A luxury week in the sun on Sir Bani Yas Island in December. The Desert Islands Hotel lived up to our expectations - first class throughout. The hotel is modern with all the facilities that you would expect, including free WI-FI & satellite TV. The public areas are tastefully furnished with antique Arabic furniture and nick-nacks.
We spent most of our time lazing by the pool. The staff were attentive and nothing seemed too much trouble - arranging sunbeds, towels, drinks etc. The pool area is lovely with plenty of patio and grassy areas to sit out on.
We visited two restaurants - one buffet and one a la carte - both served very nice food and service was 5 star. We also took a minibus to an Italian restaurant 15 minutes away at the hotel’s Villa area. The food and service here was excellent, just like the other restaurants, and we ate outside which was a real pleasure in December.
We went on a game drive which lasted for 90 minutes, the ranger was very knowledgeable and we saw the giraffes, cheetahs and various antelopes. The effort and resource expended on the Island is astounding - miles and miles of irrigation to keep the island green and all the water is piped from desalination plants on the mainland.
My wife went horse riding one day, which included cantering along Royal Bay. (I was left to fend for myself and I didn’t break anything….)
Our travel plans had to be changed due to a government conference taking over the hotel the day before we were due to leave, which was disappointing, but not the fault of the hotel. They arranged for us to stay in their sister hotel back in Abu Dhabi for the last night. The deputy manager of the hotel handled things very well when she became aware of our disappointment at the enforced change to our plans. She made every effort to ensure that we enjoyed our stay, as did all of her staff.
For our trip, we flew Ethiad from Heathrow, leaving at 09:30 and arriving in Abu Dhabi at 20:00 local time. A cheap 20 minute tax ride took us to an Aloft hotel near Al Bhateen airport where we overnighted for a morning flight to Sir Bani Yas. We booked this internal flight directly through Rotana Jet Aviation Abu Dhabi Phone: 02 444 33 66. The flight takes about half an hour. We did the return journey from the island on the ferry (which is free), as the flights don’t operate every day. The boat only takes 30 minutes but the drive from where it docks back to Abu Dhabi takes 2 ½ hours – an easy motorway drive but very little to see along the journey.
Overall a very pleasant week in the sun- not the cheapest but very relaxing, and we would return.
- 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