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“Good for a Day trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa

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Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   P.O. Box 12452, Al Ruwais, Sir Bani Yas Island 00945, United Arab Emirates   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Karachi, Pakistan
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Good for a Day trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Its 2.5 hours drive from Dubai, not a bad place to spend a day. The resort is very luxurious and amazing and gives a look of an african safari resorts. The serene of interior decor is awesome. If you are into wild life then its the place to be at. Starting from giraffe to the sheokhs eastern majlis, are the experience of a life time. Not a bad place to explore if you want to get away for a day from the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
May I thank you for taking the time to complete your Trip Advisor review subsequent to your visit with us. It is through receiving these comments, both of a positive and negative nature that we can praise, where praise is due and also identify and act on any shortcomings where appropriate to do so.

It was fantastic to read that you enjoyed your brief time with us and in particular the Wild Life drives. As you may be aware we have many more activities to enjoy and are continuing to add more. Shortly our Dive and Water Sports Centre will be open and we are even adding additional more “Culturally aware” drives which will include our team offering historical tours and Mangrove Tree planting. Night time drives will start shortly and also incorporate the option of BBQ’s in our dry Wadis.

Many thanks once again for helping us to understand our level of quality provided at the resort and we very much hope look forward to welcoming you back to Desert Island Resort and Spa by Anantara

Yours sincerely

Steven
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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433 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I hadn't planned to go over but got bored in jebel Dhanna and was able to book a day trip easily via the activities center. You pay at the hotel- r/t boat included. Took the 10am boat from the lovely little reception area (coffee and newspapers included) for the 30 minute ride over. Then be aware it's another 20 minutes shuttle bus to the hotel which is all by itself beautifully in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing else on the island really to do but the hotel and the surrounding activities and exploration. No other restaurants or services. Still this is a great place to be and I wish I had booked the hotel as well. I took the safari tour with a fun driver- Mahmoud- likes to drive fast and up the hills- we saw everything but the hyenas- saw one cheetah- and got out and up close to the giraffes. Had lunch and laid at the pool (no changing rooms but bathroom suffices so bring a bathing suit). Amazing inifity pool and service- had a really nice lunch- and NO ONE was at the pool- surprising. Then took an afternoon nature hike with Matt- who is great and extremely knowledgeable. We stopped at the monastery ruins which is what I wanted to really see- and he had all the available info. Took a nice walk inside the animal enclosure and saw many of the non-predators including up close and personal with 9 female giraffes. And then up to the Sheik's eastern majlis for an amazing view of the island. I left on the 7pm boat back after an amazing sunset over the hills of the island and a rising full moon. I highly recommend the hotel and the experience. facilities are luxurious and beautiful, but I wouldn't feel the need to spend more than 1-2 nights there unless you reall just want to chill and do little else. Kayaking and mountain biking would have been nice additional activities.

Room Tip: i think the ones with the wooden arabian trellis' framing their balconies looked the nicest.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
May I thank you for taking the time to complete your Trip Advisor review subsequent to your visit with us. It is through receiving these comments, both of a positive and negative nature that we can praise, where praise is due and also identify and act on any shortcomings where appropriate to do so.

It was fantastic to read that you enjoyed your brief time with us and in particular the Wild Life drives and Mahmoud has asked me to pass on his thanks for picking him out as a Star performer.

As I mentioned to the last reviewer that I responded to we have many more activities to enjoy and are continuing to add more. Shortly our Dive and Water Sports Centre will be open and we are even adding additional more “Culturally aware” drives which will include our team offering historical tours and Mangrove Tree planting. Night time drives will start shortly and also incorporate the option of BBQ’s in our dry Wadis. I am confident that this will encourage people to stay with us for longer than just a day or 2.

Thanks also for your lovely comments about our pool area and the food we offer. It was great to read this.

