If you’re looking for a luxury weekend retreat, head to Sir Bani Yas Island’s newest addition: the Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort. By Rawan Kayat.
Just a 25-minute flight away from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport – flights are offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – the island is also accessible by boat transfer after a 250km drive from Abu Dhabi.
Sir Bani Yas Island stands out from its surroundings: it has small rocky mountains that have formed from ancient volcanic activity and the rest of the surface is covered with trees and vegetation. At the small airport, a pick up car will be waiting for you to escort you to your exclusive haven just fifteen minutes away.
Inspired by the Arish residences of the early fishermen and pearl divers who lived on the island, Al Yamm Villa Resort has 21 tastefully-designed one bedroom villas with a beach or mangrove lagoon views, but for a more private and exclusive experience, make sure you book their one or two bedroom Pool Villas that come with personal plunge pools. The attention to detail is staggering from freshly baked cookies in your villa through to beach bags for use during your stay.
No matter what type of villa you pick, the 1km white sandy beach front is only steps away from you, and as you’re walking (or being driven) to your escape pad, the sight of gazelles ambling by and sounds of singing birds make you feel like you’re in a uniquely local island paradise.
Bani Yas island also offers a range of activities for the adventurous – from kayaking and mountain biking through to diving, horse riding and archery await. If you’re keen to really explore book an archeological site tour or a nature and wildlife drive or walks, where you can see gazelles, giraffes, cheetas and other animals roam.
Olio, the resort’s restaurant, offers delectable Italian food using vegetables that have been grown on the island. If you’d like to sample more than just Italian fare, try Samak, the signature seafood restaurant or Amwaj, their tapas restaurant.
But for a truly unique and memorable dining experience, choose the Dining by Design that includes enjoying breakfast with the gazelles, a BBQ in the wildlife park, a romantic table at the beach or even the choice of having a chef come to your villa for a special meal on the roof.
The Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort is luxurious, but not pretentious, making it the perfect weekend getaway for a relaxing, intimate weekend.