Anantara Qasr Al Sarab
Desert mirage palace hotel
1 Qasar Al Sarab Road 971-2-886-2088 qasralsarab.anantara.com
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At a Glance
Two hours south of Abu Dhabi and just north of the Saudi Arabia border, the Anantara Qasr al Sarab offers couples and families an extraordinary desert experience.
- The extremely remote nature of the property in the Empty Quarter, at least two hours by car from the nearest town
- The palace-style architecture
- Dune bashing in the desert with the hotel’s expert drivers
The UAE’s Empty Quarter is a place where sand meets wind and creates a landscape that is profound in its beauty. It is here, two hours by car from the nearest town, where you can find the desert resort Anantara Qasr al Sarab, whose name means “mirage palace.”
Guest rooms here are divided into two sections: on one side of the vast property sit the “Villas” and on the other, the rooms and suites. The 52 Villas are by far the best accommodations; there are some multi-bedroom options and all feature their own private pools, outdoor seating and spacious living rooms. Décor in all rooms (there are also 154 rooms and suites) is desert-chic, with bronze accents, brass chandeliers, earth toned linens and dark-wood furniture.
This being an Anantara property, it comes as no surprise that the spa is extraordinary, and treatments are world-class. Massage tables face stunning views of the sand dunes beyond and the therapists are excellent.
A highlight of a stay here is dune bashing, which the property arranges for sunrise. Guests meet their driver/guide in the lobby around 5am and head out to the tall dunes that surround the property in a fortified Land Cruiser. The expert driver deflates the tires and then the car takes off, up and down and around the dunes, a veritable, natural roller coaster. Other activities available through the property include tennis, cooking classes, camel trekking, archery, fat-tire biking, desert yoga, sand boarding and falcon shows. There is also a 24-hour gym and kid and teens club.
There are five dining outlets on property, offering cuisine ranging from Middle Eastern to Italian. A fun option during winter months is Al Falaj, a setup where guests can dine under the stars on Bedouin-inspired dishes. Note that during Ramadan, alcohol is prohibited between sunrise and sunset.
Who Should Stay
Those looking for a very cool desert experience and have plans to be in the UAE, even if only for 1-2 nights. A stay at the Qasr al Sarab along with one night in Abu Dhabi makes for an excellent quick stopover en route to your final destination in Africa or Asia.
Indagare Plus Amenities
- $100 resort credit not applicable to room charges
- Complimentary Breakfast
- Upgraded Room Category on Availability at Check-In
- Late Check-Out on Availability
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access