The Great Escape

Concierge’s Cavell Mallet road tests the Desert Island Resort & Spa by Anantara on Sir Bani Yas Island

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to visit the Desert Island Resort & Spa by Anantara on Sir Bani Yas Island for a spot of rest and relaxation. Rotana Jet now operate flights three times a week from Al Bateen Executive Airport straight to the island. Not only did I arrive in less than 30 minutes but I was also able to experience the stunning aerial views of the surrounding Abu Dhabi islands.


Nature calls at the Desert Island Resort & Spa by Anantara


Cavell prepares to board the Rotana Jet flight


Once on the Island it’s just a short bus trip to the resort and I was very impressed by the warm welcome I received while checking in. In record time I was cooling off by the pool, sipping on an ice cold beverage and enjoying the idyllic views.


Bright and early the next morning our group set off on the nature drive, which allowed us to fully take in the surrounding scenery. The island was originally developed as a wildlife reserve by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and thanks to intensive conservation work it is now home to thousands of free-roaming animals, some of which we were lucky enough to get up close and personal with. Along the way we met a rather inquisitive ostrich, some surprisingly noisy peacocks, a few coy giraffes and a lethargic cheetah who’d just finished off his breakfast. There were also an abundance of sand gazelles and Arabian oryx – which thanks to the island’s developing ecosystem have been brought back from near extinction.


Curious ostriches

The stable tour


For those who prefer more interactive experiences, there are a variety of activities on offer including kayaking, archery, trekking, as well as a scenic horse riding and stable tours. And for downtime the resort continued to tick all the right boxes. In addition to the picturesque pools and enclosed beaches, which are ideal for rest and relaxation, a trip to the upmarket spa is also a must. On my final evening as I sat on the terrace of The Palm Restaurant tucking into a lavish seafood barbeque, I thought, this is resort has definitely made it onto my ‘must return’ list!