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“A completely novel experience”

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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hamim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 February 2014

Qasr al Sarab is a very special place from the moment you turn off the highway and wind up through the dunes to the fort-like structure awaiting your arrival. It may be prefabricated for a tourist clientele, but it works, with everything having a luxurious Bedouin feel about it. From the moment you are seen through reception you are aware of being surrounded by outstanding scenery, which becomes more and more evident as you pass through a sunset and a sunrise. The quality of the rooms, ac and bathrooms is excellent, with a two person bathtub which may be an attraction! A bit short on storage/hanging space but I guess few people stay longer than three nights. The food is very good and if you aren't staying on a half-board package is surprisingly not too expensive considering you have no choice of going anywhere else within 100Km! The evening buffet is 200 AED/pp (£35) which includes water and coffee, but you can eat in the pool restaurant, with a reasonable choice of extremely well-cooked food from 7pm, for less including a cocktail. We didn't eat in the speciality restaurants as we didn't see the need to. The bar in the main building is well-stocked and there are some interesting cocktails available, including things like a Turkish coffee Martini (AED 45, about £7.50), but you can get a Lebanese beer for AED 25, just over £4 . As you are so far from anywhere you will not find anything to do, or to spend money on, other than relax, use the gym or spa, or take part in the various activities that are run on site - some of these can be quite challenging, physically. The Spa is pretty much international prices. The activities are run by well-trained and knowledgeable staff who also are very adept photographers if you are on the back of a camel! The night sky can be a bit hit and miss, dependent upon the weather and sand storms, but can be quite spectacular once you have been ferried to a bit of dark sky a number of Km away. If you are a committed star gazer don't expect the staff, on the night walk, to teach you much. The total silence, sitting on a high dune in the dark, surrounded by the stars is a very special experience. The pool area is sublime and the service from your 'Sunshine Butler' around it is second to none. You are awash with free bottled water at every turn. If you want to escape and do nothing this is the place to do it, and if you want a desert experience, romantic or otherwise, then I couldn't think of a better place to do it.

Room Tip: Lobby level balcony rooms, overlooking the pool, allow you to see both good sunrises and sunsets.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ollerbarrow
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 reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Dear Ollerbarrow,

Thank you for sparing your valuable time to review us on TripAdvisor.

We are glad that we were able to create a positive experience for you and you found our staff and service of high quality. Please be assured that you kind comments will be shared with the rest of Qasr Al Sarab Team. Moreover, it was so kind of you to bring to our attention your feedback about our wardrobe cabinet. Your observation has been noted and will be considered on our future refurbishment plan.

May I thank you once again for your support and for sharing your amazing experience while at the resort. Your great tips will certainly be helpful to other travelers interested in coming to Abu Dhabi, UAE. We will always welcome the opportunity to be of service.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
General Manager

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1,479 - 1,485 of 3,124 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2014

Wow!!! This resort is amazing! After all I read on Tripadvisor I was hoping not to be disappointed. But fear not, all the excellent reports are true to their word. From the welcome, to the service at the pool, excellent food - breakfasts and dinners, to the stylish room, it exceeded our expectations. We stayed in a standard garden room which was big and very comfortable. All the rooms have amazing views of the sand dunes and romantic sunsets. We did the sunrise 4 x 4 dune bashing excursion and the sunset camel ride. Highly recommend both. We stayed for 2 nights and wish we could have stayed longer. Cannot wait to return.

Room Tip: Book your spa treatment in advance. They were fully booked by the time we checked in, so missed out.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank AntheaM58
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 reviewResponded 5 February 2014

Dear AntheaM58,

Thank you for sharing with us your amazing experience about your recent stay.

I was very pleased to know how much you enjoyed your visit and would like to thank you for letting us know how impressed you were with the accommodation and service. Please be assured the same will be shared to the rest of the team.

We are grateful for your support and very happy to hear that you intend to stay with Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara once again.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
General Manager

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Reviewed 1 February 2014 via mobile

Excellent resort which deserves its number 1 status on tripadvisor. Rooms were clean and well appointed with spectacular views of the desert. We ate in the buffer restaurant every evening and was surprised and impressed by the variety of food on offer. Everything was very tasty. We did consider the a la carte restaurant however decided that it wasn't worth the extortionate prices. Only slight criticism of the hotel was the price of the transfer from the airport. This seemed grossly disproportionate to the journey time and the cost of taxis generally in the UAE. If we returned again we would probably hire a car as it seemed a relatively straight forward drive from the airport.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Rob7488
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 reviewResponded 5 February 2014

Dear Rob7488,

We thank you for your lovely review and for having chosen to spend your holiday with Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

It is always gratifying to know that we have been able to please our guests. It was thoughtful of you to inform us of this great news which always serves as an encouragement and motivation for our team. On the other hand, your comment about the transfer cost is well noted and will be reviewed accordingly.

