All-inclusive Radisson Resort Marjan Island : Why a smaller resort works for a family with little kids

When it comes to resorts in the UAE – we are very, very spoilt. With so many 5-star, grand, sparkly resorts all over – why would you want to stay in a smaller, 4-star resort such as the Radisson Resort Marjan Island? I was a bit worried as well what the staycation would be like. Will we like it? Will I have trouble trying to make it ‘nicer than it really is’? What about the husband?

Well – here’s our take of the relatively new kid on block – the Radisson Resort Marjan Island in Ras al Khaimah, and why we think you just might like it.

Let’s start with the location.

Where exactly is Radisson Resort Marjan Island?

Radisson is located right at the end of Marjan Island in Ras al Khaimah. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes from the Dubai Marina.

PS – Don’t try and leave late on a Friday afternoon, as you will very likely get stuck in the northbound traffic!

First Impressions

As you drive onto Marjan Island – you will pass by a series of 5-star resorts. There’s Rixos Bab al Bahr, Doubletree Hilton, Movenpick….. then 4-stars Hamptons by Hilton. Radisson is located right at the end of the island – which does work favourably for them, as you get excited seeing all the big ones and then eventually reach a smaller, much simpler, resort.

As someone with an engineering background – Radisson’s design is what we call a very practical structure. I suppose it’s just how the brand is – they all look similar – Deira Creek, Media City? I’m sorry Radisson – just being honest here 🙂

Don’t worry, keep reading – it does get a lot better.

What was the room like?

We were booked into a One Bedroom Suite with balcony – seaview. At 49m2, it was just enough for the family.

Ultimate Summer Colour Trends Sale

We love that you can see the sea even if you are sitting on your bed – and that’s because of the building design being rectangular ( another plus of staying in a smaller-sized resort!).

As we have 3 young children – ages 3, 5 and 7, we requested for an extra rollaway bed (chargeable). We did also request for a cot (included), for the little man, but as usual, he ended up on our bed. We never learn 😀

There is sofabed in the ‘lounge’ which my 7-year old slept in.

Things to note about your room choice :

  • Every Thursday to Sunday, they have a DJ playing music around 7pm till 9pm at the bar by the beach.
  • There is a fireshow (which is so impressive), and belly dancing. If you pick a room that is facing the beach, the great thing is you can just watch it from your balcony! Of course, that means you will hear the music from the room. PS – This is very similar to the other all-inclusive resorts that we have been in, which was fine with us. It’s just something to take note of.
  • All room types come with showers in the bathroom. If you have babies, you might have to have a chat with the team to see if they can provide a portable bathtub.
  • There is one lightswitch for the bathroom, and a floor to ceiling narrow strip of tinted glass that separates the shower room and the bedroom. If you use the bathroom in the middle of the night, the bedroom will be lit. Use your phone torch if you have family members i.e little kids that are sensitive to light when in bed!

For more details on room types, have a look at Radisson Blu Marjan Island’s Rooms page.

What are the restaurant options like, at Radisson Resort Marjan Island?

Breakfast is served in RBG Restaurant, located on ground floor. For a hotel of this size, I’ll say their breakfast spread is pretty good. You can order your eggs to your liking. Fruits, salads, juices, pancakes, and all the usual english breakfast staples. They have semicircle booths for families which we used for both breakfasts and one lunch.

It’s not a very large dining hall which means that you could safely leave the kids at the table, get the food and come back to them.

For lunch and dinner, you have a few options :

  • Back at RBG Restaurant, their all day dining for buffet ;
  • Seafood Shack (on Saturday, for brunch), located on their mezzanine floor above RBG Restaurant ;
  • RBG Bar (on Sunday, for roast), otherwise they open at 4pm on all other days; and
  • La Med, located on Ground Floor next to the Kid’s Club, by the family pool.

Special highlight was definitely the roast at RBG Bar on Sunday. I highly recommend you do it for a change from the all-day dining. 99AED for a proper roast with one drink, plus kids under 6 gets a mini roast for free!

Note that everything is very close to each other. The family pool is in the middle, and all restaurants (other than RBG Bar) face the pool. Easy, right?

Let’s talk about the Pools

There are three pools in Radisson Resort Marjan Island.

We spent most of the time in the family pool – which was perfect for my younger 2 (ages 3 and 5).

  • Mostly shaded, before 10am – and in the sun for most of the day (stayed, June 2023)
  • Two sections
    • a shallow (around 500mm) area for toddlers with bucket, mini slide and water sprinklers
    • a deeper (1.1m) area for older kids (or brave toddlers with floats) with two slides
  • Sunbeds all around the family pool
  • Kid’s Club, a few steps away from the pool – so I could quickly ‘check in’ on the older one at any time, or she could come out as well to find us.
  • No height restrictions when we were there (parents also allowed to go down slides with kids!)

Have a look at our recommended water toys for kids.

We spent sometime in the pool on the mezzanine floor, next to the family pool. This was deeper, and good for the older kids. Yes – they do have sunbed service so you can order drinks pool (and beachside!)

How’s Radisson Resort Marjan Island’s Kids Club like?

We stayed mid-summer when it was 40 degrees most of the time outside, so it was nice to have an option to chill indoors with the kids in their Kids’ Club – and a huge plus that it was located just a few steps from the family pool.

For a resort of this size, we thought that their kids’ club was very spacious, with lovely play corners.

They have activities from 11am up until 9pm in the evening – and the kids did some origami with the attendant, UNO, and paper cup games. The 7 year old spent a lot of time here as she found a friend to play with, whilst the younger two were in and out both days, from kids’ club to pool, to beach.

Drop off is 4 years old.

Overall Thoughts : Why small, worked for us

Having stayed in a lot of luxurious resorts in the UAE, Radisson Blu Marjan Island is to us – a very different experience, and I say that in the best possible way.

Look, when you have very small kids – you don’t necessarily need so many amenities. Are you going to use the basketball court? Tennis court? Spa? Will you be going fine dining?

Sometimes all you need is a good kids pool, kids club, a beach that is close to the room, decent restaurants that everyone will be happy to dine in – and good service. And that, is where Radisson delivered.

The fact that it’s a relatively small hotel works in favour especially when you are there over the summer months. You don’t want to walk far to get from one place to another – as everyone is going to get hot, flustered, and grumpy.

Sometimes all you need is a good kids pool, kids club, a beach that is close to the room, decent restaurants that everyone will be happy to dine in –
and good service.

And that, is where Radisson delivered.

Would it be nice to have carpet in the rooms, a bathtub to soak in, more space to place our toiletries? Of course.

Is it necessary, particularly if you cannot afford it? Not really.

Radisson RAK is a lot cheaper than the other 5-star resorts in Al Marjan Island, so if you don’t mind not having all those luxuries, but enough to keep the kids and yourself happygive it a shot. It’s a much more affordable option in Al Marjan Island, for the family 🙂

Special shout out to Gaurav from RBG, Yomal from Seafood Shack, Edwin from RBG Bar as well as Arshad for taking care of us. There were many more but I truly apologize I did not get all your names.

Have a browse through Family Resorts in Ras al Khaimah for this, and other options

Disclaimer : We were guests of Radisson to review the resort over a staycation with the family.

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Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

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