When many think of Rixos Bab Al Bahr, family fun (with children) is probably the first thought, so let's take you on the ultimate couples retreat to the same hotel.
Start with a picturesque view of camels grazing or lining the desert road on the journey to Rixos Bab Al Bahr. The hotel is located on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, off the Emirates Road, about an hour north of Dubai.
On entering the all-inclusive property, you are greeted by the most welcoming staff at check-in before taking off to your beautifully decorated room. On the way, you are bound to notice the tranquil colours and beautiful decor along the corridors.
A spacious, third-floor premium bedroom opened up to a massive balcony with beautiful views of the ocean and the front of the hotel, the perfect spot to take in the breathtaking sunset.
The room was tastefully decorated with beiges with touches of navy blue on the carpet, bed linen and pieces of furniture. The room came fully equipped with a king bed, lounge chairs, an office desk and chair, spacious wardrobes with ironing facilities and a minibar. The minibar came stocked with refreshments, all included in the all-inclusive package.
Notice we left the bathroom out? Yes, that is because we have a thing for bathrooms. The massive white bathroom was well-lit, with a large shower and a nice touch—a vanity. The bathroom also opened out to the balcony. There was only one thing missing from the bathroom—a bath. On a couple's holiday, one of the most relaxing things is to have a nice long soak in the bath after a day at the beach, or maybe that's just us. However, that felt like it was missing for us.
Head off to the pristine white sand beaches for a swim or relax on the sunloungers while enjoying a cool drink from the nearby Cabana Bar. On the beach, you can also enjoy a volleyball game with other guests, an excellent way to meet other people.
Also, look out for the ice cream buggy for a cold, indulgent snack during the day.
Watersports enthusiasts or couples wanting to give it a go can experience various sea adventures, including scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkelling, and more. Watersports is not included in the all-inclusive package.
Along the beach is also a secluded area—Cabana Oasis—that couples can book cabanas (AED 399) with butler service for a quiet day away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel. Cabana Oasis is open daily from 9 am - 6 pm. Be sure to book in advance, as these tend to go very quickly.
There are several pools at the property that come in various sizes. Many of the pools are crowded with families with children. However, the cool thing for couples is that there is a dedicated pool and full bar for adults only. This is located closer to the beach and away from the other pool areas. The area is also manned, which means couples can relax without fear of being disturbed.
There are several dining options at the hotel: 15 in total.
Buffet breakfast is served in the main restaurant, Seven Heights; however, this area can become extremely busy with families with children. To help couples have a more relaxing time at the start of the day, the hotel has put on what is known as a Comfort Breakfast at Fish Bone, the seafood restaurant. Though this is a much smaller setting, all the main breakfast menu fillers are available.
Large-spread lunch and dinner are served at Seven Heights, however, guests can book one of the five other restaurants to enjoy a quieter feast. These range from Italian to Turkish to meat-lovers paradise.
During our stay, we enjoyed fresh seafood from Fish Bone, amazing pizzas from O'olivio and tasty vegan burgers from Meatpoint.
Bars and pubs
The hotel also has seven pubs and bars where couples can enjoy a nightcap before retreating to bed.
There is a range of nightly entertainment, many of which can be viewed from the restaurants. Though a bit "cruise-shippy", the live performances are rather enjoyable. They include acrobatic performances, dance shows, and a fantastic masquerade-themed night on the Sea & See stage.
The hotel grounds are clean, and the lawns well-manicured.
All in all, we had a lovely time at the property. We were not overwhelmed by the number of children and still felt we could enjoy a relaxing time at the resort.
We give Rixos Bab Al Bahr an 8/10