About Al Raha Beach Hotel

  • high speed internet in room
  • swimming pool
  • shuttle bus service
  • free internet
  • restaurant
  • bar lounge
  • fitness center
  • free parking
  • spa
  • business services
  • wifi
  • suites
  • wheelchair access
  • free wireless internet in room
  • room service
  • air conditioning
  • dry cleaning
  • smoking rooms available
  • refrigerator
  • meeting room
  • non smoking rooms
  • laundry service
  • concierge desk
  • flatscreen tv
  • family rooms
  • banquet room
  • multilingual staff
  • breakfast buffet
  • airport transportation
  • outdoor pool
  • conference facilities
  • parking
  • housekeeping
  • minibar
  • private balcony
  • breakfast available
  • beach
  • reduced mobility rooms
  • sauna
  • hot tub
  • heated pool
  • indoor pool
  • free shuttle or taxi services
  • facilities for disabled guests
  • kids stay free
  • kids activities
  • swimup bar
  • poolside bar
  • kids club
  • babysitting
  • infinity pool
  • tv rtr planeta russia
  • butler service
  • safe

Reviews summary

( 3046 reviews)
  • 1 room
  • 1 service
  • 5 cleanliness

11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Disheartening behaviours

Reviewed Mon 8th of February 2016

"No provisions of receipts and request for double payments. Account management challenges, lack of communication to signal issue and find solution, the staff needs more training to increase quality which is overrated in this case."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 7th of February 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 1 Room
  • 1 Service
  • 5 Cleanliness

Not my idea of 5 stars

Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"I thought a lot about what I wanted to say about this hotel and remain as objective as possible. The attitude of the hotel manager on the last day makes this a little hard but I'll explain.

I did my homework and looked on this sight to check reviews before we booked (booked our holiday in June 06) and it all looked good.

So to start I have to say the rooms are very nice, the attention to detail is good, food is high standard and the staff are very pleasant and helpful.

We booked a 2 week holiday from Sept 9th and to miss Ramadan. Ramadan started early however which upset our last day. More on that later.

We arrived at night and everything looked good. room nice, efficient staff etc.

At breakfast we discovered our first big problem. Had I have checked on here again I would have seen the problem reported with the pool. It was a building sight and remained one for our entire stay. We complained of course as no one had told us. The hotel told us they had informed travel agents and it wasn't their fault. We had received no such information. We basically said that if we could not get a room upgrade or some recompense we'd leave that day and go find another hotel. They upgraded us! They were having complaints from everyone staying apparently, so so much for telling all the travel agents!

They did have another pool set up but it was further away. Nice pool though and bar service etc so we had a good time. As one of the other reports states, it does get full at weekends with non-residence, something I'm sure would not be so bad if both pools are open. Incidentally the pool we used is falling apart so I bet they'll be closing it soon once the other ones fixed! My guess on the main pool would be another 2 or 3 weeks work.

Since the main pool is closed you also lose the ability to eat round it at night, which I believe is one of the other restaurant areas so you are left with the main buffet and Al Manzil which is the small restaurant by the other pool with no atmosphere and limited choice. Therefore you are buffet or buffet. It does have an al a carte menu but again it's a token offering and very limited.

The buffet theme changes each night but repeats weekly and it's not the biggest one I’ve ever been to so although reasonable choice not stellar. Good quality food though.

It's buffet breakfast too and again limited choice and since my wife and I eat cereal/fruit and toast £15 a head is a bit steep!

We set up a couple of excursions with the hotel but be very careful. We wanted to go to the Wild Wadi in Dubai. Easy to do, you can taxi there and back or just hire a taxi for 12hrs. The hotel has a deal. From guest relations it was 600DH from reception it was 500DH, we found out by accident. There are definitely back handers going on and the tourist information isn't particularly unbiased either. Like we were told we must dine at the Intercontinental. It's closed for refurbishment at the moment but its restaurants are open. It's also part of the Danat group of hotels of which this hotel is a member. Great, another building sight to visit!

