I can certainly say that staycations are our cup of tea. The girls love to escape to a hotel and enjoy the beach, swimming pool and the hotel gets brownie points if it has a Kids Club. Last month we spent one night and two days at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa.
We left on Thursday, immediately after school and we were there by 3.00pm, just in time for the sun to go down a bit and have a nice temperature outside. Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa has the main hotel with rooms and apartments and a complex of villas dotted along the beach. We stayed at the 6th floor, in a room with a spectacular view, of the sea and the swimming pools. It was a twin room and I like the fact that the beds are large enough to accommodate one adult and one child. Our girls are five and seven years and we slept very comfortable, all four in one room. The girls were very excited about the two swans made of towels waiting for us on the beds, played and took care of them until we left. The bathroom has both a bathtub and a shower cabin, that speed up the washing process before dinner. Mums with more kids can relate to this when multi-tasking, even in the bathroom is a must. Our room was spacious, having two beds, a small corner set of an armchair and coffee table, a desk and a shelve unit along the wall. The TV has some kids channels but to be honest, not much time to watch. We enjoyed our time on the balcony, that is ideal for a late drink or an early coffee.
Being already afternoon and close to dinner time, the girls wanted to go straight to the Tree House Kids Club. This is in a separate building and is open from 10.00am till 7.00pm. The club is free for the guest of the hotel but also has some paid activities and even membership, starting from Aed 750/months. The mascot of the club is a lovely camel named Camelia. I can imagine that the kids cannot get board here as the club has everything to keep them busy: building blocks of all sizes, dress up section, a small library, art&craft, even a garden with plants and pots where kids can learn a bit about gardening. There is also a nap room for the little ones who get tired of so much playing. On Wednesday and Friday, there is Movie Night, open for kids age 9 to 16, from 8.00 to 10.00pm, for only Aed 10. The Kids Club is open for kids from 4 to 9 years, but the older ones are not forgotten: they have their own Teens Club in the hotel with all kind of games.
While the girls were playing at the kids club, we walked along the beach, within the resort, discovering the rows of villas and even more swimming pools. There are several beach bars dotted in the resort and we walked till the end of it and stopped at Sol Bar where we enjoyed our drinks before dinner, a visit from two cats, live Latino music and an amazing sunset. The bar has also the option of snacks and some meals and has even a kids menu. The girls ate chicken nuggets and pasta there next day for lunch. Of course, there is the option of taking a buggy to go from one side to another but walking on paths among palm trees and greenery is wonderful.
For dinner, we went to Pura Vida restaurant. Following its name, the restaurant has Latino cuisine, featuring especially Brazilian dishes. We met the chef, Bilal Shenar from Jordan, who is a Brazilian Specialty Chef. Bilal prepares Latino cuisine dishes for eighteen years now and really loves it. His passion when talking about the menu and the wine associated with every dish makes you want to try everything there. The wine and meat are also brought from South America and everything is handpicked by him. I and one of our daughters had “all-you-can-eat” grill option with chicken, beef and lamb and we watched while it was cooked at the barbecue. Bilal was constantly checking it outside to make sure that the meat is cooked as per his instructions. My husband preferred a designated portion and went for “the best tenderloin” he had in years, these being his own words. The other girls felt more comfortable to choose something she knows from the kids menu but she also ate from our grill. At the end, the chef treated us with a Brazilian dessert, made with chocolate and coconut. There was also live Latino music, the best to have on the beach. The restaurant doesn’t have a kids corner or something special to keep the kids busy but the waiters got a ball and all the kids were playing on the football pitch nearby. Good way to get even more tired and be ready to sleep by the time we, parents, finish dinner in peace.
First thing first we did the next morning was to enjoy the view from our balcony. Had a quick coffee overlooking the swimming pools and the sea and we got down to breakfast. We always book with breakfast and we love the buffet type. The girls are always excited as they can choose what they want to eat, and they have so many options. With time, they understood that having a buffet breakfast doesn’t mean that we waste food and now they put on the plate exactly how much they think they can eat. The good thing is that if they want just one slice of tomato, one slice of cucumber and two spoons of yogurt, they can have exactly that amount. Here, there is a huge breakfast and many options, there is something for everybody. I would like to single out the “organic” sign, letting us know what fruits and vegetables are organic, and the “organic Liwa dates muffins” that were delicious. I also must notice the ham in the pork section (for the non-Muslims) as it is the best I had so far in UAE and even the girls ate several slices, being also the most replenished item of the breakfast. The kids have their own kids buffet where they can serve their favorite cereals and pancakes and tea and coffee can be ordered at the table. During the breakfast I just followed the instruction on the staff shirts: “Stay calm and let the Food and Beverage handle it”.
After breakfast, we managed to secure sunbeds under a straw roof and our relaxation day began. We play in the swimming pool or better say swimming pools. I think there are seven of them and the girls didn’t miss one. They enjoyed the most the waterslide, belonging to the beach club. I think we spend one hour just them going up and down on the slide. There is also a green park, with swings and climbing bars where we played monkeys. But I think it was too hot not to be in the water, so we moved on the beach. I always encourage them to spend time in the sea than in the swimming pool but it seems the latter is more fun for them. The resort has also a marine club where water sports fans can rent all the necessary for a trip on the sea.
We left from there around 6.00pm looking forward to our next visit. We want to bring our friends and share a villa on the beach, to enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. And to go to the spa, the only thing that we didn’t have time for anymore. What do the girls say when we leave? “We’ll miss you, Kids Club!!!”. Yes, see you soon, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa! Very soon!
More about the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa
Set 7 km from National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, this upscale beach resort is also 10 km from the Emirati-style Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The fashionable rooms offer minibars, flat-screens, Wi-Fi (fee), and room service; most also have private balconies or patios. Upgraded rooms add gulf views and garden or beach access. Some suites and villas feature 2 bedrooms and living rooms; upgraded suites include whirlpool baths and hammams. The resort has 1.5 km of private beach, 7 outdoor pools and 10 restaurants and bars. There’s also a gym, a kids’ club and an Arabic-style spa. Activities include snorkelling, windsurfing, scuba diving and fishing.