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After one night in the Hilton Dubai Creek, I continued my trip to Ras al Khaimah. The first hotel I would visit was the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island . This hotel participates in the Hilton Honors loyalty program, so you can earn and redeem points here and receive benefits if you hold status with Hilton Honors.
The hotel is located on the man-made peninsula Marjan Island; the main leisure and hotel area of Ras al Khaimah. Next to the DoubleTree by Hilton, the Rixos and Marjan Island Resort (both Accor) and the future Hampton by Hilton are also located here. On the opposite side, in the Al Hamra area, are the (magnificent) Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Al Hamra Resort, Ritz-Carlton and the Al Hamra Mall.
From Dubai Creek we took an Uber to the DoubleTree. The drive took a bit more than 45 minutes and was around £50 (225 AED). A taxi is a cheaper option, or you could take a shuttle bus.
A version of this article first appeared on InsideFlyer.nl
Note: this stay occurred in early March before any restrictions due to COVID. The hotel has taken measures in line with Hilton’s CleanStay programme, local regulations and standards from the tourism board. Some facilities may temporarily not be available or comparable as described here. Check with the hotel prior to your stay.
On arrival, we made our way to the reception area. There are various desks including one for Hilton Honors elite members.
As the hotel primarily hosts guests on a tour package, it can get crowded at the main reception when a busload of holiday groups arrives at the same time. At the Honors desk, we were immediately assisted. Two weeks prior to arrival, I saw that our reservation was upgraded from a base level room to a two queen bed Bay Club with sea view. A very nice upgrade considering we ‘only’ have Gold status! During the check-in formalities, we were offered a signature DoubleTree cookie. Also the front office manager came by to introduce himself, and offer his business card should we need anything during our stay.
As well as a map of the resort and towel cards, we also received a ‘Gold voucher’ which offers a 20% discount at the à la carte restaurants and 15% off watersports. Also, high-speed wifi was offered to Gold and Diamond guests. All in all this was an impressive check-in experience and the hotel goes beyond the minimum required for Honors guests.
As I mentioned, we received an upgrade to the Bay Club. These are renovated rooms in a separate area of the hotel, with a number of additional benefits. The reception is in the main building, which also houses the standard rooms. To the left of the main building are 5 villa-style buildings which house the Bay Club rooms. We had a room on the 4th floor in the first building. The concierge drove us by buggy to the room.
The 238 Bay Club rooms are available with King or Queen beds and measure 45 square meters. Rooms on the ground floor have a small terrace with direct pool/beach access while the other rooms have a balcony.
The rooms are quite large and appointed very nicely. Everything was bright and modern, yet there were some local elements as well in the decor. The colour scheme worked well in my opinion.
There were two comfortable queen beds with a dresser, Nespresso and TV across.
Between the beds and balcony was a seating area with couch, table and two chairs.
The balcony offered a direct sea view.
The bathroom was very spacious and nicely done. There was a separate tub and walk-in shower. The amenities were standard Crabtree & Evelyn products.
As well as newer rooms, Bay Club guests have a separate seating area in the main restaurant.
The DoubleTree by Hilton is a huge hotel with in total 723 rooms and suites. It is actually the largest DoubleTree by Hilton property in the Middle-East. During my stay I received a tour of the other room types.
Standard rooms measure 32 square meters and either have a pool or sea view from the balcony. These rooms are decorated much more generically. They could just as well fit in a DoubleTree city location for example. There is a clear difference between the new Bay Club rooms and classic standard rooms.
Then there also are Deluxe rooms. These are located in low-rise villa buildings to the right of the main building. The Deluxe rooms measure 45 square meters and either have a sea garden view with balcony or terrace. The rooms are more spacious and also offer a separate seating area. Also the bathroom is more spacious with a separate shower and bath. These rooms are located around the busy children’s pool and therefore are not so quiet during the day.
As the hotel is primarily focused on families, there are ample connecting rooms. The standard rooms can house two adults and one child. The Deluxe and Bay Club rooms have a maximum occupancy of two adults and two children.
Pools and beach
There is no shortage of splash fun in the resort. The hotel offers a 650 meter long beach in a crescent shape.
Next to that, there are 8 pools including one indoor pool. Next to the Bay Club villa’s is the infinity pool.
At the main building, in front of the restaurant, is another large pool. But due to the shadow of the building, unfortunately this does not offer sun all day long.
The main pool for children is located between the gardens of the Deluxe villa buildings. This area also offers shallow pools for smaller children. As mentioned, it can be very crowded here. Not least because the entertainment team organises events in this area.
The resort also offers a small waterpark, sport field, floating platform with sunbeds and some slides. Ideal for families with children.
Al Marjan, located next to the lobby and the pool, is the all-day dining restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as a buffet. You can sit both inside and outside. During the evenings, there always was live entertainment so don’t expect a serene dinner here.
For Bay Club guests, there is a separate seating area next to Al Marjan. The offerings are identical to the main restaurant, but it’s much quieter here. There were also some tables reserved for Hilton Honors Diamond and Gold members, but it was never busy enough that we had to make use of these.
We only ate at Al Marjan for breakfast. Both the variety and quality were standard for a hotel this size; fine but not extraordinary. There were continental, Asian and Arabic options. The service was adequate, but often rushed.
The vast majority of guests are staying on half/full-board or All Inclusive. We did not make use of the buffet lunch or dinner, but from what I saw when walking by the offerings were the usual large-scale buffet offerings. We chose to dine at the à la carte restaurants instead, for which the resort has several options.
Vespa is the Italian restaurant. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating with a nice sea view. The food here is definitely recommended! Next to Vespa is The Brasserie with French-European food. Located above both restaurants is The Anchor; a British pub/sportsbar which offers either live entertainment or games on the TV-screens in the evening.
All the way at the end of the bay is a nice building with a terrace on the side of the sea. Here, Meze and Sanchaya are located. Meze offers Turkish/Arabic cuisine while Sanchay serves Asian fair, ranging from Chinese to Cambodian and also sushi. Both restaurants were very good as well!
At the children’s pool is Boardwalk for snacks and sandwiches during the day. In the lobby there is a coffee lounge and on the 9th floor, the ShoFee Rooftop Bar offers shisha and alcoholic drinks. From the bar, you have a nice view of Marjan Island.
Every pool also offers a bar.
Across the hotel on the boulevard is a coffee joint and a burger food truck. For other restaurants, you either have to go to nearby hotels or to the Al Hamra Mall.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Marjan Island resort also has a Jouri Rose Spa in the main building with a gym, sauna and steamroom. At the Bay Club, there is a separate ladies-only spa with indoor pool.
Considering the focus on families, the hotel offers additional facilities for children. In addition to the indoor kids club, there is a daily entertainment programme at the children’s pool offering everything from a live DJ to painting – the entertainment team can definitely keep kids busy.
This article was made possible by the Ras al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.