Luxury Hotels

Sybaritic Single joyfully escapes lockdown, to the luxury of Ajman

Until recently, it’d be hard to imagine Sybaritic Single ever spending weekends in Ajman, the smallest of the USA’s seven Emirates: luxury in Ajman is an oxymoron. It is more known for its all-inclusive offerings and rich liquor shops. However, as the Emirate’s beach resorts were the first to fully embrace the post-COVID-19 reality and re-open in full, it suddenly got more life than Cannes during the film festival – and all of this, at the height of Ramadan.

Fairmont Ajman was the first to announce its return with a fanfare in all local newspapers, insisting on the 30% occupancy cap, thorough deep-cleaning protocols (which came as a surprise surcharge for those checking-in), frequent temperature checks and two metres between sunbeds. The Sybaritic Single’s sea-view suite was sterile, with zero welcome amenities, an empty minibar and all in-room literature replaced by a single private dining menu printed and stapled on A4. The room service trolley itself was pushed inside by a masked waiter and the rest was all DYI. That made the Sybaritic Single feel like a very important pest. Thankfully, tiger prawns were still served on proper china rather than a plastic plate and Champagne was sparkling in thin flûtes.

The nearby Ajman Saray, part of The Luxury Collection, on the other hand, went full-blast in terms of occupancy. The only AMEX FHR Centurion hotel in the Emirate seemed to have welcomed far more guests than it was designed to accommodate, ignoring any social distancing while ensuring full minibars and embracing life as if for the Last Supper. It showered the Sybaritic Single in rosé bubbles, sent up to his room or served in the moonlit arboretum, as it tried to redeem its permanent service fiasco and a comedy of errors which occurred at almost every corner.

Having enjoyed the sun and almost three room rates’ worth of service-recovery Champagne, Sybaritic Single whisked away with a promise to himself of never coming back, at least willingly. Nevertheless, he compliments Ajman and its luxury resorts for their courage, entrepreneurship and aspiration of luxury beyond the pandemic. Bigger Emirates have got something to learn.