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“Nice hotel but some issues need resolving.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort

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Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Sir Bani Yas Island, Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates   |  
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Midweek Discovery
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but some issues need resolving.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

The hotel has a nice situation and the villas themselves are lovely. There are some ongoing maintenance issues [electricity, plumbing etc] which adversely affected our stay. The service is friendly but not 5*, and the food is also not 5*. Overall Al Yamm has the potential to be really great but it needs to work on the above issues.

Room Tip: The beach villas are better situated.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonja G, Manager at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, responded to this review, December 8, 2013
Dear bph1969,

Your feedback is very valuable and we thank you for sharing your thoughts on your recent stay at Al Yamm Villa Resort.

The team and I regret to hear you were somewhat disappointed with your stay with us.

It is true that lately we have been upgrading our villas and have had some maintenance in our villas and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and disappointing experience you have had.

We regret that the service and food provided was also not the level expected. Our goal is to ensure overall guest satisfaction and I would very much appreciate if you could send me your contact details to enable me to speak with you directly and further discuss your concerns offline thereby affording us the opportunity to correct these flaws in our service.

We do hope that you will not judge us solely on the basis of this particular experience and that in time, you may choose to stay with us in the future.

Sonja Greenshields
Al Yamm Villa Resort Manager
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Tisbury, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

When my mother offered to have our four children for a week, we jumped at the chance. Then came the - "trying to find the perfect holiday" problem. Amazingly we managed thanks to Claire Shorrocks at Destinology. This place is amazing. No children under 12 which was exactly what we wanted having left our own behind. Beautiful little villas (only 30 in total) which actually aren't so little! The staff could not have been more lovely, helpful or friendly if they had tried. The manager Sonya was amazing. She is there all the time making sure everyone is ok and happy. She even collected us from the boat (speed boat - very cool way to get to your hotel!!)! How many hotel managers do collections?!?! None I have met! The menus we decided after a couple of days were going to get a little repetitive - so we mentioned to the chef (who regularly comes out to check all is ok and everyone is happy) that we felt like a curry and he, being Indian, made us the most amazingly delicious curry the next night and so it went on. We didn't eat the same meal twice and breakfast is delicious. Carol is a superstar in the restaurant, so lovely and kind and thoughtful. We had one issue with a window latch and the maintenance guy was at our door before we had even walked back to our villa - amazing! It was sorted whilst we were out at dinner. The beds are more comfortable than our own at home which is something we have never found. They have mattress toppers on top of mattress toppers - heavenly with HUGE beds (Emperor) and even bigger pillows! There is even a soap menu let alone a pillow menu! Great internet in your room, Bose sound dock, tv etc. Sonya upgraded us to a Pool Villa out of the kindness of her heart for the last three nights. This is even huger than the one bedroom villa, and has a sitting room and even a dining room. I have no criticisms, at all apart from the fact that we made it rain in the desert - proper storms which didn't matter at all and was only one day of being inside rather than out - and i went for a long swim in the pool anyway! We went for our last dinner (we had been there for 7 nights!) and all the staff were so sweet and saying goodbye etc, and then we got back to our villa to find a hand written note from Sonya with a lovely bag for a present - AMAZING! If you want to get away from the world in a 5* situation with not out of this world ridiculous prices - then this is your place.

Room Tip: We had a beach room number 7 which was super and then were upgraded to 11 which was a pool villa and...
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 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.
Sonja G, Manager at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear EmilyWB2013,

Greetings from Al Yamm sunny shores.

Thank you for taking the time to share this great review and for choosing to stay with us while visiting Abu Dhabi. It was indeed a great pleasure to have you as our guest. I am glad that you have enjoyed your seven night stay at Al Yamm Villa resort and the team's hospitality. I have past on your fabulous compliments to the team and especially to Carol.
It is fantastic to see that the couple retreat concept is so well appreciated. Al Yamm Is definitely a place to re-energize.
Thank you for the rain you brought us, the island is grateful! :)

We sincerely hope to welcome you back.

