Desert Island Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi
Sir Baniyas Island, Abu Dhabi
The Desert Island Resort & Spa, based on Abu Dhabi’s Sir Bani Yas Island, and Dubai’s Ritz-Carlton and Madinat Jumeirah are the only three UAE locations to make the 108-strong shortlist of the world’s greatest hotels, according to Conde Nast Traveller magazine.
Editors and travel experts at the UK-based publication annually compile a Gold List of the best hotels based in six criteria; service, location, food, rooms, leisure facilities, and ambience and design.
Anantara’s Desert Island Resort & Spa has now been honoured twice by the magazine during its short lifespan. It was named one of the world’s hottest hotels by Conde Nast Traveller in April 2009, just six months after opening.
Set on the verdant island haven of Sir Bani Yas, just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, housing the once-private Royal Nature Reserve of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Desert Islands Resort & Spa managed by Thai hospitality group Anantara, offers intrepid travellers an unforgettable island escape in the glittering waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Long known as a unique sanctuary of natural beauty, the island of Sir Bani Yas is unlike any other destination in the Arabian Gulf. Indigenous Arabian wildlife from the Arabian National Park roam next to turquoise island waters, the result of a successful breeding programme undertaken by His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Traces of seafaring folklore from bygone days of sultans and explorers surround the island in exotic mystery. Stone Age ruins dot the island’s rugged landscape, footprints of previously undiscovered civilizations.
Just eight kilometres 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. With 64 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites, spacious one-bedroom villas and truly luxurious two-bedroom Royal Villas, Desert Islands Resort & Spa invites all to create a chapter from the Arabian nights in a destination that is anything but ordinary.