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The UAE is awash with dreamy hotels and fabulously fancy, five-star resorts, but there are very few that even come close to competing with the secluded desert oasis that is Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Review

Offering its very own adventure along the way, a three-hour road trip from Dubai took us deep into the depths of the Empty Quarter, where we drove winding desert roads that skirted towering sand dunes and led us straight to the luxurious gates of a once-in-a-lifetime Arabian escape…

Beyond the city…

The winding desert road that leads to Anantara Qasr Al Sarab in Abu Dhabi.

An adventurous staycation, a luxurious vacation or a romantic bae-cation: no matter what the occasion, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab delivers, particularly in a time where the luxe traveller seeks as much from surrounding experiences as they do from the resort they have chosen for their city ‘switch-off’. And these days, despite a backpacker background, I’m all for that luxe living, with a generous side of exploration and fun.

Inside the Fortress walls

Girl in red dress sits on walls of Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort & Spa

Ananatara Qasr Al Sarab is a sprawling Arabian fortress built across multiple levels; its walled walkways, turrets and courtyards create a lost-world feel with an air of secluded tranquility that’ll have you believing you are the only guests at the resort (once you have ventured beyond the check-in lounge), even if it’s at high-capacity.

From garden and terrace rooms to suites and royal pool villas, the resort offers a plethora of possibilities.  What can you expect behind your over-sized entrance?

Rolling in the deep…

Man walking along the golden sand dunes in Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter desert

If you’re searching for wrap-around desert views with kaleidoscopic sunsets, stars and secluded suites, you’ve come to the right place. If you are searching for rolling sand dunes to satisfy your adventurous soul, you’ll find those in abundance, too. You do not drive deep into the Empty Quarter to just look at the golden view; getting out and traipsing to the top of the dunes is a must… just plan your trip for a winter month if you want to explore during the daytime.

Swings & swim-up pool bars

Girl in red dress on desert swing in Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter at Anantara Qasr Al Sarab

Were you even in the Empty Quarter if you didn’t stumble upon a desert swing that definitely wasn’t put there to lure in the insta-travellers who have flown halfway across the globe to pose at the ‘most instagrammable hotel in the world’?! Damn right, I took a photo of me swinging into the social frenzy. If you’re into your photography – or just your Instagram – Qasr Al Sarab is designed to deliver photo ops at every corner.

More than desert swings, the resort’s massive pool offers all the chill-out vibes that you came for. Not one for sharing poolside bliss? Book into a villa for your own pool instead… just expect to pay at least double the price for your privacy.

Eat & Drink Your Way Around Qasr Al Sarab

The sandy Arabian architecture of Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Resort & Spa

Anantara Qasr Al Sarab offers a number of dining options that range from poolside pizzas to private dinner-by-design on the dunes and bedouin-style barbecue experiences that let you taste Arabian culture under the stars. If you are staying in one of the luxurious villas, the resort can even arranged for private catering. Sunset lounge? Check. Steakhouse with wine-cellar? Check. Brunch-style breakfast with mini donuts and fresh honeycomb feature?

Explore Qasr Al Sarab activities

The fortress walls of Qasr Al Sarab hotel set to the backdrop of the desert dunes

Okay, okay… so, like me, spending your days on a sun-lounger does nothing for you. Fear not because the resort also offers a variety of activities including fat-biking, horse-riding, archery, camel trekking, desert drives and more. The verdict on Qasr Al Sarab…

A big statement to make, but Anantara Qasr Al Sarab is a definite feature in my ‘top 5 hotels around the world (from those I have been to so far)’ – a round-up article that I will create… soon.

See more of the Middle East or check out a variety of travel inspo under destinations.

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Inside Anantara Qasr Al Sarab: A Review | Abu Dhabi

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