Kindest regards,

Sonja Greenshields
Al Yamm Villa Resort Manager
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Los Angeles, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

After 5 nights honeymooning in Dubai, I wanted to surprise my wife with something a lot more relaxed and exclusive. She loves avoiding hordes of people, wildlife, and her own beach. Who wouldn't? That's exactly what Al Yamm delivered on. In short, every need of yours will be anticipated. I was looking to book a desert resort but wanted to avoid the long drive. Rotana Jet to the rescue! You're in the air barely 40 minutes and the next thing you know, the hustle & bustle of Dubai fades away as your jet pulls up to a very small, exclusive airport. I didn't arrange transportation as I thought I could hail a taxi. Ha! None to be found, but that's a good thing. The resort somehow *knew* I was on the flight, and had a driver and SUV waiting. Forget about handling any baggage, the only thing you'll have in your hands is a cool and refreshing towel as you cool off in the backseat ready to embark on the most splendid getaway ever. The driver informs us how there are very strict rules to SBY, and they are all in place to protect the wildlife. Speed is limited to a bit more than a school zone, but are you really in a rush? As soon we pulled up, we were warmly greeted (and cooled) with more lovely scented towels and a refreshing welcome drink. And please help yourself to the ubiquitous Arabic coffee and island-grown dates. Mmm. Check in was very personal and a breeze, and the next thing you know, a buggy appears and whisks you & your luggage away to your villa.

The villa has a nice private driveway of your own, with two patios! The front patio has a rustic bench and dining table whilst the back patio features a generous sofa, coffee table, chairs, and 2 deck loungers that are constantly shaded. A few yards away are your beach loungers, complete with your very own South African imported, heavy duty beach umbrella.

Upon entering our room we noticed a wonderful surprise of a lovely fruit basket and fondant iced cake wishing us a happy honeymoon. Very thoughtful! (And delicious)

Immediately we got into our swimsuits and hit the very private beach: I've always dreamed of one (we all have) after seeing so many on TV, in movies, and in magazines...but this is the real thing and it's all yours! As it is a private island only open to the public for the past 5 years, the amount of shells and coral washed up are incredible. It's a little rough under feet, but a couple yards in the water and you'll end up with marshmallow sand...I've never felt softer in my life! After playing around in the sand & surf we noticed the sun was setting fast. That is the only bummer about being in the UAE I reckon during the cooler months, your sun is gone quickly. We decided to saunter over to our patio, pull some chairs out in our front "yard," and watch the sunset over the mountains. We were rewarded not only with a spectacular view, but free roaming gazelle grazing in front us! We looked behind us towards the beach, and they were doing the same by the water! Where else in the world can you have this?! Very magical.

After the sun went down we heard upon check in that the resort head chef, Manuel, was from Italy and really knows his stuff so we head to Olio for dinner. We ordered the most delicious beef tartare and, as I spied some amazing pizza ovens on the way in, so I asked if the chef could whip up his favorite for us. We were truly impressed with his selection, ingredients and toppings that made up the most decadent pizza ever. Later Manuel came over to our table and asked how we enjoyed everything, which he already seemed to know after reading our faces. Very unexpected and a nice touch.

The next morning we walked to breakfast at Olio, but now we could see a lot more and were treated to an incredible view and eggs that couldn't be more perfectly cooked. Flawless, actually. Very impressive too was an a la carte menu you could order additional items from that you didn't see on the buffet, all included. Midway through breakfast the woman I've been reading so much from and was looking forward to meeting made an appearance in the flesh, the general manager of the resort, Ms. Sonja Greenshileds! I didn't ask for her autograph but did thank her profusely for such an incredible honeymoon. It was very kind and thoughtful of Sonja to stop by, introduce herself, and see who is in charge of making such magic happen every day at Al Yamm.

On our way out we made the booking that we came to SBY for: The Safari! There were several times available, and we went with 4 PM later that day. After walking back to the villa and realizing we only had about 6 hours left of sunlight, I didn't want the beach experience to be interrupted that day...so we moved to the following morning at 7 AM. It was a tough choice because everyone wants to sleep in on their holiday, but I also know it would be worth it as animals tend to be more active in the early morning hours vs. the evening. We ringed up reception and asked to move it but then also made a reservation at their sister property for dinner that night, the Desert Islands and went with Amwaj. Complimentary transportation was included for later that night at 7:30 PM, so we enjoyed the rest of the day by the beach and pool. A common, recurring theme at Al Yamm that impressed me most is anticipating your needs. For example, we were running late and were planning to walk back to the main house for our dinner ride to the other resort. At 7:20 the phone rang and reception asked if they could send the buggy to fetch us. Wow. Talk about mind reading and 5-star service...I didn't even have to call!

