Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, in the heart of Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter, is reopening to guests on August 15.
The secluded desert resort has been closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but has been making good use of its downtime by undergoing an upgrade.
The resort is almost ready to welcome guests again and is doing so with enhanced hygiene and safety measures, an upgraded swimming pool and more family-friendly options.
The palatial resort has implemented several new safety and hygiene rules to ensure the safety of all guests checking in. These include temperature checks, sanitising stations and physical distancing policies. Staff have all been tested for Covid-19 and there's a new Anantara Guest Guardian – whose main job is to provide safety advice and information to guests.
The resort has received its Go Safe certification – the official stamp of approval from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.
This desert resort has always been geared towards families, but children look set to have even more fun on a staycation as the resort has some new family-friendly facilities. These include a new club space for youngsters, as well as a soft-play zone in the swimming pool.
Guests also get a free visit to the resort's museum, which is packed full of antiquities and artefacts from the region. Staff will explain more about each item, before taking families on a guided dune walk. And at the hotel's restaurants, there are new children's menus on offer to make for easy family dining.
An oasis in the desert
The pool at Qasr Al Sarab has always been something special thanks to the bright blue waters juxtaposed against rolling burnt orange dunes, but now it's even better after undergoing an upgrade. There are new in-water loungers for soaking up the sun, an in-water swing, new poolside cabanas and a 50-metre section that's dedicated to lap-swimming.
There's also a new swim-up bar and new poolside dining options that include dishes made with ingredients from the resort’s on-site greenhouse.
Elsewhere, the gym has been fitted out with new Technogym equipment and there's a new desert volleyball court. The spa has also had an upgrade, with new treatments on offer and indoor and outdoor meditation zones added.
To make the property more sustainable, solar panels have been installed and plastic water bottles are being entirely phased out.
Stays for under Dh1,000
To celebrate its reopening, the resort is offering rooms from Dh999 including breakfast, which is about 30 per cent less than normal. Villa stays start from Dh1,999 over summer – 50 per cent less than standard rates.
For anyone more comfortable with a totally secluded stay during the pandemic, the Royal Desert Hideaway package starts from Dh3,999 for two nights and includes a villa with a private pool, in-villa breakfast, spa treatments and a complimentary activity such as fat-biking, archery or camel trekking.