Island living meets Arabian style and hospitality at this oceanfront hotel in an up-and-coming emirate.
UAE-bound travelers planning to go beyond Dubai may wish to check out IHG Hotels & Resorts’ debut property in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, which opened earlier this month. Situated on the shoreline of man-made Hayat Island, a 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa is set amid landscaped grounds beside a private beach.
The brand-new five-star hotel sports a contemporary look with Arabian design details, from lattice screens that shade window-side seats in the Lobby Lounge to patterned fabrics and artworks inspired by the wider region. All of the 351 sea-facing rooms, suites, and villas feature a private balcony or terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Guests who book a Club room or suite will have access to a dedicated check-in area and the Club InterContinental Lounge, which comes equipped with its own pool, and offers à la carte breakfasts, afternoon teas, and a range of evening cocktails.
Gourmands have six restaurants and bars to choose from, including Levant & Nar, where chefs in an open kitchen prepare Levantine-influenced delicacies with a modern twist. Patrons may choose to dine beside a fire pit on Levant & Nar’s seaside terrace, and themed Ottoman nights will be held every weekend. At NoHo, named after a stylish Manhattan neighborhood, sharing platters, craft cocktails, and late-night entertainment await couples and groups of friends. Meanwhile, ShaSha Pool Bar is just the place for shisha and sundowners; it also hosts a changing roster of communal activities such as cinema under the stars, sunrise yoga, and salsa classes.
While it’s possible to spend hours lounging on the white-sand beach or by the infinity pool, more active pursuits range from a variety of water sports to hiking in the nearby mountains. Parents can take advantage of the Planet Trekkers and Teens’ Club facilities, which come with indoor and outdoor spaces designed to suit kids of different ages. Staying in shape is easy too: the on-site health club comprises a fitness studio, an outdoor tennis court, and saunas for some post-workout relaxation. Scheduled to open in April, Spa InterContinental will be equipped with a Turkish hammam and offer a range of anti-ageing and wellness treatments.
The InterContinental provides a comfortable base from which to explore a lesser-known part of the UAE. It puts guests in easy reach of attractions such as the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, housed in the former palace of the ruling Al Qasimi family; the 18th-century hilltop landmark of Dhayah Fort; and Jebel Jais, the highest peak in the country and home to the world’s longest zipline.
Doubles from US$290; ihg.com