Rixos might have properly converted us to loyal fans now. Situated an hour and a half from Dubai Marina sits Rixos Bab al Bahr in Ras al Khaimah. As one of the first all-inclusive resorts in the region, Rixos Bab al Bahr opened in 2014 on Al Marjan Island – a man-made island where a series of other luxury resorts lay.
Read this, if you have already booked or is thinking about splurging for a staycation in Rixos Bab al Bahr – so you know what to expect 😉
Where exactly is Rixos Bab al Bahr?
If you are flying into Dubai, Rixos Bab al Bahr is about an hour’s drive from Dubai Airport – located in the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. It’s the first resort you see when you drive onto Marjan Island.
First Impressions at check-in
We stayed two nights – checking in on a Thursday. Note that we stayed over the school holidays in April, and possibly when it was Spring Break for most places in the world. With that in mind – it was busy.
The team handled check-in well though, and got us in a temporary room for an hour before our actual room was ready – which we were super grateful for.
Note : Check in is 3pm.
What sort of room type did you stay with the kids?
We stayed in the Kids Escape Family Suite which I highly recommend if you want something cute, something quirky and can fit all 3 kids.
See here for a separate piece on the room itself.
Things to note on your room choice :
- If you pick a room that is facing the pool & beach area, take note there is music on the main stage (called Sea & See Stage) until 11pm at night. There is a kids disco every night at 8:15pm (which is so much fun!) and then music for adults after. This was the situation when we were there, so of course it might change when you go. This is not a complaint – it’s just how it is as you are in an all-inclusive resort with so much going on 😉 So if you want a room ‘with a view’, expect to go to bed after 11pm.
- There are 5 ‘buildings’ in Rixos Bab al Bahr. We were in the one close to the main pool, which definitely did help as it was also close to the all-day dining. Some are closer to the kids club, some is further along.
How are the dining options like in Rixos Bab al Bahr?
Breakfast is served in their all-day dining restaurant called Seven Heights. It was full house when we were there for breakfast on Friday and Saturday mornings – and their breakfast spread is as big as it can get for a resort of that scale. Busy, yes? Chaotic with kids? Definitely. But they have lots of staff present to assist, and they definitely tried their best to make sure we were accommodated.
For lunch, you have a few options :
- Back at Seven Heights for buffet ;
- Ala carte at Toast N’ Burger – easy stuff like burgers, pasta. This is right next to the beach which is a nice break from going back to Seven Heights.
- BBQ by the pool and beach. Burgers, chicken wraps, fruit, ice cream and more – you pick what you want and eat anywhere you want – beachside, poolside. We did this on Friday afternoon after spending the morning at the pool and beach. Perfect alternative as we were all wet!
- According to the brochure, L’olivo their Italian joint is also open for ala carte lunch. Ah – would’ve loved to try that one out. Now you know – make sure you check that out when you are there!
Have a look here, for rates at Rixos Bab al Bahr
For dinner, you have a lot more options :
- Back at Seven Heights for buffet ;
- Ala carte at 6 restaurants. Note that you can only prebook for the ala carte restaurants once you are physically in Rixos Bab al Bahr. You can book for all the nights that you are there, on the first day. We dined in Aja, their asian restaurant and then Meat Point, their steakhouse. Definitely a nice break from the all-day dining and yes – we did think the food at both restaurants was pretty good as well. PS – Get the red wine at The Meat Point!
What sort of entertainment did they have for kids?
There’s just so much going on for kids in Rixos Bab al Bahr.
Beach and pool aside – which is good enough as it is, Rixos is one of those places you go to if you want a lot more.
Check their Kid’s Club timetable before you go so you can plan – there’s lots of indoor activities (slime making, arts & crafts), outdoor sports in their Sports Area (trampoline jumping, crossfit!). Don’t worry about entertainment at night – they have musical shows , a disco every evening at 8:15pm.
They do have a little waterpark going on at the end of the resort for kids who prefer slides.
We did feel that their waterpark pool area, and kids club was slightly dated – and would definitely benefit from a revamp, at some point.
What about entertainment for Adults?
If free-flow alcohol is not entertaining enough for you (come on!) , don’t worry, there’s more.
There is a separate sports timetable for adults. So while the kids are busy in the kid’s club, you can go off and do Pilates with everyone else (trust me, after all that food and drinks you’ll want to do something …) There is also an adults-only Jungle Gym on the beach.
We also booked for Stand Up Paddleboarding one morning and managed to see dolphins (seriously….). The instructor didn’t believe us though, ha ha! Our friends saw sea turtles but unfortunately I didn’t see them this time round. Next time….
There is a basketball court, tennis court, shaded area with foosball and ping pong...have I missed anything out?
At the main stage by the Ala Carte restaurants there is live music in the evenings and also other shows. We were too busy following the kids around so didn’t catch any of the shows…. so again, lots to check out the next time we come back!
Have a look at a copy of their Sports Timetable, for when we were there.
Things to note before you go
Before you book your staycation at Rixos Bab al Bahr – take note of these pointers below. This is just something to bear in mind so you know what to expect, and how to maximise everything Rixos has to offer :
- If you have managed to skip the entire article – this is to reiterate that Rixos is an all-inclusive resort which has non-stop entertainment for kids and adults. With that in mind – note that if you pick a room that is facing the main pool, and therefore the Sea & See Stage – you will hear music pumping until 11pm at night. If you go to bed at 9pm, I would suggest you pick a room that isn’t facing the pool & beach…
- Ask for a copy of their Kid’s Club timetable, as well as Adults Sports timetable when you check in. Plan accordingly so you don’t miss out on activities and shows that you or the kids would like! Ie – Stand Up Paddleboarding is at 9am in the morning and you can only book one day in advance
- Make sure you book your Ala Carte dinner spots – it’s nice, and it’s a good change from their all-day-dining.
Did we enjoy our staycation with the family and friends? Definitely.
When you have 3 kids – it’s just nice to do a staycation in an all-inclusive resort with so much going on. It’s non-stop activities and partying for all of us.
Although Rixos is huge as an overall resort – a big plus is that the main bar, stage, kids playground, kids club and courts are all positioned centrally. This was nice for us as we could get a drink (or five) while the kids play in the outdoor playground. If one of them wants to go into the kid’s club – we could very easily drop them off and head back to the bar. In comparison with its sister resorts in the Palm and Saadiyat, Rixos Bab al Bahr would definitely benefit from a slight revamp – hopefully this will be taken into consideration later on!
PS – You’ll also come to realise after a day in Rixos Bab al Bahr that most guests are Russian-speaking and are from that region, so it’s a good spot to be if you want to practise the language 🙂
- Rixos Bab al Bahr’s Website
- Al Marjan Island, Ras al Khaimah
Disclaimer : We were guests of Rixos Bab al Bahr to review the resort over a staycation with the family.
Any queries on Rixos Bab al Bahr? Ask us, in the post below.