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“Paradise revisited”

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Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Murqquab
Certificate of Excellence
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Paradise revisited”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

'So what do you want to do for your birthday this year?' I said to my husband some months back. I should have known what his answer would be.........go to the Al Maha. So we found ourselves on our 4th visit to this gem in the desert. Our previous visits here have been exceptional so our expectations were very high, so how would this trip compare? Well, Mira & Team Al Maha did it again; greeting us like friends & giving us the most amazing & memorable stay.

From the moment you arrive at the Al Maha it is clear that nothing is too much trouble for any of the team & this continues throughout your stay. We arrived quite early in the morning & our suite was not ready - no problem, we went & had some breakfast & then went to the spa where we took advantage of the lovely pool area. It seemed that no time at all had passed & we were told our suite was ready; suite 35, our favourite.

That first night we were a little tired so rather than go down for dinner we had a delicious meal delivered to our suite & sat on our deck looking out in to the darkness. The table was laid with a pristine white tablecloth & set just the same as if we had gone to the restaurant. I don't know of any other place where you can have room service for no additional cost & with such an extensive in room menu. Amazing! All the food is outstanding & the same exceptionally high standards are delivered whether you dine in the restaurant or have room service.

On my husband's birthday they really pushed the boat out for us. The room off the main restaurant had been set up just for us with dozens of candles spelling out a great big 'Happy Birthday' on the floor. A special meal had been prepared for us, ending with the most amazing birthday cake. Thanks once again to Srini & all the kitchen & restaurant team who made this night so extra special for us.

Other reviewers have spoken at length of the fantastic suites, the activities, the wildlife &, of course, the exquisite food; I echo all their positive feedback. I will also add a special comment for the fantastic housekeeping team who do such a superb job keeping the suites & outside area so clean despite the constant battle against the sand. Well done lads.

I think what makes this resort stand out is that all the staff genuinely want you to have the most perfect time & each & every one of them makes every effort to make this happen. We highly recommend the Al Maha & are already planning our next visit.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your extremely valuable feedback. We couldn't express more the contentment we feel to know of the experience you had.

We sincerely appreciate your support and repeat visits and hope that we can always contribute to some wonderful memories for you.

You have been very generous with your kind words which truly encourage us to continue what we do best and that is to see all our guests have exquisite experiences and leave the resort happy and wanting to return.

Thank you for recommending us. We look forward to your next visit as always.

Sincerely,

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa.
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Swindon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

We were a little apprehensive about going to this hotel as we thought we would get bored and it would be too quiet. How wrong we were!!! Fantastic welcome through to a very sad goodbye.

The food - you just couldn't ask for better especially as you can either eat in restaurant or have it set up by the side of your own private pool. Jumbo prawns need to be seen to be believed, the lamb shank just falls apart and the steak melts in your mouth.

Customer service, whether it is front desk, in the restaurant, the buggy drivers, the gardeners, the field people or the housekeeping staff - put everything we have seen elsewhere to shame - absolutely brilliant - thank you.

Then you get down to where you are - in the desert surrounded by Orynx, gazelles and birds. You can watch and listen in the peace of your lovely villa, in the pool or on the decking. Beautiful furnishing in the villa, massive bed and huge bathroom.

I could go on - if you get the chance to go to this beautiful hotel - DO IT - you won't regret it.

Room Tip: All rooms have lovely view. We stayed in number 23 which was the very last one so really private...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AlanandkarenSwindon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear Guests,

Thank you for writing such kind words of your recent visit to Al Maha.

We are happy to read that you enjoyed your stay and that you will have good memories of your experience at the resort. Experiencing the tranquility of the desert and nothing but the sounds of nature is truly quite exquisite and definitely an opportunity not to miss in our unique destination. We are glad you didn't.

Do consider visiting us again as we look forward to welcoming you to yet another wonderful stay.

Sincerely,

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa.
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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014 via mobile

If there was a guidebook on customer service, Al Maha should write it. They absolutely put other 5* hotels to shame. The resort is outstanding and the staff can't do enough for you, they are friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in you.