We are glad to hear that you intend to stay with us once again and looking forward to welcoming back to the resort soon.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
General Manager

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Reviewed 1 February 2014

We went to Qasr Al Sarab to get away from the city, and we certainly did that! Surround by beautiful desert, it certainly feels like you are away from it all. The service was excellent - every member of staff did their utmost to make us feel welcome. We ate at Suhail restaurant both nights - the food was delicious - try the truffle mash! The only reason I haven't given Qasr Al Sarab a 5 is because, for the price we paid (it's not cheap), we were a little disappointed with the spa; it wasn't quite what we were expecting from an Anantara. The treatments were fine, but it was a little lacking in facilities. We also found the breakfast buffet a little noisy. All in all though, a great weekend!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Alison H
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 reviewResponded 5 February 2014

Dear Alison H,

Thank you for having taken the time to review you stay and sharing your feedback.

Indeed, we always welcome guest comments and find it extremely valuable in our efforts to maintain the standards of service which our guests have come to expect of Qasr Al Sarab. Moreover, we have taken good notes of your observation about spa and breakfast which will surely help us in the continuous improvements of our product and services.

On the other hand, we are glad to know that some of the aspects of your stay were pleasant. We will certainly recognize our associates for the excellent service rendered to you.

We look forward to greeting you again one day in the not too distant future and to the privilege of extending to you once again Anantara hospitality.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
General Manager

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Reviewed 31 January 2014

THERE'S getting away from it all...and then there is this place.
A small road leads off the highway to take you through mountainous dunes and then suddenly this stunning resort appears as if out of nowhere.
It's fairytale stuff in the middle of the desert. Qasr Al Sarab seems to grow out of its surroundings, but what you find is anything but basic. This is five-star luxury in what can be a hostile environment - and you'll never forget the experience, from the moment they hand you a date and camel milk drink while checking in.
There's a mix of private villas for a truly luxurious and private getaway and a selection of rooms around the main hotel, all of which give a view of this incredible scenery. The restaurants also give great views, but one of the best ways to take it in is via a morning camel ride or an evening guided walk.
Several other activities are available so you can sample the desert at close quarters - or there's complete relaxation on offer in the spa or by the pool - a genuine watery oasis in the dry, golden sands.
Few resorts can offer such pampering in one of the world's most dramatic, natural film sets. Stunning.

Room Tip: We checked out the spa (looked stunning) but didn't indulge. From what I've seen, there are...
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David D
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 reviewResponded 5 February 2014

Dear David D,

Thank you for sharing such lovely comments.

My team and I are thrilled that we have exceeded your expectations and we have made you leave with an amazing story. I will certainly share your beautiful message to the team.

We are looking forward to being of service to you once again and assuring you of our best efforts to make your every stay an unforgettable experience.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
General Manager

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Reviewed 31 January 2014 via mobile

Qasr Al Sarab is the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. You feel as if you've stepped back in time to a more refined way of travel. Everyone is so welcoming, kind, and gracious, and the accommodations are spectacular. You have to make this a travel priority, whether for a relaxing spa getaway or an adventurous desert safari.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
Thank Melissa P
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 reviewResponded 5 February 2014

Dear Melissa P,

Thank you for the amazing review you have put for us.

I am glad we were able to provide you a tranquil and relaxing break. It sounds like you had a very pleasant experience with all of our staff, and I will be sure to pass on your kind words to the team.

Once again, thank you for your wonderful compliments, please do visit us again and we will be more than happy to ensure that your next stay will be as memorable as the recent one.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Both
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 January 2014

Having driven 250kms from Abu Dhabi in order to dine at Qasr Al Sarab it was with a great deal of surprise and annoyance that we were told that it is no longer the policy of the hotel to serve non-residents in its three on-site restaurants. We were only informed of this upon arrival by a very rude gate house guard and subsequently as well as by an equally rude receptionist who we phoned in order to ensure that the guard had not lost something in translation. What is annoying about this is the fact that this policy is not noted on the hotel's website and nor is it mentioned in guidebooks such as Lonely Planet, which waxes lyrically about the three restaurants on site.

Frankly, this is a marketing and PR disaster in the making - I for one would now never stay at the resort (no matter how good the hotel is) and will advise my friends of the same thing. Whoever has made this decision needs to seriously rethink or at least advertise that the resort is open to resident guests only.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Service
14  Thank Neil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Address: 1 Qasr Al Sarab Road, Hamim 131277, United Arab Emirates
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Liwa Oasis > Hamim
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £226 - £508 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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