After a 15 minute ride in the SUV to Desert Island we sat down at our beachside table at Amwaj and prepared to tuck into some amazing tapas. Yousef was the manager at the restaurant and really wowed us with his service and personable chit chat. I was also pleased to see shisha was offered so we got that for dessert...it's not something I normally enjoy but in this part of the world, was a treat. After dinner Yousef asked if we wanted to see the rest of the resort, and the next thing we know we're off in another buggy and seeing everything. We stopped into their fresh seafood restaurant, Samak, and met the Executive Chef, Kenneth who asked "Have we eaten yet?" Mind you it's now 10 PM, but he was fully ready to indulge us in some of the most tantalizing fresh seafood I've ever laid eyes on: live oysters flown in from France, locally caught fresh off the island waters, and on and on. It was at this point I wish I had another night at Al Yamm to partake in the other dining options on the island, and was sad it was my last night.

The next morning at 7 AM we were running late again, and yup, you guessed it...reception phoned us and asked if they could send the buggy. So we were fetched and a bit sleepy, but as we pulled up to the main house an authentic safari land cruiser was awaiting us with a cheerful guide who introduced herself as Marie. We were ready to hop in and go, but the staff at reception we enticing us to step inside the main house first. Would you believe they had a light breakfast setup awaiting us? This is what I mean by anticipating your needs. We were fully ready to enjoy breakfast after the safari, but they gave us a little something before we set off. Wow.

Marie was an excellent guide and pointed out so many fantastic features of the island. She really wasn't in a rush at all and that really stood out to me. So many times when you book an excursion it seems routine to the person conducting it, which sort of dampens the fun of the whole experience...but this was not the case whatsoever. I especially appreciated her whipping out an iPad and showing us vegetation in the shape of a dallah that can be seen via satellite on the island, then pointing down and we saw it in person! Very thoughtful of Sheikh Zayed to include this feature as a welcome to all those who visit the island. We also had a look at the palace from afar which had the most amazing 360 degree view, Before and after that we were treated to an up close & personal look at all the animals. And I do mean all of them. giraffes, cheetahs, oryx, gazelle, elan, peacocks, Egyptian Geese, etc. Such a wonderful tour and since no one else got up early, it was just us!

After getting back from the safari we headed straight into breakfast, spent a few more hours on the beach soaking up what sun we could before our return flight, and on our way out were thanked by nearly everyone at the resort. I've never had hotel staff wave goodbye as your vehicle is pulling away, it literally made you feel like family. When I booked Al Yamm I had no idea how special this place or SBY island was, I just wanted that "island getaway" to be included on my honeymoon somehow. This was so much more. It literally hurt to leave. The only thing I would improve upon is allowing yourself enough time to really enjoy every minute and then some. Yes, it is a bit pricey but honestly it is so worth it. I can't wait to return!

Room Tip: No matter which villa side you're on (beach or mangrove) the complimentary golf cart/buggy makes...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonja G, Manager at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear Hotchr,

Thank you for taking the time to write your reviews on Trip Advisor but foremost for such a beautiful and gratifying feedback.
We are delighted to hear that the Al Yamm team has created a magical moment for your honeymoon and that you have left us with fond memories and amazing stories to tell.
Your compliments regarding the team are greatly appreciated and will be passed on.

We sincerely hope to welcome you back in the near future for another 'Island getaway".

Sonja Greenshields
Al Yamm Villa Resort Manager
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Paris, France
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

Al Yamm villas are just as beautiful as in the photographs! If like us you like the peace and quiet of your own villa, Al Yamm serviced villas are perfect. I love their unostentatious luxury.We stayed on the lagoon side but were close to the restaurant and pool, and the villa's splash pool was perfect for cooling down too. You can really unwind here on the beach or on the villa's deck with only the gazelles, francolins and the occasional heron coming by! There are excellent dishes in the restaurant, 'Olio' (try the salmon and the fondant chocolate and hazelnut ice-cream desert - delicious! Friendly and very professional service from all, so thank you to all the team! A wonderful stay!

