REVIEW: Newly refurbished Waldorf Astoria hotel, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

REVIEW: Newly refurbished Waldorf Astoria hotel, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

REVIEW: Newly refurbished Waldorf Astoria hotel, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

This was my second visit to the Waldorf Astoria. I loved it last time and wasn’t really bothered by the decor. However, several readers did point out that it looked a little dated. The hotel has now undergone an extension refurbishment of almost every area, so I went back to check it out. The hotel was actually closed for several months and had only recently reopened when we visited. 

If you don’t know much about Ras Al Khaimah, have a read of my article. It is a great destination for those who find Dubai a bit much and just want to relax or explore nature. It is not a dry Emirate with rules similar to Dubai, so you can drink in hotels. There are lots of new hotel developments in Ras Al Khaimah, which you can read about in the article below. Hotels tend to be much cheaper than Dubai.

New Openings In Ras Al Khaimah, The UAE’s Booming Beach Hotspot

While most people are familiar with Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah is fast claiming its place as one of the top destinations in the UAE.


Waldorf Astoria gifted TLFL the accommodation and meals. 



The WA is the original beach hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, and therefore, it is situated in one of the best locations, in my opinion. It is not far from the Al Hamra mall and on a stretch of beach by itself rather than being on Al Marjan island with many of the other hotels. It is also by a golf course and the marina. However, it is only 10 minutes to Al Marjan island if you want to head to the Movenpick rooftop bar or their Ula restaurant, which I recommend. 




The Waldorf Astoria is an imposing, grand hotel. As you sweep up the drive, you see the enormous colomns at the entrance.

There is always an air of calm as you arrive, with a number of people ready to greet you and whisk away your bags. The welcome committee usually includes the resident falconer with his bird of prey, which is something of a novelty! You will also be offered traditional Arabic coffee and dates as a welcome.

Once inside, you will notice the signature Waldorf Astoria clock in the extensive lobby area.

We were quickly checked in and had the basics of the hotel explained. We were also given a brochure which had details of the restaurants and activities. I do like being given information so you can browse through it at your leisure.

As per the last time, we were also invited to give our What’s app details to set us up on the system should we need anything. I really like having What’s App as an option, as it means you can ask a question wherever you are.

Arabic coffee

If you are traveling with family, they also now have special kids check in the area. 


The room

During this visit, we had a Junior Suite, which would be my room choice for future visits. The room had been completely renovated except for the dressing area and bathroom, which were still modern but looked like maybe the bathroom has been retiled. 

I really liked the new colors, which were both in keeping with other Waldorf Astoria but also seemed to reflect the colors of the beach and sea outside the windows. It felt luxurious but not intimidating. and light and airy, perfect for a beach resort. 

As you walk in there is a large dressing area with a dressing table and mirror. I love having a separate dressing area with plenty of room and appreciate having a mirror with a plug to do my hair. The only thing I would have liked was a second socket as there was also an iron and ironing board there, so it would have been nice for my partner to be able to use it in the dressing area at the same time as I dried my hair.


The bed here was huge and so comfortable! It was a struggle to get out of it in the mornings. 

At turndown, we were left little gifts such as macarons.


The sitting area was a good size as well with a separate TV.

This area also had the Nespresso machine and plenty of bottled water. There was also a kettle if you prefer tea. 

The highlight of the room was definitely the balcony with its beach views. This was a great spot for a morning coffee!


The bathroom is a good size and decorated in dramatic black marble with gold mosiac tiles.

 There was a large bath, big enough for a decent soak, twin sinks, and a large walk-in shower with a rain shower head. 

There was also a separate toilet, which is handy.

One thing I love about Waldorf Astoria is the large Aesop toiletries which are not screwed down like many hotels. 

There was also a chest of amenities including shave and dental kits. 


Food and drink

The restaurants had also undergone a refurbishment. There are enough choices that you would not have to leave the hotel unless you were staying longer than a week. 

Umi – Japanese

UMI Sake Bar

My partner stated that this was one of the best meals that he had in his life, and indeed, the food was extremely good here. There are several parts to the restaurant, with a Teppanyaki grill, sushi bar, and then the main tables.

Teppanyaki bar

The decor has a definite sophisticated Japanese elegance and simplicity. It also has the largest selection of sake in the UAE as well as some innovative cocktails. 

We started with a delicious selection of canapes presented beautifully over a pool of dry ice trickling from stones. Fresh wasabi was grated for the table too.

Next came some tuna tataki with avocado cream and some beautifully crispy and slightly spicy chicken wings for my partner. 

The highlight had to be the grade A Wagyu beef that my partner had.

The steak was served over charcoal which gave it an amazing smokiness.

I went for the ubiquitous miso cod which was beautifully soft with a lovely caramelised miso coating. 

For dessert, we tried a selection displayed in a rather flamboyant way with more dry ice. I particularly enjoyed the yuzu creme brulee, which had a wonderful citrus kick.


Lexington Grill

This has changed a lot since my last visit. There is now a new bar area and a cold storage area where you can see the available cuts of meat as you enter the restaurant.

