A week before Eid Al Fitr holiday, we sneaked in a relaxing hotel stay in Abu Dhabi. We were actually a bit hesitant to go on a trip outside Dubai during Ramadan, but when I realized how things fall into place - the shortened work schedule, Ed's compensatory time off, Ferrari World's Ramadan free view offer, and an invitation to stay in a beach hotel - we immediately gave it a go.
Our sweet escape destination? Al Raha Beach Hotel!
The Beachfront Hotel
Al Raha Beach Hotel is a 5-star property tucked in between Yas Island and the town center. The beachfront hotel is already a decade-old. Yes, it is architecturally outdated if compared to newly-built modern hotels, but I didn't see a trace of wear and tear. It is properly maintained from the opulent interiors to the manicured gardens!
|Al Raha Beach Hotel|
Check-in procedure was speedy. Thankfully! I couldn't help but glance around the grandiose lobby while doing the paper works! So, as soon as I returned the cold towel (a welcome ritual which I absolutely love), I stood right in the center of the entrance hall to properly adore its grand yet welcoming features.
|the warm and sophisticated lobby|
|widest hotel aisle I have ever seen in the UAE|
|Middle Eastern theme with a modern twist|
|Al Raha Beach Hotel's new wing|
The Deluxe Gulf View Room
We stayed in a Deluxe Gulf View Room located in the hotel's new wing. Since Al Raha Beach Hotel is a sprawling property, the room is quite a stroll from the amenities. Looking at the bright side, it is in the tranquil part of the hotel, facing the Arabian Gulf and the villas.
The first thing that caught my attention was the super spacious bathroom, but let's talk about that later! The deluxe room looks regal. It exudes a sophisticated yet homey atmosphere with its wooden walls and crisp white bed sheets. It has a flat screen TV, a mini bar, coffee/tea making facility, and a sizeable work desk which the husband really liked. He had to do some personal tasks during our stay and that space came in handy.
|luxurious details in a Deluxe Room|
|Welcome Treats: Arabic coffee and a platter of dates|
|animal towels and fresh flowers never fail to brighten my hotel stay|
|The Husband in his work desk|
What I also adore in our Deluxe Gulf View Room is the panoramic view! The room has floor-to-ceiling window and a glass door to the private balcony! Ahhh, if only it wasn't hot and humid, we could have stayed there for hours!
|just a single step away from the glorious views (flip flops provided by the hotel)|
|the view from the private balcony... worth waking up early for!|
The Luxurious Bathroom
Now, here's the room facility that surprised me the most: The Bathroom! It is super-sized with sculpted granite wash basin, large bathtub with a window next to it, and a separate shower room with two types of shower head. Organic toiletries were neatly placed beside the sink. Fresh robes and towels were accentuated with real purple orchids!
With the superb features, I could hardly believe that I walked into a bathroom of a deluxe hotel room, not of a suite.
|This bathroom has WOW factor!|
|Care to have a bath with a view?|
The Private Beach
Al Raha Beach Hotel has a private sandy beach lined with cabanas and loungers. Recreation activities like kayaking and pedalo boating are offered. However, since the hotel is located at the end of a water channel and there's an ongoing construction at the opposite side of the beach, it was a little less inviting.
If we were there for some serious beach time, then I could have been disappointed. The sun was scorching that I couldn't spend hours swimming in the sea or making sand castles along the shore. So we simply had quick quiet stroll by the beach and it was all good!
|Al Raha Beach Hotel's private beach|
|Guests can enjoy non-motorized water sports in the beach.|
The spectacular Aldar HQ serves as a backdrop to Al Raha Beach Hotel's sandy beach. It is the first circular skyscraper in the world; hence it made our quick beach time somehow special.
|Oh hello there, Aldar HQ!|
|a good spot to lounge and catch some sun rays|
We witnessed the sky turned salmon pink during sunset. At this time of the day, Al Raha Beach Hotel can whip up something romantic, like a dinner date in a gazebo along the shore.
|seaside dining at sunset|
The Outdoor Pool
Al Raha Beach Hotel has two outdoor pools - a small pool with a play area and an awning for the kids and a huge infinity pool for the adults. It was where we got a good dose of sunshine! We went for a swim just as soon as the daily maintenance was over; when the sun was bearable and the pool was empty. There is a pool bar where guests can order refreshments. But because it was Ramadan, only water was offered; thus, the atmosphere was rather quiet.
