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The Cove Rotana Ras al Khaimah: The Santorini of the Middle East

Most have heard of Dubai with its sparkling skyline and Abu Dhabi, the capital and cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. But in the UAE there are seven emirates, similar to states, and they all have something special and unique to offer. One of the most exciting and lesser known emirates is Ras al Khaimah.

A little over an hour from Dubai, this emirate is filled with all types of natural beauty from majestic rocky mountains, beautiful golden deserts, and endless miles of white sand beaches.  The Cove Rotana is a luxury resort in the heart of Ras al Khaimah created to allow guests to experience all that this region has to offer.

Set upon a steep hillside, the Cove Rotana is more like a village than a hotel. The collection of white alabaster villas and buildings are strewn along the hills and down to the ocean. One cannot look over the property and not be reminded of Santorini in Greece. Facing the mile long stretch of beach are two storey villas separated from the beach by a salt water lagoon. It is picturesque and lovely to behold.

The Cove Rotana Ras al Khaimah, The Santorini of the Middle East
The Cove Rotana Ras al Khaimah, The Santorini of the Middle East

There are two large pools with guests lazing about taking in the sun. At the beach there are couples sunning on chaise longues under umbrellas. There’s also a spa gazebo at the beach for those that want to have a relaxing massage. German, Russian, French, Arabic, and English with strong accents are heard as the resort welcomes international guests coming from Europe, Asia, and from around the region.

Poolside at the Cove Rotana
Poolside at the Cove Rotana

At the beach, is their Breakers by the Sea beach bar.  It a great place to hang out and in the evening music plays as guests chat over cocktails or dine on delicious grilled seafood and meat dishes.

Most guests enjoy strolling up the hills and through the paths of the resort while taking in the beautiful ocean vistas or the scent of the white, fuchsia, and orange bougainvillea bushes that are at every turn. For those to care for a little less effort, buggies whisk guests to and fro and are always just a quick call away.

Strolling through the hillsides and bougainvillea

There are both hotel rooms and villas at the Cove Rotana. The villas are luxurious with plenty of space to spread out. The ancient Arab design for which this region is known is evident in the style and design of the villas exteriors. Inside, guests find tall arched ceilings with exposed red brick as the dominant design effect. The high ceilings allow for ample sunlight from the floor to ceiling windows.  The villas feature a  full kitchen and sitting area and sunken bedrooms with a king sized bed and access to the outdoors through a terrace.

Villa Bedroom
Villa living at Cove Rotana

Outdoors is another living space with a large terrace and more wonderful views of the sea or lagoon. Many villas have private pools perfect for cooling off in the warm Arabian sun. The size and space of the villas make them perfect for vacationing families or romantic couples.

Outdoor living spaces

There are several dining options at the Cove Rotana. Basilico is their Mediterranean restaurant and the fine dining experience there is fantastic. Fresh seafood with Italian and Mediterranean dishes complete the menu. The setting is also very romantic as couples dine al fresco on the terrace over a bottle of good Italian wine from their vast selection.

Fining Dining at the Cove Rotana
Fine dining at Basilico Mediterranean Restaurant at the Cove Rotana
Al fresco dining at Basilico

Their all day dining restaurant, Cinnamon, serves continental, Arabic and Indian cuisines as well as a comprehensive breakfast buffet. On Fridays, they have a lively Bubbly Brunch with free flowing beer and wine as well as some excellent live music. This is after all brunch so there are plenty of delicious dishes from grilled lobster and prawn to the Asian dishes of sushi and sashimi, and everything from crepes to curries.

After all that dining and indulging, they have many activities to work off those extra pounds. This is after all a beach resort so there are plenty of activities from jet skis to kayaks and all kinds of water sports.

They also have a state of the art fitness centre and spa at the Bodylines Fitness and Wellness Club. There are plenty of the latest workout machines as well as friendly and knowledgeable trainers that can help you with your fitness goals.

For those who are pursuing relaxation therapy, there’s a complete spa at Bodylines with an extensive spa menu including Swedish and Balinese massages as well as an indoor Jacuzzi, and steam and dry sauna.

The Spa at the Cove Rotana
The Bodylines Spa at the Cove Rotana

The Cove Rotana is so much more than a hotel by the sea. It is a complete resort that provides wonderful service, facilities and amenities. From the unique architecture, to the fantastic design and comforts of the villas, this resort provides a perfect holiday for romantic couples, families, and solo travellers.