When you are planning the ultimate romantic trip with the special lady or man in your life you may instantly think of locations like Paris or the Maldives. However, if you live in the UAE, or even elsewhere in the Middle East, then you have some of the most romantic hotels in the world right on your doorstep. In fact the UAE is increasingly becoming a go-to destination for couples seeking romantic escapes. Here’s our favorites for loved-up getaways.
You may not believe you are still in the UAE when you walk through the entrance to the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. Glimpses of azure blue waters and palm trees through the enormous windows in the lobby are reminiscent of the Maldives or Mauritius and give no hint that you are only an hour away from the dunes of the Abu Dhabi desert. Even the most basic rooms are extremely luxurious, with swathes of silk and pieces of coral in frames giving you a hint of what lies beyond the waves you hear outside.
The Saadiyat Beach which stretches along the front of the hotel, is a natural, protected beach where you will find the endangered Hawksbill turtles nesting during June and July. When you aren’t spotting wildlife you can enjoy culinary excellence in the best restaurants at the hotel, which include 55&5th, a fine dining grill restaurant and Sontaya, a stunning Thai restaurant surrounded by pools. There are too many romantic features to list here but we reckon you can definitely sweep your loved one of their feet with a visit to this beautiful property.
For an altogether different Abu Dhabi experience head out in to the Liwa Desert. Only two hours from the city you will find yourself in Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort & Spa by Anantara. People generally think that beaches and islands are romantic, this resort will give you a whole new perspective on romance. Whichever of the resort’s rooms or villas you choose, you will find yourself sitting on your terrace or balcony as the sun sets watching the dunes change from one incredible color to another. The lack of noise is instantly foreign but most appreciated and once the skies are dark, the lack of light pollution means that the stars are so much more visible, perfect for a romantic stargazing session.
The resort’s most romantic accommodation has to be the Pool Villa, with so much outdoor space and a perfect proportioned plunge pool so you can spend your days together rather than mixing with the other guests at the main pool. Alternatively go for romantic desert walks or experience dune bashing. Try camel trekking or archery, or opt out and soothe your senses at the spa. Who needs Paris or Venice when you can experience romantic desert surroundings that very few people experience in their lifetime?
Dubai’s most exclusive, private destination which is ideal for both honeymooners or to rekindle your love is Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa. Abandon the hurly-burly of the city and escape to a desert paradise that offers timeless peace and tranquility. Relax in an opulent private suite and absorb the beauty of the dunes. Dip into your private plunge pool to cool off, or unwind in your hot tub; then end your day with a romantic dinner in the desert illuminated with flickering lanterns.
The resort only allows children over the age of 10 to stay, meaning it is mostly a kiddie-free zone. This gives you the opportunity for some quality adult time without having to worry about the little ones needs. The resort’s rate also includes two activities and all of your food and soft drinks during your stay. Arrange for romantic meals in your room or venture to the hotel’s restaurant for a candlelit spread.
Back in the city of Dubai a different experience awaits. We are headed for One&Only Royal Mirage, a magical hotel, where you can realize your most romantic dreams. You’ll find Arabian courtyards, fabulous fountains and verdant gardens, in a fabled location fit for kings and queens. The richly decorated rooms and suites will entice you inside, while sports and excursion possibilities will encourage you to explore.
The resort faces Palm Island and overlooks the Arabian Gulf, boasting a kilometer of private beach. Any resort where you make a choice to stay in ‘The Palace’, ‘The Arabian Court’ or ‘The Residence & Spa’ is destined to be ideal for a romantic escape. Each have their own unique style of rooms and a wide range of restaurants to choose from. You may be in the city but the One&Only Royal Mirage offers the chance to enjoy your own luxury oasis in the heart of this buzzing city.
This resort, located in a nature reserve in the dunes of Ras Al Khaimah, is the epitome of a romantic desert dream. Relax in the sanctity of a beautifully decorated bedouin-style villa with its own private pool. You may even spot some of the local wildlife wandering past as you are splashing around in your pool. The villas have so much space it is easy to make this your home for your stay, so if you want to spend all of your time completely on your own then there really is no reason to leave.
Should you want to experience desert activities together, the hotel has many. Learn archery or go for a romantic private horse ride in the desert. Venture even further to spend time at the hotel’s sister resort by the beach, you have the option to go swimming, snorkeling, fishing or hire jet skis to see more of the coastline. In the evenings you have the options to dine al fresco, in your own villa or another romantic spot in the grounds of the resort. A personal chef and butler will cook up an Arabian or Western style BBQ and tend to your every need. Alternatively experience exquisite Thai food in Safran or cocktails and snacks in the incredibly atmospheric Moon Bar. We dare you not to fall in love all over again!
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