Al Maha Desert Resort
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TravelPod Member ReviewsAl Maha Desert Resort Dubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai
The most amazing hotel!!
I stayed here in November 2000 on my honeymoon and I still remember it now as the best hotel I have ever stayed in. From the moment you arrive and are greeted with Al Maha cocktails (mango and strawberry!) the service is impeccable. You are assigned your own member of staff to ensure you are happy with every aspect of your stay and the lady we were assigned was both extremely helpful and unintrusive.
We tried out hands at falconry, camel trekking, dune bashing and a safari tour, which was all included in the price.
The food was exquisite and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. I was ill on the first night there and I was brought my evening meal in my room, which was immaculately presented and delicious!
The rooms are enormous, the bed the biggest I've ever seen, everywhere is extremely clean and the bathroom was huge!
All in all I cannot fault this hotel - I am now desperate to go back there! Definitely worth every penny!
The most relaxing hotel on earth
My husband and I stayed at the Al Maha Desert Resort in May for 5 nights. We chose this particular hotel as we wanted to stay somewhere relaxing, romantic, secluded, with great service - we certainly got all of those! This hotel is the most relaxing place we have ever stayed (and we have recently been to Maldives, St. Lucia and Tobago) and the service was impeccable although not obtrusive. In fact, I would say that this resort was the best one we have ever stayed at.
Our suite (there are about 40) was luxurious, with a huge bathroom, and an enormous bed (at least 7 foot wide), with panoramic views of the desert. From the moment we arrived we felt relaxed and for me this was a particularly telling sign as I usually take a day or so to settle into a hotel. Our suite had its own pool which was huge (almost like a small swimming pool really), and was completely private. There was nothing negative about the room - water was delivered to your room daily, and liquor and wine were freely provided. A video menu was also availble if you wished to watch a film.
All meals were included in the price of the stay and you could order food to your room at no extra cost which was great if you couldn't be bothered to go to breakfast, lunch or dinner in the main part of the hotel. Dinner each night consisted of 5 courses and it was cool enough to sit outside under the stars which was perfect.
If you are looking for somewhere very quiet, relaxing and romantic then this is definitely the place to go (for example, sipping champagne at night in your own pool). The only time we saw other guests was at meal times or when we went on a trip (beware of the dune drives if you get travel sick!). The gym was always empty, as was the main hotel pool. A further bonus was the lack of insects and mosquitos - neither my husband nor I were bitten once! One word of warning though - it was very hot - much hotter than anywhere else we have visited before, and at times it was too hot to sit outside. However, this was no problem for us - we just had an afternoon snooze in the comfort of our airconditioned suite!
I really cannot think of anything negative to say about this hotel (apart from the spa treatments which were expensive)- the staff were really friendly and were always pleased to help - I have never known service this consistently good. Everywhere was clean and tidy, the rooms were fantastic and the location was breath taking. For my husband and I, our stay at the Al Maha Resort was like a second honeymoon and I would return like a shot if given the chance. This was the most perfect holiday we have ever had and I can't praise the resort enough.
The perfect retreat
My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights after staying at the One & Only Royal Mirage on Jumeirah Beach for 4 nights, and what a difference it was.
Al Maha is absolutely remote and very peaceful. As far as the eye can see there is beautiful desert peppered with oryx and gazelles.
The rooms are enormous and styled like tents, but with much more creature comforts! The bed was huge and very comfy, there was a TV and DVD player, a lovely writing desk, 2 chaise longues, tea and coffee facilities, a complimentary decanter of liqueur, 2 different types of bath robes each, a pillow menu, binoculars, bvulgari toiletries, a big plate of dried fruit and nuts and best of all......the enormous infinity plunge pool. To call it a plunge pool is an injustice, it's very large and more than adequate to swim a few strokes.
The staff at Al Maha are wonderful. We were assigned our own field guide and guest relations manager who saw to our every need. We took part in some early morning falconry and an evening camel ride. The staff are very good at providing the excursion options but leaving you to decide whether or not you want to participate. Therefore if you want to join in with lots of activities you can, but if not you are left in peace.
The dining room was lovely and the food excellent. There is a buffet for breakfast and lunch, but the chef is very accommodating and will endeavour to fulfil any special requests. In the evening there is a 5 course meal with vegetarian options which you can either eat in the dining room or on the deck outside your room, at an additional cost of AED 100.
We didn't use the spa but had a look around and it was wonderful. Their signature treatment involves a massage using fresh dates!
To sum up, we found it wonderfully relaxing and would recommend it for those seeking a quiet break away from it all.
So its a place that we always wanted to try after reading so much about it in the media.... Al maha does have an incredible location - the middle of the Desert surrounded by a very exclusive fence- part of the eco tourism... and to ensure that nothing gets in that shouldnt- think dune buggys and a hapless tourist..!!!
The Suites are beautiful, we were in Number 40 which i have to say was out on the side of the resort- overlooking everyone else - definitely a plus. This really is true exclusivity at its very best. Well appointed with huge bed and bathroom , and a wonderful small pool and huge deck area ....
Some great touches in terms of welcome presents, in fact all that you would imagine from a top end resort....
