Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort joins Anantara’s two existing properties on the ruggedly beautiful Sir Bani Yas Island – Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara overlooking the glittering Arabian Gulf, and Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort on the island’s eastern shore, culminating in a trio of unique resorts that reveal all of the desert island’s intriguing natural contrasts.
Sir Bani Yas is a stunning natural island located 100 km southwest of Abu Dhabi City. Established in 1971 by the late ruler and founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the island is home to the 4,100 hectare Arabian Wildlife Park, with stunning landscapes, over 10,000 free roaming animals and a vast number of tree and plant species.
Exclusively located in the heart of the Arabian Wildlife Park, guests arrive at Anantara Al Sahel by 4x4 land cruiser to find themselves immersed in a desert savannah retreat that feels spacious and secluded with a luxurious sense of natural harmony. Elegant facilities and boutique accommodation feature traditional thatched roofing and have been thoughtfully developed for minimal environmental impact. Care for nature extends to peace of mind for guests and as a haven of natural serenity, the resort is designed with couples in mind and is pleased to welcome families with children aged 12 years and older.
30 luxury rustic villas are surrounded by salt dome hilltops and lush grass savannah where elusive gazelles and Arabian Oryx graze, treating guests to glimpses of the island’s exotic wildlife. There are three accommodation options: One Bedroom Villa, the larger One Bedroom Pool Villa with separate lounge and dining spaces, as well as a personal plunge pool, plus the spacious Two Bedroom Pool Villas which are ideal for families and friends travelling together. All villas feature Anantara’s signature amenities and authentic indigenous touches.
Villa exteriors complement the natural surroundings and interiors are filled with natural light to illuminate traditional wooden furnishings, ceiling beams and local handicrafts. After a day of adventure, explorers can unwind by soaking in the freestyle bronze bathtub and fall asleep in a sumptuous king size bed to the sound of desert island nightlife. Waking up with an invigorating shower, the bay window seat and lounge furnishings provide cosy spaces to watch the savannah come to life.
Blending views of nature and wildlife from villa comfort with journeys of exciting discovery, safari style guided walks and drives in the protected nature reserve offer close encounters with the rare and endangered animals that call this paradise home. Guests can also master the ancient Arabian sport of archery, kayak through lagoons and mangroves that are frequented by flamingos, and mountain bike across desert salt flats and undulating hinterlands.
Guests arriving by seaplane can enjoy a spectacular bird’s eye view of the island, whilst snorkellers can explore the exotic marine life beneath the Arabian Gulf’s surface. Equestrian enthusiasts can ride stately Arabian horses and other fine breeds at Sir Bani Yas Stables, which offers lessons in beautiful outdoor paddocks and a variety of riding packages, from treks through the Arabian Wildlife Park and along sandy shores, to the romance of watching sunrise and sunset on horseback.
Savannah Grill, the signature restaurant, offers a luxurious safari lodge venue to savour western favourites and traditional African specialties. A private Cigar Lounge offers a fine selection of international cigars for aficionados. Guests are further spoilt for choice with the freedom to choose between any of the restaurants and bars at all three of Anantara’s resorts on the island, opening up a selection of possibilities in a variety of distinctive settings.
Catering for leisure and business guests, resort facilities include the well-equipped workout room with a media hub for iPod, USB and TV channel selection. The swimming pool entices energising laps, sunbathing on loungers and cocktails on the deck. The resort also features a dedicated prayer room.
In addition to the three resorts on Sir Bani Yas Island, Anantara operates two further properties in Abu Dhabi – Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara in Abu Dhabi City and Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort & Spa by Anantara in the Liwa Desert.
Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, commented, “We are very pleased to open our fifth Anantara in Abu Dhabi and our third on Sir Bani Yas Island, with Al Sahel being the perfect complement to Desert Islands and Al Yamm, the two existing Anantara resorts on the island. Combined with our award-winning resort in the Liwa Desert – Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara – and Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara in Abu Dhabi City, we now have a unique portfolio of five leading properties in the Emirate and a wide offering for our guests.”