  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

We flew on the newly launched Rotana Jet service from Dubai and spent two nights at Al Yamm villas, having previously made the long drive and having stayed at the main Hotel 2+ years ago. The villas are beautifully laid out and furnished. We were on the beach side of the main reception and restaurant and a short walk from the Gulf waters. We did an island guided drive (and saw 3 of the cheetahs), and my husband and daughter loved the Archery lesson they received.
If I have any negative comments, they would be in respect of the dining options and also the check-in/out processes. Al Yamm villas has access to one restaurant directly on site - Olivo. This is definitely more of an up-market Italian than a rustic one. The saving grace (we thought) was the pizza oven, which we hoped would make it pretty simple to find something suitable for our 14 year old daughter. Unfortunately, the pizza oven was not working, and our options were therefore somewhat limited.
Because of this, we chose to eat at the main Hotel buffet restaurant on our first evening - shuttle transport is provided. The meal and venue were a disappointment. The buffet was exclusively Arabic and not especially good quality. The freshly barbequed meat available was only chicken. The food on offer certainly did not do justice to the quality of the resort.
We were also somewhat disappointed at the check-in and -out processes. Check-in time at the resort is 3pm and as our flight arrived at 1.15pm, we were asked to have lunch whilst our room was readied, to which we duly agreed. We did not get to our room until well after 3pm. However, when it came check-out, we were initially informed that we could not extend our check-out beyond 12pm although after some pleading, this was extended to 1pm since the in-coming guests were arriving at 1.30pm and the hotel did not wish to delay them. It would have been nice to have had the same level of concern about the timeliness of our check-in. As our departing flight from the island was not until 3.30pm, we waited in the Al Yamm lobby area for nearly 2 hours until the scheduled departure to the airport. This would not have been quite such an issue had wifi been available in the outdoor lobby area, but unfortunately it is not. It was a particularly busy time (the Eid holiday week) and this is often a contentious issue, but the some-what intransigent attitude of the Reception staff did not assist.
Having said this, the resort is beautiful; not too large at the moment, and it really is like staying on a secluded desert island, but with all mod-cons and creature comforts. It does not have the same air of exclusivity as Al Maha (near Dubai), but then it doesn't share the price tag either!

Room Tip: Try to stay away from the rooms located directly next to the main Reception building - the generator...
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 3 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.
Sonja G, Manager at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, responded to this review, December 8, 2013
Dear Lyn608,

I would like to thank you for choosing Al Yamm Villa Resort and for taking the time to write your review on this forum.

Your feedback is very valuable and we truly appreciate sharing it with us. My team and I extends to your our sincere apologies for the inconvenience and for not being able to meet your expectations especially on the quality of food offered and for the pizza oven not working at the time of your visit.
Please be assured that all possible measures are being taken to avoid such disappointing experience in the future.

As for the check-in and check-outs timing unfortunately these have to be in place to allow the cleaning of the villas. In any circumstance did we give preference to the guest checking in after you and they did check-in at 15h00. I can assure you that when we have the possibility to offer an early check-in or late check-out we always do try to accommodate. Unfortunately during public holidays this becomes very difficult to offer.

We hope you will consider to give us another chance ensuring your next visit will be a tranquil and relaxing one and to taste the wonderful pizzas from Olio.

Yours sincerely,

Sonja Greenshields
Al Yamm Villa Resort Manager
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Livingston, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

Day 1

We chose to drive from Abu Dhabi to Sir Bani Yas Island. It’s approx. 270km from our apartment on Saadiyat Island, it’s a straight road once you get out of the city. Not much to see en route. We later found out that you can take a flight from Al Bateen Airport (Abu Dhabi) to Sir Bani Yas for 200 AED.
We arrived at the jetty round about 4pm, just missing the water taxi over to the island (my fault due to driving too cautiously over the many speed bumps randomly placed along the road). Whilst waiting on the next boat at 6pm, we relaxed in the arrival lounge where we were ‘checked in’ in advance and served tasty biscuits, tea and coffee.
The island is an open nature reserve so you leave your car on the mainland and transported around the island by the hotel’s 4x4 fleet and golf buggies. Sir Bani Yas Island is 8 km from the mainland and it takes around 20 minutes in the water taxi. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset over the Arabian Gulf when catching the boat over to the island.
We were picked up in a luxury Toyota Land Cruiser and whisked off to the Al Yamm resort. Upon arrival, we were met at reception by Sonja (the manager) and her attentive team. A quick signature on the arrival papers and we were taken to our villa on a golf buggy. Very novel!
We were in a 1 bedroom villa which looked across the Mangroves. The villa is beautiful inside, every detail fully thought through from luxury bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, an array of toiletries, fully stocked fridge and snacks (no alcohol), fast WIFI connection, flat screen TV, lots of seating inside and outside the villa. The decor is luxurious and unpretentious, changeable mood lighting, making the villa a very comfortable stay.
We chose to dine for our first night in Samak at the neighboring Desert Island Hotel. The resort runs a complimentary shuttle transfer between the two hotels and it’s takes around 10 minutes.
Our meal was OK, we chose the Rib Eye Special which was a bit fatty. We provided feedback to the restaurant manager named Dams who quickly offered to resolve our minor dissatisfaction with desert, coffee and didn’t charge us for one of the steaks. Satisfied with the way in which Dams handled our feedback, we decided that we would try the restaurant again later on in the holiday.

