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
my my my. Loved the photographs. ANd u know what’s most interesting there 😀 yes, ur sis is right! THE SPRINGS! kitna maza aye wahan dubki ka 🙁
Pervisha, I’ll make dubki only when I’m the first client of the day in their spring resort 🙂
btw, tum bas muje maar dalo. maar hi dalo esi pictures laga laga ke 🙁 lol
Yeah, yeah … as if you don’t live in such beautiful, green, and historic city that is also home to the most mouth-watering food in the world 🙂
Hi Nadia !! …. what matters at the end of the day is that u had a great time together ( i guess going out with the person u love is always enjoying !!) …. n i guess it shouldn’t be an excuse that it was overcrowded n so they couldn’t handle – it’s a five star hotel they should be prepare with such a staff. Anyway hope u go for an outing soon … so that i can enjoy the trip too … after reading it on ur blog 🙂
Hey Sharmila! Yep, you are absolutely right. Also going out with a person you love (and one who loves you back just as much, this is equally important) is very relaxing and gives you peace of mind because you two are already very comfortable with and know each other very well.
I know, five star hotels should be prepared to handle any number of guests at any given day!
I haven’t taken a long break from work since early last year. Maybe it’s time I should begin planning 🙂
Loved the pictures (as usual), and not surprised by the lack of professionalism! I guess they did not anticipate the large numbers of guests and were short staffed.
I have stayed in many hotels around the UAE and there was always alcohol in the mini fridge; somtimes it was even compimentary!
That is strange, Mezba. Masood and I never saw any alcohol in the mini fridge until staying at Golden Tulip. Maybe it’s the long beard and abaya that make them remove the alcohol from the rooms.
hello, Nadia dear… hala, second time i hear you sound exasperated, the service must have been exceptional… :c i’ll save my comment proper for the next days then. let me say though, that your pics of the place and its surroundings are superb, as usual. 🙂
hope you’re feeling better, kapatid… greetings from the beautiful country of the philippines! (tonong ms. gay) 😉
Hey there, ‘San! I’m trying to make up with photographs what the resort lacked with their service 🙂
I’m doing great, thank you. You tell me … how are things going for you in your beautiful country? LOL @ tonong ms. gay 😀
lol! it must have been bad. as far as I know, you don’t complain as a hobby, haha. btw, you did a great job with the pics, the place looks swell from this end. 😉
nah, not very good. the country is still beautiful but i doubt if they’re giving me a fair share of its beauty and loveliness, haha. btw, we might go to boracay this weekend. i hope that will turn events a bit better for us… hi to masood and your family. 🙂
Haha, you know me very well! I try to be the person who mostly looks at and takes pictures of the brighter side of things.
But if things do not have a brighter side, I still take pictures anyway 😉
Boracay! Wow. I am so jealous! Do not return without photographs (your own, because I don’t seem to trust your sister now … I’m sure the Thailand pictures are still in her camera). Give us a complete scope on Boracay, so go there as a journalist/travel blogger 🙂
yeah, you’re intelligent that way, i guess… btw, how can i have some of that attitude, eh?
i am a big fan of your photography, dear. you are very creative with the angles, perspectives, depths and all those things am very poor at, hehe.
oh, Boracay was lovely.. it was off-peak so the beach wasn’t exactly teeming with people. the shoreline is still clean and the water is shallow and best for dipping. it’s still mint-green basin and with infinitely blue, serene sky above, ahaha. we swam a lot and often… btw, it’s good that we went, we’ve lots of problems, i’d say. swimming took off some stress, i guess. and the relaxing view plus the boating and all those touristy activities, haha.
haha, how did you know that the sister has not uploaded the pics yet? you know us already… ah, she brought a lot of cameras. even her cellphone cameras are 10times better than mine, hehe. and, am afraid, she takes better pics, too. go easy on her, lol.
am scared to do a Boracay post – i read some really swell write-ups about the place in online mags and newspapers. is there something i can add to the Boracay worhip? hehe… i will try, dear…
it’s raining pretty bad over here… btw, malamig na ba dyaan? hope you are in tip-top shape… 😉
The last person who should be scared of writing up about travel experiences is you 🙂
Basta, we need that scope on Boracay. And your writing skills do not require photographs; your words give us a vivid description of the place, but still, if maybe you can get hold of a couple pics from your sister’s camera… 😀
It’s raining still? It’s still summer for us here, although the nights are pleasant now (translation: we can walk for a few minutes and not faint due to lack of oxygen or dehydration).
Love the photos 😀
I’m telling u once again Nadia Baji why don’t u sign for UAE’s official travel reviewer post? You’ll get VIP treatment with the reviews that you write. Even if the reviews are negative, I’m sure they will pay you for the photography 😉 ghar baithe kamai 😛
Masha’Allah, don’t you get tired of travelling?
Thank you so much, Miss Maqsood! Being a writer full time requires so much work, talent, and commitment, plus it’s not a secure job for many. Therefore, I’ll keep my day job and just pursue writing as a hobby here on the blog.
Get tired of traveling? What’s that? 😉
I am very surprised that this hotel offers customized service to its customers by removing the alcohol from your room. I have hardly seen such personalization of services of any hotel. Glad I came to know
Hi Archana. Actually, this hotel did NOT remove the alcohol from our room. We did request for the bottles to be removed but the staff said that it’s not possible because it’s on their room inventory or something.
Ok. That’s not good I guess.
When I read “grapes” I thought that’s pretty cool, we’ve never had complimentary grapes before. I too didn’t realize it was wine until you said so lol.
‘liya, your comment made me feel better. I was under the impression that this is how hotels refer to their welcome drinks: complimentary grapes. Maybe it’s how alcoholic beverages are subtly called around here. Or perhaps it’s a thing for just this particular hotel. I wouldn’t know; I got a glass of orange juice that evening 🙂
Orange juice is the best!
nadia api after a a long time i m at ur blog oh this is so damn lovely
the new changes in ur blog is ravishing grt changes u made
but the passion for photography is as same as it was
luv to see it
Hi Rida! How nice of you to stop by. How are you doing? Thank you so much for your compliments 🙂
Golden Tulips Resort huh? Do you think it is related to the Golden Tulips Hotel in Jordan? We we stranded there in April 2010 when all international flights to Europe were canceled due to the volcano eruption (I have so forgotten the name of this paticular European country…sorry). Sad to say, the services we received at the hotel were very poor that if we were destined to visit Jordan again I’ll never want to stay at that hotel the second time… 🙁 Fortunately the country offered us amazing scenery and landscape and beautiful people and history that we immediately forgot our experiences at the hotel…
Ati, I’m not completely sure, but this possibly could be the same Golden Tulips hotel. I have heard a lot of good things about Jordan.
it looks like u had a great time 🙂