The United Arab Emirates is an extraordinary destination and celebrates a mere 50 years of becoming a nation this year.…
Ras Al Khaimah has it all. Lavish hotels, world-class adventures, temperate shallow seas, white sandy beaches, undulating deserts and lots of activities to keep your children busy.
The Emirate is easily accessible if you live locally and want to replace city living with some new adventures with the kids or travel internationally for guaranteed warmth and sunshine. At just over an hours drive from Dubai, you can be in mountainous Ras Al Khaimah in no time. The following hotels allow you to explore the various elements of Ras Al Khaimah – beach, island, city and desert.
The Ritz Carlton is at the very heart of the protected Al Wadi Nature Reserve. Deep in the desert, the extraordinary location affords visitors endless opportunities to experience authentic Bedouin living in the lap of luxury. Breathtaking firey-red desert-scapes and wild nature surround the extensive resort. The unspoilt environment allows you and your family to learn ancient traditions, find peace and possibly see the rare oryx, a cantankerous camel or two, wary desert foxes, and if you are fortunate, the elusive desert cat. The desert has a range of activities, including the Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre, archery, cycling, star gazing, bird watching and nature drives within the protected parklands. Kids can become a Ritz Ranger and explore the nature reserve and learn some survival skills along the way.
There are two styles of rooms at the Ritz Carlton. The Bedouin-style luxury tented villas have spectacular sunrise or sunset views across the desert with large lounges, terraces, floor to ceiling windows, a free-standing bath and a private swimming pool. Alternatively, the traditionally-inspired cooling mud-brick villas have elegant Arabic styling with uninterrupted views of the desert or a walled garden for complete privacy.
Whilst the kids are becoming rangers and learning about desert survival, parents can head to the relaxing Rainforest, a one-of-a-kind experience in the Middle East with a unique blend of European hydrothermal culture and Middle Eastern bathing rituals. The spa is peaceful and offers therapeutic and relaxing treatments in private pavilions with favourite treatments from around the world. There is also an outdoor temperature-controlled pool and Jacuzzi for a cheeky glass of bubbles whilst there is peace from the little ones.
Various dining choices offer intimate indoor or al fresco dining choices from the Middle East, authentic farm-to-table with herbs and veggies from the kitchen garden, spicy tangs from India, Spanish tapas and modern takes on Bedouin grills at the weekend barbeques.
The multi-award-winning (over 160 since its opening) Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah is synonymous with refined luxury and has become as iconic to the RAK skyline as the Burj Khalifa is to Dubai’s. The hotel proudly showcases the ancient history, tradition and culture of the UAE. The impressive light-filled spaces, spacious rooms and suites, expansive beaches, deliciously cool pools and dining options make the hotel ideal for a family getaway on the shores of the Arabian Gulf.
The impressive double-height entrance opens into an expansive lobby home to the six-metre gold Smith of Derby clock. They based the design on an ancient astrolabe; five rotating prayer rings at its base show the exact minute of each prayer in the Islamic faith.
There are various options for accommodation for families with children, from the family rooms to the expansive 422 square metre multi-level Imperial Suite, which sits atop the tower and commands spectacular birds-eye views of the grounds, across the Arabian Gulf and Al Hamra’s golf course.
Kids can keep themselves entertained with their own VIP passport, which is packed full of games and puzzles to solve. They can also hunt down answers to clues, find people or hidden places to win fun gifts. The kids club is fully immersive with plenty of activities such as making cookies and pizza, sand art, falconry and archery, shell collecting and Petanque on the lawn. There is also a climbing frame and a family swimming pool.
Adults can check in to the multi-award-winning Waldorf Astoria Spa with 12 treatment rooms, soul-restoring treatments and a place of refuge where parents can surrender and restore their personal wellbeing. There is a beautiful couples treatment room for the ultimate in romance.
