Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort — Hotel Reviews

Why book? It’s the world’s premier island resort, but what exactly does that mean? Development has started and stopped for years and is more of a curiosity than a destination…until now. With the hotel’s easy access to Dubai and stunning skyline views, there’s nothing else like it: it feels like a tropical getaway, but the skyline is quite close to be touched. This is the ultimate stay.
Set the scene A 15-minute speedboat ride across the open sea from Anantara the Palm feels like a real escape, and just when you start to feel like you’re on vacation, you land on a palm-tree-covered, palm-covered island. thatched-roof villas. You feel like you’re miles away from Dubai, until you turn around and there it is, in all its glory: a breathtaking panorama from the Burj Khalifa to the Burj Al Arab and beyond. But what sets the hotel apart isn’t just that it’s the first, it could also lay claim to the best location in the entire man-made archipelago. It is located in “South America” ​​on the most southwestern stretches, which means clear and unobstructed views of the entire skyline. Even if the rest of the islands develop, few will be able to offer this kind of view. It’s still pre-opening so there were mostly couples and a few families, a mix of European and Indian expats and local Emiratis. Anantara’s sister property on Palm Point is a huge perk, as guests can board the boat from this pier and be out in 15 minutes. Currently, anyone wishing to travel to the islands of the world must sail from Dubai Marina, which, due to its location and speed limits, can take 1.5 hours to travel. This will likely change as development progresses, but for now it’s a huge thing in their favor.
The backstory It is owned by one of the biggest developers in the city, who was involved in building the Palm Jumeirah and the islands of the world, and it already owns Anantara the Palm and brought them to operate this one as well. He lives on the islands and is often seen around, and he seems very active. The islands of the world themselves have been in the making for a long time, starting and stopping for financial and environmental reasons over the decades. It feels different from most Anantara hotels I’ve stayed in – much smaller, more intimate, more bohemian.
The rooms Eclectic. Not up to par with what I’m used to seeing from Anantara – some are very nice, but others seem to lack imagination. Much of the aesthetic has a tropical Thai/Indonesian influence (Indonesian bamboo ceilings, rattan furniture, high ceilings, and turquoise accents), which makes sense given the brand’s philosophy and origin, but in other Anantaras I have stayed in, I have seen more of a continuous effort to incorporate local culture and design into the rooms, which was not the case here. There are several Garden Pool Villas on the beach that have lovely private pools, but I love the Beach Access Junior Suites — less privacy, perhaps, but striking skyline views. The larger villas are perfect for families, such as the sprawling four-bedroom villa with private pool. But even some of the beach garden pool villas have shutters that guests can also close for privacy, which is really important for the local market.
Food and drink The resort’s ‘eclectic’ theme carries over to the culinary options. Helios is a beachfront Greek restaurant. Luna upstairs is great for Argentinian-inspired cocktails and light snacks — a nod to the resort’s location on “South America.” Qamar is an opulent Arab-Indian restaurant, which was my favorite (and is also the best place for sunset). There’s also a bubble dining concept on the beach that I didn’t get to try: transparent pods on the other side of the island that offer privacy and a multi-course menu prepared by a chef. .
The spa Wasn’t open yet and frankly nothing exciting from what I saw. They showed me around and it’s quite small, and serves its purpose more for treatments rather than being a destination in itself (as is often the case at other Anantaras). Since they weren’t open yet, I had a nice in-room treatment of a magnesium bath in my large tub followed by a back massage on my terrace next to my pool. There are a few beach spa cabins that would be a nice place for a beachside massage.
The neighborhood/region Few islands are still developed, and it’s not easy to get there either. It’s the kind of place where you decamp for a few days and stay put, exploring the water through water sports, including jet skis, airboats that allow you to surf above the water and a hammock that you can take to picnic and relax. at sea.
The service Discreet, laid back and very friendly, the staff were some of the warmest and sweetest people I’ve met recently.
For familiesVery family friendly, spacious rooms and suites to plenty of water sports and a signature Anantara kids club.
Eco-effort Anantara is always focused on sustainability, and given the location of the island, they are very aware of what they bring in and take away. They have their own desalination plant and bottling center and convert food waste into cooking gas.
Anything else to mention? It was definitely a construction site when I was there, so that’s what it is. I think in about six months, when all the construction is done and the vegetation grows, it will be very serene and have a nice laid back Sri Lankan or Costa Rican beach vibe; but for now, there is a long way to go. The only thing I’m still unclear about, however, is that it looks like the staff village, warehouses, a huge birdcage, etc. are right in the middle of the island, all around the rooms and restaurants, which seems like an odd choice.
Finally, in 100 words or less, what makes this hotel Hot List worthy? The islands of the world have been drifting in and out of public consciousness for two decades now, so people will be curious to find out what it’s all about – and it’s the first time many people will get to see the artificial archipelago by themselves.


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