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“Stunning location and nice resort”

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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hamim
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Stunning location and nice resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2014

This place is obviously all about the location: in the middle of the desert, with dunes all around. Just stunning and well worth the trip. The resort itself is great in its kind, as long as you realise what kind of property you are visiting and tune your expectations accordingly. Let's make it clear: this is not an uber-luxury Aman or Alila and doesn't try to be so; it's a very big property, which caters to a diverse array of travelers (with different budgets and expectations). Another way to put it: the resort itself would deserve a "very good" rating, which becomes "excellent" thanks to the unique surroundings.

I went as part of a holiday throughout the Emirates and Oman. My expectations were very high for the location, and average for the resort itself. I am glad to say that they were exceeded. More specifically:

ROOMS - Somehow the Anantara website and particularly the amateur Tripadvisor pictures make the rooms look somehow dark and even shabby. Perhaps it's the colour palette (all brown-ish) that plays this trick. Let me tell you that the reality is MUCH better; they are very well appointed, with the design fitting the location. We had a 1-bedroom pool villa and the private pool was very enjoyable. I also liked the feeling of being separate from the big main building. Just a word of caution: the 1-bedroom pool villas are not on the first tier (facing directly the dunes). This means that you have dunes all around you, but your immediate sight is of the other villas in front. I believe only the 2-bedroom villas are in front, or the Royal Pavilion ones. I wanted to book a Royal Pavilion villa initially, but due to an exceptional promotion on the 1-bed pool it turned out to be about 1/5 of the price and went for that instead. I would probably pay up to double the rate to be in the Royal Pavilion if I were to return, but 4 to 5 times more seemed excessive.

POOL - This is my biggest criticism. I didn't like the main pool, at all. Too much "resort-like", with a pool bar, lots of sunbeds, etc. I didn't spend any time there and was very happy to have my own in the villa.

RESTAURANTS - Food was above expectations. Breakfast is exceptional, with a lot of local and international dishes made to order (waffle station, Middle Eastern station, etc...). I had dinner both nights at the pool restaurant and had such a pleasant surprise! The ambiance is not great, but the food is REALLY good. Home made bread to die for, and a really knowledgeable chef: they had a striploin as a special and it was cooked to perfection.

SERVICE - Overall good, bearing in mind the type of resort. In other words, it can't be that personalised when you have so many rooms.

ACTIVITIES - Very fun and the guides were extremely nice. However, I would recommend doing a couple of walks on your own. We woke up one morning (painfully early) and went to watch the sunset from the big dune in front of the resort. Approximately 30-40 minutes walk but well worth it, and definitely doesn't require a guide.

Overall, the place is inevitably a bit "touristy" (not sure I like the Moroccan influences, like the Tajines and some of the music), but well worth a stay. It delivers above expectations.

The GM deserves a particular mention: when we arrived he was standing in the lobby, chatting with guests and welcoming new arrivals. I saw him several times over the course of two days and I personally think this is always a good sign: he clearly cared about the guests and was always reachable to discuss feedback on the resort or the activities. Well done, this really makes the difference.

Room Tip: If you don't like big "resort-like" pools, get one of the 1-bedroom pool villas or a v...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank flying_pig00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 31, 2014
Dear flying_pig00,

We are striving for excellence in all areas of the resort and as guest satisfaction is of paramount importance to us, we are most grateful to you for your splendid review.

We are always happy when guest chooses our hotel and honored when the guest has been pleased with his/her stay at Qasr Al Sarab. Your praises for the aesthetic beauty of the resort as well as the positive feedback to the outstanding hospitality service provided has been communicated to the entire team.

