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InterContinental delivers a new RAK flavour

IHG’s new flagship is built on a private island, Mina Al Arab’s Hayat Island and comes packed with an ensemble of features for a memorable holiday. Within an hour’s drive from Dubai to the hub of luxury inspired by the local tribes from the mountain, sea, and deserts, the first impression of the resort is also its most enduring: an oasis of opulence planned around modern design and local Arabian aesthetics.

Consider 351 sea facing rooms, suites, and private pool villas, six dining outlets, and an exclusive Club InterContinental experience that comes with benefits like dedicated check-in area, a lounge serving à la carte breakfasts, afternoon tea and evening cocktails. Adjoining the Club Continental lounge is an members-only pool and sunbathing area. Whether your stay is in the private pool villas rooms or suites all of them come with unhindered views of the azure Arabian Sea, an eye-soothing plus point for both long and short stay guests.

Kudos to the design and curation team, the suites are opulent, spacious, and detailed with good taste. The palette of textures from upholstery to wall décor range from an array of pastel shades reflected the sand, mountain, and desert hues. Comfortable lounge chairs overseeing the sea make the balconies a sweet spot for stargazing. Seafront villas are even closer to the beach, just a hop away from the white sands. Each fitted with a private pool and offering the option to order in room service for a special dining experience on the balcony with the view of the waves breaking nearby.

The resort’s six dining outlets provide a wide variety of inspirations for lunch and dinner. The modern Levant & Nar perched on the sea bank puts together a delightful array of cuisines and drinks drawing on Middle Eastern and Turkish influences. With 360-deree sea views by the day and an alfresco dining by a fire pit experience by night, Levant & Nar creates lovely moods to pair with the dishes.

Foot tapping numbers by a live band create New York pub vibe at NoHo after sunset, a gourmet outlet that has made its name with delicious craft cocktails and home-styled sharing plates. We saw many couples huddled around their tasty beverages serenading to the music as the decibels picked up.

Sun bathers flock to ShaSha, a pool-side dining outlet popular for frozen cocktails, alfresco snacks sunrise yoga and salsa classes. When the weather is mellow, movies under the stars will be an added reason to head to ShaSha.

There are plenty of entertainment and relaxation activities for the whole family. Planet Trekkers and Teens club is where the youngsters head to – to have their fun time under the supervision of IHG staff. Kids activities range from book reading and craft work to gaming and outdoor games. Adults may head to Spa InterContinental for a heady dose of ‘me time.’ Signature treatments will leave you invigorated at the pearl shaped treatment rooms. Sauna rooms and Turkish hammam (not ready at the time of review) are the other retreats for a relaxing timeout.

The resort’s white sandy beach is the go-to place for families, the shoreline is dotted with sun beds, cabanas and hammocks strung on palm trees for those looking to soak in some Vitamin D. We saw a colony of crabs scooting for cover much to the thrill of the youngsters. The sunset view is absolutely stunning with an unspoilt horizon and a melange of colours in the sky for backdrop.

There is no dearth of options for adventure sports including jet-skiing and para sailing taking on the waves. On land, there is a well-appointed fitness studio and a tennis court.  

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