|Fun in the sun!|
|splish splashin in Al Raha Beach Hotel's outdoor pool|
|the Kiddie Pool|
The Indoor Amenities
When I learned that Al Raha Beach Hotel has an indoor pool in the third floor and an aquamedic pool in the ground floor, I silently agreed to the "10 Years of Excellence" banner posted in its central gazebo. The management surely knows how to compensate and definitely how to satisfy our needs. The indoor pool came in to the rescue when the intense summer heat was already too much to handle. It is naturally lit through a glass ceiling, has a Jacuzzi on the side and has a pool bar as well.
|Al Raha Beach Hotel's indoor pool|
We also took the time to relax in the Aquamedic Pool. It was the first time that we experience such water massage treatment and we loooove it! The pool has water jets that can reduce muscle tension and improve circulation. It also has detoxification effects. Perfect timing to our detox plan!
|Ed in the Aquamedic Pool|
|water sprouts and water massage stations|
|the waterfalls gently gave my back a calming massage|
The Body and Soul Spa
Al Raha Beach Hotel is a good choice for spa weekends or pampering retreats! Body and Soul Spa offers revitalizing treatments and different types of massage in a tranquil atmosphere. There are two spa areas in the hotel - one in the ground floor near the aquamedic pool and the other one is in the third floor near the indoor pool. Both areas have sauna and steam rooms, several Jacuzzis (private and common) and treatment rooms; hence every guest can have an ultimate spa break.
|one of the Jacuzzis near the Aquamedic Pool|
Ed and I went for a 30-minute Swedish Massage in a couple's room. The room has a minty aroma and perfect lighting! It is so conducive to relaxation! The Spa Therapist delivered the right soothing strokes that instantly brought me to a state of Spa bliss. And in merely 30 minutes, I felt revitalized. Thanks to Ann for giving me an excellent Swedish massage!
|massage treatment room for couples|
Other Recreation Facilities
Catering to all types of guests, Al Raha Beach Hotel also has amenities in store for the sporty. Just across the spa in the ground floor is a fully equipped gym. Outside is a squash court and nearby is an 18-hole golf course.
|well-equipped hotel gym|
Al Raha Beach Hotel has 8 dining spots, but since we were on a full-board stay, we had all our meals in Sevilla. It is a huge restaurant located adjacent to the hotel lobby. This all-day dining restaurant is quite popular to the residents of the Capital; hence reservation for dinner is a must!
For breakfast, Sevilla offered a good start to our day. There were the morning basics, fresh fruit slices, healthy options, and Asian choices. The latter is a great addition to the usual breakfast buffet. Ed and I both loved the Chinese noodles and the congee topped with salted eggs!
|Breakfast in Sevilla|
For lunch, Sevilla has a live-cooking station for pasta dishes and a great line up of appetizers, mains and desserts! The highlight of my lunch is the freshly cooked ravioli in white sauce and the salmon wrapped in pastry from the carving station.
|Lunch in Sevilla. The restaurant has a terrace that would be perfect for al fresco dining during winter season.|
|a selection of cheese, grapes and nuts|
|The Pasta Station. The Chef is working on a special Ravioli dish for moi!|
Since it was Ramadan during our stay, Sevilla prepared an Iftar dinner buffet. The choices are excellent. There are international dishes and Middle Eastern favorites in the spread. The restaurant was buzzing, but I felt that all guests are well-taken care of. We were warmly welcomed, properly escorted to the table reserved for us, and nicely ended our Iftar with a cup of Arabic coffee offered by a wait staff.
|Iftar in Sevilla restaurant|
|Sevilla's dessert station|
Gateway To Yas
Al Raha Beach Hotel is only 11 km away from Yas Island, which means the hotel is a good base for guests who are planning to visit the attractions in the island. During our stay, Ferrari World had a special Ramadan free view promotion. It has been awhile since our last visit, hence we took the opportunity to check out what's new in the world's largest indoor theme park.
|mini Grand Prix at Ferrari World|
|What's not to love about this quaint Italian Village inside Ferrari World!|
|Currently the world's largest indoor theme park!|
Overall, we had an excellent stay in Al Raha Beach Hotel. This beach hotel is so versatile that it can cater to whatever plan the guests have in mind. It can be a romantic destination, a spa retreat, or a gateway to adventure!
Al Raha Beach Hotel
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Contact # + 971 2 508 0555
We were invited to stay in Al Raha Beach Hotel. Opinions in this blog post are my own.