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“Six hours drive but worth it” 5 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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Al Khor, Qatar
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Six hours drive but worth it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

As a family we have driven many times from our house in northern Qatar through Saudi and into the UAE and Oman. Over the past ten years we have watched the route develop and we have always intended stopping and trying the anantara resort on Sir Bani Yas Island. We drove the 400 km, did two international borders, the ferry and the bus in exactly six hours, we just missed the midday ferry! However Mohammed made us most welcome and we felt like pampered guests in our own hotel lounge. Upon arrival at the resort we discovered that midweek there are only a handful of guests, our rooms were fantastic in everyday and the pool was ours for the next 24 hours. We ate in the tapas bar, beautiful beachside location, felt like we were actually in Thailand. Next day our friends arrived from RAK, 500 km and six hours. We went on the nature walk and monastery tour, well done Kate for putting up with all our questions and extending our tour well past the allotted time, tried hard to get the peacock to fan it's tail didn't we! Cute rock hyraxes, exciting time near the giraffes and oryx. Amazing to find the remains of a sixth century monastery in the UAE. In all our three night stay was totally relaxing in wonderful surroundings and even our two teenage boys rated it fab, best place for revising GCSEs apparently! Thank-you for a lovely stay. Please think of a better way to tore the luggage on the boats, not very five star in a big pile on the deck!

Room Tip: Stay on top two floors of the hotel of trees will block your view. Do not stay in the wooden facade...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
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, June 5, 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.
It was great to see that you took the time to drive such a great distance to visit us and thoroughly enjoyed your stay.
I have past your kind comments to Mohammed and Kate, who were so pleased to hear them.
In reference to your comment about the luggage storing, I totally agree that this is unacceptable and have brought it to the attention of our bell boys
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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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361 reviews from our community

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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 (85)
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DUBAI
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Excellent surprise. All went well and we enjoyed the "cool" place by mid-May. We came from Dubai rushing to not miss the Navette from the jetty to the Island.
Hotel entrance is fantastic. Lobby & decoration are all perfect.
Room (perfect) facing the sea with balcony & transat. We organize our sofa on the beach to face the sea as well. Sunset side of course :)
Swimming by the sea in front of the new restaurant : Amwaj (very good food & perfect service - don't miss that one - all diners were there except the last one in the mountain), snorkeling, relaxing,...Pool at the end for some fresh water.
Game drive/Safari at sunset. Spotted all animals: been very lucky as told us Kate & Yasmen. 4 cheetahs !!!! was also great to visit the Island and listenig to history & explanation.
Fishing another day 3 hours starting 6am is enough to catch enough barracudas, queen fishes & king fishes. Dolphins paying around as well :) Kept one fish for BBQ as all fishes must be return by the sea. The sea around the island is also a game reserve and the rule is to release each fish been captured except one if you want to eat it: we kept a Queen fish. Was very good.
One candle diner with BBQ at sunset (again?) in the middle of Island; Top of the mountain. Tip Top. Super. Just do it :) It's a total change of scenery driving in the game park to reach this lost place for a perfect diner.
Very relaxing place. Definitely recommended. Staff is perfect and please ask Sara for a complete succesful visit to the place.
Enjoy ;)

Room Tip: Face the sea & sunset :) Don't miss Amwaj and book your table now :)
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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, June 6, 2013
Dear Mr. Laurent,

It was a pleasure having you with us in Desert Island Resort and Spa, and we thank you for taking time to answer our online guest satisfaction survey. It was most kind of you to share your thoughts with us since your responses will help us to shape the future of our services, your help in this regard is most appreciated.

I was very happy to read that you had a wonderful time in our hotel and enjoyed the island as a whole. I am very pleased to inform you that we will also be opening another hotel on the island by end of this month, it's Anantara Al Yamm Villas offers a wide range of activities for adventure seekers and provides the ultimate resort facilities for those who wish to simply relax and soak up the sun.

Mr. Laurent, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is most grateful to you for your time and effort in providing feedback to us. We rely on such inputs from our guests since we are continually striving to provide our guests with the best in service and accommodations

Thank you and we are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,
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
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

This was an amazing trip and very adventurous, how great to see animals in their natural habitat.
The service was not exceptional, it was of a normal level
There was a top VIP visit to the island that restricted the move around and was not able to much of the hotel facilities

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, June 6, 2013
Dear Mr. Tarek

It was a pleasure having you with us, and we thank you for taking time to post your comment on Trip advisor. It was most kind of you to share your thoughts with us since your responses will help us to shape the future of our services, your help in this regard is most appreciated.

Was very happy to read that you you had a great experience during your stay. We made great efforts to make sure that the hotel blended with the environment and seeing that animals don't seem perturbed by our presence shows that we are on the right track.

Reference to the service, we have taken note of this comment and rest assured that more and proper training is done to make our guests like you feel very special and and the stay very unique.

Mr. Tarek, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is most grateful to you for your time and effort in providing feedback to us. We rely on such inputs from our guests since we are continually striving to provide our guests with the best in service and accommodations

Thank you and we are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,
Steven Phillips
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

Very beautiful hotel offering a lot of activities despite the fact that it is located in the dessert. The staff is very helpfull and polite, but if you are booking a suit and going with a child notify that you extra bed and bathrobe etc othervise you will have to wait for it. With everyday turn down service you will get nice home made cookies!The sea food, Palm and Amwaj restaurants are the perfect places to enjoy the food (the portions are really big). In the recently opened Amwaj restaurant very friendly and guests orientated Yusuph, Krishna and Christian will serve you with the tasty spanish tapas and some international food prepared by Artun and Eros; the next day you are coming to Amwaj they already will prepare you a table and drinks without asking. The bar located next to the pull serves great coctails both healthy and alcogol ones. Overall, the hotel is excellent as well as the staff working there!