Day 2
Breakfasts are great at Al Yamm. There’s a huge selection to choose from, it’s hard not to stuff your face! There’s an al la carte breakfast menu, eggs any style, pancakes to traditional arabic foods. Husband recommends the Eggs Florentine.
We arranged to go to Desert Islands Hotel and spend the day at the pool. There’s a complimentary shuttle between Al Yamm and Desert Island. However if you decide to travel outwith these times, there’s a chargeable fee of 50 AED.
Desert Island has stunning infinity pool, popular with families and busy with kids running about mad, so we choose to catch some sun near the beach area.
We walked along the beach at the hotel, it’s a quite stony underfoot and not very picturesque due to the large sand barriers placed along the shoreline.
For lunch, we shared a chicken sharwama and fries from the pool bar.
Husband decided to treat himself to a massage in the afternoon. He says that it was very good!
We travelled back to Al Yamm around 4pm and freshen up for dinner at the italian inspired restaurant called Olio. We both had the Beef Carpacio for starters, husband choose the chef special Macaroni and I had the Ravioli. The main course was a bit disappointing, the Macaroni was actually linguine and a bit bland. The Ravioli was delicious however only half a dozen pieces were served. I’m not sure if there was a little breakdown in communication when I asked for the dish to be a main course portion. The waitress offered us homemade tiramisu when we gave feedback about the meal. Believe me when I say that we don’t typically complain about our food. It’s not that cheap to dine here so getting two pasta dishes that don’t meet expectations is a tad disappointing. Al Yamm is a fairly new hotel so we thought it would be best to let them know what we thought about the meal.
Off to bed early to rest up for the Safari the following morning.

Day 3
Our guide Marie met us at reception at 6:30am and took us and another family of three into the reserve in a safari car. Very cool. The tour lasted around 2 hours and we seen a variety of large birds and mammals. Emu’s, Peacocks, Sand Gazelle, Mountain Gazelle, Arabian Oryx, Iranian Rams, Giraffes and finally the Cheetahs. Marie was really informative about the animals and Sir Bani Yas Island. I would set expectations and say that this is more of a wildlife drive, it was enjoyable but a little sad to learn that the Giraffes and Cheetahs are ex-pets. It also takes 11m gallons of water to keep the island running per day. Most of the water goes towards watering the vegetation on the island. Not the most economical resort.
After another hearty breakfast, I lazed by the pool in Al Yamm and Husband went for a work out in the gym at Desert Island. I had the pool all to myself for most of the morning. For being full occupancy, I’ve no idea where the rest of the guests were, perhaps taking it easy in the villas. The friendly staff served fruity smoothies, perfect for cooling down in the scorching heat. The pool is manned by life guards at all times, providing towels and even offering sun cream if you’ve forgotten to bring some. The shallow end in the pool is great to sit in armed with a book. Very relaxing.
We lunched at Olio, the food was awesome. Afterwards, we walked off lunch along the beach. The beach beyond the resort boundaries is strewn with washed up litter. We later learned that the international shipping lane is only few kilometers from the coast. Unfortunately, these big ships throw rubbish overboard and it washes up on shore. The island staff do their best to clean up but it’s a constant battle. I do hope that someone powerful has the clout to do something about the ships dumping rubbish overboard.
Pre-dinner drinks at Al Yamm bar and off to Samak for a second time. One dish in particular caught our attention... Meat served on a Himalayan Hot Brick. Wow, let’s try this. We opted for seafood and local fish. The dish was delicious, far superior to the night before. Happy, full and content, back off the villa to rest after a long day.

Day 4
I booked us into Al Mahara Dive Centre to do the guided sea kayaking in the morning. Our guide was called Jamie, very friendly and helpful. He got us set up with life jackets, a paddle and a kayak. The water was very still, perfect for launching off the beach only a short walk from the water sports facilities.
We paddled out of the sheltered cove and along the coastline. We seen a few angel fish, sea urchins and coral reef. Due to the salty and extreme weather conditions of the Arabian Gulf, the coral is quite limited to one particular type. You might be lucky to see a turtle. Jamie was knowledgable on the marine life and surrounding area. A good workout for your arms!
We travelled back to Al Yamm for an afternoon by the pool and made arrangements to dine in Olio. Whilst getting ready for dinner, there was an awful stench coming from one of the drains in the toilet. We contacted reception immediately and they sent someone within minutes to investigate. Turns out that there was a blocked drain outside of the apartment, the facilities team resolved the situation very quickly.
We enjoyed a pre dinner drink in the bar before dinner and had a lovely meal in Olio. We choose the seabass and it was delicious. Sonya the manager stopped by to say ‘Hi!’ during the meal. She’s very attentive and friendly, works very long hours too!

