My work with the airline Royal Brunei highlighted an unusual travel destination to explore: the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the U.A.E. This Ritz Carlton Al Hamra review forms part of a project produced in partnership with Royal Brunei, RAKTDA and Ritz Carlton. As ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like. Now let’s begin with telling you about this gorgeous luxury hideaway, the Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach.
Perhaps it was the overnight flight. Maybe it was the desert heat. Then again, perhaps it was the truth.
As we travelled in to the inner sanctum of the Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach resort on the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, it really did seem as though we were heading into a mirage.
An island. Trees. Sunshine mingled with the stars.
Arriving as dawn breaks is disorienting anywhere but it was perfect for this coastal retreat.
The Arabian red foxes blinked on the sand dunes. The lights of the other hotels kept quiet.
And I fell, slipped, slid into the cool white sheets of this dreamlike villa and awoke to bright sunshine and a sparkling plunge pool.
Yes. It certainly says something when being awake is more dreamlike than a dream.
Secluded luxury with cool billowing white sheets and Bedouin-inspired interior design. 32 luxurious villas, each with private access to the beach and a private plunge pool.
A 45 minute drive from Dubai Airport and 20-30 minutes from the sister property, the Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi resort. Although there is beach access, it’s the villas themselves rather than the beach that is the highlight. Several nearby hotels offer choice if you wish to escape from your bliss pod (but why would you?) or alternatively, you can head into the desert for a spot of dune bashing, with or without the company of camels.
Rooms are beautiful. Gorgeous. Lovely. I was a fan, in case you can’t tell.
A four poster bed sits beneath white drapes and overlooks a sofa and glass view into a private garden. The television lives hidden in a giant white suitcase, popping up and turning around to face bed or sofa at the touch of a remote control button.
A desk sits behind the bed, with charging points everywhere you’d hope for and a double sink and dressing area stands ahead of the indoor shower and toilet.
An outside shower lives next to the plunge pool and sun loungers. It’s a short walk through the back of the garden onto the beach, a rather scratchy affair. There is lovely white sand but you do see a view of buildings on the horizon rather than just the ocean.
The main restaurant, The Shore House, overlooks the Arabian Gulf with its own infinity pool and seafood-rich menu. Look out for the sea bass ceviche, pomegranate marinated lobster or simple seafood feast.
However, with a villa such as this, in-room dining comes into its own. We had a welcome breakfast after our overnight flight with Royal Brunei and the following day decided to try out an instagram trend… the floating breakfast.
So much fun, I even made a video about it…(it’s a live broadcast so skip past the first few seconds when we’re waiting for people to join.)
A 24 hour fitness centre awaits. If that’s your kind of thing. Alternatively, there is also a spa…
Al Hamra means the red one and it’s thought that the area developed this name on account of the deep, orange-red sand.
I travelled solo this time around but couldn’t help but notice the colouring books available at check-in for children. There is a Ritz Kids® program for children older than four and for babies this would be lovely, provided you could shelter in the day. For toddlers, the lack of closed gate in the garden could be an issue but apart from that, it looks like a great place for a family to stay. With your own pool, it’s easy to access changing facilities and lotion up and you don’t need to worry about other guests.
Luxurious private villas on the edge of the coast, with a plunge pool so comfy you hardly need to leave. But if you do, you can find out more about Ras Al Khaimah here.
Who it’s for: sun seekers looking for a quiet life and a chance to recharge, with an easy access route back to London.
Who it’s not for: partygoers and city slickers. People who can’t sit still.
In short, you get to feel a little rock star:
Find part one over here: Where is Ras Al Khaimah and Why Should You Go There. Find the second instalment, What dune bashing tells us about life in the desert, here. And tune in for more on the sister property and jewel in the desert crown: the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi. And, you know, other cool travel destinations.
Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more. Find out more.
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