Accommodation - the rooms are amazing, they really make you feel like you are in the desert in Murqquab. I hate being on holiday in a generic hotel. The accommodation here is special, really good sized rooms and bathroom. Oh my gosh... The bed!!!! I'm greedy with how much room I take up and there was plenty of room for 5 x greedy people. There is even a pillow menu! Room also has a writing desk, easel for sketching, couch and fast free wifi. There is nespresso machine too. We were in Suite 15 which was really close to the main building so we didn't need to ring for golf buggy. We were told this was the showroom suite when they first opened. Every suite is very private, we couldn't see into any other suite so I'm sure they are all as good as each other, but we would absolutely recommend ours. The pools are excellent size considering everyone has their own. The air con is good, not noisy. It was so hot outside, 46 degrees!, so you can't stay outside for that long. We saw lots of wildlife from our suite and lots of Oryx came onto our decking.

Food - I am surprised I can still fit into my clothes. This was the best food I have ever eaten in my life! And we have high food standards. Excellent choice, service and quality. I have never seen prawns as big as they served. Wagyu beef and lobster on the menu every night. We ate like kings. The staff are also knowledgable and will advise. If they say something is spicy, then they mean it's SPICY! Breakfast is served 7.30am til 10.30am, Lunch is 3 courses and served 12.30 til 2.30pm and dinner is 5 courses and served 7.30 til 10.30. However you can order room service (FREE of charge) anytime you wish, I have never known this from any hotel before. There is a big menu in the rooms for you to select from! Seriously! In the main lobby there is also a snack station in the day.

Activities - if you can manage to do anything after eating all this delicious food then they have some really great activities. You do have to let them know what you want to do in advance as the popular ones like Dune Driving get booked up quickly, however we were able to do everything we wanted as they did everything to accommodate us. Due to the temperature most activities are early morning (falconry 5.30am and dune driving 7am) but there are wildlife drives late afternoon and camel trekking is at 6pm. I've been camel trekking before and these are the cleanest camels I've seen and well behaved and you can see they are looked after. When you arrive into the desert there is champagne waiting for you and a beaut sunset before heading back on your camel, so don't get too light headed!

As a honeymoon couple we had the private dinner in the desert - and what an experience that was! You literally are driven into the desert where a picnic is set up (I say picnic but it's actually an amazing feast, picnic fine-dining), on a rug with cushions and lit only by flames. It was very romantic, however we weren't the only ones there. Every bug decided to join us and there is the risk of snakes, spiders and scorpions also gatecrashing. To say we were on edge is an understatement. I kept making my husband get up and patrol the area. We felt like we were on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! But it was a fantastic experience. They leave you with a mobile phone to call when you want collecting.

To mention some members of staff by name; Nancy, Myat, Shahzab, you made our stay even more wonderful. Thank you.

We came to Al Maha after being recommended by our travel agent as an addition to just staying in Dubai for a week and it was the best advice. We were able to relax as well as take part in some excellent activities and just feel completely looked after. We could not recommend this place more. We are in our twenties (we were the youngest there) but this resort would suit any age group as they cater for all tastes - as long as you like luxury.







Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank AndyandCharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 21 June 2014
Dear Guest,

You have been so generous with your feedback. Thank you for your precious time and kind words. This means so much to us as a team as we are truly passionate about the experiences all our guests have.

We are happy to know that our beds brought out the baby in you and helped you sleep like one too! The picnic too is one of our exquisite offerings and a very special experience to have indeed.

Congratulations once again on your special beginning together and thank you for choosing our unique resort to celebrate it.

We all look forward to welcoming you again.

Sincerely,

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa.
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Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014

I think that this may become an essay.

We spent 6 nights here with friends who had visited last year and raved about the place. They told us we would love it and they weren't wrong. From start to finish we thought the whole experience was wonderful, I nearly cried when we had to come home.

We arrived very early for check-in and the staff were lovely, they took us to the restaurant, gave us breakfast and when we were still sitting at the table when service should have finished the restaurant staff were apologetic that they had to close the buffet so that they could get ready for lunch. It is so nice to go somewhere and staff seem to be genuinely concerned that the guests are happy rather than just going through the motions. I was half asleep when we checked in so I can't remember the lady's name who helped us but she knew we wanted to just "drop" after our overnight flight and she was nearly as excited as we were to be able to tell us that our room was ready well before we should have been able to check in.