The free taxi shuttle bus leaves regularly and has two stops in Abu Dhabi. It's great, easy and has times throughout the day. One good thing from the hotel but then it is in the middle of nowhere so be warned. In 10 years there will be more as it's building sights all round but right now it's a lonely hotel and limited choice. It's also fairly empty.

Finally our last day, Ramadan started a day early so our last day meant things like drinks and food by the pool were now banned. I understand this and respect it but our hotel forgot to inform anyone so we came down to breakfast on the last day and they'd shut the restaurant early so no breakfast. We also weren't allowed to take any water down to the pool. It was 38 degrees that day and pretty unreasonable of them to expect us to sit by a pool a good way from the main hotel and no way to easily nip back in and get drink.

We expressed our dismay at reception, they couldn't care less. I lost my temper but my wife valiantly managed to speak to the hotel manager. He is rude, discourteous and an obvious bigot. It was not his job to inform us of any changes and he evidently couldn't give a damn.

We've stayed in real 5 star hotels round this world and I've never had to experience a manager like this man. I can't for one minute think the manager of the Dorchester in London (we've stayed several times) would be so discourteous to a guest paying £3K. Disgusted isn't the word. It spoiled a reasonably good stay so as I said I'm trying to be objective but 5 stars this hotel is not."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 24th of September 2006

Not that great either

Reviewed Tue 9th of October 2012

"Would agree with review written "Not that great". Stayed for a week and would agree entirely about pool issues....we were told it would reopen day after our arrival.....that didn't happen! There were far too many children running around screaming around pool area that were visitors rather than residents. Music playing in corridors was irritating also.....could hear it in room when trying to sleep! An English guest also suffered a heart attack whilst we were there and the gentleman's wife was left to get taxi's to and from hospital etc on her own......manager didn't even go to see her!
All in all it does not have the standard of a "Deluxe Boutique Hotel" at the moment! Maybe they are having teething problems but they do not seem to be compensating for the hotels problems!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 12th of August 2006

Not that great

Reviewed Fri 26th of October 2012

"We had a 2 night weekend away at the Al Raha with our 2 sons aged 11 and 14. We live in Dubai and we were after a brief getaway, to sit by the pool and relax, good food and stuff for the kids to do.

The lobby is certainly grand and while the welcome drink is a nice enough idea it does tend to drag out the check-in process. The size of the rooms needs to be seen to be believed. They are huge. We had two adjoining Gulf view rooms which meant our bathroom also had the view which was very pleasant.

First disappointment was to find that the main pool was closed. No mention of this on the hotel website. Given the temperature of the Gulf at this time of year the pool was a major reason for our visit. There is a second, much smaller, pool area down by the villas but by the afternoon this was so over-crowded we chose to swim in the warm sea instead.

We found the food to be something of a disappointment in terms of both variety (at breakfast and dinner) as well as quality. You may not be paying luxury prices but the food was below par for a hotel of Al Raha's claimed standing. The restaurant staff are friendly - to the point of being almost smothering, but this could have been due to lack of customers.

There is no in-house movie channel and very few eating options - getting an in-room snack was beyond the scope of the room service menu. Beach activities are also quite limited as there are no sailing boats, catamarans or windsurfers. There are 2 squash courts which we did use.

We booked through the Preferred Hotels website and our rate included US$100 "activity voucher" per room. When I inquired as to what this entitled us to I was told "nothing" on the basis that it was not yet activated in UAE. Again, it was a pain to have argue the toss on this with the management when all we were after was a relaxing weekend away. Eventually (some hours later), the general manager agreed to honour the entitlement, although in a limited fashion.

Some of the disappointments can be put down to teething problems as I understand that the hotel is still relatively new. But I suspect that the fact that it is an independent hotel means that it lacks the 5 star touches that you can take for granted at a big name brand hotel.

All in all the stay was just OK - it was not the relaxing weekend we were after, and we will not be returning."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 5th of August 2006

Great time!

Reviewed Fri 14th of December 2012

"My wife and I, and the two lads (11 and 9) went to the Al Raha for for 10 days over Easter and it was gorgeous!

