After a perfect weekend getaway to the other Ritz Carlton in Ras Al-Khaimah last year, I was really looking forward to visiting The Ritz Carlton on the idyllic Al-Hamra Beach in an emirate that is making a splash in the local and regional tourism scene.
Located a bit less than an hour from Dubai Airport, The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach is home to 32 luxurious villas with private swimming pools and direct beach access. Upon arrival, the checking in process takes place on the main land, before you are whisked away to your villa in a boat, which is when the Maldives part of the headline kicks in.
The villas are what you would expect from The Ritz Carlton — bright, comfy, cozy, and beautifully decorated and furnished. In fact, for once I took more pictures of the interior of a hotel villa than the outside. There are two kinds of villas here: Al Naseem Villas which feature local design elements inspired by traditional Bedouin architecture, and the Al Bahar Villas which feature open views and private beachfront access.
It was pretty warm when we visited so having a private pool was a godsend, and it was where we ended up spending most of our time. Other activities at the resort include paddle boarding, fishing trips on the coast of Ras Al Khaimah, and sunrise or sunset yoga.
So what makes The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach a must stay?
- The Spa: OMG the spa! Located fairly separated from the hotel with chalet-like rooms and open sea views, the spa at The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach alone is worth the stay. I opted for the Balinese massage, and truth be told my masseuse, Nakrita, had hands of magic! I measure the quality of the massage by how many times I fall asleep during, and this one marked up high with the best of them. In cooler months, the doors of the treatment rooms can be opened so you could enjoy uninterrupted sea views while getting your massage.
- The Food: The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach has one restaurant — Shore House, which not only serves some of the best seafood you will ever taste, but also prides itself on fresh catches from the sea and local produce from Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujeirah. Do not miss the oysters and octopus here, although the highlight for me has to be the seabass ceviche — a simply divine mixture of all possible flavors.
- Explore the Best of Two Worlds: One Ritz Carlton is not good enough for you?! No problem! Guests staying at The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach can also explore the beautiful grounds of the The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert by utilizing the resort’s shuttle service between the two resorts. Activities there include nature walks through the Al Wadi Nature Reserve, archery or wildlife entertainment with owl and falconry shows. This way you can easily experience a beach/desert combo in one day.
Last but not least, it is the staff that really make or break a hotel, so a special thanks goes to the kind peeps at The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, especially Mario and Daniel for braving the hot and humid weather to take good care of the guests, and to the restaurant staff for being so courteous and attentive.