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The Anantara Hotel Desert Island Resort Spa (Bani Yas Island)

Updated on 03.06.2018

View of Anantara Desert Island Hotel and Spa from its pool on Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

The first hotel on Sir Bani Yas Island, the Anantara Desert island Resort & Spa is equipped with all the facilities to relax as a couple or with the family, and is a first choice base for a safari trip to the wildlife park, or participate in the many activities on offer.

To know about Sir Bani Yas Island

The island of Sir Bani Yas was once deserted, and only a few Christian monks and pearl fishermen have established settlements in the past. But during the second half of the 20th century everything accelerated with the rediscovery of the island by Sheikh Zayed, a man of visionary values who unified the United Arab Emirates from the British. His vision for Bani Yas Island was to make it a refuge for endangered species in the region, and several animal specimens were introduced there. This is the time when oil was flowing and dollars too. Nothing was impossible on desert lands and hundreds of millions of trees were planted, all fed one by one to an irrigation system where desalinated water flows. In the center of the island, Sheikh Zayed built a country house where he liked to come and meditate.

At the beginning of the 21st century, shortly before his death, Cheikh Zayed was able to savor his success: Bani Yas Island became an African bush, a sanctuary of thousands of mammals and countless birds. But his children are abandoning his hilltop home, preferring more luxurious palaces. They will confirm the jewel in the Abu Dhabi Tourism Board, which will accelerate its tourism development in partnership with the luxury hotel chain Anantara. The resort & spa Desert Island is the first resort on the island to open to tourists in 2008.

To learn more about the amazing history of Bani Yas Island, visit our article dedicated to it.

Birds on the beach at Anantara Desert Island Hotel, Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Description of the hotel

The hotel is a classic five star resort, except for its exceptional location on this unusual island, set on a strip of sand between the waters of the Persian Gulf and a lagoon where flamingos and other birds rest.

The Desert Island Bani Yas Hotel offers several types of rooms with terraces, and one and two bedroom villas with swimming pools.

The infinity pool is large and very nice, and surrounded by well maintained gardens. The beach and access to the sea are more suitable for walks than swimming. The hotel has all the amenities of a five-star hotel with a gym, a renowned Anantara spa, a conference center and a small souk.

As for dining, The Palm restaurant mainly offers a buffet, with also the possibility to order à la carte. Two other restaurants are available: by the pool will be Al Shams with Arabian cuisine, and Amwaj for fish dishes with sea views.

On reservation and with transfers, it is possible to dine in the two other establishments of the island: at the Olio Italian restaurant, by the sea (Al Yamm) and at the restaurant of African inspiration Savannah Grill & Loundge (Al Sahel).

Each hotel offers a dining experience (Dining by Design) for two in nature (sea, mountain or savannah), accessible from any hotel on the island, and charged near 1000AED per person.

Anantara Desert Resort Hotel Pool on Bani Yas Island, West Abu Dhabi Emirate ©Odyfolio

View of Desert Island Hotel on Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Activities on Bani Yas Island

Many sporting activities and excursions are available with the hotel. Do not miss the Safari Wild Nature Drive in the heart of the wildlife park, which is the must-see tour organized by every visitor to the island.

Hotel reviews and ratings for Anantara Desert Island

The Odyfolio team has spent several nights there and we highly recommend it. The hotel is particularly family friendly, with a very large and beautiful infinity pool. In contrast, the beach is less suitable for swimming, but will offer a very nice place to walk.

To see more hotel reviews (pool, dining, service and activities), book or just inquire about prices, check out Anantara hotel details Desert Island Resort and Spa

Other accommodation in Bani Yas Island

The Desert Island Hotel is very beautiful indeed, but the ultimate luxury is Al Sahel villas, which with only 30 luxury villas offers a total change of scenery , absolute calm in the heart of the nature and the animal park. Expats who come here say they forget that they are in the United Arab Emirates so it's like in Africa! The animals in large numbers come very close to the houses and amaze the little ones and the big ones.

The hotel Al Yamm villas is a replica of Al Sahel, located by the sea, and without the animals. These two top-of-the-range establishments are unique and to privilege to be in couple.

Location and access map

The article Sir Bani Yas Island Island gives very detailed indications to go to the island of Bani Yas, by road, sea and air.

Location of Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Map of Sir Bani Yas Island in United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors