We recently spent a weekend at the Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah. As far as I know, they are the first hotel chain in the UAE that offer all-inclusive packages. I got the deal through Groupon and even though it was Ramadan, it was business as usual: food and drinks were served throughout the day and the pool and other facilities were open as usual.
The resort is unmissable as they are the first property you will see as you hit the coast right after the Free Zone authorities area. That and the buildings are shaped like those pyramids from Peru. The main entrance to the hotel had this striking sculpture of an Arabian horse, all made of pieces of wood put together by a local artist. It was encircled by a low barrier so it was safe from guests who are tempted to reach out and touch it, myself included!
As soon as we were checked in, we indulged in some late lunch while the buffet was still open. It was too hot though to enjoy the pool so we stayed in our room and chilled out. By the time we went out in our swimming gear, the pool was about to close. Oh well, we had the next day to take advantage of it so we headed back to our room, chilled out some more and waited to get ready for dinner.
A group selfie before dinner
The all-inclusive deal meant you had to book a restaurant for dinner as they are almost always full. Meat Point restaurant, where they serve Argentinian and Brazilian grills, had restrictions for children aged below 14 years old. The boys were not too keen on Lalezar which serve Turkish and Lebanese cuisine, so we chose to dine at Aja, the Asian restaurant. It was good. Each guest gets a platter of sushi, sashimi and tempura mix and a bowl of miso soup for starters. You had a good choice for your main dish; Patrick and I chose Nasi Goreng and Bernie decided on the Pad Thai. Dessert was either banana fritters with honey and vanilla ice cream or Drinks were free-flowing but I had only one glass of a nice Sauvignon Blanc with my dinner.
It was humid that evening and it took a while for my lenses to clear up enough to let me take a decent photo. The moon was also nearly full I think and this was the best I could do with the rising heat!
See? I do know how to smile! At least that’s what I’m trying to do here. We hung out at the lobby cafe for coffee after dinner. It was all-inclusive, folks! Why not take advantage of it. We also called room service at around midnight for some of their classic beef burgers, in case we got peckish.
After a rather fitful night, because I can never sleep through the night in a hotel unless I am exhausted or drunk, I woke up to this beautiful sunrise. We decided to get up early and beat everyone else to the pool. Make the most of the rest of our stay. I did take advantage of the late check-out option so we had all morning to enjoy the pool.
The picture doesn’t show it but it was quite warm even at 7.30 in the morning. We walked around the pool and towards the beach before breakfast just so we don’t seem too eager.
Most of the other guests were still in bed so we had a nice, quiet breakfast together. The staff at the Seven Heights restaurant however were all present and ready for a new day of keeping guests well fed- and watered.
The bread station was so tempting but I was being really good and avoided what I would otherwise pile on my plate.
Dessert! Even for breakfast they had a full-on dessert station. I admit I indulged my sweet tooth, just a bit though as I didn’t want to lose any of the hard work I have put in the gym and yoga studio so far. Not that you can visibly see it!
Patrick waiting for his all-in omelette. He may be chubby but he does not actually eat a whole lot, not even for a growing young man. You’d be surprised that he avoids ice cream, chocolates and most junk food. He’s very unlike his older brother who would eat anything and everything, well almost everything. Joseph still doesn’t like ketchup.
I’m afraid I do not have much photos this time around as I was busy enjoying our weekend away. I did attend a yoga class at the gym a few of hours after breakfast and after swimming with the boys. It was a good workout too and I managed to do a shoulder stand, with some help from a wall!
The hotel itself is good, it’s more of a resort really and their all-inclusive package is one-of-a-kind in the UAE. I don’t think any other hotel offers this package yet. It’s a hit-and-miss with the facilities though. First, I was disappointed that there is no bath tub. I was so looking forward to soaking away before bedtime. There was a really hug shower head and it was okay, but the shower stall was poorly built so that all the water was spilling out onto the bathroom floor that if you didn’t notice it and stepped out of the shower, BAM! You’ll end up with a mild to severe concussion, sore bum, possibly broken wrist and elbow. We laid out used towels on the floor to soak up all the excess water.
Then the hallway light was not working and there was no light in the wardrobe. So you had to keep the bathroom light and door opened if you needed to get something from the safe or from your suitcase.
The reading lamp was also broken. It was switching on but the wire attaching it to the wall has gotten loose so that it hangs stupidly next to you and you cannot fix the light so that you can use it to read. Plus the light was way too bright anyway, it just hurt my eyes.
The room itself was very spacious. There was a comfy sofa which doubled as a bed for Patrick and there was still plenty of room left.
Guest services were very prompt however and almost every hotel staff I encountered were very courteous and warm. I still wouldn’t go back though and pay full rates if they don’t step up their game. I wonder though if the one at The Palm Jumeirah has a better standard?