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Rajshree R
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A 2 day visit To Sir Baniyas Island with stay at Anantara

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 Jan 2019via mobile
Just finished a 2 night stay at Anantara desert island resort , Sir Baniyas island ,with my daughter. First and foremost the efforts of all involved in the maintenance of an eco consverative island in the middle of a desert has to be appreciated..The island does not disappoint ! Kudos to HRH Sheikh Zayed to the exemplary vision of tranforming a desert patch into a beautiful lush fertile land where so many species of life co exist, Although a controlled environment it is marvellous example of how human beings can help sustain nature , enjoy nature and wild animals , helping them flourish! The hotel( desert islands resort) is a bit dated( given the premium price we paid for accomodation alone) .The check in including the transfers from Sir Baniyas island boat jetty was smooth . Michelle was the check in assistant assigned to us and she clearly explained the activities and facilities in the resort. The room had a gorgeous sea facing balcony and the amenities were considerably ok. The toilet flush malfunctioned at times though . The pool was relatively small and the beach available for the Desert islands resort per se was just a strip. But the beach at the other property Al yamm villas was quite ok . The food at the breakfast buffet and the in room dining and the italian restaurant at al yamm villas was quite good . The 2 activites I took- the nature walk and the wild life safari ( both overpriced for a mere 90 minutes ) were made worthy by the 2 activity guides- Mr Khaled and Mr Anvi ..both passionate about wild life and well informed
Now the cons and the reason for giving only 3 stars

1) Too expensive for a property thats outdated in the exterior and old fittings- we have a lot of gorgeous new resorts to choose these days..the only reason to come here would be just to be in Sir Baniyas island
2) The wait staff in both the restaurants we visited put us off completely..both Al shams and the italian restaurant..both for lunch..They didnt have a smile on their face, they seemed to resent us coming in as they looked clearly overworked..and Mr Shaheen at al shams even mentioned that a lot of staff are on leave..strange because it was peak season when we visited ! Also when on a holiday we want to be greeted by smiling and happy staff..not overworked and unhappy lot..The management has to take care of this..we didnt want to pay money for food and then leave guilty of overworking the wait staff

5) The only free activity were the bikes which unfortunately for us turned out to be a fiasco since the bike we took out didnt function properly and when we returned to the shed there was no one around . Called the hotel, hung around for 20 minutes, spoke to michelle at the reception desk - no luck..so walked back to the hotel

Was this irresponsible service because it was a free bike?

All in all for the discerning tourist used to impeccable service and value for the money they pay , there are other great resorts..except for the beautiful baniyas island..

All in all a disappointment from the anantara stable!!!!
Date of stay: January 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
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LightPacker741974, Manager at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, responded to this review
Responded 4 Jan 2019
Dear Rajshree R,

Warm Greetings from Sir Bani Yas Resorts,

We would like to thank you for taking your time to share your experience with us and we are very happy to learn that you had a good time overall.

In another hand , we appreciate your feedback on areas for improvement and we will ensure the necessary corrective measures are in place. Please do accept our sincere apologies if this may cause you an inconvenience.

We hope you can give us a chance to welcome you back in the island and restore your faith in Anantara Hospitality.

Best Regards
Rachid Bakas
Rooms Division Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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View more hotels in Sir Bani Yas Island
Reviews (1,453)
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Reviewed 3 January 2019

Booked two nights in the Anantara Suite and was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience! From the moment we arrived at the jetty, till our arrival at the resort, everything was taken care of. The staff in particular were very friendly and welcoming. The activities desk were helpful and friendly. The spa was divine! The thai massage was the best I ever had, absolutely brilliant! This was a welcomed break away from the hustle and bustle of the city! Definitely recommended! Thank you.

Room tip: Book the activities in advance to avoid disappointment!
Date of stay: January 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank aalhilou
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
LightPacker741974, Manager at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2019

Dear aalhilou,

Thank you for choosing our hotel and taking the time to share your feedback about your experience with us.

We are delighted to learn that you had a memorable stay and we appreciate your kind praise of our team members. I will ensure to share this feedback with them and the rest of the team to continue to inspire and motivate them to deliver exceptional customer service.

Thank you again for your time.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resort in the near future.


Sincerely,
Rachid Bakas
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2019

Great place to unwind - beach, mountains and wildlife safari! Friendly and helpful staff, great food and lots of outdoor activities for different age groups. This is our 2nd trip to the island and were not disappointed in coming back.

