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I'd fly halfway around the globe to stay at this new hotel — here's why

March 04, 2022
5 min read
view of pool, beach and palm tress
I'd fly halfway around the globe to stay at this new hotel — here's why
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Every year here at TPG, we scour the globe for the most exciting destinations and hotels where you should spend your hard-earned points, miles and cash. It's a difficult job (seriously!) because there are so many incredible places, new hotels, attractions and events worth traveling for, but each year we whittle it down to make travel planning a little easier for you.

For 2022, some incredible places made the list, including Ghana, Norway and recently reopened Australia. But one place made the list you might not have heard of — at least yet — that's a stone's throw away from Dubai: neighboring emirate Ras Al Khaimah. The rugged-meets-luxurious escape from gleaming Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, roughly 50 minutes from Dubai International Airport (DXB), is full of high-end beach resorts, mindblowing desert camps and even the world's longest zip line.

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And now, a new IHG resort we've been keeping a close eye on is finally open to guests to make the already incredible emirate even better. Meet the InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa.

(Photo courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts)

With 351 sea-facing rooms, suites and private pool villas, Interncontiental, the iconic brand currently celebrating its 75th anniversary is making its grand debut in Ras Al Khaimah. Inspired by the original three tribes of the area (the Desert, Mountains and Sea), the resort's design is a melting pot of "modern conveniences with Arabian aesthetics."

If you make the journey to the emirate, which could be considered a Hamptons-like escape from Dubai, deciding what room to book will be difficult. Standard rooms are large, light and airy, with soaking tubs, rain showers and large balconies with sweeping views of the sea. Or, do you go big like they do in the UAE and book an over-the-top suite or one-bedroom pool villa that's more than 1,500 square feet and soak up the region's heat on a lounge chair?

(Photo courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts)

And since it is an InterContinental, there's also the option to book a Club InterContinental-level room that comes with exclusive perks like a dedicated check-in area, a lounge that as its own pool and à la carte breakfasts, afternoon tea and evening cocktails carefully crafted by an on-site mixologist.

(Photo courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts)

But even if you skip out on a club-level room, there are still six culinary outlets to experience during a stay. There's modern Levant-influenced food at Levant & Nar which has 360-degree sea views and alfresco dining by a fire pit. If you're craving a taste of home, NoHo serves up craft cocktails worthy of New York City, sharing plates with a side of late-night entertainment. And ShaSha has pool-side dining with frozen cocktails, alfresco snacks and even movies under the stars and sunrise yoga and salsa classes.

If you're traveling with little ones in tow, you can drop the younger members of the family at the Planet Trekkers and Teens club while you head to the spa and health club (think: a Turkish hammam, fitness studio, a tennis court and saunas).

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(Photo courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts)

But the water may very well be the resort's main attraction. Guests can post up at the infinity pool overlooking the Arabian Sea, cocktail in hand, or head down to the beach and splash around in the water.

Standard rooms seem to start around $230 per night, while award stays start at 39,000 points per night. With the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you earn 120,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

The opening of the InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa is an exciting moment, but it isn't the only hotel making waves in Ras Al Khaimah. The Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah, which is expected to open later this year, is another hot hotel to keep your eyes on. With Maldivian-style overwater bungalows, a "beachfront playground" and other Anantara luxuries, there are more than a few reasons to start eyeing a getaway to the UAE this year.

Featured image by Paul Thuysbaert
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more