a woman walking the grounds, jw marriott, muscat

Spend a magnificent weekend at JW Marriott, Muscat. (Photo: Marriott International)

Weekend Getaways

5 Hotels for Spectacular Weekend Getaways in the Middle East and Africa

If all you have is a weekend to unplug, worry not. Spending a few days at these special hotels in spectacular spots across the Middle East and Africa is bound to rejuvenate you in unexpected ways. From the hustle and bustle of Marrakech to the high-octane energy of Dubai to the shimmering jewel-toned waters of Abu Dhabi, a short weekend trip might just be the change you need.  

Go ahead, schedule some much-needed downtime, unwind and relax in style at these enchanting hotels. As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip. 

JW Marriott Hotel, Muscat in Oman 

In the shadow of the Al Hajar mountains, JW Marriott Hotel, Muscat offers guests a chance to luxuriate in exquisitely laid out grounds and gardens. Combining Omani aesthetics with contemporary design, the rooms and suites exude an understated elegance and charm.  

Wellness lies at the core of the JW Marriott ethos — whatever your self-care speed, pop into the fully equipped fitness center for a workout or book a treatment at Spa by JW. With an outdoor pool, lap pool and kids pool, getting into the water never looked better. 

With five exciting dining options to choose from, there’s no real need to step outside the hotel. Enjoy a relaxed meal in Kitchen 7 as you watch chefs whip up delectable dishes right in front of you in the open kitchen.  

Fire-cooking is all the rage at Pink Salt, a restaurant that features a dry-aging refrigerator and an oyster bar. Choose your style of cooking, cut of meat or fresh seafood, and be ready to be floored.  

Al Samriya, Doha, Autograph Collection in Qatar 

a man with a horse, al samriya, doha, autograph collection
A stay at Al Samriya, Doha, Autograph Collection is an equestrian lover’s dream. (Photo: Marriott International)

On the outskirts of Doha, Qatar, and set on a working farm, Al Samriya, Doha, Autograph Collection is bound to surprise and delight. The hotel is like a small fortress, and it was even constructed using traditional materials found on the farm.  

As you explore the property, you’ll find walls made of rough-hewn rocks, high ceilings and rich wood accents. Head outside with family or friends and bond in tranquil settings where peacocks roam free and oryx graze with abandon.  

To delve deeper into Qatari history and culture, walk to the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, also situated on the Al Samriya estate. A private collection, the museum houses specimens from the Jurassic age, Islamic art, coins, swords and more.  

You can also visit the nearby Al Samriya Equestrian Centre to spend time with regal Arabian horses or sign up for riding lessons with an instructor guiding your way; no previous riding experience is necessary.  

Le Méridien, Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates 

view of a restaurant along the water, let meridien abu dhabi
At Le Méridien, Abu Dhabi, enjoy dinner with a view of the Arabian Sea. (Photo: Marriott International)

The landmark hotel, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, inaugurated by Sheikh Zayed and Queen Elizabeth in 1979, has been witness to the growth of Abu Dhabi and the metamorphosis of the UAE over the years. The hotel has undergone extensive renovations, and its current iteration has a contemporary, stylish look.  

When you check into your room, you can expect a smartly furnished space with all the creature comforts and a soothing color palette punctuated with bright statement pieces that infuse an element of fun. 

Its dining options truly set Le Méridien Abu Dhabi apart — visit Le Méridien Village to savor global flavors from six restaurants and bars. Tuck into pasta, pizza and other modern Italian dishes at Méridien Plaza. Sip on a range of craft beer and tuck into English pub grub at the lively Captain’s Arms. At the beachfront restaurant Mykonos, enjoy exquisite Mediterranean fare and sublime views of Abu Dhabi’s cerulean waters.  

To add to this, the hotel’s unbeatable location bang in the center of Abu Dhabi ensures you are in close proximity to the city’s cultural highlights, shopping and entertainment.  

AnaYela, Marrakesh, a Member of Design Hotels in Morocco 

view of the open sky courtyard at anyela, design hotels, marrakesh
Step into the open-sky courtyard at AnaYela, Marrakesh, a Member of Design Hotels. (Photo: Marriott International)

Step into another world at AnaYela, Marrakesh, an impeccably restored 300-year-old palace right in the heart of Marrakech, Morocco. With just two suites and three rooms, it doesn’t get more intimate and exquisite than this.  

Like all riads (traditional Moroccan homes), AnaYela features a central courtyard, the beating heart of the property. With its stunning limestone pool and the sun streaming through the gaps of the awning, the courtyard is the perfect refuge on a hot day. And at night when the lights come on, it glimmers like gold.  

Every part of AnaYela, Marrakesh celebrates the best of Moroccan craftsmanship. The hotel name translates to “I am Yela,” and the interior narrates the story of a girl named Yela who lived in the palace. You’ll find snippets of this tale hammered into the doors by an expert calligrapher. With a standout design and exceptional Moroccan hospitality, a stay at this hotel is bound to be special.  

When the sounds and smells of the medina beckon, head out and explore the twisty alleyways leading to it — and when it feels too overwhelming, return to your cocoon of comfort. Relax with a glass of sweet mint tea on the first-floor lounge or catch spectacular views as darkness descends over the city from the atmospheric terrace.  

Chef Kahdija, of AnaYela Restaurant, serves up an array of Moroccan dishes prepared with the finest of local ingredients. The best part? You can choose where to enjoy your meal within the hotel. 

Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai in United Arab Emirates 

rooftop terrace, marriott resort palm jumeirah
You won’t tire of the views at Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. (Photo: Marriott International)

Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai — the city’s first Marriott resort — leaves no stone unturned to impress. Located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah islands, facing the buzzy Palm West Beach, it’s a coveted address in this opulent city.  

The hotel’s sprawling rooms offer captivating views of the waterfront area known as Jumeirah Beach Residence (also called JBR) and Ain Dubai, the famous Ferris wheel. Step out of Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai and onto the beachside promenade that draws crowds for its views and endless dining options. But with 10 restaurants at the hotel and additional lounges, there’s plenty to choose from in-house.  

Feast on contemporary Japanese dishes at the award-winning OKKU Dubai. For some serious Miami vibes, head to MYAMI, where an expert mixologist crafts on-point cocktails. Journey to Italy at the rustic trattoria, Cucina that serves handmade pastas and pizzas. Nosh on Korean flavors at Smoki Moto, a Korean steakhouse that turns up the heat. 

If you’re hankering for much-needed pampering and relaxation, slip away to the Saray Spa, which offers everything from facials to hair treatments to individual and couples massages. Let expert hands knead away your worries, leaving you feeling renewed. 

For families, the cherry on top is the Kids Club. A games room, outdoor play spaces and curated educational programs all make the Kids Club a place for little ones to revel and learn. Don’t forget to snag an M Passport to encourage kids to explore the resort and collect stamps for completing activities.