Ras Al Khaima may not scream “romantic getaway”, but with the recent addition of the Banyan Tree Al Wadi, set amid unspoiled stretches of desert in the tranquil Wadi Khadeja, this is easily one of the UAE’s chicest retreats.

With the drive taking just over an hour from Dubai, a break at the Banyan Tree means you can enjoy the whole weekend, without wasting half of it on the journey alone. The route is fairly straightforward too – so your chances of arriving without enduring a string of direction-related arguments (never a good way to start a romantic break) are fairly high.

The resort lies in the protected enclave of the evergreen ghaf tree, the leaves of which are used as a salad in the UAE. The architecture of the hotel, inspired by the beautiful ancient city of RAK, and the villas, which all come with their own private infinity pools – a first for the UAE – are shaped like Bedouin tents. Don’t worry: the tent poles and canvas ceilings are purely cosmetic. What better way to pretend you’re camping in the middle of the desert without having to put up your own tent or forego five-star luxury?

Tear yourselves away from your villa with its delicate Asian decorative touches, to engage in some of the many activities on offer. Hop onto one of the Arabian horses at the hotel’s ranch, enjoy a round of golf on the 18-hole course, or be chauffeured to the beach 15-minutes away.

There’s also a very special snorkeling trip available by speed boat to a secret island. Alternatively, you could just try every single one of the 15 massages on offer…

Banyan Tree Al Wadi
Ras Al Khaimah
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 206 7777

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