Date of stay: December 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Rooms
Review collected in partnership with Minor Hotels
Thank 555Rowena
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
LightPacker741974, Manager at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2019

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing our hotel and taking the time to share your feedback about your experience with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resort in the near future.

Sincerely,
Rachid Bakas
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2018

Overall experience of the resort from arrival to departure was excellent. There was a good variety of water sports. We enjoyed the wild life safari as well as the water sports.The staff were all helpful and courteous.

Date of stay: December 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
Review collected in partnership with Minor Hotels
Thank Cruiser515865
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
LightPacker741974, Manager at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2018

Dear Cruiser 515865,

Thank you for choosing our hotel and taking the time to share your feedback about your experience with us.

We are delighted to learn that you had a memorable stay and we appreciate your kind praise of our team members. I will ensure to share this feedback with them and the rest of the team to continue to inspire and motivate them to deliver exceptional customer service.

Thank you again for your time.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Anantara Sir Bani Yas Resort in the near future.

Sincerely,
Rachid Bakas
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2018

Excellent from start to finish. the staff were amazing, and the food having a choice of restaurants and themed nights across all 3 hotels mad it special all transport was organised by the staff , all we had to do was turn up.

Date of stay: December 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Minor Hotels
Thank secretagent00trow
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
LightPacker741974, Manager at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2018

Thank you for choosing our hotel and taking the time to share your feedback about your experience with us.

We are delighted to learn that you had a memorable stay and we appreciate your kind praise of our team members. I will ensure to share this feedback with them and the rest of the team to continue to inspire and motivate them to deliver exceptional customer service.

Thank you again for your time.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resort in the near future.

Sincerely,
Rachid Bakas
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2018 via mobile

I have always wanted to visit Sir Baniyas island, having lived in the UAE for a number of years previously. So when I had the chance to bring my partner, i jumped at it. I tried to research the different packages/resorts but was quite confused at the difference, they all looked like villas to me! So I booked what I thought was at least pool side for premium price.
We left Dubai and it took less than 4 hours to drive to the jetty which was great, the view from the jetty was incredible, (think crystal blue waters, palm trees and Rocky Mountains like a desert Jurassic park) arrived earlier than planned and the staff accommodated this with a private car to the resort. Check in/activity booking was easy enough and we we allowed into our room 2 hours early and was much appreciated.
We were then shown to our room (deluxe sea view) which I had now figured out was not pool or beach side but was the 3rd floor of a large resort. Not really what I had imagined for us. The room was spacious but not exactly sea view. You needed to get up onto the balcony of this room to view the ocean as it was blocked by a wall. Once you were up there, the balcony unfortunately was so dusty and soiled by pigeons that we spent no time there.
The pool and bar set up was average, the food was not exactly 5 star (they didn’t hesitate to charge 5 star prices).
We the. Booked boat snorkelling and wake boarding which was nice, Roy and Dedham were great, but again, not worth the spend. I was left wishing I had just stayed on the beach...
We ended up having dinner at Amwaj (seafood restaurant) was delicious and the location, spectacular so highly recommend.
We had Safari the next day and checked out at 12. I almost fainted at the bill (I had already paid the room charge) and felt slightly ripped off...
This disappointment disappeared when we embarked on our safari. The cars are classic safari style, open air land rovers, comfortable. We go so close to one of the giraffes we could have touched him (don’t touch the wildlife).
Our guide was Mark who isknowledgeable, engaging and willing to answer all questions - great work Mark!
Once we were back at the resort, we had a couple of hours to spare so I took one of the bikes around the lagoon to view the mangroves which was nice (and free, thank goodness).
Ferry was a 4 so we loaded into the bus and we’re back in Dubai by 8pm.
Overall would recommend visiting the island but I’m not sure if the Desert Island Resort is entirely worth
the spend.

Date of stay: December 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Becky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
LightPacker741974, Manager at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, responded to this reviewResponded 30 December 2018

Dear Becky,

Warm Greetings from Sir Bani Yas Resorts,

We would like to thank you for taking your time to share your experience with us and we are very happy to learn that you had a good time overall.

Your comments about the rooms and restaurants are well noted and wil be shared with the team and management to ensure corrective measures are taken.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Best Regards
Rachid Bakas
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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