My girlfriend and myself got back from the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa the other week. The hotel was excellent and we really enjoyed ourselves.
On our arrival we had the guaranteed early check in, but our room was not available. We therefore went down to the restaurant for breakfast, when we came back to reception about half an hour later our room was still not available, but after ten minutes more it was. On entering the room we were very pleased, very large, clean and excellent view from the balcony over looking the sea and pools. The bathroom is a good size with the large window looking through into the bedroom (there is an electric blind for privacy), the bed is large and comfy.
The resort itself is very large with two beaches, one small one at one side of the hotel, and a large one at the other side stretching across where the villa's are. There is a massive salt water pool with a few smaller area's coming off it, one of these leading to the sunset pool bar. This pool is not temperature controlled so is warm, but is still nice to swim and sit and have drinks in. At the other side of the hotel there are two fresh water pools which are temperature controlled and very cool which is welcoming with the heat. Whilst we were there it was around 40-45 degrees every day which was very warm. If you were at the pool you got the full impact of the heat, but my advise is to use the loungers on the beach, firstly this is very quiet with plenty of beds available, but there is a sea breeze which even though a warm breeze, takes the edge off it and makes it much more comfortable. When you are on the beach in the afternoon a guy on a golf buggy comes around and offers you drinks from his cooler box.
We went all inclusive, which I was glad we did as I feel it could have been expensive with drinks etc, however the all inclusive is a little disappointing. It does not include everything, fair enough if you used the mini bar this was chargeable, but you were limited to the drinks you could have. For example in terms of larger, there was draft fosters, carling, warsteiner, bottles of corona, peroni and cans of tuborg. On the all inclusive the only beer you could have was the cans of tuborg, don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with it, but it would have been nice to have a choice without having to pay for it (we did treat ourselves one night to a warsteiner). You could have soft drinks (coke, fanta, sprite etc), bottled water, only certain spirits, all fruit juices, and certain cocktails. Majority of drinks were of a similar price, therefore I feel a better system would be to say you can have any drink up to 35 Dirham, if you wanted one above this you paid the difference, this would give you a lot more choice!
We met with the Virgin rep Jimmy on the first day, he was very informative and helpful, but only if it was regarding one of the tours booked through him. We booked the Oman boat trip (you need to take your passport) through him which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was well over an hour in the mini bus to get to Oman and where the boat set off from. The tour took you somewhat inland which was sheltered with various stopping points for snorkelling and swimming. On numerous occasions we had dolphins swimming with the boat.
Back to Jimmy… We wanted to go into Dubai (Highly recommend!) and said we wanted to go on the Saturday, what is the best way to get there. He then tried to sell us the trip they do on a coach which there is a set route. This was not what we wanted to but he kept trying to sell us this tour. Eventually we managed to get some information out of him that the hotel runs a free shuttle bus on a Sunday, which we went on. We also said we may want to go again, again he did not seem bothered to help us, but said he would be able to organise a taxi for us. We went back to see him about this twice on different days but he was not working on either! We asked at reception, who were very helpful who organised us a private taxi for 8 hours and he would take us wherever we wanted, this was about £80 and really good.
We also booked our own safari desert tour before we went through Orient Tours. We did our research and these appeared to be the best, they had just won best tour operator in the Emirates at the World Travel Awards. It is a very popular tour operator as you do see other operators doing the same thing, but never saw more than 2 vehicle, we had about 10 in our convoy. It was an excellent trip which picked us up at the hotel at about 4pm and dropped us off at about 11pm. We got well over an hour driving though the desert which is great fun, then you get taken to the camp where you go camel riding, sand boarding, have a lovely BBQ, henna tattoos, hubbly bubbly and belly dancing (which we did not see as it was Ramadan).
The food was of a good quality in the buffet restaurant, with ample to choose from, but even though the food style changed daily, it did get a bit boring such as chicken in a sauce, beef in a sauce etc. On two occasion we ate in the Italian restaurant, the food in here was delicious and the staff excellent with one waitress greeting us by our names the second time we ate there. On both occasions the head chef came out to speak to us which was a nice touch. Unfortunately this was the only restaurant open while we were there in August as the others will still under construction (and looked nowhere near ready!).
Overall the staff were excellent and nothing was too much trouble. We really enjoyed the holiday and hotel and would not hesitate to recommend it. However, we were fully aware this hotel was not in Dubai, but since visiting there on two days we cannot wait to go back and stay there. The city is amazing and you can almost not describe how big it is. Will give it a few years to develop more such as Dubailand been completed and other areas. But we enjoyed where we stayed and would not have been able to visit Oman had we been in Dubai. I would recommend the hotel to anyone who is wanting a relaxing holiday to get away from it all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa is nestled in a spectacular private bay at the northern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, overlooking the shimmering waters of the Arabian Gulf. Only a 70-minute drive to Dubai International Airport and two hours from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Guestrooms: The Resort consists of 151 guestrooms in villas and 324 guestrooms in the hotel, each with a private balcony and exclusive access to the beautiful 1.5 km sandy beach. All guestrooms are fully equipped with a Plasma TV, minibar, alarm clock, coffee facilities, safe box, iron with board, hair dryer and wired internet (fee). Dining: With 11 restaurants and bars to choose from, guests will be spoilt for choice. Start the day with Hilton Breakfast in the bright and spacious Maarid, then stop by BN Cafe for your favourite coffee, or swim up to Sunset Bar to grab your favourite cocktail. Begin your evening with a traditional Middle Eastern shisha in Al Bahar Rooftop, before contemplating whether to try South American cuisine in Pura Vida or classic Italian fine dining at Piaceri da Gustare. At night, spend great times at the classic X.O. bar serving cognac and vintage ports. Leisure: The Spa features 9 treatment rooms, hamams, Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms. For the gym enthusiasts, there is a Hilton fitness by Precor center with aerobics rooms. Or take part in water sports with our on-site diving center offering snorkeling, water skiing, sailing and jet skiing. The perfect end to a day is a swim in one of our six swimming pools; including a salt water pool and a shaded pool for children. An onsite Kid's Club with indoor and outdoor playrooms and a Teens Club will keep the children and teens busy whilst you relax in the best resort in Ras Al Khaimah. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort And Spa
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Hotel Ras Al Khaimah
- Ras Al Khaimah Hilton