Please check out the photos. I could write pages on the place but will try to keep my writ-up brief. I arranged the hotel and flights myself and had asked that the hotel arrange for a taxi to pick us up at the airport. The flight on Etihad airway was superb. Helped by the fact that there were only 60 on the outbound flight, it felt like we were on a private jet! As we went through arrivals there was our driver smiling and holding a card with our family name on it. He was aware that the hotel was to give him a voucher on arrival and we were to pay the hotel when we settled the bill at the end of our stay. So, the first part of the holiday had gone swimmingly.

As you will see from my pictures, the hotel lobby is very impressive, the reception staff were very friendly on our arrival and, as the luggage was handed over, we were asked to be seated and given a cooling welcome drink. Shortly afterwards a lady from guest relations led us to our room and explained how everything worked in the room. The room was massive!

The four of us were in the same room, although we could have opted for two interconnecting rooms but for us that was a little pricey. However, the room was plenty big enough. All the usual Emirate hospitality, smiling faces, evening turndown with chocolates and flower petals on the pillows. Restaurants, pool area are all excellent, and we just have to mention Joshua, the restaurant Manager. He's a lovely man who really made us feel welcome. Please say hello from the 'COOPERS'. Nothing is too much trouble for this guy.

The pool area staff need special mention also...Nick, the food and beverage manager can be seen hot-footing around the pool area, all 'suited and booted' making sure everything runs smoothly. He will stop to talk and ask that everything is to your satisfaction. He most certainly runs a very tight ship. Anura, the outlet manager is also in charge around the pool bar area and he again, cannot do enough for you. These guys are ably assisted by the possy of staff who try really hard to make your stay a happy one. Please try to bear in mind though that the hotel hasn't been open that long, and some of the staff are new, and are still learning, so if drinks/meals by the pool seem a little slow, try to forgive them a little.

Christy greets you with a smile and will remember your name very quickly - she does some mean milkshakes also! Had a nice 'chat' around the pool with Chris Tarrant and his family, so it it's good enough for the Tarrants, then it ought to be good enough for you!

Get the hotel shuttle bus (free) into Abu-Dhabi for the malls and restaurants as the hotel is slightly limited and can work out expensive if you stay in the whole time. Do be prompt when getting the shuttle bus though because he's off bang on time. Reception will give you a time table. Abu-Dhabi is really safe, you get no bother at all. We love the Emirates but gave Dubai a miss this year because of all the building work. Abu-Dhabi is quieter and more relaxed. Take the local taxis (white and gold ones), they are really cheap. It costs 30-40 Dirums (£5-£6) for a cab back to the hotel. Again the drivers are no bother, I was rattling to them all the time! They will give you there mobile numbers in case you want to use them again. Give it a try, get them to take you into Dubai and visit Wild Wadi water park for the day. It won't cost you much and these type of taxis are a lot cheaper then the all white ones (although we did take the all white ones when going out for a nice meal or two because they are cleaner and the air con works!).

The weather was superb. I really wish I could afford a place out there because it really will become as popular as Dubai in the future, but for now, the pace is more relaxed. We went the the Rugby Under 19 world cup in Dubai whilst there, coupled with the two one day international cricket matches between India and Pakistan (that was an experience never to be forgotten - brilliant). See the picture.
Trust me, you'll love it and we can't wait to return! Feel free to mail me off-line if you have any specific questions, I'll be glad to answer them."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 5th of May 2006

Very good beach resort.

Reviewed Wed 10th of October 2012

"Al Raha is a first class beach resort hotel, located away from the centre of Abu Dhabi with excellent facilities and quiet location the only drawback will be the limited choice of food options on site or in the immediate area, if you're staying for more than a few days.

Having requested an airport transfer from the hotel in advance, a taxi was waiting for me. Unlike other hotels in the UAE it was not one of the hotel's own cars but just a standard taxi arranged by the hotel but it was prompt and the journey to the hotel was quick. The hotel is situated on a very wide but fairly quiet road that stretches along the coast in the Al Raha area and it's clear that over the coming months/years the area will become built up more than it is at present.

My check in was smooth and I was shown to my room very quickly. Public areas are grand and spacious, especially the brightly decorated lobby, my room was at the rear of the hotel, overlooking the road, rather than the sea and was one of the biggest standard hotel rooms I've ever stayed in. In fact it was so big that the space swallowed up the furniture which included two double beds, dressing table, desk/chair and a sofa plus armchair. The room would comfortably sleep 4 adults. The rooms are extremely traditional in decor, despite being very new the choice of furniture, fixtures and fittings could have been made at any time over the last 10 or 15 years. The same was true of the marble bathroom, again very spacious, brand new but lacking in any real sense of style. The "standard hotel" look was overwhelming, it's as if the designers were paranoid about making a bold decision on anything in case they upset anyone's taste, as a result the hotel feels dated already.

The room facilities, and the space made the stay very comfortable and everything was at hand. Minibar prices were reasonable, room service food was of good quality and reasonably priced.

The breakfast buffet, with a choice of inside or very pleasant outside seating had all the usual dishes on offer. Food quality was generally OK but there was nothing outstanding about the offering. It was fairly reasonable, although at a price of GBP125per night, breakfast should have been included in the room rate to make the hotel feel good value.

The beach is small but pleasant, the pools are large, well appointed and the infinity edge pool lets you look out over the sea as you swim. There’s a children’s pool which will suit those with families. Don't confuse this beach with Jumeirah beach in Dubai for its size and beauty; beaches are on a much smaller scale in Abu Dhabi. If you are looking forward to a nice stroll along the beach here, you could walk for about 10 minutes before having to turn back. The view out to sea doesn’t stretch very far, you can see land on the horizon, fairly close by. But the immediate beach area is pleasant enough and very quiet.

The hotel's location is a blessing during the day and if you want a relaxing quality break, it's perfect. But by the evening, your dining options are limited, there's nothing else in the area and a trip to Abu Dhabi is the only way to give yourself some other choices. There are free shuttle busses to the centre or a taxi will set you back only about GBP 6 so it's not difficult but will require you planning your evening well ahead.

I would definitely recommend the hotel if you want some quality time to relax, with comfortable rooms, great facilities and the usual UAE hospitality. If only they’d taken a more stylish approach to the interior décor and restaurant options (in keeping with their claim to be a boutique hotel) then this could so easily be a place not to be missed."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 22nd of April 2006

5 Star Deluxe!!

Reviewed Sat 27th of October 2012

"My husband and i had a lovely stay at the Al Raha. The hotel lobby is beautiful and reception staff are polite and helpful. We were given a welcome drink of a fruit cocktail, and were then taken to our room by a Guest Relations Lady, who showed us the features of our (superb, massive) room.

The bed was enormous and extremely comfortable. The seating area was beautifully appointed. Our bathroom was finished in marble and had a double shower and large corner bath. There were tons of top quality toiletries, face cloths and a loofah. Slippers and Bathrobes provided of course!

We dined in the buffet restaurant which is around £25 a head and wine starts at £20 a bottle. The food was generally very good. The pasta cooking station was great as the chefs prepared exactly what you requested. Lots of delicious breads available and a selection of cheeses was provided. The cheesecake on the dessert island is divine!!

The pool as you will see from other reviewers photos is lovely and infinity edged. We would recommend arriving at the pool area around 10am to secure a sunlounger as they get snapped up pretty quickly!

The beach area is rather small, there is no tide and it is suitable for swimming and snorkelling, although the water isn't the clearest we've ever seen.

Overall rating, room excellent! Everything else was very, very good!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 8th of March 2006

A relaxing week

Reviewed Mon 10th of December 2012

"Just returned from a very relaxing week at the Al Raha Beach. The location of this hotel is excellent right on the beach, with good grounds & no building work. There are signs that there will be work in the future but as the hotel has a new, yet to open Mall on one side & the Yachting club on the other, it shouldn't interfere.

The room was excellent - very spacious & overlooked the Gulf. Breakfast was good & whilst the pool bar luchtime food was also good, service could be a bit hit & miss. The friendly staff more than make up for this.

The lack of a decent restaurant for dinner is a mistake as the buffet was poor. However, the Hotel does run a complimentary shuttle into Abu Dhabi where there is an excellent choice of restaurants particularly the Revolving Restaurant at the Royal Meridian Hotel though not cheap.

