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Kings on the coast

1 April 2019

There’s more than meets the eye to this regal resort in the Northern-most emirate

As you enter into the arabesque lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah – only to be swiftly greeted by your very own personal concierge – the tone is set for a luxury stay in this relaxing emirate.

The first Waldorf hotel to open in the United Arab Emirates, in 2013, the property has since transformed the quiet beachfront of Al Hamra into a glittering 346-room, Arabian palace.

Though originally an American brand – its flagship property is in New York – the geography of the UAE defines the design, from the Arabic calligraphy in the majilis-style lobby, to mother-of-pearl accents that run throughout – a nod to the country’s rich pearl diving history.

The rooms are breathtaking; all are generous sizes, with luxury furnishings in the pale blue and beige silks so beloved in the country. Sea view rooms grant you a front-row seat to spectacular evening sunsets, and it is worth upgrading to one with a balcony to enjoy them alfresco.

The resort is expansive, featuring a lagoon-sized swimming pool, luxury spa, no less than nine restaurants and adjacent to an 18-hole golf course – meaning you never have to leave the property, should you not wish to. However, an array of restaurants and bars can be found a short walk from the hotel in Al Hamra village, from a traditional English pub to a candlelit beachfront restaurant.

If time allows, take a trip to the nearby Hajar mountains, which serve as a stunning backdrop to limitless hiking trails and adventure sports just a 45-minute drive from the resort.

After a day of either pool or adventure, few places are better to retire to than Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar, a six-month beachfront pop-up at the hotel. By day, guests lounge poolside tucking into an Asian fusion menu, while by night the air pulses with lively house beats, as the sun sets over the Arabian Gulf.

From the concierge

Via Ferrata
Inject some adventure into your stay at the Via Ferrata. Traverse more than 1km along a mountain route that combines climbing, hiking and ziplining off the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais.

Wadi Showka
The Wadi Showka trail takes hikers across part of the Hajar Mountains so expect a pretty epic – and elevated – climb. For the most part, it’s a clearly defined route and as you climb, be sure to look out for Showka Pools – they’re perfect for cooling off in.

Suwaidi Pearl Farm
Nestled off the coast of Al Rams, a sleepy fishing village on the northern tip of Ras Al Khaimah, Suwaidi Pearls keeps a 7,000-year tradition alive. The pearl farm educates visitors on the history of pearl diving, as well as guiding guests through the activities of a working pearl farm.

Words: Alice Holtham

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