The room, WOW, amazing. Furnished beautifully and all the furnishings were so comfortable, especially the beds, I could have spent all day in ours. The toiletries were lovely, people have said before about them being Bulgari but what impressed me most of all was that they really are "uni-sex"; so often they lean very much one way or the other but these just had a lovely, clean, fresh smell.

First night there we did the camel ride and had a sundowner - very well behaved camels. The guys who look after them must have to work very hard to keep them so clean - not something camels are normally know for!

We had dinner outside on the first night. We probably should have just gone to bed, we were so tired we could not do the food justice and the waiters were very concerned that we weren't happy with it. Couldn't be further from the truth, we felt guilty that we couldn't appreciate the fantastic food as it should be - we made up for it on the rest of the holiday though.

Next morning I got up to go horse riding. This was the part of the holiday I was most excited about and I was really pleased to find that it was as good if not than better than I had hoped for. The horses are very well looked after, I was told that some of them were really rather old but you would never have known this, they were all full of beans and well mannered. You do have to be able to ride to go out on these horses but as somebody who has ridden for a very long time I really appreciated being able to ride a horse who had "something about it" rather than something that would just plod along nose-to-tail with the one in front. Laurence, who lead the rides was great. He really took into account that it was a while since I had ridden these kind of horses and checked on me to make sure I was OK and not about to drop off the side of the saddle with exhaustion! Having never ridden across a desert before I was also really glad of his advice on how to negotiate the dunes - although the horses would have done it themselves I'm not sure I would have let them do it properly without his advice. The riding must have been good - I only missed one morning - as it takes something to get me out of be at 04:45 when I'm on holiday!

The falconry was impressive and the dune driving exhilarating - only one person had to get out feeling a little sick, not bad out of 5 vehicles. I kid you not - they have something called the "sick tree" if you are feeling ill by the time you get there, they leave you in the shade and pick you up on the way back - take heed of the warnings and DO NOT eat anything before you set off, even if you are usually OK, you wouldn't want to miss it.

Room service - I've never experienced anything like it. It was incredibly hot for June whilst we were there so we opted to be lazy and have our lunch delivered rather than get changed and go to the restaurant for our lunch. The guys who delivered the food were fabulous, the table was set the way it would be in the restaurant and they took great care to make sure we had got exactly what we had ordered and that we were happy before they left. Even more impressive, as soon as we called to say we had finished they were there within a couple of minutes to clear away our debris.

A regular guest told me that the general manager was on holiday whilst we were there - well Mr Silvis, you can rest easy, your staff work admirably without you, I'm sure you are busy when you are there but I would have had no idea that "the cat was away" when we were there. Your team does you credit.

We came away with a recipe for the best gazpacho I have ever had - my hubby has promised to make it so it must have been good, he NEVER cooks. Maybe if he can't get it right it will be an excuse for us to come back again.

It's not cheap but nothing worthwhile is, if you can afford it, go and spoil yourselves. This place makes me want to downgrade every other "excellent" review I have ever given!

Room Tip: I can't believe there is a bad room but the ones on the side of the presidential suite seem to h...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicola P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 21 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent stay with us at Al Maha. We truly appreciate your feedback and the time you have spent penning down your appreciation. You have some great friends!

We are all pleased and happy to know that you have experienced almost all of our services and enjoyed them too.

Do let us know how the gazpacho came out, we are sure the Mr. will do it justice and who knows, could make some for us on your next visit too!

Once again, we genuinely appreciate all your kind words and look forward to welcoming you again for yet another exceptional experience in the desert.

Sincerely,

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa.
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Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Al Maha desert resort is, as all the other reviewers already pointed out, a very unique and almost certainly unforgetable experience of relaxed luxury in a stunning (though hot!) natural environment. Al Maha means watching gazelles and the like walk past from within the outdoor pool, riding a well-mannered camel to the perfect sunset spot overlooking the dunes, a la carte lunch of only the finest seafood and regional cuisine, together with the perfect wine to match - all served with five star hospitality, professionalism and friendliness. Very secluded and situated within protected conservation land, Al Maha is a (re)treat worth saving for.

