Tag Archives: beach hotel

Tips about Rixos Bab al Bahr – Ras Al Khaimah

I have recently stayed at Rixos Bab al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah to celebrate a friend’s birthday and had fairly good stay even though with some downsides.

The booking process was a little problematic. When I called the hotel at 8pm on a week-day, I was informed that the booking was closed because the relevant department works only between 9am-18pm. (!!!)

I called the next morning and after having obtained the information I needed, I booked my room on booking.com since cheaper. The resort offers an all-inclusive package where in addition to a room you receive also unlimited drinks (selected) and buffet meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) included in the price.

However, you are not forced to have the free buffet meal at all times because there are other restaurants available for those tired of the buffet selection, for which it is requested the payment of additional 100 AED/person only.

The resort is very popular among Russian tourists and Dubai’s residents especially during the weekends. When we arrived at the resort, we were warmly welcomed by the door man and then had to line up for the check-in.

The hotel has 600 rooms and to handle the load of visitors checking-in at around 12.30pm there were only 5/6 people. We waited 15 minutes to check-in, a thing that the management should improve in my opinion.

 The girl that handled the check-in was very polite. The room assigned was no. 2554 and a polite staff member escorted me at the room located in the second building while explaining the features of the all-inclusive package and carrying the luggage. Once in the room, I recognized that the Deluxe Room with Garden View I paid for was actually with a parking and construction site view.

I went back to the same girl that checked me in and asked to have another room, possibly with the Garden View I paid for. She tried to ask for a little extra for the “upgrade” but I was resolute and she politely assigned another room, this time with partial sea view, in front of the access road but slightly bigger and with a balcony. I accepted the change and the staff quickly moved my stuff and regularized my position.

Rixos Room with partial Sea View

The premium room I got at Rixos was spacious and well furnished. The bathroom was big and equipped with all the toiletries you might need.

View from Rixos Room with partial Sea View

The partial sea view from room 1438. The road is not very trafficked the balcony offers the possibility to enjoy the sunset.

The resort is nice, with several swimming pools, a nice beach and very attentive and polite staff always addressing guests with a smile. There many ways you can enjoy your stay with bars and shisha places conveniently located in the common area at the center of the three buildings forming the resort.

Rixos by night with pool

Rixos resort is formed by a common area and 3 identical buildings. The lobby and main restaurants are located at the center.

Rixos Main Restaurant by night

The Main Restaurant y night. It is a big area that offers an outdoor veranda for smokers, inside seating and an intermediate area that is covered but with big windows.

Rixos beach

Rixos beach is very nice. The sun beds are maybe too close to each other but sand, water and staff are amazing.

Rixos Garden

Between the beach and the pool there is a green area very well maintained.

The buffet was good in quantity but not in quality. The same selection of cheese, salads and bread was offered at all meals and left overs of dinner were displayed the morning after.

The kids’ selection was mainly a concentrate of junk food with fried chicken, fries and sausages with ketchup available.

 Don’t get me wrong. The food was alright but no one in our group of friends found something wow! Worth getting a second portion.

After dinner, the Mojito Bar serves free mojitos (not really the best I had) and Inferno disco club gives some good time with fairly enjoyable music.

Rixos alternative restaurant

all around the resort there are alternative restaurants and bars other than shops

Rixos Inferno DJ

Inferno’s club DJ. Fairly good music even though the club was almost empty when we were there.

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Hotel Review: Costantinous Bros Athena Royal – Paphos, Cyprus

We stayed at the Athena Royal hotel for 4 nights during our 8 days holiday in Cyprus. The hotel is amazingly arranged with bars, restaurants, 2 outdoor pools and one indoor pool, spa, mini market and a wide garden where sun beds are available for the guests.

Upon our arrival, we noted there is no doorman to welcome you in or take care of your luggage. A service that we found in almost every hotel we stayed in around the world (with the exception of Milan and Rome in Italy).

