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The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah: A U.A.E. Watering Hole for the Well-Heeled

Photo Credit: Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah

When you hear the name Waldorf Astoria, the image of a spectacular and grand hotel instantly comes to mind. A place of dapper gentlemen and regal ladies dashing about without a care in the world. One envisions men in tuxedos and tails and women in sequined dresses off to a gala as they did in 1900s when the Waldorf and the Astoria hotels opened in New York City. The Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah is one such a regal place. A royal and grand resort that provides the finest luxury travel experience for its discerning guests.

At the northern most part of the UAE, an hour’s drive from Dubai, you’ll find the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. It is known as the rising emirate, not only because it has such a varied landscape of desert sand dunes, rocky mountains and beautiful beaches, but because its reputation around the world is on the rise as well. Russians, Germans and the region’s holidaymakers have been coming for years. Because of the development of the new tourism hot spot of Marjan Island, as well as wonderful hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah, more and more Europeans, Asians and Americans are escaping to this wonderful place in the sun.

The property is cradled by the magnificent Hajar Mountains, a championship golf course, white sandy beaches and the azure waters of the Arabian Sea. A national treasure, the resort is luxurious without being ostentatious. As guests arrive in the grand entrance, nattily attired staff scurry about to greet each weary traveler and to assist with baggage. A personal concierge is there to welcome guests and ensure their needs are met. Travelers entering will be in awe of the grandeur of the lobby and the hotel. An icon of Waldorf Astoria hotels is their grand lobby clock which has been designed to honor regional Arabic culture, displaying the five daily prayer times.

Waldorf Astoria

A second icon found in each Waldorf Astoria is Peacock Alley, the place to see and be seen. Peacock Alley resembles a movie set with an imposing antebellum style staircase. There’s an ornate bar with plush sitting areas nearby, and the centerpiece of the room is a lavish tiered marble fountain. Blue and gold crystal chandeliers, with glass ornamentation resembling the plumes of a peacock, cast soft light throughout the room. Fantastic art pieces are at every turn in the grand foyer, aside stylish couches and cul-de-sacs for tête-a-têtes and private conversations.

The décor blends Arab design, artwork and heritage with European elegance, creating a style that’s completely contemporary yet authentic. There is amazing artwork throughout the hotel in the form of paintings, wall hangings and sculptures. On the ground level guests will find a calligraphy collection in Kufic, the earliest form of Arabic script that was used to write the first copies of the Qur’an.

Waldorf Astoria

The brand has a well-earned reputation of providing top service at each of their resorts. The Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah continues the tradition with excellence in service at each guest interaction during the stay. There is a personal concierge who contacts guests before their holidays to find out if there are any special needs or a special occasion being celebrated. At the property, the concierge greets guests upon arrival and again follows up on how they can make their stay more extraordinary. Dinner reservations, spa appointments, celebrating a birthday or even getting a special table at a restaurant in town, they’ll take care of it all.

Each room is designed to be a luxurious masterpiece, ranging in size from big to enormous and include any amenity you could desire. The colors of gold, blue and neutral earth tones combine with crown molding and ornate ceiling panels. The King Junior Suite with sea view and balcony has a wonderful sitting area with a desk, chaise lounge and chair and a second flat screen television. The bathroom is spacious and decorated with black marble and gold accents. The separate bath is perfect for stretching out and relaxing under a sea of bubbles. The walk-in shower has a rain shower head and a sitting area. The closet is more than a walk-in, it is the size of another room and has a make-up table and plenty of space to store belongings. Outside, the balcony is an outdoor living space with two chairs, perfect for sitting with a glass of wine at sunset.

Waldorf Astoria

Since the hotel is a world-class resort, the culinary experience must match. The dining experience has several of the area’s top restaurants under one roof, from steak to Japanese, continental and Arabian cuisine. The décor is like a New York or London steakhouse with a strong masculine and contemporary design. The floors are deep red marble with white veins and the bar tops are pounded copper for a distinct urban chic esthetic.

The mixologist takes special pride in the creation of specialty drinks, such as the Marilyn Monroe made with smoked apple essence and Bacardi Oak rum. There is also an extensive wine list of 350 labels curated by the experienced sommelier, who is ready to provide a recommended pairing with your meal. The grill brings in the best steaks and seafood from around the world and prepares them through smoking, air drying, and other techniques uncommon in the region. The Lexington Grill is one of the few places in the Middle East certified to dry age beef. All the meats are aged for four weeks, allowing the flavor to be enhanced with time.

Umi is the eye-catching sister restaurant to the Lexington Grill. It is an uber-stylish Japanese restaurant serving high-end sushi and traditional Japanese dishes, a Teppanyaki grill. It is decorated with a wall of exotic sake offerings in their pretty blue, red and green bottles, back lit in a bright florescent case. For those wishing to dine al fresco, there’s an expansive terrace under the stars overlooking the lights and silhouette of Marjan Island in the distance. For those who prefer something more traditionally Japanese, there’s a selection of over 80 sakes from which to choose; it is the largest selection of sake in the UAE.

Waldorf Astoria

When the sun goes down, head to 17 Squared, a night club with a lot of bling and a places to dance off those dinner calories. The club’s theme is Champagne; the décor bubbles and there is an extensive menu featuring Champagne and signature cocktails. To take it down a notch from the dazzling visual stimulation of the club, guests step outside for breathtaking views of Ras Al Khaimah.

One thing you never need to worry about is running out of things to do. On the property there are two massive pools by manicured lawns, fountains and cabanas. The lake-size, free-form pool is family-friendly and has many alcoves and nooks. The second pool has an infinity edge overlooking an expansive beach and sea beyond. There are cabanas and a restaurant for escaping the direct sun. At the palm tree-lined beach there are rows of reclining chairs and umbrellas.

The view from the front of the hotel is of the majestic Hajar Mountain and the two championship golf courses. The par-72 championship courses are verdant green on manicured lawns with open water lagoons and desert landscapes. The courses set the stage for a perfect day on the links for experts and novices alike.

Waldorf Astoria

Your personal concierge can set you up with a day full of activities, from deep sea fishing, parasailing, jet skiing, SCUBA diving, banana rides, snorkeling and sailing. Desert safaris, falconry shows and sightseeing around Ras al Khaimah should not be missed. From the age of three, children can take advantage of the fully equipped kids club, with indoor play facilities, climbing frame and sandpit. Babysitting services are available on request.

The spa is another masterpiece, following the water design concept of the hotel, with 12 treatment rooms that afford maximum privacy. There are separate areas for male and female guests. The crowning glory of the Waldorf Astoria Spa is the VIP treatment room, where couples can enjoy the peace and tranquility of togetherness. The thermal areas include aroma steam, sauna, herbal bath, ice chute and fresh and tropical showers.

Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah is a resort masterpiece comprised of fabulous facilities, accommodations, dining and world-class service. All of this is set in a beautiful destination, with two championship golf courses on an idyllic beach. For the discerning guest, Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah is sure to provide memories that will last a lifetime.

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 100 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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