Last weekend my family of 5 (2 adults, three children aged 7, 5 and 14 months) spent three unbelievable fabulous nights at the Qasr Al-Sarab desert resort :) We booked a two bedroom private pool villa, which exceeded our expectations. Very spacious and clean, comfortable beds and the type of pillows so soft you just slowly sink into and never want to get out of haha :) The views are beautiful, and the outside pool was very private, so nobody can really see you :) In our private villa there was a spacious study room, a small kitchenette, a TV in every room, and two bathrooms. Btw the bathroom was amazing! Super large, overhead rain shower with plenty of hot water, and the biggest tub we had EVER seen. Our whole family were able to fit in there with room to spare!!
Its approximately 2.5 hours drive from Abu Dhabi, and we arrived around 4pm (check in was at 3pm). Staff was very friendly and welcoming upon arrival. We were offered complimentary drinks as we waited for them to check us in. At first we were a little disappointed when we were told that our villa wasnt ready yet. We took the children to the Kids Club so they could play, and at past 5pm our villa still wasnt ready. So they offered us a complimentary dinner that night at their buffet restaurant which certainly made up for it! Almost 800AED value for free! We really appreciated that :))
The buggy service to the villas is really prompt and swift. Everybody was really nice. During our stay we received other complimentary things in our room - a complimentary fruit basket, a complimentary plate of Arabian sweets and dates, and on our last night there, we received a complimentary plate of 4 different candies and sweets for the kids! Also, when hubby and I went to have mocktails at the rooftop restaurant, they gave us a small platter of complimentary food! Such wonderful service and we really enjoyed all the free stuff :))
During our time there, we tried the camel trek rides, hubby tried archery, hubby and I both got two massages each at the Spa there (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), the children got to play at Kids Club a few times, and we spent lots of time lounging at the pool and ate/drank at the poolside cafe too :)) We dined at three restaurants there - the main one with the buffet, the restaurant close to the pool, and the rooftop one. All had great food, polite and professional service...even if it was on the pricey side. The 'cheapest' restaurant of the three was the one near the pool :)
We had a babysitter come in two times during our stay so hubby and I could spend a few hours alone either getting a massage or having dinner :) Each time they ladies were friendly and nice :)) Hubby also used the gym a few times, and he said its really good.
Overall, it was a fabulous holiday and I was really sad to leave!! I foresee us coming back again sometime in the near future! :)) Thanks Qasr Al Sarab for a great time!
1. Things are expensive there. Expect that. :)
2. The pool at our private villa is fairly deep, so if you're children cannot swim, just be mindful of that.
1. Book your activities in advance. Many people fall into the trap of waiting til they arrive to try and book only to find out its all booked out. We booked our massages, camel trek rides and the archery in advance. You can do this via email to the resort directly. Be sure to confirm your bookings at the Activity Centre upon check in :)
2. If you are a Muslim male wanting to get a massage (like my husband), please note that there is only ONE male masseur that works at the spa and he gets booked out quickly, so make sure you book ahead of time to be able to get him at a time and day that you want :)
3. If you have intention to walk up the sand dune, don't wait until the last day to do it - in case you get hit by a sandstorm and cannot go up. This was our biggest regret that we put off the walk up the massive sand dune that overlooks the resort until the last day...but on the last day there was a sandstorm brewing so we were advised not to go up. So dont put that off and get it done as soon as you can :)
4. Even though we thought going on a weekday would be cheaper, the rate per room was actually more expensive during the week! So we were able to go Thursday-Sunday :) So be sure to do some research before u book, as going on a Monday or Tuesday may not necessarily be cheaper!
5. If you have a young family like us, the most family friend restaurants was the buffet one and the one next to the pool. If you go to the buffet restaurant (Waha Restaurant I think it was called), then make a reservation for an early time before it gets super busy. Our kids generally eat early, so we made a 6pm reservation which is when it opens. We got fresh dibs on EVERYTHING being served, not to mention we were able to get a private room at the back where you can close the doors. Also there is not a lot of people in the restaurants that time so if your kids play up, there's not alot of folks around, mainly other families with small children :)
6. Try to get to the resort pool area early as the seats and the umbrellas get taken quickly. The BEST position to sit (according to us with a small family) is directly opposite the small spa pool with the heated water. You have access to the heated pool, the kids pool and the big pool :)
7. The camel trek ride doesnt allow kids under 4 years old. So if you have other small children who want to go, just break up the days when one parent goes with a child. Thats what my husband and I did - I went with one son one day, and the next day my husband went with another son :) Its a really fun experience :)
8. At first I was going to pay for the desert dune walk, but to be honest, you can do it on your own. Ask a buggy driver to drive you to the back of the resort where the path is as close to the sand dunes as possible and just got for your own trek on the smaller dunes :) Beautiful opportunities for desert photography :))
9. Even though you check out at 12pm - you are still allowed to use the hotel facilities! Yay! So after we checked out at 12pm, hubby and I left our children with a babysitter at the Kids Club, and went for our second massages :)
* Book a massage. Such professional service everywhere, with authentic Thai women who give the Thai massages. Felt so relaxed, fell asleep both times I got my massages haha
* Drinks or dinner at the roof top restaurant as the sun is setting. Gorgeous views at that time of hour! We went around 5pm and we had the WHOLE terrace to ourselves!!! :))
Honestly - highly recommend this resort to everyone! :D What a fab experience! x
Read my review above for all the good tips :))
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.