ANANTARA SIR BANIYAS DESERT ISLAND RESORT

"We do not remember days, we remember moments. And I'm pretty sure this one will stay forever."

There was a total excitement of planning an adventure within the country, a place that will take your breath away and amaze you on every sight of it. Spring time was fast approaching to its end and summer get-away is always a great idea. I’ve been to many of my dream places but a safari island is still somewhere in the corner of my list. But this time, I grabbed my basket and all the safari necessities to visit and experience the UAE’s very own Safari Island!

You’ll probably can google easily about the Anantara Sir Baniyas Resort but in this post, I’ll be talking about frequently asked questions that are based on my experience. Truth or Dare!

HOW MUCH? IS IT EXPENSIVE?

I know most of you this is the number one Question that comes in your mind when you see a beautiful image of a place, seducing your very mind to come and check it out. Truth.

This 5-Star hotel offers a different kind of experience- thus having a 5-Star also means quite pricey. Prices differs (obviously) depends on the season, that means during cooler days in the Middle-East (November-March) prices are a bit higher and followed by lesser prices which also lots of discounts during the summer peak. Take note: July-September is the crazy hot months! Crazy deals too! Lol.

Anantara Sir Baniyas Island Resort prices starts from 1,500 AED per night depending on your choice of room. They also have Villa type accommodation that includes your very own pool, and price starts in a hefty 3,000 AED (or less) per night. All of it includes a wide array of breakfast.

On the other hand, there’s a lot of websites that offers great deals like Booking.Com and Hotels.Com which you can always check out. And believe me, in terms of price points I’m most likely a cheap person so figure it out! [ 4/5 ]

HOW WAS THE SERVICE?

There’s a saying “You get what you paid for” which I believe on it. Although, I am paying for a good price (ahem cheap. lol) Anantara Sir Baniyas Resort staff are very friendly and accommodating. Of course some delays sometimes will occur but hey! you’re suppose to chill, relax and take it easy…so be patient and enjoy the moment.

But of course, so much delays are not good! Hahaha. [ 4.5/5 ]

ARE THE FOOD (EXTRAS) EXPENSIVE?

The hotel has 6 different specialty restaurants that most of them you need to ride a buggy or a safari jeep to get there. They’re pretty awesome. I had my breakfast at the Palm which is in the hotel’s premises itself. They serve international and middle-eastern breakfast buffet everyday.

Lunch by the pool at the Al Sham- meaning ‘The Sun’ in Arabic. It’s just the perfect place to grab some appetizing food while in between lounging at the pool.

At night, I had a romantic dinner at their Italian themed restaurant called Olio. It has a panoramic sea view but sadly it’s not that visible at night (obviously). But the food is amazing!

I had a beautiful surprised lunch at Savannah Grill & Restaurant at Al Sahel Villa Resort which serves African cuisines. This place is beautiful because you’ll really get the feel of safari ambiance!

During my last night, I picked Amwaj Restaurant to get my sea food cravings after my day adventure accident (which you’ll read below). I love everything about sea food but if the price will go in between, I’ll let myself cry from the inside and just have what I can afford! Hahaha.

All in all. To answer your question about the price, they’re pretty much affordable in terms of its quality. I admit that most of it comes with a price, maybe a little bit much for budget travelers but one thing that is for sure- the food is great! [ 4.5 /5 ]

WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES AND PRICES?

The hotel offers an array of exciting activities which you can book at the concierge during your arrival. They offer Archery lessons, Kayaking, Pearl Diving, Snorkeling, Visit at the Monastery (yes! you read it right. Read more HERE), Cultural & History Tour, Nature & Wildlife Walks, Sunset Cruise and Land Sailing.

I’d love to do most of the leisure activities but staying and to enjoy the hotel’s facilities are on top of my list. Although, I picked the Nature & Wildlife Drive (not walk) early in the morning for sunrise view. It was satisfying and fun! You’ll get into this safari jeep and you’ll drive around the island that has the color of a gold, you’ll get to see the gossiping gazelles, oryx, deer, ostrich, giraffe, peacock and more in the sanctuary. We even had the chance to mingle with the tigers! Lol. It was literally fun! I loved it.

Prices are different from Adults and Kids which ranges from 90 AED above.

