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“Peace and tranquility amongst the wildlife”

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Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Murqquab
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 July 2012

On initial arrival you must leave your vehicle at the front gate where you are collected by one of the field guides in a 4x4, the journey is then approximately 10mins to the resort where we were greeted and checked in by the friendly staff. The lobby area is not particularly grand but traditional and this is the theme of the entire resort – the traditional Bedouin rugs, pottery, art and iron work adorn the walls of the tent style suites of which there are 40 in total. The suite has its own private plunge pool and sun deck (although due to the tent structure you have to move your sunbeds to the very edge of the deck to actually catch some rays) with dining table and chairs. As with most hotels coffee, tea and water is complimentary but it’s worth noting how much we appreciated the quantity of water provided – I like this since I always seem to find myself asking for more water but there was no need here. The temperature of the room was set at 21 and was perfect -the A/C making virtually no sound at all. The super king bed is incredibly comfortable – we had some great night’s sleep- the curtains didnt provide total blackout but it didnt seem to matter. The bathroom is well designed with a ridiculously large luxurious bath. It’s all set up to create a very private and intimate setting – ideal as a couple looking for some respite from Dubai.

On our first night we dined in the restaurant, the food was good, I was a little concerned having read a couple of reviews which slated the food but it was on the whole excellent. What was a little disconcerting – considering the fact it was not necessary to make a reservation for dinner – was how incredibly quick the food arrived after ordering – we spoke to the French chef (apologies I didn’t get his name) who explained that they’re able to do this with some of the dishes by cooking in advance and vacuum packing for up to 3 days – sounds a little odd but it certainly seems to work!

Visiting during Ramadan, at the hottest time of the year we saw virtually no other guests during our stay, we were told there was 40% occupancy but it felt like less, on 2 occasions we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. We participated in 3 activities but could have done up to 6 which would have been included in our package. We enjoyed doing different activities such as archery, this brought a different edge to the trip – we particularly liked the sunset camel ride where, after trekking for around 20mins we came upon a bar with a waiter (Ariel) in the middle of the desert who served us sparkling wine and fruits – wonderful!

We visited the pool at the spa but didn’t use the spa – the pool is lovely – slightly warmer than the suite pool. The entire resort is extremely well maintained and is very clean (other than the odd animal droppings but this can’t be helped!)

All of the staff we met were extremely friendly and courteous, unfortunately we did notice quite a few mistakes with orders at mealtimes, including being given the wrong bottle of wine with dinner and subsequently being charged more than what was expected – this was quickly rectified upon check out. We didn’t have lunch in the restaurant, instead choosing to dine in our room – we were particularly impressed with this – both with the quality and the presentation of the food. We also had the Sri Lankan menu delivered to our room for dinner one evening – this was excellent and stayed piping hot thanks to the ingenious copper/terracotta serving pots. Apparently one can pay an additional AED 550 service charge to have a waiter for the meal but we certainly didn’t think this was necessary.

The (mostly South African) team of field guides were extremely knowledgeable and happy to answer all of our questions. The aspect of the resort being set within a conservation reserve with Oryx and beautiful Gazelle roaming around is amazing – they came quite close to our suite at times which was great – there’s more wildlife to be encountered if you know what to look for and you’re provided with binoculars for this purpose.
What’s notable about Al Maha is the overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility, it certainly was not difficult to relax here – I kept having to remind myself that we were still in Dubai – it felt a million miles away from home!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank katieannsenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2012

Dear Katie,

Thank you for choosing Al Maha for your recent stay and for posting such a constructive review on tripadvisor. Detailed reviews like yours are always helpful for us and for the guests who are planning there forthcoming stays.

We are thrilled to learn that you had a peaceful time at your private suite, enjoyed the resort facilities and the food. Your compliments are highly appreciated and will be passed on to all the ambassadors!

Once again we thank you for your valuable time taken to post such a great review and for all the recommendations. We look forward to welcoming you back soon at Al Maha.

Best Regards
Fawad Yaqub

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Reviewed 29 July 2012

Amazing, really close to Dubai but you feel miles from anywhere. Heaps of wildlife just wonders through- although my husband came very close to being skewered by an Oryx that was quite partial to the lawn outside our villa.... :) The villas were awesome, really beautiful with our own pool looking out over the dessert, we could watch the camels go off at sunset while relaxing in the pool.

