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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi 

See the United Arab Emirates Guide ›
1 Qasr Al Sarab Road
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Tel: 971 2 886 2088
view web site ›
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Set on the edge of the Empty Quarter near Abu Dhabi's Liwa Oasis, two hours from the capital (a taxi will be far less expensive than the resort's $181 airport transfer), the Qasr Al Sarab is so remote that you can see the Milky Way from here. The 206-room desert resort looks like an old fortress set amid towering dunes, and arriving guests pass round turrets and crenellated walls and are welcomed by Talib Hussain, the seven-foot-tall doorman. Large rooms mingle Islamic design and modern touches such as huge round bathtubs, Nespresso machines, and private sunbathing decks. A desert activity center, not fully open at the time of our visit, will offer excursions—on camels, Arabian horses, four-by-fours, and quad bikes—as well as interactions with trained falcons and saluki hunting dogs. The spa combines Thai techniques and local ingredients such as ground dates and sand for exfoliation. Air-conditioned Land Rovers driven by South African nature guides transport guests who are willing to wake up early into the dunes to watch the sun rise, then whisk them back to the resort for eggs Benedict, fresh-squeezed carrot juice, camel milk, and cappuccino. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: Some suites and villas have private pools; Deluxe Terrace King rooms, especially Nos. 203 and 207, have wonderful dune views.

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