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Staycation in Rixos Bab Al Bahr, RAK

This article was written in March 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 lockdown. The pandemic rules, especially about social distancing, were still not in force and the life in the resort was fully functional. The current conditions may differ, and the prices have been corrected upwards - for best offers, please contact us.

The hotel

In the spirit of isolation from COVID-19, we decided to quarantine ourselves for three nights in the beautiful Rixos Bab Al Bahr resort. It turned out to be an excellent decision.

Located on the very entry of the Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, Rixos Bab Al Bahr is a 5-star, all-inclusive resort modeled after their successful Turkish all-inclusive model. Which is to say, almost everything you do in the resort is included in your price of stay. On the very arrival, although there were many guests coming to check-in, the staff did not lose a moment in getting our luggage out of the car before taking it to the valet. Although we had booked two separate rooms, the receptionist immediately offered us a free upgrade to a 2-bedroom family room – we got a beautiful room with two bedrooms and two balconies. We also checked the standard rooms: all of them are comfortable, larger than average and squeaky clean, as one would expect from a resort on this level.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr

Panoramic view of hotels' main buildings

All rooms are fully equipped with very solid and comfortable furniture, soft carpets (not the typical “naked” floors you find in most beach-side hotels) and, of course, a free mini-bar, restocked each day. The balconies are not big, but quite enough for a morning coffee for two. If you prefer a larger terrace, you can opt for one of suites which will of course have its price.

The activities

Within 10 minutes of our arrival, we were unpacked and ready for the pool… which is fantastic. Or rather, they are fantastic – there are three family pools, one kid-friendly splashing pool, a small waterpark with slides, and a beautiful, adult-only infinity pool with a view to the sea. The water in the pools is slightly heated to the perfect 28 degrees; soaking in that pool was a real treat. The pool bar (one of several bars available) offers the full range of both soft and alcoholic drinks, all of which (or almost all, except the premium brands) are included in the arrangement; in fact, this very blog is written while sipping a mojito by the pool.

Main pool between buildings

Main pool between the buildings

water polo

Pools are also equipped for sporting activities

For the ones that prefer the salt water, the hotel has its own, quite large private beach fully equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas. And, of course, it has its own beach bar! On the side of the beach, the hotel has made available for rental several entertainment activities – jet skis, banana boat … For the more active guests, there are organized games such as water-polo and water aerobic with instructors.

The youngest guests are definitely not going to be bored: there is the Rixy club for the small children which opens in the morning and offers a whole slew of playful activities where the kids are supervised and entertained, and ends with the mini-disco at the evening. This mini club is open until 11pm, to keep the children busy and entertained. And for the teens, there is the “Teen Club” which has various video games, snooker and foosbal tables. Just in case your teens are in their grumpy and unsociable phase (like mine), the internet in the hotel is free, unlimited and fast.

Both the pool and the beach are open from 7am to sunset; but the activities do not end there. Immediately after dinner, there are shows that change daily – live bands, dance shows, magic shows. Once you send your children to sleep, you can join the party in the Inferno nightclub or the MojitoBar, have a quite evening in the Cigar Bar, or spend the rest of the evening outside, in the Sea &Snack bar. All of them are open till late and serve the full range of drinks.

As this is a spa resort, there is a fully equipped fitness club, a male spa and a female spa. Use of the facilities (sauna, Turkish bath) is included in the price of the stay, but if you want a massage, it will cost you extra.


In this resort, there is literally not a moment in the day when food or snacks are not available. Starting from 6:30 am when the main restaurant opens for breakfast, and until the wee hours of the morning, there is abundant choice of excellent food. The main meals are organized as a buffet, which is rich and well prepared. The dinners in the main restaurant are themed, with a different theme every day – seafood, Asian, Turkish, grill nights… everything is there. Out of our three nights, we tried the seafood and the Turkish night: both were amazing. We were particularly impressed by the Turkish night, which had an open grill section where all kinds of Turkish grilled specialties could be found – from chicken, meatballs, kebabs, and the inescapable Iskender Kebab.

Main restaurant

Main buffet restaurant (Seven Heights)


Turkish restaurant (Lalezar)

In addition to the main restaurant, there are five additional restaurants that are open for dinner and also included in the arrangement – however to visit them, you need to book a table. There is a small slot of 3 hours where you can go to Guest Relations desk and book yourself a table in these restaurants, and you need to do that early as the seats get booked fast.

And of course, there are a range of snacks and fast food you can access during the whole day. What also surprised me is that the main lobby also serves food during the night (from 1am onwards), which is not the case in the most places I’ve been. There is practically no way that you remain hungry, no matter what time of day it is. And if you feel like nibbling in the comfort of your room, the room service is available 24/7, albeit for an extra charge.

The impression

The concept of affordable luxury, which is all too present in Dubai and UAE in general, has been perfected here. When paired with the traditional Turkish hospitality (Rixos is a Turkey-based hotel chain and part of the Accor group), the results are indisputable: we had all our expectations fulfilled and we thoroughly enjoyed our 3-night stay. This kind of luxury definitely does not come cheap – for a family of 4, when you book two rooms (or, in our case, a 2-bedroom family room) will set you back around 6000-8000 AED (which is a price of a small holiday somewhere). However, if you can manage with a single room (for example for couples with small or no children), then the cost of this staycation is more than justified, seeing that external restaurant meals and entertainment will cost you way more than that.