Luxury in Ras Al Khaimah


The alarm went off at 530 and we leapt up and got our stuff together and got ourselves to the Executive Lounge for some breakfast.  Staying at the JW Marriott Sahar in Mumbai.   We were given a full breakfast in the restaurant but that didn’t start till 0630 and we needed to be at the airport by then.  In fact, like dinner, the lounge breakfast was all you could want.  An excellent selection of hot and cold food, an egg chef…. good Nespresso coffee…..   We ate and then checked out.

The Marriott car took us back to the terminal and we checked our bags in with Indigo.  No extra baggage charge this time and all very quickly and efficiently done.  Security went smoothly and the immigration check-out was without problems.  The Indigo flight left bang on time and we were really impressed.  Nice aircrew.  You had to pay for food and drink but we didn’t want any and I slept most of the way.  It’s only a 3 hour flight into Dubai.  For a low cost operator they were super.  30kg checked luggage each as normal plus 7kg hand baggage.  We paid £4.99 each to choose our own seats and got Row 6 window and aisle with no one in between.  Bargain.

Dubai is a massive, amazing airport.  Bit of a queue in the immigration hall but it only took us about 20 minutes to get through and no hassle.  Our bags were already on the belt by then.  Got a taxi outside to Ras Al Khaimah, which is one of the neighbouring emirates, like Ajman and Sharjah.  It’s about 100km and takes about 45 minutes – 1 hour to get there from the airport and the taxi was 220 AED, £45.  The trip is largely through desert of red sand peppered with palm trees and scrub.  We saw quite a lot of camels.  I think I’ve read somewhere that all the camels here belong to someone, they’re not wild, but this may not be so……

There is a public shuttle between Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai that runs a few times a day much more cheaply than a taxi, but the timings did not work for us.

Ras Al Khaimah is a new kid on the block in terms of tourism in comparison to Dubai and is much more of an authentic destination as a result.  There are miles of white sand beaches with quite a few very luxurious hotels built along them e.g. Waldorf-Astoria, Ritz Carlton, Rixos.     We were booked into the Ritz Carlton Hamra Beach.  There is another in the desert nearby and you can shuttle between the two.  When I’d looked at Marriott owned accommodation in the Dubai area, this Ritz Carlton had just leapt out at me.  There are only 32 rooms, all villas, strung along the beach.  Each villa has a sort of tented vibe, although the structure is of glass and hard wood with a “tented” ceiling.  Around each villa is a large private garden with pergolas and sun beds as well as lovely landscaping and dining areas.  There is a private infinity pool in the garden, a large outdoor bathtub and rain shower as well.  Its all absolutely gorgeous.

We are so lucky to have our Marriott points from owning timeshare with them.  We could never have afforded to stay here otherwise and in fact since we booked Marriott have “upped” the points required to stay here so we got in at the right time.

The taxi dropped us off at the reception “tent” which is on the edge of a lagoon, the hotel proper being on the beach at the other side of the lagoon.  We were warmly welcomed and the atmosphere was immediately laid back, not intimidating at all.  After the check in, we were taken across the lagoon in a little motor launch, our luggage following us.

It was about midday and our room was not quite ready so we sat in the beachside restaurant and had a bit of lunch: some sushi and Bob had a lobster bisque as well.  Being Friday (main weekend day here) the afternoon was given over to a special brunch and quite a few people arrived for that.  Normally we would have done it too but we weren’t really hungry enough and we were a bit tired and decided against it.  Prices are a bit eyewatering as you would expect.  Food and drink priced at London posh hotel prices.

Our room was ready by 1pm and we were taken around by golf cart.  Absolutely gorgeous is all I can say.  Beautiful décor, a huge and very comfortable bed, massive day bed, rain shower, separate loo, double sink bathroom, plenty of wardrobe space, the largest mini bar set up I have ever seen……  Bob was totally knocked out by it.  I had kept it as a total surprise to him, he didn’t know where we were staying at all.

We got unpacked and lazed around for the rest of the afternoon.  The pool is heated to about 29C and feels like a bath.  The outside daybeds are good enough to sleep on.  It’s so peaceful.  We are going to have a brilliant couple of days here.  Not sure we shall do anything at all which I know makes this a bit of a boring read 🙂   All I can say is, if you are looking for a place for a honeymoon or a second honeymoon, this would be good.  They can lay on all sorts of romantic experiences for you: dinner by lantern circle on the sands (dunes or beach); a floating breakfast in your pool (sounds like potentially messy..), picnics, boat picnics.  Some of them are reasonably affordable too!!!!

It is a bit of a mindblower after the perfect simplicity of a Goan winter, I must admit but this also has a simplistic luxury.  I think the Maldives must be like this but with a better beach!

We walk right out of our garden and onto the beach, although the whole garden is shielded by a high wall and hedges.  If we wanted to sunbathe or swim nude, no one would be any the wiser……  tomorrow we will explore the beach.  The sand is like very fine white crystals.  Not soft powder.  I am looking forward to trying the sea.  There are malls very close by but not sure if we will go shopping at all…..

If you were thinking of a holiday in the UAE, then I think a week split between Dubai and here would be perfect.  Dubai for the shop till you drop glitz and here for the utter luxurious peace.

Tonight we had dinner in the beachfront restaurant.  Bob had the signature cheeseburger which was really excellent and came with loads of chips.  I had grilled octopus with stewed veg, also really good.  We washed it down with 2 gin martinis, the first ones in nearly three months that were made with extra dry vermouth, and not much of that.  YUM!

Very nice temperature.  About 29C during the day and around 21C this evening.  Not at all humid, although there were some clouds around today and apparently it rained a bit this morning before we landed.  Didn’t expect that at all.  Hopefully we won’t see any more of it.