For a taste of Thailand (and beyond) without leaving Dubai, this luxury resort offers a brand-new kind of island escape. There’s plenty of room for couples and families to spread out under the palm tree-lined beaches at the off-grid private-island property – though you may need to shoo a peacock off your sunbed first. There are water toys and swings on the sand to play with, and the Anantara Spa, but stays here are perhaps best spent between beach and pool – there’s a central, coconut palm-shaded pool if your room doesn’t have one – in this otherworldly oasis.
Where is Anatara World Islands?
It’s a 40-minute taxi ride from Dubai International Airport to Anantara The Palm Dubai, then a 20-minute speedboat ride to its new sister-resort in the South America section of the World Islands artificial island development. Transfers are frequent.
Arguably the pick of the 70 rooms (40 with pools) are the east and south-facing pool villas, which look out towards the beach and the city skyline beyond. While construction on a neighbouring island somewhat dims the views from the west-facing pool villas, the sunsets on this side of the island are superb. With white walls, rattan lighting, hints of turquoise and island-inspired prints, the interior design is on-trend; thatched ceilings give junior suites extra character.
Restaurants and bars
Between all-day Mediterranean eatery Helios, Middle Eastern-Indian restaurant Qamar and South American-inspired tapas bar Luna, there are plenty of dining options for a short stay. But it’s the bespoke culinary experiences that really shine.
Developed for special-occasion dinners, the private Dining by Design experience is hosted in a temperature-controlled fibreglass bubble on the beach (Tip: go for the seafood barbecue menu). You can also enjoy breakfast or lunch on a Hamacland floating lounge, or nibble gourmet snacks at the private outdoor cinema.
Travel for work
Bedside power points include USBC sockets and all rooms have a desk space. There’s also a function room with TV screens that can be used as a presentation space.
Spa and gym
The experienced therapists make a trip to tucked-away Anantara Spa essential, but with superb views across the sparkling sea toward Downtown Dubai, the gym on the upper floor of the glass-walled Hydro Water Sports has a decidedly more atmospheric setting.
Initiatives you’ll notice include efforts to minimise plastic – from compostable coffee pods to house-bottled drinking water from the hotel’s own desalination plant – and the huge greenhouse used for growing hydroponic and organic fruit and vegetables for the resort’s restaurants. Less visible is a food waste to kitchen gas converter (a machine that seals organic waste to create biogas for cooking) and thermodynamic solar water heaters. Plus, the gardens are irrigated with treated wastewater.
What you need to know
Several giant swings dot the island’s shoreline, so there’s no need to queue.
Best for: Couples and families seeking an accessible island escape
Number of rooms: 70 rooms, suites and villas
Rates: From AED1980 (AUD$729) incl breakfast per night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Free parking at Anantara The Palm Resort
Address: Coronation Island, South America, World Islands, Dubai
Telephone: +971 4 567 8777
SEE ALSO: Read Before You Leave – Dubai