When in the Middle East, everything echoes opulence and luxury. Naturally then, these hotels in the region have curated exclusive year-end packages to make the last few days of 2020 happily memorable. By Bayar Jain
To ring in the New Year, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah has come up with an innovative strategy: travelling back in time! During afternoon tea, guests at the hotel can delve into the ‘Meet me at the Clock’ experience—a virtual tour journeying into the hotel’s past, present, and future. Available in Arabic, English, and Russian, these fabulous stories have been crafted to give an insight into the architecture, history, and local culture. Post the audio-visual escapade, guests can enjoy some of the finest teas in the hotel’s iconic Peacock Alley. Seasonal sandwiches, fluffy cream-filled scones, and an array of sweet and savoury treats will complete the laid-back day.
Twinkling under the shimmer of fairy lights and adorned by festive floral arrangements in its spaces, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza dons a celebratory atmosphere every year-end. For Christmas—and a day prior—Santa Clause will stop by at the hotel in a sleigh loaded with fun and holiday treats for the younger guests. Plus, in a first for the country, Milan’s international artist DJ Ben will light up the Bullona Restaurant here, all through December 24 to January 2. Music aside, for Christmas eve, guests can also feast on signature cocktails and an artistic Mediterranean menu—created by Chef Cristian Lisci— at the same restaurant, all while gazing at the legendary Nile. On the same day, Chef Chen will showcase the finest of authentic Chinese cuisine with a Christmas twist at 8 Restaurant. The following day, one can enjoy an authentic lunch menu laced with Egyptian recipes at Zitouni. To end the year on a high, not only will Zitouni, 8, and Upper Deck offer lavish feasts, but La Galeria will also lay out a chocolate-themed buffet with piano tunes reverberating through the air. On the other hand, at Bullona, a four-course dinner will await.
Transforming into a caravanserai—an age-old pitstop for world travellers to rest and recuperate before embarking on their onward journey—Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa is ushering the New year by travelling back in time. For one night, guests at the hotel can explore luxurious carpets, precious incense, exotic spices, candles, rich oils and wild honey at the bazaar. Additionally, guests can also take a gondola ride around the salt pool; a donkey ride on the beach; try out Asian street food; binge on timeless pasta dishes, and Turkish dessert delicacies.
Abu Dhabi’s first all-inclusive hotel Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island is ready to ring New Year in style, courtesy a five-course dining menu at the Italian restaurant, l’Olivo. For those looking for a Japanese meal, head to the Aja restaurant while the meal comes paired with live music too. Post dinner, guests can countdown to midnight in the resort’s outdoor courtyard where belly dancers, fire dancers, and a DJ will put up an entrainment act.
From roast dinners to fine dining experiences; traditional to unconventional, Atlantis, The Palm has many festive experiences in store for year-end. Take Ossiano, for instance, where Christmas Eve and the day after will feature a seven-course set menu highlighting Gillardeau oysters; scallop marble; onion and king crab; duck with gingerbread and miso, among others. At Nobu, guests can savour sushi and sashimi, paired sake and cocktails for Christmas. Picture salmon tacos, black cod butter lettuce, wagyu strip-loin, and a dessert platter to complete the meal. On the same day, Hakkasan will also be serving a three-course set menu featuring dishes like dim-sum platters, crispy duck salads, barbecue wagyu rib eye, and chocolate parfait. While Seafire Steakhouse & Bar will offer dishes like king crab donuts, expect Scottish smoked salmon with caviar and traditional Christmas pudding at Bread Street Kitchen & Bar for the two Yuletide days. Runda Locatelli will serve Italian favourites like homemade pumpkin raviolini; Wavehouse will encompass an à la carte menu with a side of bowling, arcade games and a wave machine; and White Beach & Restaurant will exude glamour against an infinity pool complete with floating beds and festive cocktails in hand.