main pool. The resort should try to ensure the kids use the kids pool. If you are visiting on a romantic getaway, I doubt you want to be splashing in the pool with a bunch of 7 year olds.

The resort grounds are beautifully kept and tidy. It offered a very serene atmosphere where you could hear the waves lapping and the birds chirping. A very romantic setting indeed.

The beach bar

The resort's unique selling point is definitely the location as mentioned earlier. The view is absolutely stunning. My room overlooked snoopy Island, so this was an added bonus. The beach was never really crowded and I always found a beach lounger regardless of the time of day. The water was great and the resort offers water sports such as para gliding, diving and snorkelling- for the more adventurous at heart. The beach was great, a place to relax and unwind from all the madness of city. In addition to this, the resort offers an on the beach massage facility, which is an ideal way to relax. An added bonus was beach bar, which was offering alcoholic beverages.

The resort has a couple of restaurants and outdoor and indoor bars as well as a night club which opens at 11 pm. I visited the bar at about 7.30 pm and it was almost empty, perhaps it would have got busy later in the evening but I didn't really stick around to find out as I didn't really get the feeling this was a party place. I was however informed that a band was booked for the following week. That would have been a nice touch and perhaps the resort should look into having a band full time as there isn't much else to do in the area. This would definitely liven up the place a bit more.

The bar consists of a DJ area, a pool table and plenty of TV screens for any sporting events.  Happy hour consists of two hours of half priced drinks, which is great- although there wasn't really anyone around to get merry with. Most people seemed to have organised their own little private ( albeit quiet) parties in their private bungalows or chalets in the resort. A nice idea, if you are coming with a group of friends.

Child friendly 

The resort has several play areas on the beach for kids as well as a kids pool in the main pool area. Lots to keep the kids busy.

The gym

The resort also comes equipped with a gym. The gym was quite small but functional. It had all the main bits of apparatus you would need on a short stay. I wouldn't call it a state of the art type of gym as it was pretty basic, but all in all fit for purpose. I visited the gym at 9 pm and it was nice to see that it was still open at this time.

The service 

All in all, I have no complains about the level of service. The staff all seemed friendly and accommodating. I ordered room service twice and the service was swift.

The food

Without wanting to take away from the positives of the resort, I would have to say the catering facilities could be improved, The main restaurant on the resort was offering a BBQ on both the nights I stayed, with pretty much the same food on both nights. The food lacked a little variety, but at 99 Dirhams all you can eat and one drink- I guess you could try it for one night, after which it would get a little repetitive.

I ordered a burger and a fish curry for room service and again, I would say the food was pretty average. Your best bet would be to either  stay in the self catering facilities or perhaps take a quick drive down to the neighbouring hotels for a bit more variety. 

The Verdict

Sandy Beach resort is a pleasant relaxing and picturesque establishment. The location is the resorts main unique selling point and I think this is probably the best location on Al Aqah beach, as no other hotel directly overlooks Snoopy Island.

The amenities and facilities at the resort are OK and it has most of everything you need for a short stay. If you are looking for a luxury style resort, this definitely isn't for you- however if you are looking for peace and tranquillity, a romantic settling, beautiful views and clean minimalist living, this is the place to be. It can also be a great place to visit with a group of friends, where you can rent a chalet and just have your own mini private party, while overlooking the beautiful gardens and the beach.

Would I go back there?... Definitely! In fact I will be booking another stay very soon indeed and I will be updating this review of any improvements at the resort.

The Score out of 5

Location 5/5

Pool area 3.7/5

Beach 4.5/5

Food 2.5/5

Price 3.5/5 - (Nb I visited during Eid and as such the prices were much higher. I think the price for a standard room starts at about AED 500- Please refer the resorts website for prices.)

Service 4.9/5

Facilities 4/5

Overall experience 4.5/5

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


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Are you looking for a review which is honest? Look no further. All reviews are based on actual stays and all questions welcome. You can leave you comments at the bottom, or please feel free to email me with your questions.

Locations to be reviewed include - Restaurants and hotels in :-