Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort
What We Love
- The setting. This all-villa resort even has its own watering hole–style swimming pool
- Featuring cheetahs, giraffes, oryx and gazelles, the safari drive is a must
- From the huge metal tub to your very own plunge pool, the villas are pure rustic chic
- The Savannah Grill dishes up steaks and exotic meats (including ostrich)
What To Know
- While the other all-villa resort on Sir Bani Yas Island is adults-only, under-14s are welcome here
- As at many Abu Dhabi hotels, there is no pork on the menu
- There are flights to the island every day except Friday
- There’s only one restaurant at the resort, but you can dine at other hotels on the island
- Sir Bani Yas Island is home to more than 10,000 free-roaming animals
- Guests must purchase a compulsory gala dinner on December 31; please see the details section for further information
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Four miles off the coast of Abu Dhabi is the 10,000-acre Arabian Wildlife Park on Sir Bani Yas Island. Once the pride and joy of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late president of the UAE, it’s now home to a luxury resort where 30 luxe thatch-roofed villas overlook gazelles grazing and peacocks roaming free. Each villa has a giant bed with soft white linens, traditional decor in the form of exposed ceiling beams and local handicrafts, and a bay window and lounge area that look out at salt-domed hilltops in the distance. The bathrooms are tricked out with either a carved wooden tub or a deep free-standing copper one, and some villas come with their own private deck and plunge pool, where you can sit out at night under the stars. Up at the main house you’ll find a swimming pool and gym, and the Savannah Grill for all-day dining and delicious ostrich dishes. Of course, you’re free to head to any of the five restaurants and bars at the island’s sister properties, which serve everything from tapas to seafood on an open grill.
In the Area
Part of a breeding and conservation program, the Arabian Wildlife Park is teeming with nature, and guests have the chance to spot giraffes, cheetahs, oryx, emus and more, on nature drives from sunrise to sundown. Early mornings are your best chance to get close to the animals, when they’re sleepy enough to unwittingly pose for some jaw-dropping photos. If you want to get even closer to the wildlife, you can take a hike through the nature reserve and bird sanctuary or go out snorkeling on the reef. There are stables for discovering the island on horseback, or you can take a scenic seaplane flight and see it all from the air. A 10-minute drive north on the island will take you to the Anantara Spa for treatments such as the Signature or Arabian massage.
How to Get There
Enjoyed my stay and loved the nature (local desert trees), animals roaming freely and their sounds (peacock, birds and maha), room decor and style African safari-like, and staff respond fast and friendly. Food was great at restaurant and in room dining. Spa was average (massage and facial). Beach-side enjoyable as you can experience a mini-trip within your trip. Had few problems with AC (hot and leaking) but changes the room. Had problems with insects and their stool but room service cleaned it. Villa not private (buggy roaming around the villa).
The property and location are wonderful, services very good with very accommodating and courteous staffs. The only bad experience is the food, if it’s not available the taste doesn’t meet the expectations.
Our stay in Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort was an absolute dream, it completely disconnected us from the hustle and bustle of Dubai.
The villas feature four-poster beds and large carved bronze tubs, and are surrounded by gazelles and peacocks. Savannah Grill is a true African culinary escapade, and delivers excellent customer service. The resort staff was genuinely kind and always willing to help.
The highlight of our stay was the Nature and Wildlife drive: we had the opportunity to watch free-roaming animals in a complete natural setting, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, ostriches, cheetahs and giraffes.