“I fell in love with Al Bait Sharjah the second my eyes fell upon it. As our Mercedes rolled into the hotel’s front, we clutched onto our seats for the adventure that beckoned us- and an adventure it truly was.”
Our Welcome at Al Bait Sharjah
We were welcomed with a flute of sparkling lavender cordial which seemed to be made with fresh lavender essence and was refreshingly exotic. We noticed a thin layer of silver swimming with the fizz on top and we knew we were in the right place!
That Home Feeling indeed
As we admired the vintage interiors at the hotel’s reception majlis, we were already wondering how much it would be to extend our stay! Now don’t get us wrong- we have traveled all around the world, parking ourselves for intermittent stays at some of the luxurious hotels and longer vacations at Airbnbs – but Al Bait Sharjah was a class in and of itself. Barely had the lavender cordial washed down to our tummies that we were brought exquisitely smooth chocolate to munch on. The chocolate was lined with rich nuts and dates, and we could tell some thought went into curating these for the ultimate welcome experience!
Check-in & Suite Surprise
Soon after we checked in, and once we allowed the staff to bring us our itineraries, we were shown our suite and left to relax. The first welcome sign of a good suite invited us to check out the fully-stocked fridge – which, to our surprise, stocked more than the usual fizzy colas and oh-too-sweet bites. Al Bait Sharjah Hotel offered us some healthy and light snacking options which, if you’re a traveler, you’ll know the value of!
Coming back to our nest after a day’s wanderings always leave you in snack mode. For us, planning our itineraries for the next day is a designated munch time! It helped to know there are light bites we can reach for when our tummy tickles at night, instead of gorging on junk! I loved the array of cool ‘LEMON AID’ drinks stocked in our mini bar.
An Intriguing Hotel Indeed!
Al Bait Sharjah was restored in partnership with UNESCO and launched in 2018 after nearly a decade of restoration process, the heritage resort to unveil a new look. The idea was to preserve the heritage and history of the Bedouin-style mansion while remaking its interiors with intelligent technologies to bring it to par with modern living systems for travelers and pleasure-seekers alike!
Whizz through the heritage
Because Al Bait Sharjah is such an important historic site, it leaves you with direct access to other sites of cultural and historic significance right at your doorstep. For example, Souq Al Arsah is a few minutes’ walk from the resort, and is an alleyway leading you back in time! The oldest bazaar in the UAE, it is home to intricate Bedouin jewellery and handicrafts that make for awesome keepsakes. This also served as an important congregation square for traders earlier in the days. So, you can find steals in the form of rugs and jewellery, and antique carpets and kilms from all over Pakistan, India, Iran, and Afghanistan.
A Museum in Al Bait Sharjah?
There is also the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum that displays stunningly intricate works from different epochs. The Sharjah Arts Foundation is also a must-visit, being home to some of the most traditionally significant artworks. Exploring the area around Souq Al Arsah can take a while- so brace yourselves for the visit. Make sure you are hydrated and preferably, well-fed before you embark on your adventure.
Culinary Fest at Al Bait Sharjah
One of our favorite parts of visiting Al Bait Sharjah was sampling the sheer variety of cuisines during our stay.
Breakfast at The Restaurant
Breakfast at The Restaurant is a must-try- but only after you have mustered the will to leave the cozy, inviting bathtub in your suite! It offers a delightful International culinary experience that seats its visitors in ultra-luxe sofas while it brings out scrumptious finger food to pick on while you order! Meals here are inspired predominantly by Middle Eastern cuisine and there’s a touch of Asian elements infusing the lip-smacking dishes.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The best part is that the breakfast being complementary and curated especially to cater to a wide variety of tastes. We luckily found ourselves gorging on some poha, idli, dosa, and Indian-style coffee first thing in the morning. This set the tone for the rest of the day for us!
The Cafe, Al Bait Sharjah
The Cafe was one of our favorite places to eat – the Tray for Two, prepared painstakingly by Chef Debasis, offered us a meticulously curated and skillfully presented selection of gastronomical delights. The ambience is welcoming and charming, keeping to the theme of a minimalist, understated Arabic cafe. We found ourselves sitting here for a fair while, just snacking on the Tray, whilst occasionally sipping on our coffee- made with the finest Arabia beans brought to us from bean to mug!
A glass of non-alcoholic fizz and a beverage of your choice help you wash down the sandwiches and burgers they serve you. The whole experience was steeped in a quintessentially Arabian-luxe way. This left us feeling extremely pampered! It also left us quite full and happy for the rest of the afternoon!
Experience Emirati Hospitality at The Arabic Restaurant
Al Bait Sharjah also houses an exquisite Arabic restaurant, which unsurprisingly, attracts not only tourists and travelers like us- but also locals who are familiar with the finest Middle Eastern palate! The Arabic restaurant is a luxe dining affair. Staff whip around with bite-sized hors d’ oeuvres in fine silver pilfered trays from a glorious past. The music, lighting, and overall ambience is inviting. It offers a complete plunge into the Arabic tradition.
We highly recommend you to order the Hot Mezzeh that is the typical assortment of six delectable appetizers including the velvety smooth garlic hummus, Tabbouleh, batata hara, falafel served with warm khubz bread to start your meal.. The main course included fragrant long-grain saffron rice, which I relished the most! We loved the Poached Persimmon paired with stuffed cream cheese, frozen basboosa and yuzu ice cream! Our dinner at The Arabic Restaurant was an aromatic journey for our senses.
The Ice Cream Shop
We spent a good evening around The Ice Cream shop in the vicinity, which housed gourmet ice creams in the most exotic flavors. Don’t forget to try the frothy-light honey saffron ice cream!
For a quick post-exploration snack, consider stopping by the resort’s cafe for a light evening bite with your tea. From here, you can make your way to relax from the day’s gallivanting at The Spa. Or hit the health centre to sweat it off!
Magic All Around
Evenings were our favorite time spent at Al Bait. As soon as the bright unrelenting sun receded, the UNESCO-preserved site came to life. Lit up by hundreds – if not thousands – of warm lights, the entire premises assumed the aura of a palace. Evenings also brought nourishing yet luxurious tea and condiments and it was well worth our while to take an hour out to simply enjoy the feeling of being there, whilst gazing thoughtfully out at the changing sky.
Al Bait Sharjah is all about Romance
I headed back to my suite after the cozy dinner and noticed the aura had completely changed! Surprisingly, I heard music playing on a stunning vintage phonograph which I can swear had magically appeared- you simply don’t miss a phonograph playing retro no matter where you are.
I tiptoed quietly towards the bathroom wondering in anticipation what would jump out at me. And I immediately noticed the lights were dim, and I was inadvertently swooning to the notes of Bohemian Rhapsody in no time. The bathtub was full of camel milk and rose petals floating nonchalantly on the top. My heart raced as I let myself go for the dip, allowing the smell of rose petals to carry me to nirvana. An indulgent stay indeed!
**We would like to thank Al Bait Sharjah for making this trip possible. All opinions are our own.**