Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa, Ras Al Khaimah
“The Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa is a Mountain & Spa Retreat in the heart of the Arabian countryside at the foot of the Majestic Hajjar Mountains, overlooking a beautiful valley full of date palms and farm land.”
Tempted by the enchanting description from the hotel’s website, a great online deal, and a weekend with nothing else planned for, Masood and I drive over to Khatt, a town in Ras al Khaimah, the northernmost part of the United Arab Emirates.
Although we do not see the “beautiful valley full of date palms and farm land” anywhere near the resort, we certainly do appreciate the Hajjar mountains in the back ground.
The website also says that the resort is around 45 minutes from Dubai, but if you drive within the legal speed limits, we discover that it takes an hour-and-a-half. If you don’t have your own car, forget about this resort; the place is located quite far from the city. What we did was enter “Safeer Mall Ras al Khaimah” into the GPS and then once we reached the mall, we follow this map to the resort.
We couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate (insert sarcastic tone here) time to be in this hotel with the intention to relax and unwind, far from the usual rush of the city: the hotel’s running an amazing online deal, it’s summer, and it’s a weekend. The staff is in a state of panic, obviously untrained to handle such a huge crowd. We reach the hotel at 1:30 pm and are shown our rooms by 3:30 pm. It’s that crazy.
The moment I discover there’s free wi-fi in the hotel’s lobby, I immediately take my phone out and proceed to do the most important thing that every other person these days does when they reach some place: update Facebook. My sister comments and provides her input, of course.
Back at the reception, Masood reminds the lady behind the desk:
“The voucher says we get complimentary grapes…”
“Oh that! Er, we will send that up to your room.”
Turns out the grape is actually a bottle of champaign or wine, or whatever, and since both Masood and I are very Muslim looking with the beard and hijab, the staff appears confused on how to tackle the situation. For some reason, it takes her hours, specifically until 9pm, before finally telling us that the voucher meant a complimentary alcoholic drink. Speaking of alcohol, I am also surprised to find several bottles of beers in the fridge. We have stayed in licensed hotels in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi but never once saw alcohol in our rooms. I’m under the impression that for Muslim guests, the staff would discreetly remove alcohol from the room. Anyway, two huge glasses of freshly-squuezed orange juice is sent up to our room instead.
The room is nicely furnished and very clean. There’s the usual complimentary water, tea, and coffee sachets next to an electric kettle. The bathroom is clean too, but the tub is too small. And it takes me forever to figure out all the knobs attached to the shower. I’ll show you what I mean:
So we just laze around, have lunch brought to our room, drink mint tea, soak in the rose-scented warm bubble bath that I brought with me, talk, read, and watch Antonio Banderas as Zorro on TV.
The sun setting across our balcony…
It’s nice to have the masjid nearby; with the exception of Faj’r, we manage to pray in the masjid. The evening is cool and the walk feels nice.
Tender Crispy Burger. Marinated grilled chicken breast, fresh crisp lettuce, tomato, pickles, and garlic buns. Coleslaw and fries on the side. AED 25
Vegi Goreng. Indonesian noodles with vegetables. AED 30
Grilled Tenderloin with mushroom sauce. Steamed vegetables and fries on the side. AED 80. Yum!
Your regular hotel breakfast buffet: live omelet cooking station, toast, jam, butter, sausages, turkey ham, fruits etc.
Dinner time at the hotel’s La Palmeraie Restaurant is chaotic. The buffet spread doesn’t look quite appealing so we opt for ala carte. The sweet lady in charge of our table looks shuffled and exhausted as she tells us that our dinner may take more than an hour to arrive. Looking around, the place has an ambience quite similar to a wet market. And this is me being polite with my description of the place. The lady could not hide the look of relief that washes over her entire being when we tell her that we’ll just wait for our dinner in our room.
The Hot Springs and Spa:
There is a common swimming pool behind the hotel for both men and women, and there is also an indoor, more private one for women. It looks so tempting and I feel bad that my suit hasn’t arrived from the UK yet.
There are women swimming so I can’t take pictures of the pool.
A few steps below the hotel is where their hot springs and Ayurvedic Center is located:
I would’ve been impressed with this facility had I not seen this Ayurvedic resort in Kerala. The hot springs? Well, unfortunately, my sister is right; I am kind of disappointed to see a jacuzzi-type thing filled with hot water, although a group of elderly women seems to be having a nice time chatting and soaking their knees in the hot water.
Besides, if you climb up and down these concrete steps leading to the hot springs a couple of times in this weather, I doubt you’ll still feel the need to immerse yourself in hot water:
Around the Resort:
Overall Impression and Tips:
Considering that this is a 5-star hotel, we are not really impressed by the facilities or their service. This is unfortunate because there is so much room for improvement. But it could also be because the hotel is literally swamped when we arrive. Perhaps if we go tomorrow, on a weekday, for example, we’ll probably have a completely different experience.
But I’m not saying that we do not enjoy ourselves. Masood and I have a nice time being together, without the office tasks or house chores coming between us. And I really like their grilled tenderloin. I love the fact the I do not have to do the dishes after wards.
I suppose this hotel is good for you if you just want to get out of Dubai but don’t really want to drive out too far, or maybe if you’re looking for an ayurvedic treatment.
And if you do decide to book a room at the Golden Tulip resort, make sure you bring your own vehicle, bring several water bottles, sandwiches, snack items, etc (otherwise you’re just stuck with room service). Bring a swim suit; the pool is nice. Having a GPS in your car will help you save time.The Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates +971.7.2448777