My daughter and I stayed for 8 nights over Christmas using HH points for a reward stay, which I then upgraded to AI on arrival. Even if we had paid for the room I would rate the value for money highly compared to Dubai. We travelled for relaxation, good weather and high standards, and found them all here.
RAK is not a middle of nowhere place, don’t let the 80 mins distance from DXB fool you. The city has a population of around 250-300,000 inhabitants, with a greater proportion being Emirate than Dubai (about 50%). But it IS a working town, partly industrial, which is gearing up more for tourism. So you won't really want to walk out of the hotel as there is not much to see on foot, and what there is is quite spread out. Probably not a place for those who need constant entertainment/diversions/distractions, but if you just want to chill and sunbathe with your ipod and a book or two it is as good as many I've been to in the UAE and Caribbean/Mexico/Cuba. I MUCH preferred this hotel to the Dubai Jumeirah beach one, but as mentioned above, RAK city itself is quite ordinary without the bling of Dubai. And now the JBR property has the easily accessible "Walk", it is better located if you think you might want to wander out of the hotel at night. We combined our stay here with a few nights back in Al Gharoud, Dubai and for me that was the best of both.
The hotel is well situated on its own private beach on the Persian Gulf. The beach is lovely, and at the far end there is an area protected by the breakwater where there are lots of starfish, hermit crabs, tropical fish, etc. And I swear I saw a seal on my last walk on the last day too. The Hajjar mountains in the background marking the border with Oman make a stunning backdrop, reminding me of the San Jacinto mountains near Palm Springs. Adding to the atmosphere is the Adhan (the Muezzin’s call to hasten to prayer) which you will hear five times a day – times vary slightly but start at dawn and recur at midday, mid afternoon, just after sunset and at nightfall. Together with some of the architecture it’s a haunting reminder that you are in Arabia.
We arrived at 10 a.m. and were able to check in straight away. We were upgraded to a double queen deluxe plus room (2602) on the sixth floor of the hotel next to a Royal Suite. Only two other rooms adjacent to us, and two more quite a long way along a passage way so very, very quiet. There is no executive lounge at this property, but if you are on AI you wouldn’t need one anyway. We were met and escorted to the room by a guest services manager who went through the Hilton Honors benefits. We would have had "free" breakfast at the very extensive buffet, but had decided to take the cheaper of the two all inclusive packages - so they knocked something off the rate for each of us. If you decide to eat a la carte for any meal you get an allowance of AED70, almost always enough to cover lunch anywhere and a pizza or a pasta in the Italian. For lunch we swopped between the barbecue buffet at Al Bahar and the Dhow beach bar.
On arrival we had two platters of sandwiches and another huge platter of fruit delivered to the room. Later on we had plate of arabic sweets and pastries delivered. Free HHonors members Internet access (for Gold and Diamond levels) is by way of a password from a card - you have to get this from reception and it is charged to your room and then refunded.
If you had to choose, it would be hard to decide between the villas and the hotel - each has their own merits. Not all the villas are directly on the beachfront, although many are, and they look appealing. The far end of the beach also gets the sun later in the day - valuable at this time of year when the days are shorter. But the hotel rooms are newer and more central to most of the restaurants.
The hotel was pretty full when we were there, more so from Boxing day onwards. And there were a lot of children. But with the beach, and dedicated children's pools it almost never felt too busy. The one exception would be the main buffet restaurant, which was sometimes quite noisy and “clattery” - bit more of a canteen ambiance than a restaurant. More pleasant to sit outside, or to go later when the younger children had gone to bed. I liked the Pure Vida restaurant the best, either a churrascaria offering or a la carte. The Italian was pleasant in the evening, out on the patio with the heaters on.
Gym was more than acceptable, with cardio and some resistance stuff. The resort is easily walkable for anyone without mobility issues, but there are golf carts buzzing around if you’re feeling lazy.
We used a hotel taxi to and from Dubai airport for 300AED one way, which compares to about 250AED for a normal taxi but less hassle. Journey is about 1 hour 15 mins without traffic, with not a great deal to see on route - mostly dunes alongside the motorway.
Probably not a resort for those who need constant entertainment/diversions/distractions, but if you just want to chill and sunbathe with your ipod and a book or two it is as good as many I've been to in the UAE and Caribbean/Mexico/Cuba. I MUCH preferred this hotel to the Dubai Jumeriah beach one, but as posted above, RAK itself is just an ordinary town without the bling of Dubai. And now the JBR property has the easily accessible "Walk", it is better located if you think you might want to wander out of the hotel at night. We combined our stay here with a few nights back in Dubai and for me that was the best of both. On value for money the RAK Resort and Spa wins - 26250 points per night on a VIP reward or 17,500 plus 220AED on C&P is much cheaper than the Dubai hotels.
The staff were generally excellent, and we had great service, particularly from Emmy on Reception and Martin and Tatiana from Guest Services. I also appreciated my call from Claude and his little surprise at the Pure Vida restaurant. That’s not to say everything was perfect, there were a couple of occasions where we were aware of people with service issues. But the service recovery ethos seems to be very strong and when the hotel know they got it wrong or failed to meet expectations they went out of their way to put it right.
We also saw some appalling customer behaviour met with very professional responses- firm but pleasant and non escalatory. I really cannot believe the way some people behave – for example one guy wanting a table “on demand” for eight people and 2 high chairs and ranting when the F&B manager wouldn’t displace/inconvenience other guests already seated.
Definitely will go back and might try adding a few days at the new Waldorf when that opens next year.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with LoveHolidays, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Holiday Gems, Southall Travel, Travelbag, getaroom.com, Expedia, HotelsClick, HotelQuickly, Ebookers, Evoline ltd, Cancelon and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Hotel Ras Al Khaimah
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort And Spa
- Ras Al Khaimah Hilton
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa