Tag Archives: Holiday

Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach

The Arrival By Boat

Artificial Islands

After a great stay at the Ritz Carlton Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, we arrive at the very recent Ritz Carlton Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, open in the spring 2018. First nice surprise: to go to our villa from the reception, we take a small boat. Very nice view of artificial islets, under a early afternoon blinding light.

The luxurious resort has only 32 villas. From the reception desk, you are welcomed in a very personalized way. It feels more intimate than in hotels with larger capacities. Everything is on human scale, which gives the Ritz Carlton Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, a very exclusive character. Second excellent surprise when arriving at our villa: the transparent infinity pool with sea view (second photo below).

Our Tent

Less is more

Now, you know now how much I love the moment when I discover a hotel room. Where I make my pictures before unpacking my suitcases. The interior of the villa as well as the exterior are inspired by the Bedouin traditional architecture. You are elsewhere.

Canopy bed, bathroom with a large walk-in shower (and separate toilet) and lounge area: the villa is bright and very comfortable. Our cameras in hand, we cross the pleasant garden to reach the large deserted beach and sea of the Arabian Gulf.

    

The Beach

A Late Afternoon

I like this feeling of emptiness. In contrast to the effervescent Dubai, the coastline of Ras Al Khaimah is not crowded with multiple towers yet, which is very relaxing. Facing the sea, on my left: the impressive silhouette of the Waldorf Astoria (photo above) and to my right, the villas of the Ritz Carlton Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach.

The Shore House

  

The Breakfast

As our activities program in Ras Al Khaimah is very busy (including the famous zipline …), we didn’t have time to explore all the possibilities offered by the resort, such as the spa. Except for The Shore House restaurant, where we had breakfast (the first two pictures below) and dinner in a beautiful setting. 

Undoubtedly, one of the best breakfast buffets, exciting! I fell for the delicious fresh fruit juices (lovely mocktails)! With a wide choice of quality products, very neat presentation and efficient smiling team. Besides, we had a hard time leaving the terrace, rocked by the sound of waves.

The Dinner

In the evening, the ambiance of the Shore House is different, still chic and casual but more lively. Part of the terrace is also a bar, where you can have a drink with friends. 

Fish is the speciality of the restaurant and it is delicious (photo below). The dishes are simple and tasty. As a starter, I chose these colorful sushi. Bon apetite!

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Related articles : Hotel Review Destinations

Many thanks to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and all the team of the Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach for this beautiful invitation. As always, these are my opinions.

Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

A Luxury Resort In The Desert

The Arrival

We landed at Dubai International Airport at 6 a.m. Then we took the road to Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Located in the Al Wadi Nature Reserve. the Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert looks like a luxury oasis opened to the desert. 

From the lobby (first photo of the post), it feel so different and exotic with a friendly welcome. After a quick stop to our villa to cool off, a kart drops us off at the Kaheela restaurant for breakfast. Soothing view of an elegant fountain (third picture below), with a large selection of Arabic, Indian and Western cuisines. Exciting!

    

The Villa

  

View Of The Pool & Desert

Our villa of 158 square meters is oriented towards the desert. When I got in for the first time, I was impressed by the height of the ceilings and the “Hollywood” vast and extremely comfortable bathroom.

I really enjoy the space and distribution of rooms which offers a great intimacy, each one can breath without disturbing the other. Inspired by Bedouin culture, the interior design is contemporary, sober and functional.

I also like the woodwork, the dressing room and the king size bed with direct views of the pool and the desert. Besides, I stayed in the pool for a long time to look at the dunes … 

  

The Equestrian Centre

Horseback Riding In The Desert

On the program, we planned a ride on Arabian horses in the desert. It promises to be wow! Problem, I did a horseback ride once in my life, in Mexico a long time ago.

In short, today I did not spend more than five minutes on the saddle. Colombo, my horse is adorable, but I do not feel comfortable (it moves, lol). I need to take some lessons to gain confidence.

I decide to stay at the Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre (which is in the property of the hotel) and discover the other horses, while two small gazelles run in front of me! So cool!

You can take private riding lessons, unfortunately I will not have time during this short stay. So I will bike (yes, guys!) because each villa has bicycles available.

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Related articles : Hotel Review Destinations

Many thanks to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and the Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert for this beautiful invitation. As always these are my opinions.

Azores: São Miguel Island

From Ponta Delgada To Furnas

Chá Gorreana

Yesterday I was in the small island (and gem) Santa Maria. Today, we discover the largest island of the Azores archipelago São Miguel with an area of 744.7 km ². Same team and awakening to dawns! We drive to the tea plantations.

After the tea of the Seychelles, the one of the Azores! So we visit of the Chá Gorreana family factory which produces organic tea. In the photos above and videos below: some key steps in the manufacture of tea (from leaf to tea bag). 

 

 

If you have trouble watching the videos, refresh the page and move the cursor a bit forwad on the timeline. And if it doesn’t work, do not hesitate to leave me a comment.. 

 

 

Next: Furnas

Poça da Dona Beija

Arriving at Furnas, we head towards the Poça da Dona Beija thermal baths with ferruginous spring water (photos above). I really enjoy the setting: the garden at the entrance of the complex reminded me of Kyoto. I guess I miss Japan.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to test the water’s benefits. Our timing is tight. We are on our way to the geysers in another area of Furnas (picture below). 

Caldeiras Termas

A lunar landscape with boiling water wells and smoke. It’s fascinating and mostly because these geysers are so close to homes (photos and videos below).

 

 

At Furnas Lake

End Of Cooking The Lunch

A short drive to Furnas Lake to attend the last step of cooking the Cozido das Furnas, a traditional dish cooked in the earth (quite similar to the French Pot au feu). The attraction is very touristy, but it is not annoying as the landscape around is beautiful!

Each restaurant has a dedicated “oven” (a deep hole in the earth), where the meal has cooked for several hours. A reduced team of men digs up to take the dish out of the earth. Then loaded in a van trunk, it will be delivered to the corresponding restaurant. For us: the restaurant of the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel. 

  

 

The Terra Nostra Garden Hotel

A Smart Art Deco Hotel

We have lunch at the cosy Terra Nostra Garden Restaurant. The art Deco interior evokes the felted world of Hercule Poirot (the super star detective of Agatha Christie)!

Our main dish, the Cozido das Furnas is made up of different meats and vegetables cooked “à l’étouffée” (sort of a steamed stew). I defenitly like the local bread, its texture is close to the pancake, so delicious!

Then a long walk in the Terra Nostra Botanical Park with the huge 35-40 ° ferruginous thermal pool and superb gardens with over 2000 species of trees and a magnificent collection of camellias (video and photos below ). Yes, I love camellias! 

 

Before Leaving Furnas

A coffee at the Furnas Boutique Hotel (pictures below), decorated by Nini Andrade Silva (yes again!). In my article about Ponta Delgada, you can see her interior design for the Azor Hotel. 

Third photo below (and video): the wide swimming pool of the Pedras Do Mar Resort & Spa where we tasted some Gins of the Azores in late afternoon! More original than an umpteenth cocktail! And nice minimalist contemporary interior design.

  

 

Dinner At The Caloura Bar In Lagoa

  

In A Small Creek

Close to fishing boats, we dinner at the Caloura Bar in a friendly genuine atmosphere. The grilled fish is really fresh and tasty!

The Next Day

Before The Plane

Already our last morning in the Azores! Early departure to the Ponta Delgada market where I buy cheeses to offer (the “scent” in the suitcase, lololol!). Then we arrive at the soothing Lake Fogo, located in a nature reserve (photos and latest video below).

And we are lucky, nobody’s on the site! Short walk to one of the peaks around the lake. I am super happy (I need to exercise). But quickly, we have to go down and to rush to the airport! We’re almost late! 

 

  

 

Bye Bye Awesome Azores!

Sete Cidades  

A last view of the Green and Blue Lakes, which according to legend have been formed by the tears of a pastor and a princess having a forbidden love.

Question (from a former student in Anthropology): why are lakes and waterfalls often the results of forbidden love in different cultures? If you have any explanation, you’re welcome to leave a comment below! 

At midday, the Ponta Delgada airport. Next stop : Cascais via Lisbon … and I hope an ice cream at Santini!

 

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Visit AzoresVisit PortugalTAP

Related articles : HOTEL REVIEWS & DESTINATIONS

Many thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this superb invitation. As always, these are my opinions.