It felt as if we were in another country. The peacefulness of the area caused a sense of calm to wash over us Image Credit: Supplied

A friend and I decided we needed a break. And where should we go? The answer soon presented itself in the form of Al Raha Beach Hotel Essential Spring Breaks Promotion's Complete Weekends Package.

Even though the hotel is located only 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi, as soon as we arrived, it felt as though we were in another country. The peacefulness of the area caused a sense of calm to wash over us.

Tranquil surroundings

The feeling continued as my friend and I stepped into the lobby, which drew nods of approval from both of us. After a quick check-in, we were escorted to our rooms — which reminded me of my old studio apartment. Gorgeous thick carpeting, a bathtub the size of a minipool and the view from my balcony soon had me jumping for joy.

A quick unpacking ensued and we headed down to the hotel's Sevilla Restaurant, located on the lobby level. A wide selection of cold cuts, salads, main dishes, seafood and dessert made us giddy with anticipation. Keeping true to the adage of "eat your colours", we loaded up on salads before the tantalising scents of the main courses beckoned. Because each dish looked more mouth-watering than the last, we filled our plates with various samples and traded notes on which ones were worth going back for seconds! Our lunch was then rounded up with several desserts, which included cakes and a mango pudding.

We booked ourselves for spa sessions at the hotel's Body and Soul Spa and got a 50 per cent discount as part of the hotel's promotion. My friend chose the full-body massage while I went for the head-neck-and-shoulder massage. Once our treatments ended, we both emerged from our massage rooms feeling like new women. A cup of green tea while enjoying the spa's indoor pool helped cement our overall sense of wellbeing.

Before we knew it, evening had rolled around, so my friend and I decided to have nargila at the hotel's Pool café. As its name suggests, the café was located near the swimming pool and had a lovely view of the ocean. My friend chose the double apple flavour while I went for my favourite — mint and grape.

Catching up

We also decided to continue our healthy weekend by having juice punches. However, when they arrived, one sip and we both shuddered at their lack of taste. So we decided to just enjoy each other's company and our wonderful surroundings.

Several hours later, when our nargilas' coal died out and we had caught up on at least a month's worth of missing conversations, my friend and I returned to our rooms. As a testament to my comfortable bed, I was asleep within a few minutes, drifting off to a dreamless sleep.

The next day, I decided to opt for the lazy way out and have breakfast in my pyjamas, courtesy of room service. My friend, the more energetic of the two of us, went down to the breakfast buffet. I joined her a bit later and then headed out to the outdoor pool to enjoy the sunlight before going for our second spa session.

That's right, second. We were so pleased with the treatments we received the previous day that my friend and I booked ourselves for a second round of pampering! My friend once again had the full-body massage but I decided to go for the Japanese Shiatsu Massage, where my masseuse's talented hands soon made me feel as though I was floating in air.

But before doing so, we made sure we grabbed lunch from Sevilla's spoil-our-guests-with-choices buffet, which continued to exceed our expectations.

But we were so busy enjoying the hotel that we didn't visit the Raha Mall, which is connected to the hotel. We did take a quick glance and noticed the range of shops that were sure to have something for everyone.

Before we knew it, our time at the hotel was up. It's true that time flies when you're having fun. So we packed our belongings, checked out of Al Raha Beach Hotel and headed back to our lives. One thing is sure, though, not only did the hotel help us rediscover ourselves and the joy of silence but we will certainly be back — all that peace is really quite addictive.