Ras Al Khaimah is both an Emirate and a city – RAK city (as it’s often known) is the sixth-largest in the UAE. Its history spans over 70 centuries; RAK is one of the few places on earth to have been continuously inhabited during this time, making it of particular interest to archaeologists. The Middle Eastern destination is flanked by the majestic Hajar mountains, mangroves and vast expanses of unspoilt beaches, offering both cultural and adrenaline-pumping adventures. And with temperatures rarely dipping below 23 degrees in the winter, it provides guaranteed year-round warmth.
The InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa
The InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa, is the first property for the luxury brand, IHG Hotels & Resorts in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Located on the sparkling shoreline of Hayat Island, just a 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, the five-star haven brings the InterContinental life to the Arabian Peninsula, combining idyllic island-style living with the warm hospitality of authentic Arabia. The resort comprises 351 sea-view rooms, suites and private pool villas – all of which are elegantly appointed and offer guests the latest technology and in-room services. Guests can enjoy six different dining options all of which boast a varied menu and offering; ranging from a trendy New York inspired hang-out to the terrace for al-fresco dining. With a superb selection of day-time activities, state-of-the art health club, spa and a children’s club, guests of every age can tailor a holiday to keep them as active or as relaxed as they wish. Club InterContinental guests receive elevated privileges which includes a dedicated check-in area and access to the exclusive Club InterContinental Lounge with its own pool, as well as lavish à la carte breakfasts, afternoon teas and a range of evening cocktails crafted by the on-site mixologist.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
If you really want to escape the rat race, come to the ancient dunes of the Al Wadi Desert. An uber-luxury take on Bedouin living, the accommodation includes tent-style buildings and mud-brick villas (all of which have their own infinity pools). The settlement is on Al Wadi Nature Reserve, so expect to spy plenty of gazelles and antelope. And there’s an abundance of unusual excursions organised by The Ritz-Carlton – both for kids and adults. Farmhouse restaurant served produce from its own smokehouse and garden, plus there’s Kaheela for small plates and the Samar or Lobby Lounges for drinks and lighter bites. The spa has a hydrotherapy circuit, a rainforest experience and 10 regal pavilions.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert’s sister property, is a secluded, beachside affair. It also offers pool villas, but 32 rather than over a hundred and is just 15 minutes away via a free shuttle. The Bedouin influence remains, but with a coastal vibe (whites and blues reign over the decor), that’s particularly evident in the four-pavilion, sea-view spa. As this is a smaller resort, there’s just one restaurant, Shore House, but the hotel offers their version of breakfast in bed – a Balinese-style floating breakfast in pool. And private candlelit dinners on the beach can be arranged.
Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
Taking the form of an Arabian palace, the landmark Waldorf Astoria in RAK rises dramatically from the shoreline. The opulent multi-domed hotel brings classic Waldorf facilities and service to the Middle east. On entry, guests are greeted by a 1920s era lobby with a grand piano, vintage furnishings and an elaborate marble-effect fountain. The hotel sits beside an 18-hole golf course and has a lagoon-style pool bordering a section of private beach, tennis courts, an upscale spa, nine restaurants (one of which is reserved for adults), a kids’ club, a playground, regular live DJ sets and 346 rooms.
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort
Large villas (with up to four bedrooms), multiple categories of family rooms, along with seven swimming pools and dedicated kids and teens clubs, make the Hilton an ideal family getaway in Ras Al Khaimah. And parents can enjoy some much needed R&R in the spa, hammam and Himalayan salt room, at yoga classes and over drinks in the Dome Lounge as an in-house babysitter takes care of the little ones. The food is designed to suit all palates with Italian, European, Middle Eastern and Lebanese options and all-inclusive means you can tuck into as little or as much as you desire, around the clock.