Hotel Review

Staycation Spotlight: Rixos Bab Al Bahr

Traditional Turkish hospitality at the UAE’s original all-inclusive resort.

Call it the Palm Jumeirah of Ras Al Khaimah if you will. Still, Marjan Island on the glittering coastline of our Northernmost Emirate has fast become a popular weekend escape for those in search of sun, sand and sumptuous stays.

Located at the base of the hook-shaped island is Rixos Bab Al Bahr, the UAE’s first all-inclusive resort, where a bountiful offering of unlimited food and beverage awaits guests checking in for an idyllic island escape.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr seemingly has it all, including a pristine stretch of private beach, modern accommodations, a dazzling array of restaurants, kids clubs, a spa and even a water park! Admittedly, it’s an exhaustive array of facilities, but that is the beauty of this mammoth beachfront resort providing an ideal staycation for families looking to relax and unwind.

rixos bab al bahr review
Suite Sensation

The expansive resort features a variety of accommodation options housed in several structures that resemble the ancient step-pyramids of the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatán. Rooms are comfortable and modern and we thoroughly appreciate the spaciousness of our Two Bedroom Family Suite, which looks out over manicured gardens and swaying palm trees towards the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. 

The suite is comfortable and features a private balcony, comfortable king-sized bed, flat-screen televisions and all the expected amenities such as a minibar, safe and hot beverage facilities. As the name suggests, the Family Suites are ideal for those with children because they feature two interconnecting bedrooms decked out in neutral tones that reflect the desert landscape. Our seventh-floor suite offers a fantastic vantage point, but we would have liked to see a bathtub in addition to a shower in the white marble bathrooms.

rixos bab al bahr review
Delightful Dining

Being an all-inclusive resort, Rixos Bab Al Bahr allows guests to indulge in as much food and beverages as they desire from the moment of check-in until it’s time to check-out. The resort offers a generous selection of seven restaurants and six bars, offering a range of global cuisines from Japanese to Italian. 

All a la carte dining destinations require a reservation easily arranged from a desk in the lobby. Yet, there’s also a buffet-led all-day-dining restaurant, Seven Tides, serving many international favourites.

Seafood restaurant Rixos

During our stay, we dine at the elegant Fish Bone, a seafood speciality spot overlooking the ocean that transports us to New England through a combination of alluring nautical decor and a sizeable menu of treats from the sea, including calamari, prawns, mussels and lobster.

Being a Turkish brand, we admired the authenticity of the Turkish breakfast offered at Lalezar restaurant. A cosy spot where friendly service is complemented by an array of traditional dishes such as spicy Sujuk sausages, Shakshuka, honey from the comb and strong Turkish coffee. If your stay only allows for one a la carte restaurant experience, then it should be Lalezar.

When it comes to service, we’re genuinely enamoured by the beaming smiles and attention to detail from our waiter Shafic Muteesasira at the Italian restaurant L’olivo. His personality and upbeat demeanour truly elevate the traditional trattoria known for its piping hot pizza, pasta dishes and creamy burrata. 

Turkish restaurant Rixos
Family Facilities

With roving entertainment and nightly shows on an illuminated stage perched on the shoreline, Rixos Bab Al Bahr offers something for all members of the family. Little ones will enjoy the colourful Rixy Kids Club with its super splash pad, while older kids have access to the teens club, tennis and basketball courts, plus a selection of swimming pools. For adults, there is a separate swimming pool, water sports and the opportunity to kick back and relax, knowing the family is having fun. With a fitness centre, water park and nightclubs on-site, there’s plenty for leisure or pleasure without needing the leave the resort. 

rixos bab al bahr review

That’s not to say that everything is perfect. In a resort that deals with many guests, queues can be expected at the buffet and bars. We were also unable to procure beach towels on the second day of our stay due to an apparent resort-wide shortage. 

Yet, these small niggles don’t overshadow the fact that a stay at Rixos Bab Al Bahr allows guests to pay one nightly fee before eating and drinking until their heart’s content (only tobacco and water sports are exempt from the all-inclusive package). For a family-focused stay that will keep everyone entertained, Rixos Bab Al Bahr is well worth your consideration. 

GO: Visit https://www.rixos.com/en/hotel-resort/rixos-bab-al-bahr for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor
Dubai-based editor for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications across Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar. Specialised in food, hospitality, arts, culture, and travel-related content.

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