Reviews, Travel

Yas Island Rotana – Staycation Review: Kid-friendly or not?

The FoodKissed Family

When my dad takes us out on road trips, there is always a bag of fruits, chips, fried things and other random edible items that he assigns to my mom to feed us all with, from the 2nd minute of our journey. Growing up that way, it is but only natural for me to demand pit stops out of my husband every time we take a long drive in the UAE. Road trips during Ramadan, however, are not ideal for 3 reasons:

  1. You cannot eat because you are fasting
  2. When you are fasting, you tend to be hangry
  3. When you are hangry, your sense of hunger is x3

Despite all these “challenges”, we packed up & hit the road to Yas Island Rotana with a single strategy: last until Iftar time. Little Miss Mehreen, Cheeky Little Samar and our Nanny dearest busied themselves in the backseat with packets of chips and a siesta, while Mrs & Mr FoodKissed struggled to chitchat & not think about food.

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Taking a road trip without any snacks is the biggest cruelty you can do to yourself. Being Ramadan, we had to do that stunt as we headed to @yasislandrotana for a #staycation with the kiddos and our nanny. Mercifully, once we reached, things got pretty exciting that before we knew it, it was iftar time! 💃👯 #LittleMissMehreen blossomed into a water baby, #StoriesOfSamar hid himself under a tonne of balls in the soft play, while Mrs & Mr FoodKissed sat in the jacuzzi in complete denial of outside world and refused to leave the spa beds.🧖💆 Watch the video to know more and check the new highlight on the #FoodKissed profile! #mydubai #yasisland #mediainvite #rotanahotels #hotelreview – – #uaefoodies #uaefoodbloggers #uaebloggers #uaemoms #uaemombloggers #dubaikids #dubaimoms #uaepr #dubaihotels #abudhabi #yasrotana #indianblogger #dubaiblogger #familyblogger #kidfriendly #instavideo #family #holiday

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Yas Island Rotana – The ambience, pools & play

The hotel had a very efficient team at the check in counter helping us through the process. We were informed of the pool timings, the breakfast timings and of the complimentary access to the nearby Yas beach available to Rotana residents until 6pm. The property had 2 pools (including a kids’ pool), a Jacuzzi and couple of outdoor play zones that had some swings and climbing frames. The kid’s play area was amazing with a huge soft play for the little ones and play stations and game room for the older ones.

The Room

Ours was a 1-bedroom classic suite with a living room (where our nanny’s bedding was arranged). The bathroom was perfect with a lovely shower and tub, and the mini-bar was abundantly stuffed with goodies. There was a sliding door partition between the bedroom and the living room, guaranteeing privacy, and televisions were conveniently placed in both the rooms.

My two issues with the rooms were:

  1. The lighting inside was a little too sober and dim. If we wanted bright lights for some reason, there were none.
  2. There was a glass window in the bathroom that looked into the living room (and vice versa), which would have been okay if the partition curtain covering it was fitted inside the bathroom to ensure privacy. In this case, by some odd logic, the curtain was OUTSIDE the bathroom, ie, in the living room. I’m still figuring that one out.

Bodylines Spa

With Nanny dearest in charge of the kids at the play zone, Mrs & Mr FoodKissed managed to sneak into the spa for a long denied pampering session. We said our temporary goodbyes and went into the gender-specific areas to utilize the wet facilities including sauna, steam and Jacuzzi. Back at the spa, we were whisked away to a heavenly smelling, dim lit treatment room where we MAY have fallen asleep while enjoying a wonderfully relaxing 60-minute Swedish massage. 

Iftar at Choices

After a siesta induced by the pool play and the massage, we were at the Choices Restaurant in time to break our fast and how! The iftar spread was well planned out with a series of Middle Eastern and International mains, salads and nibbles. From a very delicious lentil soup to roasted lamb leg, the iftar menu was not unnecessarily lavish to make you cringe, but perfect in terms of variety and quality. The only part they lost the plot was at the desserts counter, where items got over surprisingly fast. Even so, the kitchen did a good job of refilling the table with new options, which although were “last minute”, tasted decent. Pitfalls however, included Umm Ali which was not kept heated and an unremarkable kunafa.

Other venues

The property’s Blue Grill restaurant was visited by FoodKissed years ago and truly enjoyed then. The review (click here) is still worth a read, and Im not just saying that because I wrote it, ahem. The newly opened Rangoli is Indian fusion, and claimed to be one of the very best in the capital, calling for another visit another time.

Highlights

Yas Island Rotana’s highlights would be the amenities & kid-friendliness. The rooms were good and from our experience at the restaurant and outside, the service was great. The swimming pools were temperature controlled, and the adjacent jacuzzi was fabulous. The best parts would be the excellent kids pool with water level low enough for our 1 YO to walk in, and the Kid’s Play area that kept our kids occupied for a good number of hours.

Will I return? Answer would be yes!

DISCLAIMER: FoodKissed family was invited to a one-night staycation at the Yas Island Rotana property. The room, the massage treatment and the iftar at Choices were complimentary.  The above opinions are my own and entirely based on experience.

Yas Island Rotana Summary:
Kid friendly – 9/10
Value for money – 8/10
Ambience – 7/10
Amenities – 7/10
Temperature controlled swimming pools (adults & kids), open jacuzzi, Yas beach access, spa, kids club, licensed restaurants.


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