On a drive from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah, there is not really much to see for around one hour or so. As we stayed only for a day, we didn’t plan any Ras Al Khaimah activities but that is definitely a possibility if you are doing a weekend getaway to the emirate.
From when we were just 15 minutes away from Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa, it helped to have signboards directing us. The entryway to the property is impressive but doesn’t give away anything about the size or area of the resort. We were ushered in to a beautiful, long hallway crowded with locals and expats, with the reception desk checking everyone in and out.
I did have a moment of panic because I had dragged my girlfriends on the trip under the assumption that it wouldn’t be crowded and they could get a room as well — making a trip of it. While we didn’t get the room we had hoped for (the property is a favourite with Emiratis and staycationers with families, the receptionist tells me) we did get a nice room that someone had just checked out of.
After all this, I walked to the large glass wall on the other end of the hallway — it is only then that I realised that the property was so huge. Flanked by a 1.5km long stretch of white sandy beach and seven large outdoor pools, the view was amazing.
The property has 475 rooms, including 151 villa rooms. The rooms on the entry side of the hotel don’t get a great view as it faces the city, so ensure you get one on the beach-facing side, or one of the villa rooms, all of which face the sea.
My stay was at one of the bigger suites, which has a bedroom, a dining and lounge area, and two balconies. The bigger balcony which is accessed from the hall has sunbeds and towels at the ready. The balcony is almost half the size of the entire suite. Bathrooms in hotels is always one of the things I complain about but the one in my room was beautiful, roomy and had a sectioned shower and tub. The bedroom also has a sofa and work area. The suite could comfortably room four people if you ask for one extra bed, so it’s perfect for families.
What to do
The resort has a fully equipped watersports centre offering snorkelling, waterskiing, windsurfing, diving and more. You could also plan a visit to the local attractions including the spice markets and fish markets in the city, or make a trip to Jebel Jais to watch the sunset. With seven outdoor pools, and the 24-hour fitness centre and beach club, I doubt you would want to do anything other than lay in the sun soaking up some Vitamin D.
The property has 11 dining outlets and two speciality restaurants. I tried the Pura Vida restaurant’s unlimited Brazilian meat night. You are given a small green and red coloured signal before you start. As long as you leave it on green, you’ll be served various meets, barbecued and grilled, cut right off the spit. Their meat was succulent and well-cooked, and they also had good options for my vegetarian friend. I also loved their signature pineapple beverage, served in a pineapple!
Breakfast buffet was an extravagant and tasty affair at Maarid, featuring fruits, salads, cheese, eggs, breads and pastries, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines along with many international dishes as well.
What we recommend
This resort is made for ultimate relaxation and that is what we recommend you do. Soak up the sun after a pool lap, let the children play in their tiny pools, try a watersport or two and relax by the beach.
Rooms: 4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Value: 4 out of 5
Cleanliness: 5 out of 5
Location: 5 out of 5
Location Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa, Ras Al Khaimah Cost Dh600 onwards without breakfast; Dh750 onwards with breakfast Contact +971 7 228 8844