We drove to this hotel ourselves from Abu Dhabi airport after collecting a hire car which takes about 2 hours but is a very easy drive and well signposted. The drive for the most part is uninteresting until you reach the hotel entrance and from there the 15-20 minute drive to the main hotel is simply breathtaking. It's real Lawrence of Arabia stuff! You really do feel like you are right in the heart of the desert and staying in a beautiful arabian palace.
Check-in was very swift and we were upgraded to deluxe terrace room. The room was beautiful with a very large terrace overlooking the pool and the sand dunes. The bathroom was lovely with a HUGE bath. The pool area is very relaxing with plenty of sun beds and a swim up bar.
They have various excursions available and we chose to do the Dune Bashing which I can thoroughly recommend to anyone. It is a brilliant couple of hours, slightly scary at times as you slide down a near vertical sand dune with a driver who seems to love to hear you scream but well worth it. We had a smile on our faces all evening.
We first night we had a meal in Suhail, which is a steakhouse. The food was beautiful and the service impeccable. We had Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and Omani Lobster Ravioli to start which was divine, I could have eaten my ravioli over and over again. For main course Trilogy of Lamb and a Wagyu Filet Mignon with gratin dauphinoise, creamed spinach and a truffle and foie gras sauce. What can I say, we both died and went to heaven. STUNNING! I would return to this hotel JUST to eat the Trilogy of Lamb again. Dessert was chocolate soufflé and blackberry cheesecake, again lovely. It isn't cheap but well worth every penny.
Sadly on the second evening we decided on Al Waha which is the main buffet restaurant. Terrible, terrible, terrible! I have never been a lover of buffet restaurants and this confirmed that I shall never eat in one again. The chicken was raw which put me off completely and we left refusing to pay. The chef did apologise but this is not acceptable and dangerous.
The service throughout the hotel is second to none, particularly the bar manager (Ghosh) in the lobby bar who was quite possibly the nicest and most genuine person I have ever met. Please stay in this hotel as soon as you can. Despite the slight problem in the Al Waha restaurant it did not detract from a wonderful stay. I cannot wait to return.
- 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