While not directly involved in the conservation efforts surrounding the property (overseen by Dubai's ruler), Al Maha staff do go the extra mile in making the resort as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible for five star cost and logis in the middle of the Dubai desert. Perhaps, investment in solar power for electricity would be worth a consideration, once the right technology becomes available.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DrKaefer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
176 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Firstly, let get the bad out of the way. The website booking is terrible when searching for offers. coming from Dubai and being flexible on dates, I tried to take advantage of the 3 nights for 2 offer. I couldn't find any offers available for any dates. This was highlighted to the staff. Next, the short wait at the remote car park doesn't give the luxury feel. There is a small shed to shelter from the heat, but it is a bit scruffy and there was litter outside. (cars aren't allowed in the resort. so transport is by golf buggy.)

Secondly, the good stuff. EVERYTHING! Peace and quiet, staff, service, private pool, wildlife, guides and activities. Then there is the food. wow.

We only managed two nights which is long enough to get a feel for the place and to promise ourselves a return visit.

This is the perfect place for relaxing, in perfect calm, with views out onto the desert.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank threehens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Returned once again to the solitude and splendour of Al Maha, After 3 nights in Dar Al Masyaf. Here for 6 Nights (we wish it was more) but still have a further 5 nights of total bliss left.

We arrived yesterday to be greeted like old friends from Mira, Ankush and Laurence as we stepped out of the vehicle.

First evening was spent with a little cream tea overlooking the beautiful desert landscape, Then later we were taken by our field guide Laurence to Sun downers on the dunes in the desert via a Camel Ride, (for the less adventurous you can take a 4x4 to the "Desert dune bar" to toast the sunset) Great sunset, great company and chilled champagne and strawberries (among other items) to greet you from a waiter at the bar set up in the dunes for us.

Fantastic meal last night, thank you Remy and all staff, (again Remy greeting us like old friends).

Slept exceptionally well; how could you not in this bed! (and we should know; we bought the pillows and Linen last time we were here) and took buggy to late breakfast. Returned to a perfectly clean room and deck area with inviting warm pool (our; well my wife's choice of pool temperature which was set for us last night) awaiting us. Spent the afternoon gazing at the scenery and wildlife (via binoculars supplied in room) also some wildlife was closer; which was lovely to see.

I thought I should write now (and again after vacation) as the lunch that was just delivered and perfectly laid out on our very private deck by the waiter (Hubert) was exceptional. Arabic Mezze platter to start, Huge (and I mean huge) Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with accompanied sauces (chilli sauce was excellent) and Grilled marinated Squid, Market salad and two fresh fruit platters that were placed in the cool of your room. A fantastic lunch indeed, I don't know if Mr Sebby (who I have had the pleasure of meeting before) cooked it? But it was one of life's pleasures! and what vacations are all about!

Also excellent fibre optic (wireless) broadband to allow me to write this and life's other important things (face time with granddaughter !!)

Reviewers; please note this is the Number 1 resort in Dubai, 97% satisfaction compared to 95% of the best of the rest in Dubai why they have put this resort to Emirate of Dubai and not Dubai is a mystery to me; As I feel potential guests may not see it on Trip advisor, which is a shame as most would love it for all of their holiday or just a night or two? But I was informed resort was 100% occupied yesterday; Not that you would know it, It feels like we are the only ones here or one of very few from the service you receive and the splendid isolation.


Thank you once again Al Maha Resort and staff.

J & L

Room Tip: All are great, But thank you Mira for this room (schh secret)
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JandL63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa

Property: Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
Address: Dubai - Al Ain Rd | Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Murqquab, United Arab Emirates
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Murqquab
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Murqquab
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Exclusive Hotel designed to resemble a traditional Bedouin encampment - Set within a 25-sq.-kilometer desert conservation reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Al Maha Desert Hotel Dubai
Al Maha Desert Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort
Al Maha Resort

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