Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara

Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi is home to one of the more Original hotels around. Once a private game reserve island owned by the late founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, the animals have remained, and the former Sheikh's lodge has been turned into an immaculate hotel.

Run by the excellent Anantara group, the hotel (where the Sheikh entertained guests) has 64 tasteful Arabic style rooms spread across four floors, and two restaurants, The Palm and Samak, serving up buffet breakfasts, lunches and a la carte dining. As this is a superb hotel for families, there are plenty of kids's favourite foods available on the various menus.

And speaking of families, this is, quite simply, the perfect place for parents wanting to introduce their children to the safari experience without longer haul flights to Africa and the tedium of malaria prevention.

The island's safari guides are extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, the island and the region's history, and lead guests on fascinating game drives to see animals ranging from the critically endangered Arabian Oryx to ostrich, giraffes and even hyenas and cheetah, both of which were once indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.

When not viewing game, guests can borrow mountain bikes, visit the Anantara spa or the new Watersports centre offering windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and with its own restaurant.

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Isabel is our 'Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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