Many thanks once again for helping us to understand our level of quality provided at the resort and we very much hope look forward to welcoming you back to Desert Island Resort and Spa by Anantara

Yours sincerely

Steven
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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Absolutely amazing place. Only 2.5 hours drive from Dubai and yet we felt we were on an African safari with giraffe, cheetahs and Ibis in the reserve and antelope wandering through the hotel grounds. The actual hotel is beautiful and serene with stunning interiors and spacious rooms, the restaurants are good and the pool and private beach are perfect. The only small criticisms are that the facade of the hotel is a bit dated in design and the kids club could do with a refresh. I can not wait to return!

Room Tip: The garden rooms are great.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
May I thank you for taking the time to complete your Trip Advisor review subsequent to your visit with us. It is through receiving these comments, both of a positive and negative nature that we can praise, where praise is due and also identify and act on any shortcomings where appropriate to do so.

I was very pleased to read that you thought so much of our Interior Design and rooms, but have taken careful note that you felt that some of our exteriors are a little dated. As you may be aware, the main building was once the Guest House of Sheikh Kalifa and when re-opening into the resort, we tried to ensure that any works were done in keeping with the original design.

I have also noted down that you felt that the Kids Club should be refreshed and any works required will be built into our plans.

We very often hear how much our guests enjoy the wild life drives and restaurants, but it is still fantastic when this is re-iterated. We are continuing to build the quality and variety of both these offerings and are sure that this will only add to guest’s experience.

Many thanks once again for helping us to understand our level of quality provided at the resort and we very much hope look forward to welcoming you back to Desert Island Resort and Spa by Anantara

Yours sincerely

Steven

Steven Phillips

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We stayed for three nights and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The hotel staff were all extremely friendly and helpful, and the guides were very enthusiastic and did their utmost to ensure the guests got the maximum out of the various activities. Kate was particularly helpful and nothing was too much trouble. The food was good, especially the breakfast, which catered for all tastes. We were a party of four adults and two children (age range from 2 to 65!) and there was something for everyone.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
May I thank you for taking the time to complete your Trip Advisor review subsequent to your visit with us. It is through receiving these comments, both of a positive and negative nature that we can praise, where praise is due and also identify and act on any shortcomings where appropriate to do so.
Our hotel staff, almost without exception, receives great praise from our guests and we are very proud of them and their achievements. On an occasion where we may not live up to a guests expectations in a certain area, our team will always strive to rectify the situation and their great attitude always helps.
Kate has asked me to pass on her thanks for singling her out as an exceptional performer, and being one of the few fellow Brits on the Island, it is always great to see 
Many thanks once again for helping us to understand our level of quality provided at the resort and we very much hope look forward to welcoming you back to Desert Island Resort and Spa by Anantara
Yours sincerely
Steven
Steven Phillips
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coral Gables, Florida
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara isn't luxurious and there isn't much to do. When a friend and I went on Christmas Day to stay four nights, we discovered a package tour atmosphere and a situation where everything available to guests required a 15-20 minute ride on a boring asphalt road. Nowhere to walk around the resort and the safari tour of the nature reserve is too short and limited. Amazingly for an island, there is no decent beach - rocky sand, barrels as breakwaters just beyond the shore, and strong currents. The pool isn't for laps; it's for kiddies mainly; the sitting areas around the pool are small; don't include tables for eating. Luckily, we were able to change our booking to three nights because staying one more day wasn't an enticing prospect.

Room Tip: Sea views only on 3rd and 4th floors; palms block views of pool and sea lower down.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Dear madam
Firstly may I apologise for taking such a long time to respond to your reveiw and I blame no one but myself for this omission of my responsbilities.

I was obviously upset to read that you and your friend did not enjoy your stay with us and that you felt that the atmosphere here over the Christmas period was not condusibve to the luxury experience that you had both hoped for. Obviously Christmas is more of a time for families and frivolities, but that should not have taken away from the fact that there are a great variety of persons who come to visit us and many have different expectations.

