6 Reasons This Is The Most Blissful Weekend Away And It's Only One Hour From Dubai
It's so fancy...you won't believe what a bargain it is!
Want a totally blissful break away from Dubai but don’t want to waste hours on a plane? Want to chill in a beautiful hotel that won’t break the bank? Oh, and eat some of the best Japanese food available in the UAE. Ok, we think we might have the place for you.
The Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah is one of those places that you'll add to your ‘favourite hotels in the world’ list...you know, when you’re sitting around making those sorts of lists. It’s the place you’ll proudly recommend to your mates when they ask your advice about places to stay…if you’re the sort of person they ask, if you’re not, you will be after this recommendation.
Lucky, for us at Lovin Dubai we were asked to pop along and check it out, here’s our top reasons why you should visit ASAP…
1. It’s so ridiculously close to Dubai…
Just an hour away from Dubai by car, The Waldorf Astoria in RAK is the perfect place for a weekend escape. It’s a fairly easy drive as well, with some amazing desert as a backdrop on the way. Hire a car, use your own car or grab a taxi there, you’re looking at around AED 200 for a cab. If there’s a group of you, you could even hire a limo, costs can be as cheap as AED 100 each for a group of 10.
2. The swimming pools are huge…and temperature controlled!
If we’re being honest, the sea was pretty nippy during our stay a couple of months ago, of course, our mates back in the UK would call us ridiculous for saying this. At the Waldorf Astoria, they have this little problem covered, as the huge central swimming pool stays warm and inviting when it's a few degrees colder than usual.
We’re not sure if it’s heated or if there's some sort of magic happening, but it was so nice to spend some time in the water without having to move to keep warm. Dubai problems? Probably! There’s a lap pool and a children's pool as well, so plenty of space for everyone. And if you're feeling peckish or just fancy a drink, there's food and beverages available right next to the pool...so no need to move all day. Winning!
3. The food is out of this world…
The Waldorf is a hotbed of world-class restaurants, from casual poolside dining to fancy meals for special occasions.
Being huge fans of Japanese cuisine, we opted to spend our dinner time hours at Umi, a dimly lit, atmospheric spot for some of the best sushi and sashimi we have ever tasted. There is so much food on offer here that you can spend a good few hours trying all of the dishes, trust us, we did!
The other wonderful thing about this place is the sake…choose from hot or cold, in fact there’s a sake menu that’s longer than the food menu, with one wall, beautifully displaying bottles and bottles of the stuff.
So, onto food. In no particular order we went for, shrimp and chicken dumplings, which were so soft they fell apart as soon as they hit the mouth, crabmeat soup which was so full of flavour it was hard to believe it was just a soup. One of our favourite dishes was the wasabi rock shrimp…wow! The dish was soft but crispy, tangy and sweet at the same time, it confused the taste buds in the best way possible, totally delicious.
We also tucked into perfectly cooked vegetable and prawn tempura, a variety of the freshest and tastiest sushi we’ve had the pleasure to try (make sure you order the black cod maki-it’s insane). We finished with the miso black cod. The imported Alaskan black cod is marinated in miso paste for 48 hours before cooking, and served with colourful Japanese ginger, and falls into wafer thin slices when you touch it with your chopsticks. The flavours were so rich and the portion so filling, it would have been enough of a dish on it’s own.
Totally stuffed full, we still ordered desserts of course, the banana fritters were perfectly crispy without being greasy or heavy, we followed this with fresh green Japanese tea, served in super cool pots.
4. The spa is amazing...
With separate areas for men and women, anyone staying at the hotel can go and check out the facilities on offer at the spa. There’s a huge relaxation area with magazines, teas and fruit, a hydrotherapy suite with rain showers, saunas, herbal steam rooms and ice showers.
Then there's the treatment rooms to get the stresses of the working week kneaded out. In the mood for being pampered? The spa offers countless treatments, just call from your room to check availability and book, they’re very accommodating, we managed to book treatments (full body massages) ten minutes before we wanted them.
5. The decor...
We all know that the UAE do hotels well. Actually, they do them very well, which means that the standards are set high when it comes to interiors and architecture. The Waldorf Astoria is no different, and when approaching at night you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a palace.
The domes and overall shape of the building is spectacular, the foyer outside the main entrance is ridiculously grand, and the decor throughout the hotel is done in such a way that you feel instantly calmed and pampered when you walk through the door.
Pale marble accented with local art, mirrors and the signature Waldorf clock, make this a space you want to hang out in…all the time.
The rooms follow suit in their design and comfort. Our junior suite was stunning, with pale blue colour themes running throughout the décor. With sea views, a huge dressing room and bathroom, a separate living area and two huge tv sets...to be honest, it was a little difficult going back home after a night here.
6. It's not as expensive as it should be...
This is one top hotel, we're not joking when we say it might be added to your 'faves list', that's why the prices are so surprising!
Rates are changeable day from day. We've booked for as cheap as AED 857 a night for a King Classic Room. Check rates for your dates here.
Also look out for special offers over Ramadan and the summer months.