Day 5
Started off to a very lazy morning, long lie in, the beds are so comfortable. It’s nice to open the curtains and enjoy the sunrise over the mangroves. You might even capture a glimpse of a Gazelle or Flamingos grazing in the shallow waters.
We booked ourselves in for a snorkeling experience at Al Mahara Dive Centre later that afternoon. By the time the afternoon came round, Husband wanted to chill out by the pool. So myself and 4 others boarded one of the boats and headed-off to snorkel around ‘Gasha Wreck’. The team at Al Mahara provided the necessary equipment, professional masks, booties and flippers and walked us through what to expect at the wreck.
For me, this was a wonderful way to enjoy the underwater delights of the Persian Gulf. The wreck sits just off from a small island called Gasha Island. There’s lots of fish, coral and our guide Stephan led us through the nooks and crannies of the wreck. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, right up my street.
The receptionist contacted Al Yamm to collect me upon arrival back at the dive centre. I hung around for 40 minutes waiting to be picked up. Stephan came over for a chat whilst waiting which I was very appreciate off.
Pre dinner drinks at Al Yamm bar. The friendly barman (whose name escapes me, so sorry) offered to make us his signature mojito. Sure, why not. It’s our favorite cocktail. A blend of lemon juice, sugar, mint, Captain Havana No.3 and San Pellegrino. Wow, delicious. Best mojito I’ve ever tasted!
After a nice chat with the friendly barman, Husband and I toddled off to dinner at Samak for one last time.... Those salt bricks were springing to mind. Dams (the lovely restaurant manager) greeted us and we enjoyed another delicious meal washed down with a bottle of bubbles.
A perfect way to end the holiday.

Day 6
We decided to go for the early morning check out. The first boat leaves the island at 8am so we were at reception at 7am to have breakfast and check at 7.30am.
We have a TDIC discount card offering discount at TDIC owned hotels. We had assumed that Al Yamm was included in the offer because Desert Island was. However, this is not the case. A tad disappointed that TDIC has not included Al Yamm in their offering yet. However, the hotel did give us discount off our excursions. I’ll be sure to check this out before we venture off on our next trip.
Overall, we enjoyed our break at Al Yamm. I would recommend coming here for a 2/3 day break, booking in a few excursions and definitely traveling here by plane in order to make the most of the resort. For us, 5 days was too long.

Summary
Al Yamm is great for rest and relaxation. The food is really nice, attentive staff and quality accommodation.
It’s a bit sore on the pocket. You are paying for an exclusive resort, if you’re looking to make your money go a wee bit further, I suggest looking at Desert Island. Those who like to seek thrills on holiday might find that Al Yamm a bit too quiet.

Room Tip: There's a choice of Sea view or Mangrove view villas. I think I would have preferred staying in...
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonja G, Manager at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear MissGolightley,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed of your stay with us. A real travel diary and it is amazing to see that each associate was remembered by its name.
I will ensure that your positive review will be conveyed to our entire team who made your stay a memorable one.
We appreciate all your comments and have also shared your feedback to the relevant departments.
Al Yamm Villa Resort is really a very quiet and peaceful place indeed for those who really enjoy to escape from the city buzz.
As for the TDIC discount make also sure to give your details when making the booking. The discounts are not applied on week-ends and public holidays should you wish to book to another TDIC property.
Once again thank you for this wonderful review and for staying with us.

Sonja Greenshields
Al Yamm Villa Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

I spent 2 nights in Anantara al Yamm villas, it was so relaxing, beautiful clean beach, i went for horesriding, kayaking in the mangroves, cycling and the safari trip. The staff were all very friendly And i had a great time. I would definately recommend it to adventurous people.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort

Address: Sir Bani Yas Island, Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Sir Bani Yas Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sir Bani Yas Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Be charmed by elegantly wading flamingos as they make their way long the shimmering shoreline. Soak up magnificent views across crystal clear waters and fall under the spell of the Middle East's legendary mystique. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort Emirate Of Abu Dhabi

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