Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah
Distant Journeys rating
Just north of Dubai, set in the scenic Al Wadi Desert and 1235-acre protected nature reserve, the Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert offers five-star luxury and a number of ways to discover the beauty of the Arabian desert.
Stay in an elegant villa
The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah is more of a resort than a hotel, with the accommodation consisting of private luxury villas, each inspired by Bedouin-style architecture and décor, with breathtaking desert views. Each villa also has its own private pool and terrace, complete with sun loungers, so you can peacefully relax in the desert sunshine.
Inside the villa itself, you’ll find spacious bedrooms with sumptuous king beds, and bathrooms with showers, oversized soaking tubs and fluffy bathrobes. The villa also offers a 55-inch TV, complementary Wi-Fi, a minibar, tea and coffee facilities, and a safe for your important belongings.
Resort services and amenities
Throughout the resort there are a whole host of amenities and activities to help you enjoy your time at the Ritz Carlton. There is a 24-hour gym for those who like to keep fit, whereas if you’re looking to unwind, the spa offers state-of-the-art hydrothermal facilities, therapeutic massages and body scrubs, using Egyptian, Thai and Javanese techniques. You can also visit The Rainforest, which combines Middle Eastern bathing rituals with European hydrothermal culture. Visiting 16 different stations, parts of the experience include a hammam, a sauna, an ice igloo and the Vitality Pool, which has six different jet stations.
As well as your private pool, the Ritz Carlton also has a larger, temperature-controlled outdoor pool, The Oasis, featuring a whirlpool and adjacent pool bar. If it’s the sea you’re longing for, you can also take a complementary shuttle bus to sister hotel Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach. Here you can relax on Al Hamra Beach’s golden sands, looking out into the pristine azure waters neighbouring the Arabian Gulf.
There’s more to the Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah than the resort – it also encourages its guests to connect with nature and discover the beauty of the surrounding Al Wadi Desert. The hotel’s Experience Concierge service is on hand to help arrange a variety of unforgettable activities during your stay.
Out in the nearby 1235-acre protected nature reserve, the desert is the perfect environment for a number of fun activities. Try your hand at archery, an important skill in the Bedouin culture, take part in planting Ghaf trees in the Heritage Forest, take a bicycle birdwatching tour to spot native birds, bottle-feed the resident Onyx and gazelles, or take an off-road bike over the enormous sand dunes. The interactive falcon and owl show is also a great way to learn about the importance of falconry in Bedouin culture, and see some majestic local birds up close.
By night, you can also see the desert in a different light, with a guided walk beneath the stars to spot local nocturnal creatures, including foraging reptiles and rodents. You can also learn more about the universe above you with the stargazing experience, an astronomy expert helping you to spot constellations and visible planets.
The Equestrian Centre also offers some unique riding experiences, both on horseback and on camels. Beginners can take private lessons in the spacious paddocks, and both beginners and the more experienced alike can explore the desert’s red and golden sands from atop an elegant Arabian horse. For the ultimate desert experience, take a camel ride through the dunes and learn more about these animals and their importance in Bedouin everyday life.
Drawing influences from the local cuisine and the setting, placing the backdrop of the Al Wadi Desert front and centre, there are a variety of dining options on offer at the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah.
With a menu focused on wild meats and homegrown vegetables, and also featuring a Whiskey Lounge, Farmhouse offers rustic elegance, while at Kaheela you can sample a taste of the Middle East and India with both buffet-style and a la carte options. Spanish and Moroccan influences cross paths at Moorish, where Moroccan charm is blended with authentic Spanish tapas, sangria and signature cocktails. And for a memorable dining experience, Kan Zaman is an outdoor barbecue experience overlooking the desert, offering a selection of meats at live grill stations, mezze, salads and deserts.
For more laid-back dining and snacks, the Lobby Lounge is perfect for light snacks, sandwiches and a variety of hot and cold drinks. An Afternoon Tea with a local twist is also offered here each day. Meanwhile, the Moon Bar is the perfect setting for sipping on cocktails or trying some shisha, in its wonderful setting perched above the treetops.