It was the first time we try using UBER to the airport, which frankly was a worrying feeling for we didn’t want to be late with airport timings but it all turned out worth it!!! It’s not rocket science to use the app, their interface was quite fun and we booked based on proximity and instantly received a confirmation that our booking was made, with info on the driver, car model, plate number and the exact time it will need to reach. In 20mins the driver called to say that he has reached and voila the life of a celebrity started, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort for 2 days!
A luxurious Lexus arrived with our own chauffeur. Super clean car with beautiful scent and a water to sip while enjoying the ride.
The airport was not quite busy as we made our way through the gates, our private jet was calling.
Our weekend getaway started before we actually boarded.
The impression started when we received an email welcoming us, introducing us to the team. Being greeted like a celebrity at the lounge-style mini airport once we landed at the Bani Yas island, to the driver, who picked us up in a luxurious comfortable Land Cruiser with fresh cold face towels and water to hydrate us, who, as we were driving to Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island, gave us a a tour around the island as if it were his home.
It sort of was. A big family.
Located 15 mins away from the airport Al Yamm Villa Resort was right there in the middle of a serene wildlife.
We were greeted by a refreshing welcome drink of yogurt and mint, (which reminded us of when we visited India) we were seated so we are at our utmost comfort while checking in which lasted a few seconds as I remember barley having the chance getting my camera out to start snapping. The staff (or what I would rather call the hosts) made us feel so welcomed as if we were one family.
The hotel’s villas are inspired by the region’s heritage and are designed in a most incredible way that one would dream to have it as their own.
There wasn’t a single pretentious item in the place. Everything felt that it belonged here.
We stayed at Al Yamm Villa number 14. Technically, it would have been villa number 13 but they made sure no guest believed they could be of bad luck! The sea view room will take your breath away. It felt like a painting of calm blue hues fading in to the horizon in a perfect dream. We couldn’t wait to wake up at sunrise to experience the magic of nature.
The villa, a perfect size for a couple, is equipped with an LCD TV with channels that suit every taste on top of that the recent movies to watch for free, an Ipod deck, a Nespresso machine with a jar full of various cookies, a bath tub in addition to a rain shower room and an outdoor deck that leads to the shimmering sands of the Arabian sea. Oh and not to forget to mention that you are bound to cross by gazelles walking on the beach and perhaps knock on your door to salute you.
The attention to detail in absolutely everything on this resort is visible in every corner. From the island sea reflection in furniture to incredible amenities to toiletries that are filled with natural soaps of various scents, my favorite being the cardamon soap, that we just completely fell in love with to the gesture of offering beach flip flops that I actually forgot to bring along.
It wasn’t your typical huge pool that you usually see but enough for the amount of people the Yamm Villas can host. An infinity pool fronting an endless ocean beyond.
Between the hour 11am and 4pm we are served with cocktail shots and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
As you lay on your sun bed the lifeguard presents you with crossword and Sudoku exercise books for your own entertainment. I sure took the chance to solve some “EASY” Sudoku puzzles. I was on holiday so couldn’t over use my brain cells!
Meanwhile my husband was challenging the lifeguard to do 3 laps under water. Verdict: The husband won
Kayaking, Nature and wildlife drive and walks, snorkeling, mountain biking. We chose Kayaking and Nature wildlife drive as part of my relaxation retreat.
1st day we went on Kayaking with Jacques (our guide from South Africa), the whole bay was under our disposal so apart from us 3 there were the flamingos that joined us. It was so serene and therapeutic!!!
On our 2nd day was wildlife drive which allowed us to visit the wildlife sanctuary that was a huge deal to late His Highness Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan who in return was gifted from other countries their animals to add to the sanctuary. We watched gazelles roaming around every corner of the area, encountered the Arabian Oryx, an endangered species, an opportunity to spot a Giraffe, Hyenas and a finally the fastest animal on land – The Leopard.
Our appetite during the trip was not shy from anything! The food was as fresh as can be and some even produced locally from the island like olives and oranges. Mostly, we loved the breakfast as it was not your typical long buffet that makes you overwhelmed and eventually bloated because you wanted to make sure you didn’t miss on anything but instead you were handed a menu to chose from so it was made fresh for you. The buffet included pastries, different kinds of breads, muffins, fruits and fresh squeezed juices.
Saying our au revoirs was surely the worst part of it all.
Being a mom of a 20 month old baby, I was in search for a much-needed calm, relaxation and revitalization weekend. This is the perfect place to switch off. You enjoy it for what it has to offer and appreciate the essence of nature. We absolutely had all the peace and pampering we needed to the extent that I heard my inner voice.
We have to stress the warm welcome you receive is absolutely seldom to find. Angel, the receptionist and even our driver from our room was truly sad that we were leaving and wished us to come back again soon. A racing thought I may surprise her soon again.
If you, too, want to give your weary body and mind a complete vacation and don’t want to travel out of the country then the Anantara Property is a must.
The best time to visit the region is from mid October to Mid March when the weather is absolutely perfect and unplug!