The reception personnel were of the utmost friendliness and extremely helpful. Our check in and check out went through without any kind of trouble.

We were assigned to room 3342, a partial sea view room, very nice and comfortable and with a little balcony available.

Athena Royal Double Room View

The view of our room was a nice partial sea view

In the room we found some balloons, a card wishing happy birthday to my partner (it was her birthday that day) some wine and complementary fruit, a kind touch from the management that we appreciated.

We had a tv, an espresso machine with complimentary capsules and some tea bags. The toilet was alright with enough toiletries (shampoo, body lotion, soap, liquid hand soap) but without hair conditioner, shaving kit, tooth-brush and tooth-paste, hence you might want to bring them with you.
The room was cleaned daily and some consumables replenished with the exception of coffee capsules and water. Just note that the service starts very early in the morning (before 8 am) and you might be waken up if you plan to sleep some more.

Wi-Fi coverage in our room was fair or absent inside and decent on the balcony. However, room 3342 and the adjacent ones, are located very close to what seemed to be the kitchen and a continuous noise of cutleries and dishes being moved and thrown can spoil your tranquil moment in the evening.

The hotel targets adults only, hence there are no kids around, making the place very quiet and relaxing. However, the majority of the guests (let’s say 90% of them) are very mature couples and with it I mean pensioners above 60.

For a young couple, then, it might be awkward and sometimes boring to be in such an atmosphere.

The hotel provides an efficient tourist support, with different representatives coming regularly to propose and book events in town or outside either by boat or bus. We took advantage of the service to book a cruise with Paphos Sea Cruises while we explored the city by ourselves.

There are many restaurants available and bars to calm down the thirst during the day. They all serve decent food and good cocktails and the prices are very reasonable.
One very positive point of this hotel is that they do not try to cheat you charging a ridiculous amount for drinks and food at the pool/beach/shop.

Athena Royal Garden

The garden where the majority of sun beds are located is very well maintained

Other than the pool side, the hotel offers a nice garden where the majority of the sun beds are located. The beach, instead, is very poor and consists in few meters of sand with wild vegetation and rocks. Not really the best if you look for a sandy beach and easy access to the water.

Regular events are organized like live music, special night events and cinema nights. We participated to some of them but we realized that we were not the targeted audience and hence felt a bit bored. The other guests were, on the other hand, pleased by the proposed activities and enjoyed them very much.

Breakfast wasn’t as good as we expected even though the variety of food available was great. There are eggs, bacon, sausages, cheeses, yoghurt, pastries and pancakes, fruits, coffee, milk and juices.

We just found that bread, pastries and other products weren’t always freshly made but displayed until consumed. We had bad experience with the croissants, cereals and bread that tasted old and were tough.

We had also an omelette prepared by the chef and did not like it because it was prepared  superficially with ingredients not completely cooked and mixed properly. My omelette was without salt, my partner’s one was salty and both were very oily. While waiting for the omelette we noticed that fried eggs, pork bacon, pancakes and French toast were cooked in the same place. Not really the right way to do it.

The breakfast is served in a very lovely location, by the pool or indoor as the guest prefers.

Breakfast at Athena Royal is served by the pool. Lovely location

Breakfast at Athena Royal is served by the pool. Lovely location

We enjoyed lunch at the Olive Tree restaurant few times and found it all right. We had a chicken gyros, hallomi sandwich and a salad and found them ok.

The service quality is just ok. There are a lot of young staff with seasonal jobs working in this hotel. Some of them, like the lovely front desk operator who worked in Abu Dhabi before, were super efficient and friendly. Others were apparently less trained but still suitable for the role.

We understood from some guests that a significant percentage of them (above 30%) spend their annual summer holiday in this hotel, someone since 10 years or more!!! For this reason, at the moment of checking out, we were granted a loyalty membership card that will allow us to get discounts from our next stay (if any) in the same hotel or hotel chain in Paphos.

In conclusion, we enjoyed the stay at the hotel, however, probably not as much as the elderly guests do.