The activities were great as well, the camel treck was lovely and I really enjoyed the horse ride as well, the horses were pretty goey but if you have done some riding before you will be fine. The dune drive was heaps of fun but probably not for the faint hearted and the wildlife drive was good too. They also gave us a beautiful book as well as a christmas present- we got much better looked after over christmas than we ever would in a Christian country!

The food was really good in general and you certainly never went hungry. I was pretty disappointed though- there was a huge 10 course special banquet on Christmas eve but because I was vegetarian (which they new about- we told them months before we arrived and had already been there a couple of nights) I basically just had to sit there and watch my husband eat- I just got the 3 courses that didn't have meat in them which I thought was pretty ordinary.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay and would go back next time we are in Dubai, it is well worth getting out of the city and experiencing the desert.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BertieBT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking out your precious time in writing a review on tripadvisor following your recent stay at Al Maha Desert Resort.

We are delighted to hear that you have enjoyed the facilities in the resort esepcially the activities. Guest Satisfaction is our main goal and it is rewarding to learn that it has been achieved on this occasion.

We do however regret to learn about the inconvenient experience during part of your stay. We would like to express that we take all matters brought to our attention very seriously, and we do everything possible to rectify these shortfalls.

Thank you once again for all your recommendations and we look forward to welcoming you back soon at Al Maha in the near future.

With Kindest Regards
Fawad Yaqub

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Reviewed 21 July 2012 via mobile

Stayed 3 days with my girlfriend. Me and my girlfriend loved this hotel and place so much that we are planning to go to Dubai again in September. Everything thing was great. Perfect service, cosy rooms, lovely atmosphere.. Can't wait to stay here again

  • Stayed: June 2012
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2  Thank 31Ashley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Al Maha for your recent stay and for posting your feedback on tripadvisor.

We are pleased to learn that you have enjoyed your stay with us and would like to thank you for all the positive recommendations you have made.

We look forward to welcoming you soon in the near future back at Al Maha!

Best Regards
Fawad Yaqub

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Reviewed 16 July 2012

We stayed here last week, I brought my girlfriend here as a surprise. The suite we stayed in was amazing, with private deck and swimming pool overlooking the desert. The wildlife wandering around was lovely to see. It felt like we were the only people in the world it was so peaceful. It was here that I asked my girlfriend to marry me (thankfully she said yes) so it will always be a special place us.

Although I never mentioned that we got engaged or asked for any special treatment, the staff were ultra helpful and friendly. The food was fantastic, we took breakfast and lunch in our villa, and ate in the restaurant that evening.

They also do a number of activities, we only took the sunset camel ride which was very enjoyable. It brings you out to the desert dunes, where you stop for champagne before turning back to the resort.

If you want a break from everyday life, I can't recommend Al Maha highly enough. It's only an hour from Dubai, so if like us you live there it is very convenient to get to. Similarly as a tourist it's close enough to Dubai to warrant a visit.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jimbo325ci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Al Maha Desert Resort for your recent stay and for posting your valuable feedback on tripadvisor.

We would like to take this opportunity and congratulate both of you on your new journey of life.
Your feedback is much appreciated and has been shared with all our ambassadors.

Guest satisfaction is our main goal at Al Maha, and it is rewarding to learn that it has been achieved on this occasion.

We would like to thank you for the recommendations you have made and we look forward to seeing you back to Al Maha soon!

Best Regards
Fawad Yaqub

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Reviewed 16 July 2012

This was our fourth stay at Al Maha. We were concerned that Starwood would have changed things. Wonderful to find that everything was just as before. The wonderful welcome; the fantastic service and the totally relaxed and invigorating ambience. And the joy of being in the middle of such a natural environment with the gazelles, oryx and the birds.

One thing had changed. The kitchen was always good. But Executive Chef David has raised it to world class.

Altogether a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms!!
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank johneil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marketingteam_3, Manager at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Al Maha Desert Resort again for your recent stay and for posting your valuable feedback on tripadvisor.

We are delighted to learn that your expecations have been met consistently during all your stays at Al Maha and we ensure that they would continue in the near future too. Your compliments have been passed onto all the ambassadors especially Chef David who has made your meal experience very special.

We would like to thank you for the recommendations you have made and hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon!

Best Regards
Fawad Yaqub

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa

Address: Dubai - Al Ain Rd | Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Murqquab, United Arab Emirates
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Murqquab
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Murqquab
Price Range: RM3,386 - RM9,474 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Exclusive hotel designed to resemble a traditional Bedouin encampment - set within a 25-sq.-kilometer desert conservation reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Al Maha Desert Hotel Dubai
Al Maha Desert Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort
Al Maha Resort

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