I haven't actually stayed at this hotel myself, but I've enjoyed a cup of coffee there, and my mother is a tour guide and has talked to tourists that resided there during their holidays in the UAE.
This place is special: instead of normal hotel rooms and suite, this hotel has various "Villas" for guests to stay in. But please don't make the mistake of comparing "Umm Al Quwain luxury" with "Dubai luxury"... this is a tiny emirate, so don't expect too much :-) According to your taste and/or budget, choose between:
> Executive Villas (1 bedroom).
approx. 650.- Dirhams per night (breakfast excl.)
> Ambassador Villas (2 bedroom).
approx 900.- Dirhams per night (breakfast excl.)
> Royal Villas (3 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, 21 inch TV, you get the idea...)
approx. 1,500.- Dirhams per night (breadfast excl.)
(1 US Dollar = 3.67 Dirhams)
NOTE: As this emirate isn't as "tourist oriented" as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you might find that some people show too much interest in you as a foreigner, i.e. ladies being stared at down by the beach. It is perfectly acceptable to wear a bikini on this beach and by the pool, and if you are hassled by anyone alert hotel management.
The front desk is very curteous and informative when you call them, but service could be a little better once you are actually there. No major flaws, just a bit slow at times.
-> Now don't go believing everything their website says: if you are interested in seeing a lot of Dubai during your visit to the United Arab Emirates, then booking a hotel in Umm Al Quwain would be stupid. You are close, but not *that* close. And with the additional hazard of crazy drivers and delays because of accidents and traffic jams, it's not a good idea.
But if you want to spend a few days in one of the "Original Emirates", a place where the oil-boom hasn't spoiled the natural and cultural beauty (yet...) then Umm Al Quwain is the place for you.
(website also available in German).
This hotel is located on the Sharjah-Ras Al Khaimah highway, sitting on the edge of the lagoon that separates Umm Al Quwain.
Rooms are adequate and clean, but nothing extraordinary.
There are plenty of watersports on offer either by the hotel itself or external providers.
Making reservations is important even during the "low season" for the United Arab Emirates... reason being: plenty of Dubai residents flock here each and every weekend to escape the big city! You can be sure to see some stressed Dubai-residents relaxing on the beach, or throwing themselves into a frenzied and care-free party with friends.
The 24-hour Check In / 24-hour Room Service comes in handy after a long day of driving around in the desert or splashing around in the ocean.
Right by the beach including a swimming pool and BBQ grills, and of course the infamous Duty-Free liquor store, or "hole in the wall".
Non-Muslim UAE residents need a liquor licence to purchase alcohol in specific shops that also tend to be rather overpriced. The liquor store at the Barracuda resort does not require such a licence, therefore it's cheap & tourists can also purchase some tipple here ;-)
I usually drive here before large house parties to stock-up on some beers & spirits.
It saves a lot of money & makes a nice day-trip as well!
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