DUBAI GATEWAY WEEKEND: RITZ CARLTON AL HAMRA
A year ago my boyfriend and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi desert resort to celebrate his birthday (you can check my review of this amazing gateway weekend here). It was an incredible weekend, in one of the most luxurious and intimate hotels I have ever stayed at. So when we realized they had a sister branch by the sea, and close to Dubai, we decided to book a weekend gateway for this year’s celebration.
We just got back from 40 hours of pure bliss and I couldn’t wait to share some pictures of our week-end gateway at the Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach.
Located in Ras Al Khaimah, just over an hour drive from Dubai, Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach is a gorgeous resort nestled on a stretch of beach facing the Arabian Gulf. Drawing from traditional Arabic architecture, the 32 tents like villas have their own private pool and direct beach access, that guarantee perfect tranquility and privacy! Say no more, this is a place for me.
The rooms are beautifully decorated in white, beige and blue, and have floor to ceiling windows facing the private patio and the beach. Of course, the focus of my attention in any hotel room is the bed, and this one doesn’t disappoint, with fluffy pillows, and super soft bed sheets. We slept like babies, and I was really tempted to stay in bed the whole day … with maybe a dip every now and then into the pool!
There is only one restaurant on site, the Shore House, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast buffet is perfect: not too massive, with just the right amount of choices. Whether you like croissants and fresh bread, eggs, and hashbrown or gluten-free cereals and soya milk, there is something for everyone. If you feel like getting the perfect Instagram shot, the hotel can also prepare a beautiful floating breakfast to enjoy in your own pool (Bali vibes anyone ?) … but you will have to spend an extra 80 USD for that!
Facing the Arabian Gulf, it is only right that the restaurant focuses on fresh seafood (They also have choices of international meat and poultry dishes). We had oysters, ceviche, and aglio e olio shrimp spaghetti and it was delicious! We finished the evening with shisha on the terrace facing the infinity pool, and it was by far one of the best shishas I ever had.
If you are looking for a more private experience, the hotel can set up a romantic dinner in your own patio or on the beach! With the sun setting right in front of you, it is a nice ideal for a romantic moment with your loved one.
The service was excellent, with a real focus on personal attention. The staff had prepared a little surprise for my bf’s birthday, filling the room with balloons and preparing a birthday cake. Also, the staff addresses you by your name whenever they can, and I really appreciated that, as it feels like you almost create a personal bond with the place.
Overall, it was the perfect Dubai weekend gateway and I just wished we had stayed longer, to soak up even more of the warm Arabian sun. September is still really hot though, so if you are not used to it, I would recommend coming from mid-end October to really enjoy spending time on the beach or on your villa’s sun loungers. If you need more details about the best time to visit Dubai and stay at the Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach, check out my article here.
If I had to give one minor negative comment (I am French, I need to complain about something !), is that I was sort of expecting the sea to be right there, in front of the villa. Turns out that yes the villa is beach facing but the sea is actually 100m further ahead. Nothing major obviously, just not what I thought it would be.
If you are looking for a luxurious Dubai weekend gateway, both the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi and the Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach are extraordinary options you should consider!
And if you need any extra information, please do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below.