I really liked having a proper bar area as it was something the hotel lacked before. 

There is often live music, which is what I would maybe describe as soft jazz, which adds to the experience rather than having to try and talk over it, which you get in some restaurants.

We started with some scallops, which were very generous in size and tender. I particularly liked the crispy wafers with them. 

Next, we went for the lamb and a steak.

You even get to personalize your meal by selecting your knife, salt, and condiments!

I was quite adventurous with my dessert and went for blue cheese ice cream. This actually worked as a sort of cheese course but I would have liked something like a biscuit to provide some crunch and maybe some fruit for sweetness as a contrast to the saltiness. 

Blue cheese ice cream

Azure restaurant

This is one of the more casual restaurants at the hotel, with its Mediterranean beach vibes. It is situated by the pool with a large terrace, but it is open for lunch and dinner. 

We sampled the herb-crusted lamb, which was delicious and tender, as well as the salmon. Service is extremely good everywhere although they do have a few new staff with the reopening. It was definitely by far the best service we had on the whole trip in the UAE. Though the poor guy serving us was so nervous his hand was shaking, but he did a great job!


Camelia Lounge

This is the hotel’s equivalent of a lobby lounge, which serves a bit of everything from an extensive selection of teas and coffee with some tempting cakes to cocktails and drinks. 


Breakfast at Qasr Al Bahar

Breakfast is very extensive at the Waldorf and we also had amazing service.

No waiting ages for a coffee here! The coffee was also delicious, although it could have been a bit hotter.

You can sit outside on the terrace where you often get to see the hawk being flown in the grounds as well as chance to see it up close.

As well as the very extensive buffet (one of the best I have seen in the Middle East), there is also an a la carte menu which is included. I went for the Levantine poached egg, which was like an Arabic avocado toast and delicious. My partner also thought the omelets here were the best of the trip. The shakshuka was also excellent. 

The buffet had absolutely everything from sparkling wine for a buck fizz to a kid’s area.There were the usual cooked full breakfast items (no pork) including some hash browns, a wide selection of fruit and juices and some Indian, Chinese and Arabic hot choices too. 

Dietary requirements were well catered for with both vegan and gluten-free sections. 



The Waldorf has plenty of facilities, including a gold course next to it where you can play a round or learn golf from scratch at Al Hamra Golf Club, the par-72 championship golf course just moments away.

For kids, there is the Pearl Kids Club for kids 4 – 12, and they also offer certified babysitters too. One interesting activity for children is the Little Hoteliers program where children aged 6 – 12 learn about the world of luxury hospitality by exploring different roles within the resort.


There is a large gym here with views of the grounds and a wide variety of equipment. Water and snacks are provided.

Beach and pool

Sunset pool
aerial view of pools

There are several pools to choose from, including the main pool, the sunset pool, which is adults only, and a water park area with slides.

Main pool

When you arrive at the pool, you are set up with towels, and you are offered a choice of cold or room-temperature water. A supply of treats, such as smoothies and ice lollies is also brought around regularly.

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah UAE

The sunset pool is my favourite area of the hotel. It does indeed have great sunset views and is generally very peaceful. On my last visit, it looked like it needed some TLC, but the renovations have made this a lovely smart pool area for adults now. 

There is plenty of room to do lengths, and the water was heated to a beautiful temperature despite the chilly weather when we were there. 

There was no shortage of loungers as the resort is so large but does not have a huge number of rooms.

Ordering was quick and easy for food and drinks either in person or via the website using the QR code at your chair.

I also really like the sunset bar at the pool, which is a great place for a romantic drink.

There is also a large beach area with lots of loungers. It is a bit of a trek to get to the sea due to the size of the beach but it is beautiful white soft sand that you walk along and enter the water with a gentle gradient. 


The spa offers a wide range of treatments and includes a very impressive couples’ suite with a jacuzzi. 

Couples spa suite

The rooms are quite unusual as they have large windows to the outside, which are one-way only. However, you are asked if you would rather have the curtains drawn.



Your best bet is to book through a Hilton Impressario agent, such as our luxury travel agent partners, GTC. That’s because they can offer extra perks with Impresaario, but you will earn Hilton points and get your perks. There is also an extra free night promotion as well. 

  • Complimentary Breakfast for 2 people
  • $100 USD hotel credit per stay, or local currency equivalent
  • Next category upgrade, subject to availability
  • Double Hilton Honors points 

Prices start from £197 per night in the low season for an entry-level room or 69,000 points. Over the winter, which is high season, I still think prices are extremely reasonable, starting from around £260 a night. Points prices start from 80,000 which again is good value compared to some Waldorf Astorias. 

You can check prices and find more information here.



Both my partner and I loved this hotel due to the amazing service, quiet location, and high-quality food. As the resort is so large, you always feel that it is very uncrowded, and I love the adults-only pool with its tranquility and sunset views. I think it is fantastic value compared to Dubai, and I’m certain I will be back again next year!


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