We will be looking forward to the next opportunity to welcome you back to the resort for another magnificent holiday.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
72 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2014

This resort may not give you the true experience of the bedouin life in the UAE, However, you will experience first hand what it truly means to be in the desert in the middle of nowhere. Anatara Qasr Al Sarab (literally translates to "Palace of the Mirage" from arabic) is probably the most secluded 5 star resorts that you can ever experience in this region.
Its located around 2:30 hrs drive from Abu Dhabi into the Liwa Oasis desert where the most dramatic sand landscapes and sunsets are. The landscape alone is an experience to many who have not been to deserts before.
The resort, as expected of Anantara resorts is luxurious and fitted out with every possible need. Marble floors, big luxurious beds and linens, beautiful architecture that falls into place as a castle in the desert. Many activities for children and adults alike.
Main building is hotel rooms offering great views of the landscape, surrounded by secluded villas with private pools. Driving in you'll pass two main gates, then the main courtyard which leads to the building and has entrances to other parts of the hotel.
Best times to visit is during the winter season where temperatures are pleasant and sometimes cold at night. During summer months the temperature can reach 47+ C Degrees which is too hot and gets windy with sand storms.
Take a sunset walk up the dunes in the desert and sit at the top of the dunes for breathtaking views of the sunset. Try camel riding if you haven't done so before.
Highly recommended!

Room Tip: If you can afford the villas then go for them, otherwise all the rooms are comfortable, have private...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fatema81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 31, 2014
Dear Fatema81,

Thank you sincerely for taking the time to post your wonderful review.

Your compliments are really encouraging for us to keep delivering heartfelt hospitality, both in products and services to our guests. As an Anantara resort, it is our passion that every guest leaves the hotel with an amazing story, and reading your review we can only hope that we exceeded your expectations.

Thank you again for being our guest, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in the near future.

Yours Sincerely,

Patrick Both
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
116 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2014

A wonderful experience, must see if you can afford it! Location of the hotel in the desert driving approximately 200km from Abu Dhabi. Superb service and luxury. Red sand (first seen something like that ), magical sunsets, great food, a strange silence of the desert night, amazing bathroom with huge marble bath with all the exotic soaps and bath ... fairytale experience as in the story od thousand and one nights. ..obligatory take a separate room for the kids if you take them with you

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zorica Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 31, 2014
Dear Zorica Z,

Our great appreciation for your lovely review.

It was pleasure to note that you enjoyed your stay with us and we were able to create for you a unique and amazing experience. Moreover, thank you most especially for recognizing the excellent service and hospitality provided to you by our associates. Rest assured that such remarkable praises will be shared to the whole team.

Thank you again for being our guest, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in the near future.

Yours Sincerely,

Patrick Both
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gent
Level Contributor
161 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2014

What a resort! Upon check-out we were asked "how did you like your experience here, Sir?" Guess that's the only correct question. A stay at this resort is simply amazing. We loved every minute of it. Good service, friendly staff who make you feel special and a real guest. Everyone has a smile and has a little chat... We were surprised by the excellent service e.g. cleaning of sunglasses at the pool, refreshing spray at the pool... a grand tour of the resort complex... Everything we could have wished for we were given with a big smile. The activities (dune bashing and camel ride) we did were well organized. This is a TOP resort and an adventure never to forget. We LOVED it!

Room Tip: We had booked a terrace room and that was just perfect. Beautiful with a big terrace, big bathtub, s...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank goalgent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 28, 2014
Dear goalgent,

Thank you so much for leaving such lovely comments.

We are happy to hear that we have succeeded your expectation and your overall experience has been amazing. We look forward to greeting you again one day in the future as well as the privilege of extending to you once again a unique Anantara experience.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dubai
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2014

We've stayed here three times now..and each time we've left not wanting to leave.

Only word of caution is that it pays to phone the hotel directly to check they received any special requests you might have asked for at booking, as there seemed to be a disconnect between the cental reservations person/system and the hotel.
But 'ma'lish'.. Peter the general manager sorted our rooms out (they weren't ready, the two rooms booked weren't close to each other, no record of our request for late checkout or rooms close by to where we stayed last time...)

