Weekend in the Desert

Old Apr 26, 2022, 3:13 am
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Weekend in the Desert

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Map| 2 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

1 Qasr Al Sarab Road Mahdar Bin Usayyan, AE

Weekend in the Desert (51 Photos)

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

I stayed in Dubai so it was about a 3.5 hour drive from DXB.  This includes a few rest stops I made along the road south of Abu Dhabi which was straight as an arrow, yet has a hard speed limit of 100 and contains many fixed photo radar cameras.

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The final approach road to the resort winds its way beautifully amongst the dunes.

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Check In

At check in I received a complimentary one level upgrade as a Platinum GHA member.  A welcome snack and drink of dates, Arabic coffee, and yoghurt smoothie was offered along with a cold towel.

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 My car was parked by valet and bags delivered to the room shortly after walking from the reception area to my room.  I declined buggy service.

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Room

Here's the view from my room along with the ambiance after turndown service.

 

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Unfortunately I took a video and not photos of the room itself, but it was very spacious, and had a huge bathroom with a tub big enough for 3 people easily.

Service

Being a reasonably large resort with 300 staff, I was expecting service to be manufactured and pleasant but impersonal.  I was surprised to see that many of the staff remembered me by name and were quite warm.  I had a great conversation with many of the food service and activity staff, finding out not only about their experience working here and their home countries, but I also got an exterior tour of the staff accomodation which is basically a smaller, less luxurious resort unto itself just down the road.

Dining

As a solo traveller on this trip I did not splurge on the high end rooftop restaurant, but I did partake of the Bedouin style outdoor dining for my dinner treat. 

The starter course was massive and I felt like I barely touched it.

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The setting is extremely pleasant, downhill away from the resort abutting a sand dune.

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We watched the chef pull out lamb that had been cooking in an in-ground charcoal grill all afternoon.  So tender.

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Some grilled prawns to go with the lamb.

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Dessert.

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Lounge area.

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The breakfast buffet was so excellent and substantial that it would have taken at least 20 photos to capture it all.  So I simply captured my seat.

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Both days I ate so much at breakfast that I had no need for lunch.  The second night I ordered a Wagyu burger from the poolside bar.

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Location

Wow ! Awesome location out here on a conservation reserve.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

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The grounds are nice, too.

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Activities

I did the sunrise camel ride and dune bashing.  I lucked out and got private trips for both activities.  The camel ride was not along a gravel road as mentioned in a previous review, but along a valley bottom sand "road" and then up the ridgeline of a 60 metre high dune where a station was set up with benches to enjoy the view, and coffee/tea, some pastries and fruit to consume while enjoying the view.

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I had a short break in my room to rest before dune bashing.  Certainly glad I didn't eat before this activity.  As I was solo and visibly enjoying the bouncing around and sand going over the roof of the Land Cruiser, I feel like the driver was probably a bit more aggressive than usual.  Which was fine by me.

Even though I was solo they go in groups of 2 vehicles in case of trouble - which was needed as we got stuck at one point and needed a tug from the other land cruiser.

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Overall

I don't stay often in luxury resorts but I was totally satisfied and impressed with Qasr al Sarab.  I would definitely visit again with family or friends.

Weekend in the Desert

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