The world’s largest Hampton by Hilton opened in Ras Al Khaimah in July. Boasting 515 rooms and suites, the sprawling hotel is the world’s fourth hotel brand to open on Marjan Island, the man-made archipelago of Ras Al Khaimah.
Joining a portfolio of more than 2,450 Hampton by Hilton hotels in 27 countries, the new hotel is part of a brand renowned for providing quality, value-for-money accommodation coupled with fantastic service. The National traveled to the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates to find out firsthand if Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island ticks all of these boxes.
You can’t miss the Hampton by Hilton when driving along Marjan Island Boulevard, thanks to its shiny red Hampton sign both on the roof and at road level.
Turning into the ramp that leads us to the entrance, we stop in front of the four-star hotel and leave our luggage with the gate staff, before descending to park in the covered garage. There is a lot of space and it is an easy transfer from there to the elevator which brings us into the huge lobby.
Inside, the reception area is bright and has a welcoming vibe that’s not too formal with plenty of comfortable sofas and armchairs, and a helpful central computer center that’s well used by other guests.
A very enthusiastic member of the reception staff completes our check-in process with ease, including providing us with turquoise fabric wristbands that we must wear to take advantage of the hotel’s all-inclusive offers during our stay. We’re on our way to the venue in less than 10 minutes.
Part of the developing island of Marjan in Ras Al Khaimah, Hampton by Hilton is the newest hotel to open on this coral-shaped island. There are already a few other hotels on the island, so there are options nearby if you want to venture elsewhere one evening. Hampton guests also receive discounts on dining at the nearby DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa.
As the island is still under development, guests can expect to encounter some construction noise or sights during their stay, but this isn’t enough to affect your enjoyment. In fact, the sound of jet skis plying the bay in front of the hotel is decidedly more disturbing than any construction work.
If you want to get out and explore the island, the hotel is about a 15-minute walk from the public park where there is a paddle court, a children’s play area, and a small group of food trucks and picnic tables. -nique. A springy jogging track runs along the coastal road for those who want to stay in shape and there are also plenty of electric rental scooters dotted around the island if you want to pick up speed while you take the tour.
The hotel follows Hilton’s clean stay policy so that guests can rest assured that rooms are clean and sealed upon arrival. All staff wear face masks, there are touchless menus, and an abundance of sanitizing stations in public areas. There are also signs dotted around the hotel reminding guests to keep their distance and wear masks.
That being said, the recommended distance of two meters does not appear to be strictly adhered to during peak hours in the buffet restaurant or when customers use the elevators, perhaps because there is a bit of a wait for them at times. peak of the day.
After moving from our first allocated room (more on that later), we settle into our family Dream Suite on the 10th floor, facing the pool, which has views of the Arabian Gulf.
The room is spacious with a dining and living room forming part of a central wooden dividing wall, and a bedroom and bathroom on the other. Floor-to-ceiling windows line one side of the room, letting in plenty of natural light and opening onto a balcony with two armchairs, perfect for watching the sunset.
Interiors are modern and fun, and our suite features an open wardrobe, orange bucket-style stools, nautical mirrors, and colorful wooden oars as a decorative element above a king-size bed. There are two TVs, a sofa that easily converts into a bed, and a connecting door which is useful if you are traveling in a large group.
The bedrooms use the latest technology with illuminated control panels for air conditioning as well as lights that turn on when you pass your hand over them and turn off completely when not in use. It’s a clear win over many other hotel lighting systems that almost need an instruction manual to figure out.
Although the hotel is new, or maybe because of it, there are some minor maintenance issues such as a bathroom door that won’t close, a balcony door that won’t close and a living room light that turns on and off. However, all of these issues are quickly resolved by the maintenance crew while we go out to dinner.
Word is definitely about the new Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island and the hotel is busy when we arrive and stays that way most of the weekend. Guests are mostly families, with a few older couples and a few groups thrown into the mix.
The wave-shaped pool is split into two sections, a shallow side for kids and a deeper side that encompasses the infinity edge. There is also a paddling pool for the little ones.
Despite plenty of sunbeds around the pool, we struggled to find a free spot after 11am so head to the 750 meter private beach instead. There is no shortage of sunbeds and umbrellas here, although the bar and showers are quite a long walk in the midday heat from the beds further along the coast.
The Hub Kids & Teens Club is open daily and is popular with younger people, as is the outdoor playground and bouncy bouncy castle, which are heavily used during the cooler parts of the day. The hotel also has a sea-view fitness center, gift shop, and hotel spa – unfortunately the spa is not yet operational.
Open all day, the Flavors Restaurant serves a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s huge, with plenty of seating and even during peak times there is always a table to be had. During the cooler months, a terrace overlooking the ocean is also available.
There is a good mix of international food on offer, with plenty to choose from for kids and those on a restricted diet, such as vegetarians. A central beverage station away from food counters is a good idea to keep queues moving, and staff are quick to clear plates and cutlery as needed.
The breakfast buffet seems to be a real hit with the kids, judging by the number of smiling chocolate smeared faces spotted sliding into giant waffles.
The View is the hotel’s other restaurant, open from 9 am to midnight. It’s located in the lobby and is relaxed with an organized menu featuring baked sandwiches, snacks, pizzas and salads, as well as drinks and cakes. Shows are held on weekends and it’s a nice place to sit with a drink and take in the surroundings.
Elsewhere, the Claw BBQ on the hotel’s first floor is a great place to enjoy grilled meats, seafood, and more. The All-American Friday Brunch (Dh295 per person) is a real treat – with mountains of fresh lobster, crab, shrimp and mussels on offer as well as authentic American comfort food.
Add free flowing drinks and entertainment via pinball machines and basketball machines, mechanical bullfighting, darts and jukebox and it’s a clear winner. Pan-Asian restaurant Karma Kafe is slated to open alongside Claw BBQ in October.
Highs and lows
There are great views of Marjan Island and the surrounding waters from almost every room at this hotel, and the suites are generous in size, perfect for families or groups.
Having Claw BBQ onsite is a big plus, and Adventure Sports on the beach is worth a visit if you want to try parasailing, kayaking, donut rides, or other water sports. We also only hear good things about The Hub Kids’ Club, although we haven’t checked that out ourselves.
Rooms have refillable toiletry bottles for shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel, which is good for the environment, and signs remind guests to reuse towels whenever possible.
But on the other hand, this effort to protect the environment is somewhat offset by the plastic used elsewhere in the station. Two plastic water bottles are left in our room each day, no alternative is offered to refill our reusable bottles, and all non-alcoholic drinks are served with plastic straws whether or not guests have requested them.
From a brand as savvy as Hilton, we would expect a little more awareness on this critical issue.
The insider tip
If you want a quiet room with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, avoid booking an ocean view suite on the 10th floor. Our first room was a wonderful family home with endless water views, but we had to move due to an incessant buzzing, which was loud even when the balcony door was closed.
Maintenance visited us and told us that this noise was “normal” and was coming from some machines on this section of the roof. Our room facing the pool on the other side of the hotel was much quieter so the problem only seems to affect some suites, but if you want a guaranteed night of peace book a lower room – they all have a view fabulous anyway.
For a fun and affordable family vacation or a group weekend getaway to Ras Al Khaimah, Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island is a great choice. The pool is huge, there is a lot of golden sand for the kids to run around and a lot to keep the little ones entertained.
Adults can also enjoy a moment of relaxation while the kids play at The Hub and groups can enjoy the large communal tables in the main restaurant and the lively brunch options at Claw BBQ, all at a great price. Couples looking for privacy or romance can probably find better options in Ras Al Khaimah.
The bottom line
Rooms at the Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island start from Dh462 including tax and breakfast. Children up to 18 stay free when sharing a room with a paying adult. All inclusive packages start from 708 Dh. Arrivals are from 3 p.m. and departures at noon.
Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island, Marjan Island Blvd, Ras Al Khaimah; www.hamptonmarjanisland.com
Updated: October 4, 2021, 04:23