Numerous eateries will keep hunger pangs at bay. Lexington Grill is renowned for the finest dry-aged beef, perfectly cooked steaks and expansive temperature-controlled cellar housing some refined vintage flavours. Head to Camelia for a fanciful afternoon tea, Peacock Alley for pre-dinner drinks, Marjan for an Arabic menu crafted by Lebanese chef Joe Barza or enjoy the outside spaces of Azure and Al Fayrouz.
Rixos Bab Al Bahr is the embodiment of island living. The vast hotel spreads across three pyramid-shaped buildings interspersed with meandering waterways and a busy souq. The central entertainment square is lively and home to numerous delicious dining facilities included in the all-inclusive offerings. The resort is decorated with archways enhanced with typical Arabic interiors such as crystal chandeliers and an iconic Arabian horse sculpture.
Outside, the vast, beautifully manicured gardens contain four temperature-controlled swimming pools and a kids club with enough activities to keep them busy from dawn to dusk. Kids also have access to their own pool, waterslides, and outdoor playground. Many all-inclusive activities such as football, beach volleyball, basketball, fitness classes, and table tennis are along the beach together with an exciting range of water sports like kayaking, banana boating fun and parasailing.
Rixos Bab Al Bahr has 650 bedrooms and suites, all of which boast balconies and spectacular views across the languid turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea. Room categories for families with kids range from a deluxe room that can accommodate two adults and one child up to the three-bedroomed penthouse king suites that boast a terrace and a lounge area.
The peaceful Avitane spa has various zones where you can enjoy some all-inclusive self-care time and relax in the steam room and sauna. There is an extensive menu of pampering spa and wellness therapies, relaxing facial and body treatments, and a beauty salon.
After you’ve worked up an appetite from all of the activities, choose from the eight restaurants and six bars. The all-day-dining restaurant Seven Heights serves an array of delicious buffet-style dishes throughout the day, including traditional Arabic and international dishes for breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Fishbone is the resort’s seafood restaurant that serves delicious mezze and freshly grilled local or imported fish. There is plenty of entertainment with Strictly Come Dancing style shows, karaoke, live music, and quiz night games each evening.
Kids love the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort. The sprawling resort nestles on a 1.5-kilometre beach in a private cove and boasts glorious views over the Suraya Islands, the Arabian Gulf and the Jebel Jais Mountains.
Hilton RAK is child-friendly and offers many activities, including their own kid’s club and swimming pool with a fun slide. Teens can enjoy the eponymous club, with various activities throughout the day. There are well-equipped indoor and outdoor playgrounds and table tennis facilities. Adventurous families can head out to the city to explore the national museum, bustling souqs, food markets and a traditional shipwright. The beach resort is the ideal destination for exploring the adrenaline-fuelled activities in the Jebel Jais mountains, the ancient village of Al Rams and the fascinating Suwaidi Pearl Farm.
The rooms and suites each have impressive views of the Arabian Gulf. They have comfortably furnished expansive balconies or pretty garden terraces to enjoy the temperate climate of Ras Al Khaimah. There is an expansive range of rooms for families, including the family beach access villa, the two-bedroom family villa with a private pool and the royal suite with a private balcony, spacious separate living room and dining area; the kids will love the sauna, steam and whirlpool facilities.
The spa has nine treatment rooms, a whirlpool, sauna, steam room, two Moroccan Hammams and the Himalayan Wellness Grotto. An extensive menu of treatments is available for your body with ethically sourced, natural and sustainable aromatherapy oils are used for massage treatments.
Your kids won’t go hungry with the impressive dining facilities. Start the day with a mighty buffet breakfast from Al Maeda and keep them topped up with fresh snacks and endless shawarma from Sol Beach Lounge. For dinner, head to Piaceri da Gustare, the formal Italian diner or back to Al Maeda, serving delicious Arabic cuisine. If families book a babysitter, frazzled parents can enjoy a sunset cocktail at the Sunset Bar or an after-dinner aperitif in X.O.