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Hotel Anantara Desert Islands Resort Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Sir Baniyas Island, Al Ruwais 126888 Abu Dhabi Emirats Arabes Unis Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

A 'Small luxury hotel of the world', Desert Islands is a true haven of peace, totally isolated and very far from any kind of local life. It is the only hotel on Sir Bani Yas island with a huge nature reserve! Everything here is carefully thought through with great care and attention. It is ideal if you're looking to unwind in a magnificent setting, with a view of the sea! On top of that, the two possible activities here are sports activities and exploration of the nature reserve: wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted, beach lovers not so much.

This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.

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  • Sports
  • Seaside
  • Culture
  • Family
  • Rest
  • Charm
  • Nature
  • Flight
    • Hotel Anantara Desert Islands Resort

      Anantara Desert Islands Resort amp Spa   -   © Alexis Bidegain/ Easypresse

    • Hotel Anantara Desert Islands Resort

      Anantara Desert Islands Resort amp Spa   -   © Alexis Bidegain/ Easypresse

       
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    Location 3.0 /10

    It is in the Abu Dhabi Emirates, 155 mi from the west side of the capital of the same name. Allow a 2 and a half hour drive to the port, then a boat ride of approximately 15 minutes! Once you are on Sir Bani Yas island, a shuttle will take you to the hotel, which is totally isolated by the sea. The journey takes 15 minutes. It is also possible to fly to the island from Abu Dhabi.

    Accommodation 9.20 /10

    The hotel consists of 64 immaculate rooms, including 2 junior suites, 4 villas (beach) and 2 royal villas. All villas have their own pool. All rooms have a balcony or a terrace with two raffia deck chairs. On one side, large bay windows with long curtains let plenty of light in. The furniture in the room (560 sq ft minimum) comes from Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa and Europe. As far as comfort is concerned, the kingsize bed and chaise longue speak for themselves. Everything is provided to make you feel at ease, including fruit (in a fruit basket), a pillow menu (6 different sorts), a telephone with a direct line, a television with 40 channels, a DVD player, discreet individual air-conditioning, a free electronic safe, an iron and ironing board (on request), free Wireless, and a dark red wood desk with a multiple plugging set. You will find a mini-bar in a nice little alcove, along with tea and coffee-making facilities, an espresso machine and a wrought iron picture (from Thailand). The nice cream-coloured bathrooms have a bath tub, a tropical shower (separate), a good selection of Anantara hospitality products, a lit-up magnifying mirror, a hair-dryer, bathrobes and slippers. The junior suites are almost 180 sq ft. One corner is dedicated to the kitchen, which opens out onto the lounge. Then there is the bedroom, which is identical to the 'Deluxe' rooms. The royal villas are 2150 sq ft with two different bedrooms. They are beautifully furnished with precious wood. Some of the rooms are connecting. 24-hour room service or butler service is available.

    Overview 9.20 /10

    Open since October 2007, Desert Islands faces the lagoon, which is particularly beautiful when the sun is setting and flamingos can be seen. The different buildings of the structure are three floors high, at the very most. Towers, similar to traditional wind catchers, line the complex. Three villas stand on either side of the main building which houses the superb high-ceilinged reception, the restaurants and most of the various common areas and rooms. Large earthenware jars can be found as decoration throughout the hotel. The decoration will surprise you as you go along... even the corridors are adorned with wood, velvet and leather. Inside and outside, the green vegetation is very attractive and is sure to become quite splendid with time. New-comers are greeted under a modern white Arabic tent with a welcome drink. The many sofas will give you an idea of how comfortable this place is. On every floor, guests can enjoy a spacious and comfortable lounge area. In the main building, you can enjoy reading in the pretty library next to the main restaurant. The decoration is South-African in style, like, for example, the fabrics onto which seashells have been sewn. Outside, you will see a large beautiful lagoon overflow-pool surrounded by an immense and peaceful terrace with a few palm trees, synthetic raffia deckchairs, canvas parasols, etc. The bar, which stands close-by on a wooden terrace offers a selection of whiskies, but also shishas and cigars. You will enjoy spending time here, in or out of the shade, on the big and beautiful sofas. You will also find (a little out of the way), a fantastic club for teenagers which shows films on request and has a PlayStation, Wii console, numerous games and a plasma screen, among other things. Here, they can have fun in peace. As for the kids' club, it will keep the younger ones busy with the wonderful playground and its wendy house fitted with a slide. A long building houses the large gym which faces the sea. At one end can be found the isolated Safaa spa which is divided into 5 beauty treatment rooms, two of which are dedicated to couples. All the staff are Thai, as are the treatments that they offer. This place has been stylishly designed with glass paste tiles in the showers, for example, large picture windows so that you can admire the sea and outdoor whirlpool baths for couples, etc. It is also possible to request a massage in your room or by the pool. There is a shop which sells souvenirs and essentials.

    Food and drink 9.20 /10

    Two restaurants can be found on the complex. It is therefore possible to have little snacks anytime between 7:00am and 11:00pm. The 'Palm restaurant' is a circular, two-floor building, with abundant sun light thanks to its picture windows. Outside, some large arches give on to the swimming pool and the sea. The a la carte menu, without being over-loaded, offers a beautiful selection of fresh produce for every meal. There aren't many desserts. If there are enough guests at the hotel, 7 themes a week are organized for the evening buffet (fusion, international, seafood, etc.). A large area is allocated to lay out the different dishes. A small buffet is especially laid out for children. Do not forget to look out for the long, carved wooden panels representing animals, or the beautiful chandelier made from branches! Upstairs, on the first floor, you can go and have a drink in one of the comfortable brown armchairs. The 'Samak' opposite the swimming pool and the sea, specializes in seafood. Crabs and lobsters can be selected from the tank just before you sit down to eat. Inside, you will find a square, open kitchen. Pergola-shaded terraces enable you to enjoy your meal outside. It is also possible to eat under the stars, with your feet in the sand.

    Beach 7.45 /10

    Opposite the hotel lie some long and large beaches, but we recommend you do not swim there because of the treacherous currents. It is a pity though! A line of buoys (which are obviously unsightly) have been installed to break the waves (in front of the swimming pool beach) and retain the sand. They are now becoming covered in seaweed. As for the sea, it does conceal a lot of rock, but the water is amazingly clear, with different shades of blue. Moreover, the golden sand is very fine. It cannot be denied that tranquillity reigns supreme here, however, this doesn't stop the beach from being supervised by life guards. Logically, the hotel has no water sports club, but it is possible to go snorkelling.

    To know

    Two shuttle boats to the island run at certain times - a 15-seater catamaran and a 40-seater one. Two picturesque cycling paths have been created. On this very volcanic and salty piece of land, three million trees have been planted, but only two million have survived. The mangrove is also very big. One tree is planted for every guest who comes to stay at the resort. The reserve promises a fantastic time thanks to the numerous excursions that are offered: safari in a 4x4 to see the gazelles, antelopes, giraffes, numerous bird varieties, Arabian oryxes, hyenas, etc. You can go hiking, mountain-biking, kayaking in the mangrove, etc.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, wellness, spa, sauna, keep fit, beauty salon, hammam

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, fitness, gym, beach volley, sports

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Private beach
    • Meeting room

    Traveller Reviews

    1
    • Overall Score nc/10
    • Michel Yves M. Michel Yves M.  
      11 Opinions
      • Package deals in avril 2011 Posted on 2013-12-20 En couple - 1 nuitée (Chambre avec vue)

        Cet hôtel est certes très beau. Rien à dire côté chambres, service et repas. Mais rien à dire non plus côté situation: pourquoi aller si loin? Pour ne pas se baigner en mer, autant choisir un bel hôtel avec une superbe piscine ça ne manque pas dans la région. Quant au "safari" dans la réserve animalière c'est une plaisanterie pour garçons de bains. On se balade en 4X4 façon Tanzanie pour voir 2 girafes et 1 malheureux félin déjà malade épuisé de chaleur. J'oubliais: 5 oryx.

      • Advantages

        confort parfait, service impeccable

      • Disavantages

        pas de baignade et rien à voir. Allez plutôt à l'autre Anantara: Qsar al Sarab dans les dunes de Liwa. Fabuleux!

      • Infrastructure
      • Logement
      • Situation
      • Restauration
      • Sports / Loisirs
      • Animation
      • Qualité / Prix
      • Overall Score 7.00/10
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