Overall, if you want sun sea & peace & quiet this is an excellent location & we would have no hesitation in recommending it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 5th of March 2006

Nice relaxing hotel!

Reviewed Mon 10th of December 2012

"The Al Raha is a nice, slightly average 5* hotel. The hotel describes itself, as ‘boutique’!!! It is a little antiquated if anything! I am not meaning this in a shabby way but when a hotel is desribed as 'boutique', I picture a trendy, modern contemporary design not elegant dark woods and velour! We stayed in a sea view room which was beautiful, very large and had a great bathroom. The hotel is immaculately clean and all of the staff are very pleasant. The pool area is very nice and thoroughly relaxing. The food served around the pool was nice and the service was good.

The hotel lacked choice of food in the evening and as the hotel is away from anywhere else there is no possibility of strolling to a nearby restaurant. ‘La Savilla’ which is the buffet restaurant, is good but far from great in the evening! We hired a car (very, very cheaply about £25 a day and £8 to fill the tank) and went over to Dubai a few times to some restaurants we knew from a previous visit. It is a 45-minute drive from Al Raha to Jumeirah area of Dubai.

The hotel provided a reliable shuttle bus service to Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall. Marina Mall looked like it had recently opened as many shops were still being fitted – it looked like it was going to be comparable to some in Dubai. The Al Raha Mall which is next to the hotel was not yet open and nobody seemed to know when it would be, including staff at the hotel.

Overall, the hotel is very good value for money and I would visit the Al Raha again!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 24th of February 2006


Reviewed Thu 25th of October 2012

"Just returned from the Al Raha after spending 9 nights of pure relaxation. The hotel is beautifully appointed, the rooms and bathrooms are very spacious and ultra modern - tv, air conditioning and lights are all managed by a touch pad beside your bed. We travelled with our 5 month old and the hotel did everything in their power to accommodate our requests -even left our little one a gift on arrival. We stayed on a B&B basis, breakfast was great everything you could ever want. Staff were plentiful, pool area beautifully kept, onsite spa, hairdressers and well appointed gym. The hotel is approx 20 min from abu dhabi, but there is a regular free shuttle bus throughout the day and night. The only downside to this hotel is the lack of restauarants (excl poolside bar) - there is only one and a very limited and pricey wine list. But don't let this put you off, we regularily took the shuttle bus each evening to the Beach Rotana Hotel and just one blook up went to the Merridien hotel which boasts 9 restaurants based in a courtyard setting which cater to everyone's palate - they also had a much more comprehensive wine list more keenly priced. Overall a very relaxing and enjoyable trip. For those of you that wish to shop, the hotels shuttle bus has two drop off points to the Abu Dhabi Mall and Marine Mall."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 16th of February 2006


Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"Arrived back yesterday from the Al Raha Beach Hotel. This hotel is absolutely superb with guest service at the forefront of everything. The hotel is situated around 15 minutes from Abu Dhabi and around 1hr from Dubai. It is a beautiful building which is kept absolutely spotless. It is entirely on its own with wide and beautiful views of the Arabian Gulf. There is absolutely no construction near this hotel - a welcome change from Dubai! There is a very slow pace at the hotel which makes it the ultimate haven from total rest and relaxation. The staff cannot do enough to assist you with someone at every turn! The Gulf view rooms are huge and beautifully furnished with full bedroom and bathroom view over the Gulf. The food is excellent - we stayed on a HB basis - with regular theme evenings. The poolside bar is also excellent with ordering and delivery to the beach! The infinity pool and childrens pool are beautiful and because there are only 100 rooms or so nowhere is ever 'busy'. In fact, at times we had the entire beach to ourselves! The hotel run a shuttle bus into the city at regular intervals every day if you fancy some shopping. Turndown service with chocolates, slippers and orchids is a special touch. The mall is not yet open but you won't even notice - also ignore anything you hear about the UAE's largest disco being here! No disco is currently open. When it is opened it is nowhere near the hotel and will be for functions only. Highly recommended!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 13th of February 2006

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