I was also sorry to read that you felt that there was too much travel around the island when joining our activities. The reason for this is that we would like guests to enjoy activities in areas of the island which are best suited. I will however look into adding more activities slightly closer to home. Obviously all our Wild life drives are on the authentic tracks and only involve tarmac on the roads toward the park entrances.

In terms of our beaches, you may be pleased to hear that our ne Anantara Al Yamm Villas opens in March and the 3 Km of uniterrupted beaches there will be an excellent addition to the Island

Thank you once again for letting me know your thoughts as it really does help me to make changes where appropriate to do so.

I do hope that in the future you will feel confident enough to visit us again, but in the meantime assure you of my very best of intentions at all time.

Sincerely yours

Steven
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Even though the hotel as such isn't as nice as its sister hotel Qasr Al Sarab, you have a lot more to do here... there are plenty of activities to choose from and an alright pool to relax if you're not the adventurous type.
We had a very fun-filled weekend here and will definitely return again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

May I thank you for taking the time to complete your Trip Advisor review subsequent to your visit with us. It is through receiving these comments, both of a positive and negative nature that we can praise, where praise is due and also identify and act on any shortcomings where appropriate to do so.

I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed your time with us and look forward to seeing you again. The next time you are here, we will have also added a new Water Sports Centre (Due to open end of January this year).

Many thank you once again for helping us to understand our level of quality provided at the resort and we very much look forward to see you on your next visit to Desert Island Resort and Spa by Anantara.

May I also wish you and all Trip Advisor Reviewers a fantastic; Healthy and Peaceful 2013 from all at Desert island Resort & Spa By Anantara.

Yours sincerely

Steven

Steven Phillips

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

After viewing the brochure and online details about the resort, we couldn't wait. The journey over and arrival were both great. It wasn't until we got to our room which has just been cleaned etc that we had no mini bar items or drinking facilities. The pods for our coffee machine had not been replaced. After a phone call, reception apologised and sent somebody up to our room who handed over 2 pods. Dinner that night was cold as the hobs had all been turned off. The selection on offer after less than an hour was poor. Breakfast was the same in the morning, cold food so we opted for eggs. Lunch by the pool took over and hour and was cold. Upon returning to our room once again the coffee pods were not replaced, meaning another phone call. 3 had to be made and I had to ask the cleaning staff at my door. The final day lunch was an hour and cold upon arrival. Others who had ordered after us, got their food before us. The pool was in need of repair as I managed to collect a handful of tiles. Overall it was over priced at over 2,000AED for 3 evening meals and a couple of pool meals. The only positive was the kayacking and 18km cycle ride. I will not be returning.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven P, General Manager at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Dear valued guest
May I thank you for taking the time to complete your Trip Advisor review subsequent to your visit with us. It is through receiving these comments, both of a positive and negative nature that we can praise, where praise is due and also identify and act on any shortcomings where appropriate to do so.
I recently wrote to you to apologise for the issues that you encountered within our Restaurants and Ken and Martin have both reacted to the situation with a positive outcome.
Many thank you once again for helping us to understand our level of quality provided at the resort and we very much look forward to see you on your next visit to Desert Island Resort and Spa by Anantara.
May I also wish you and all Trip Advisor Reviewers a fantastic; Healthy and Peaceful 2013 from all at Desert island Resort & Spa By Anantara.
Yours sincerely
Steven
Steven Phillips
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa

Address: P.O. Box 12452, Al Ruwais, Sir Bani Yas Island 00945, United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Sir Bani Yas Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Sir Bani Yas Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 64 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites, spacious one-bedroom villas and truly luxurious two-bedroom Royal Villas, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara invites you to live out your own Arabian nights in a destination that is anything but ordinary. 240km from Abu Dhabi City and just eight kilometers off the Abu Dhabi emirate’s western coastline, the island beckons with a mystique that is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of modern urban life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Islands Resort And Spa By Anantara
Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara Hotel Sir Bani Yas Island
Desert Islands Hotel
Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa Emirate Of Abu Dhabi/Sir Bani Yas Island

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