Room Tip: rooms on the first floor are the most convinient ones
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We visited Desert Islands in the middle of May and the weather was fantastic! We had our 3 year old and 1 1/2 year old with us and it was the perfect place for all of us! We did the bike ride with the kids and buggies were very comfortable. The safari the next morning was amazing and we even spotted the cheetahs! Many many congrats to the hotel staff for being so profesional and friendly and special shout out to Hazem from FO and Yasmeen and Teo (our 2 amazing safari guides). My only note to all the families planning to visit would be to book at least 2 nights to enjoy the stay.. It is a long trip to reach and go back but totally worth the trip and you will definitely regret for not booking a second night to one of the most relaxing places I have been in UAE!

Room Tip: Garden Room for families is excellent!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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, June 6, 2013
Dear Ms. Angie,

It was a pleasure having you with us in Desert Island Resort and Spa, and we thank you for taking time to answer our online guest satisfaction survey. It was most kind of you to share your thoughts with us since your responses will help us to shape the future of our services, your help in this regard is most appreciated.

I was very happy to read that you and your family enjoyed your stay in our hotel. I have also extended your appreciation to our Front Office Manager Hazem and our Safari guides, Yasmeen & Teo, they also thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you and it's our pleasure to serve you again.

You would be delighted to know that we will be opening by end of June 2013 another hotel on the island, it's Anantara Al Yamm Villas which offers a wide range of activities for adventure seekers and provides the ultimate resort facilities for those who wish to simply relax and soak up the sun.

Ms. Angie, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is most grateful to you for your time and effort in providing feedback to us. We rely on such inputs from our guests since we are continually striving to provide our guests with the best in service and accommodations

Thank you and we are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,
Steven Phillips
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

we went for a day trip to this resort... there is a service called mishka tourism who arrange for the day trip from dubai including transport, lunch and a safari... the resort location is beautiful, the safari excellent. You do not expect something like this in a place like UAE. We prefer quiet places with a bit of wild life etc an this resort was a pleasant surprise. They also have an excellent library. Also some other activities are offered which seem to be interesting.So we definitely are looking forward to go for an overnight stay at some point.
At the jetty, though, we had a bad experience. The resort people could not find our names so they refused to even let us in, into the reception center there. The person outside was very rude although after the misunderstanding was cleared, they were very courteous and sorry.

but all in all, a good place to visit.

Room Tip: visit in a good season as most activities will be outdoors - thus Nov - march would be a time to vis...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, June 6, 2013
Dear Ms. Vaishali,

It was a pleasure having you with us in Desert Island Resort and Spa, and we thank you for taking time to answer our online guest satisfaction survey. It was most kind of you to share your thoughts with us since your responses will help us to shape the future of our services, your help in this regard is most appreciated.

I was very happy to read that you enjoyed and had a wonderful stay in our hotel. Sincerely apologize howver for the miscommunication that transpired upon your arrival, I have since discussed this with my Front Office Manager and apologized also on behalf of his team.

Ms. Vaishali, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is most grateful to you for your time and effort in providing feedback to us. We rely on such inputs from our guests since we are continually striving to provide our guests with the best in service and accommodations

Thank you and we are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,
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
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

Fantastic four night stay, starting with an upgrade to a villa, dining on the roof of Amwaj, also dining on the beach under the stars.

The team at Bani Yas go out of their way to help you, we felt valued as guests.

I did not think that the prices were expensive for the meals, it is on an island so I expect to pay a little more. If you let them know what your dietary needs are, they will try their best to do it for you.

The rooms are clean, with plenty of space.

This was our fourth visit and I am already looking at booking again.

Thank you Steven and team for a great stay!

Room Tip: Just relax and enjoy the hotel and island
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, June 6, 2013
Dear Ms. Lorraine,

It was a pleasure having you with us in Desert Island Resort and Spa, and we thank you for taking time to answer our online guest satisfaction survey. It was most kind of you to share your thoughts with us since your responses will help us to shape the future of our services, your help in this regard is most appreciated.

I was very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay in our hotel and had a wonderful time especaily when we set up your dinner on our Amwaj Restaurant rooftop.

I am delighted to inform you that we will be opening another hotel on the island, it's Anantara Al Yamm Villas offers a wide range of activities for adventure seekers and provides the ultimate resort facilities for those who wish to simply relax and soak up the sun.

In addition to this, on transportation wise, very pleased to announce that we are currently awaiting the delivery of a new boat and as of August we will be having additional flights from AUH and also from DXB.

Ms. Lorraine, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is most grateful to you for your time and effort in providing feedback to us. We rely on such inputs from our guests since we are continually striving to provide our guests with the best in service and accommodations

Thank you and we are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,
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 & Spa By Anantara Hotel Sir Bani Yas Island
Desert Islands Resort And Spa By Anantara
Desert Islands Hotel
Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa Emirate Of Abu Dhabi/Sir Bani Yas Island

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