Having got past this and into our rooms, we proceeded to start enjoying our break away. Watching the huuuge sanddunes change colour with the light and the tranquility of being in a desert is just wonderful. And not many people can say they seen the 'Empty Quarter'

If you can afford it, book the rooms with a terrace.

It's a bit of a drive out to this hotel, but it's worth it. It's a fabulous hotel.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SamJCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 31, 2014
Dear SamJCT,

Your feedback is very valuable and we truly appreciate sharing it with us.

I was very pleased to learn how much you enjoyed your visit and would like to thank you for letting us know that we were able to provide you a tranquil and enjoyable break.
Further, my team and I would like to apologize for the inconvenience you encountered during your booking process.

We will always welcome the opportunity to be of service to you once more in the not too distant future.

Yours Sincerely,

Patrick Both
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
201 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2014

I loved every minute of my stay at this resort. The staff are extremely responsive and helpful. The views are amazing. The restaurants are fantastic. The resort sits next to some very large dunes, and you can take a lovely walk over and around them (best at sunrise or sunset so it's a little cooler). The rooms are just as nice as the rest of the resort - the bathroom is quite large, the beds are amazingly comfortable, and the lighting is very nice. I highly recommend spending a weekend or more here as you can certainly relax and sightsee around the many dunes in the surrounding area. The hotel also has a number of interesting activities to do in the desert. Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kelly b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 27, 2014
Dear kelly b,

Thank you for your gracious comments about your recent stay.

I do appreciate your kind words with regards to the resort and its facilities which you found fabulous and the accommodation which you felt was perfect. I will ensure that such remarkable praises will be shared with the team. It is always a great encouragement and motivation for our team to hear about guest satisfaction which is our main concern.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Qasr Al Sarab Desert by Anantara in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2014

Wow...what an amazing experience! This truly is an exotic experience as it's literally in the middle of the desert. After a 3 hour drive from Dubai it was a welcoming sight to see this Arabic style resort surrounded by sand dunes. Upon arrival of our check in, we were presented with a yogurt and date smoothie drink, dates and fresh cool towels. Once we were checked in we experienced a couple of hiccups, but it was all sorted very professionally thanks to Maya. Then we could enjoy this amazing resort. From watching the sunset over the sand dunes to lounging around the beautiful pool area overlooking the resort with it's Arabic style architecture and nothing but sand dunes as far as the eye could see. We thoroughly enjoyed it's first class cuisine which caters for all taste buds. A big thank you to all the resort staff who went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and spoiled, as they were friendly yet professional. A special thanks to Lal who looked after us at the bar/cafe, near reception. His service was truly 5 star. Upon checking out we were given a gift of a small bottle of sand from the area, and bottles of cold water were in our car for our long drive back home. These are small touches that are unforgettable!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAB77, General Manager at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, responded to this review, August 27, 2014
Dear Christina S,

I am extremely pleased to know that you had an excellent stay with us, and we were able to exceed your expectations. I do also appreciate positive comments for my team and will ensure that these compliments are shared with them.
We always pride ourselves on ensuring that our guests leave with a fond memory and few wonderful stories of their stay at our resort

We look forward to welcoming you back to the resort.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
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 Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Property: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Address: 1 Qasr Al Sarab Road, Hamim 131277, United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Liwa Oasis > Hamim
Amenities:
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hamim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara 5*
Number of rooms: 206
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Where mystic charm, cultural passion and unparalleled luxury evoke distinctive memories. Set in the middle of the Rub' al Khali or Empty Quarter, the largest uninterrupted body of sand in the world, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resorts by Anantara is isolated from the world, yet is less than 200km away from Abu Dhabi. The resort brings the mysticism of this eminent location to life, inviting you to discover the unique appeal of its surroundings. Enjoy an array of facilities and immerse yourself in the wonderful splendour of an eternally changing landscape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara Hotel Abu Dhabi

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