Staycation Spotlight: InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa
The desert, mountains and ocean converge at this luxurious beachfront retreat.
The newly-opened InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa sits at a juncture of desert, mountains, and the Arabian Gulf’s azure waters on the upmarket enclave of Mina Al Arab in the UAE’s northernmost emirate.
Translating from Arabic as the ‘top of the tent’, Ras Al Khaimah has seen a boom in tourism in recent months (thank you, global pandemic) with an influx of international and local visitors looking to take advantage of outdoor activities and long stretches of pristine private beaches.
Although the name may be a bit of a mouthful, the InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa marks the latest foray into the Northern Emirates for the IHG Group – and what a property it is! The emirate’s latest premium beachfront resort boasts spacious accommodations dotted along an enviable swathe of private beach.
The sister property to InterContinental Fujairah Resort feels very similar to its predecessor, offering everything you love about the InterContinental brand (hello Club InterContinental) wrapped up in a family-friendly resort that offers a little something for everyone.
Arrival takes place in the bright and airy lobby, flanked by living walls of vegetation, gurgling water features and zen-inspired gongs. The check-in process is highly efficient, meaning we’re in the room within minutes of entering the expansive property, but not before glimpsing the tranquil swimming pools and collection of appealing restaurants….
With 351 sea-facing rooms, suites, and private pool villas, our weekend stay finds us residing in a chic and spacious Family Villa. This expansive duplex-style accommodation boasts contemporary design elements while offering serene and calming decor that promotes beachfront bliss befitting the location.
We enter into the dining and living area, in which a curved sofa and leather armchairs wrap around a flat-screen television to offer a cosy spot for entertaining. There’s also a guest bathroom and small kitchenette before entering the beautifully designed bedroom. Here, a large king bed embellished with Arabesque hints in the form of hanging lanterns and wooden panelling promotes a sense of relaxation. Yet these villas are all about the bathrooms, where freestanding tubs, double vanities and a large walk-in glass shower encourage pampering with bespoke Byredo amenities.
The villa opens out onto a grassed area where a small river meanders beneath wooden bridges and palm trees, under which you can relax on a comfortable day bed or sun lounger.
Sustainability is also an essential part of the stay, with wooden keycards and refillable bathroom products all part of the experience.
When it comes to dining, InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa offers plenty of restaurants to get excited about. Levant & Nar should be your number one priority for Middle Eastern cuisine on a spit of land jutting out into the ocean. Here, tantalising grills, illuminated fire pits and a roaming Turkish delight trolley combine to create a memorable dining experience under the stars.
Inspired by the artistic streets of North Houston in New York, NoHo Bar & Grill makes for a trendy hangout where sharing platters, mixology, and late-night entertainment take centre stage. Trust us when we say that you don’t want to miss out on the short rib or fish and chips.
Elsewhere, Saffar Restaurant offers a lavish spread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect healthy options, live stations and a plethora of international favourites in a space that elevates the notion of all-day-dining. Ramsa Lounge is ideal for coffee and cake, overlooking the manicured resort grounds, while Shasha Pool Bar offers light bites and refreshing beverages with sweeping ocean views.
When it comes to facilities, InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa features a wealth of options, from the fully supervised Teen Club and Planet Trekkers Kids Club on the second floor to the infinity style swimming pool, children’s pool and private beach.
The infinity pool would be our preference, for not only are the waters pleasingly temperature controlled, but the pool is a stone’s throw from the beach so that you can hop easily between the two areas. Speaking of the beach, the private stretch of sand is patrolled by lifeguards and offers plenty of sun loungers for relaxing and working on that all-important tan.
Complete with state-of-the-art equipment, the resort’s light-flooded health club is the perfect place to get a workout in, complete with a separate fitness studio, outdoor tennis court, as well as segregated male and female saunas to relax in afterwards. Elsewhere, Spa InterContinental is scheduled to open later this month and will boast a range of soothing anti-ageing and wellness treatments, along with modern remedies to melt away stress and enliven the senses.
Ras Al Khaimah is a popular weekend staycation spot for UAE residents and global travellers looking for a quieter experience than Dubai. While many will visit purely to flop on the beach, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. Culture vultures shouldn’t miss Dhayah Fort perched high on a rocky outcrop at the foot of the Hajar Mountains or the immersive Suwaidi Pearl Farm. During the cooler months, head to the UAE’s tallest peak, Jebel Jais, for hiking, a journey across the world’s longest zip-line or a thrilling adventure on the Jais Sledder.
As an outdoor paradise, InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa is the perfect base to explore the Northern Emirates or enjoy some much-needed downtime. Here, there’s no pressure on sightseeing itineraries or choosing a restaurant, for everything is easily accessible from within the confines of the resort.
GO: Visit www.icrasalkhaimah.com for reservations and more information.