REVIEW: Rixos Bab Al Bahr
When we told people that we were going to the Rixos Bab Al Bahr and they all replied, “Yeah, I’ve been there,” we knew it was going to be popular. But we didn’t quite grasp just how popular.
With an almost too-good-to-be-true all-inclusive package and five-star facilities, it’s easy to see why. After the 50-minute drive from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah, we found ourselves the lobby at the hotel on Al Marjan Island busting with activity.
With packages starting at AED900* per night (including all food and drink), you can only imagine the number of people waiting to check-in. But Rixos Bab Al Bahr is popular for a reason – everything is flawless. A pianist was on hand to entertain the waiting staycationers and within 10 minutes we were in our room, ready to explore the hotel’s 14 bars, restaurants and cafes, three main outdoor swimming pools, a state-of-the-art spa and gym and of course, the uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf.
As our room was located in the Amwaj building – there are three main buildings, each of which are inspired by the ancient Egyptian pyramids – we had stunning views of the sea.
Aside from having one of the comfiest beds known to man, our room also featured a 42 inch LED TV, iPod dock, mini-bar and an outdoor balcony.
As we weren’t travelling with kids, we decided to head straight to the adults-only pool which overlooks the sea. It’s a lot quieter than the family pool where they host activities and theme shows.
The beach is perfect for those looking for an activity – you can play a ton of sports ranging from volleyball to football to a number of watersports like paddle boarding. We tried our hand at wakeboarding and failed miserably… leading to a perfect excuse to visit the spa.
Access to the spa is free for all of the hotel’s overnight guests, which means that you can try out facilities like the Turkish hammam, steam room and sauna. Specific treatments cost extra, but we can highly recommend their Balinese massage service and body wraps.
There’s also well kitted out a gym… in case you’re the kind of person who continues to work out while you’re on holiday. We’re not.
Food and drinks
For dinner we headed to Fish Bone, the hotel’s stunning seafood restaurant. And, it really is stunning. The restaurant’s décor consists of a mix of exposed white bricks and intricate marble and stone cladding – in short, it’s like being in Greece.
Our favourite dishes on the menu included the fried calamari, mussels, garlic prawns and the char-grilled salmon – absolutely delicious. There’s lobster too but that isn’t included in the hotel’s all-inclusive package, even so, it’s worth a try.
If seafood isn’t your thing, head down to L'Olivo where the mouthwatering flavours of Italy awaits you. If oriental cuisine is more your forte, be sure to check out Aja and, if you’re more of a burger and soda person, Toast'N Burger is the place for you. Regardless of your venue or dare we say cuisine of choice, be sure to make a prior booking because come 8pm all of the restaurants are packed.
After devouring the last bit of our moreish cheesecake, we made our way to the Cigar Bar, where the smell of grape mint shisha and fresh Arabica coffee greeted us with a warm, welcoming hug.
If you prefer something more upbeat, check out the hotel’s nightclub, Inferno. Much like the resort’s other food and beverage offerings, all of the house drinks are complimentary. If you’re more of a singer than a dancer, check out the Mojito bar. There’s live karaoke from 8pm onwards.
Just make sure to set your alarm early enough to check out the breakfast – it’s a beast.
Shortly after eating our body weight in Nutella covered pancakes, eggs, toast and hash browns, it was time to pack up and check out.
Fortunately, the all-inclusive package is available year round and, with the winter months rapidly approaching, we can happily say that we will most definitely be back soon.
Rixos Bab Al Bahr
Where: Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
Price: All-inclusive packages start from AED900*
Contact: +971 7 202 00 00, website
*Prices subject to change.