We went to the Banyan Tree for my husband's birthday and to get away from it all for a couple of days. It was easy to find for us because we had been told by friends to head for Al Hamra Fort Hotel and find the jetty once we were there. Before we got the boat across we had lunch at the golf club. Pretty expensive but it was ok. It started to rain heavily just as we left to get the boat. Living in Dubai we hadn't see rain for a while so it was a novelty and we had a laugh with the staff about it.
We arrived and everyone kept apologising for the fact we were getting wet. They ushered us onto the golf buggy and took us half way around the resort to our villa, trying to cover us at every turn with umbrellas and towels. The villa was lovely, four poster bed, sitting area, big bathroom area with decking and beds outside with a small pool just for us. Across from the villa onto the sand was another area shaded for us to sit it, complete with wrap around curtains.
After a a good half an hour of stormy weather things cleared up and staff were quickly in our villa clearing away the excess rain and wiping away all the wet from our outside table and chairs. By about 5pm it was nice enough to sit outside so we had a swim before watching the most amazing sunset from our room. The night turndown staff brought us candles for outside and cake for my husband's birthday which was deliciious.
We both had an amazing nights sleep, very quiet but also due to sleeping in probably what has to be the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Amazing day lounging around our villa and we had dinner in, which was actually surprisingly good considering it was delivered.
There are a few things that let it down a little. The view, in places, is not great but you can't blame the hotel for that. There is still a lot of building work going on across the bay that can detract a bit from the view.
The cleaning staff, whilst excellent, let the heavy entrance doors to the villas bang all the time as they cleaned each villa. It began to grate on us after a while as it was so incredibly loud.
Breakfast...lovely spot and wonderful staff. But it was all a bit of a nightmare to be honest and the staff were a bit stressed. One morning we had a buffet, then the buffet wasn't there and we had to order from the menu. Except nobody told us to order from the menu but kept apoloigising for there being no buffet. It took an age to get anything to drink and a pot of tea was, well a small cup of tea. Beautfiul little teapots but half a cup of tea out of them was just ridiculous. The food itself was pretty good quality if you ordered off the menu but the buffet on the first day was poor.
Shame the spa was so incredibly expensive and only offering deals during the week or we would have used it. Hard to justify a 400+ dirham massage when you can get it for 150 normally.
Minor points really as for us it hit the spot because we got what we wanted - rest and relaxtion. And the staff are lovely and can't do enough for you. We will definitely go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chart a course for a desert island romance. Sun-kissed shores of powdery sands and cool azure waters of the Arabian Gulf rush to greet you at the Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach. ... more less
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