Then in the afternoon for sunset, we’re booked for a Mountain Biking. Which never in my head that the path will be the entire island (that includes the rough side and literally mountain!). But, yeah in my Valentino sneakers I rode my cute bike like no other and drove my ass on the wilderness. It was crazy, excruciating, exciting and tiring so believe me you need to be ready if you wanna try it!

I admit that it was a first for me so the thought of trying and pushing myself really excites me. Mark, our guide was kind enough to brief us and very motivational to convince me to cycle all the way to the highest peak of the island called “Purple Mountain”, which I did with all my body and soul! Hahaha. The feeling was fulfilling as if my soul wanted to leave my body and would say “bye girl”, yet I did it and reach the top.

...

Not until we’re about to depart from the spot after our photo op. I pedaled my bicycle so much that I forgot to adjust my chain and rolled on a soft sand which made panicked and clutched the front brake. And tadaaaaaa! Earned some bruises, scratches and a trip to the Island’s only hospital for some minor treatment.

But for me, there was no regret. It was still a good experience and something I would not forget. I am just thankful that it was just a minor accident. To Mark our guide, thank you for taking care of the situation calmly and for a quick first aid. I hope you get to be in an African Safari you wanted! 🙂

 

Universal tip is: Take care of yourself. Be Prepared. Stay Calm and Enjoy the moment. [ 5/5 ]

HOW WAS THE HOTEL, ROOM AND ITS FACILITIES?

The hotel is destination resort that has 60 rooms and 60 luxury villas which offers three distinct experiences. Countless ways to explore, relax and indulge in exotic Arabian island life. The whole ambiance of the hotel from its lobby to suites is mostly in Arabic-safari style with a modern twist. It’s very homey, cool, and relaxing. The rooms are quite spacious and relaxing and it is fully equipped with all the necessary things you need like; tv, wifi, personal fridge and mini bar, safe box, working desk, individually controlled air conditioning, a rain shower, Anantara bathroom amenities, a Nespresso coffee machine, and rattan ceiling fan. It also has its own terrace with outdoor bed so you can enjoy the view of either the garden or the sea. Resort facilities includes; a resort houses a boutique shop, fitness center which has an amazing view of the sea while you’re running and shredding away the carbs from the buffet, kids club, a library, tennis court and lastly my favorite part of any hotels -the pool! I spent most of my day in the beautiful pool. [ 4.5/5 ]

HOW TO GET THERE?

The resort is located just 8 kilometres off the Abu Dhabi Emirates’ western coastline and 250 kilometres from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Just follow the E11 highway directly from Abu Dhabi or Dubai in the direction of Tarif and Mirfa.  Continue on, passing Tarif, Mirfa and Baynoona and Al Ruwais. Take exit 113 marked Sir Bani Yas Island, and at the roundabout take the Sir Bani Yas Island exit.  At the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit.  Follow the road until the 3rd roundabout and take the exit for Sir Bani Yas and Jebel Dhana Jetty.  At the jetty you can park your car in a safe covered area before boarding the water taxi for a 10 – 15 minute journey to Sir Bani Yas Island. The boat ride is complimentary for guests of Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara where basically upon arrival it’s where your first check-in will happen. Check more details HERE.
It’s pretty long hours of drive but totally fun (we came from Dubai and it took us around 4 hours of drive including pit stops). Google Maps worked perfectly fine during my trip, so you can rely on the app. Just double-check your car for any maintenance ahead of time, pack something to nibble and drink (specially water), and of course a nice playlist of music!

But if none of you can drive or no patience to navigate Limousine service is also offered. The luxury limousine service transports guests from Abu Dhabi or Dubai to Jebel Dhana jetty, from which point guests board a water taxi and cross the Arabian Gulf to Sir Bani Yas Island’s jetty.

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport/ City Luxury Private Car Transfer: from AED 850
  • Dubai International Airport Luxury/ City Private Car Transfer: from AED 1,150

Or literally no patience for long hours of drive, there’s a plane! Seawings offer a fast travel to the Island. For more information please contact seawings@anantara.info.

The beautiful rugged landscapes of Abu Dhabi’s stunning Sir Bani Yas Island from inspirational settings, culminating in the ultimate Arabian island is a one-of-a-kind experience. For me, it was a different kind of adventure, being in a natural wildlife safari scenery gave me an absolute surprise. I live in the country for 8 years and I was just hearing about it and seeing pictures of it but never did I imagine that it truly exist until I got there. For those who want to check it out, why not?! Total experience: [ 4.5/5 ]

It’s an experience you’d love to share…