We "lucked out" with our guide who was excellent, and really showed us around -it seems that most of them are from S.A, though I would imagine that animals wise its a bit boring for them...
The Falconry is a definite must, though at 5.30 am it might be a push but worth every minute - along with the camel ride to the middle of the desert for Champagne and sun set - true style. That said if you are here for more than a night and wanted to be engaged in something the activities would definitely dry up- they need to think of expanding them if you were a return guest.
Dinner on the Suite terrace was beautiful and truly romantic, and the room service staff worked hard the night we were there- in fact all the staff apart from reception were excellent, friendly and approachable and really seemed to want to make a difference to your stay...
Make sure you allow time the day you are checking out to extend stay and use the main pool by the Spa - lunch is included and the pool is always quiet and its just a fabulous vista.
All in all a once in a lifetime experience thats worth it- and you really do feel as though you are living the Jet set lifestyle -
Woken gently in the morning...
Woken gently in the morning with native Oryx relaxing next to your private pool.. bliss
Having lived in Dubai for the past three years I thought it high time I visited one of the regions "Desert Resorts". My 13yo son was visiting from Australia and I wanted to show him the desert and spend some quiet quality time. Being a member of Emirates Skywards I spotted an online advertisement for Al Maha and contacted them. At first I was concerned that the resort would not be one that welcomes children (having traveled without children to romantic resorts I know why!) but I was pleasantly surprised by the reservations staff help and advise.
Within minutes of my phone call a lovely email arrived with all the necessary details and suggested activities for our three days. Even the little details like what clothing to bring (it was winter and cold in the desert in December) and a detailed map of how to find the secluded resort. As I wanted to be spoiled I opted for the limo pick-up which arrived exactly on time and its opulence was a hint of what was to come.
Well I could just rant for pages on the experience, but I won't because it can all be summed up in one word - PERFECT. The staff were outstanding, the food and service impeccable, the activates are highly recommended where you can enjoy the care of your private guide (I can personally recommend Donny). My son was pampered and welcomed all the way even if he was the youngest guest of the 50 people there. Ok not the place maybe for very young children but plenty for the kids to do - and the private plunge pool (heated no less) is to die for.
Waking up in the morning with the native animals drinking from the pool right outside was unexpected and many hours were spent just observing these wonderful beasts.
Don't hesitate booking your Al Maha getaway, not the cheapest Desert Resort in the UAE, but certainly the one to beat. Bravo Al Maha.
ps. Don't forget your camera!
This is relaxation heaven
My husband and I stayed here in September 2004, on the 2nd leg of our honeymoon and what a fantastic choice!! After the 'Burj' we really thought nothing would come close but 'Al Maha' was by far the most enjoyable due to the peace and tranquility.
You could choose not to leave your 'tent' if you so wished, as everything could be brought to you, from your breakfast, through to your dinner, to deck massages and treatements. You even had your own plunge pool which was by far the biggest plunge pool we've ever seen!
We didn't take advantage of many activities as most of them were very early morning and we are not early risers but the camel trek over the dunes to watch the sunset with a glass of champagne is a must. Make sure you take your camera as the views are tremendous.
Deck dining is also a must, very tranquil, just the two of you, watching the grazing gazelles and other animals. This is such a wonderful place, a true heaven on earth and we will definately return one day, hopefully one day soon.
Luxury Desert Oasis
Al Maha was an amazing and unique experience. Highly, highly recommended. Only slight negative is that the restaurant does not really take advantage of the desert scenery and is slighly bland, but still top class. We went there in August when it was too hot to eat outside, even at night, so I guess if you went in a cooler time you could eat outside on the deck and then the above would not be an issue.
An oasis of peace. . .
Okay. We stayed here first and then at the Burj al Arab (world's only 7 star hotel). Al Maha is owned by the Emirates Group and appears I think in the Emirates flight guide. It's about 45 minutes from what I remember from the airport and it is VERY relaxing. The staff were brilliant. It was summer and very hot. Just walking from your room to the main lobby/restaurant was enough to bake you so they had golf buggies to take you from your room to the main building. It was never a problem for them. The dune riding was amazing but the falconery we missed. The food was amazing - huge tiger prawns I remember on one particular buffet. The plung pool was heaven and completely not overlooked. The bedoin style "tent" was beautifully appointed. We had a venomous snake try to make it's way under our door and one of the staff took care of it before we opened our door. . . No big dress code for dinner so it felt relaxing. There is little to "do" besides the camel/dune riding and falconry but for relaxing for 2 nights it's a perfect retreat. If I was passing through Dubai again I'd definately go back.
Al Maha was the most memorable experience of my lifetime. The suite, plunge pool, food, activities, staff, facility, guides who took us for dune riding, falconery, camel riding, camel racing, everything just culminated into one fantastic lifetime experience.
My husband and I went there in august 2000 and would like to take our kids but unfortunately they do not allow kids below 12 and ours is going to be born next month. We are going to Dubai in August this year and the only regret will be that we cannot share the magic of Al Maha with our child. In short, Al Maha is sheer magic on earth.
Superb, unique and memorable
Our visit in Dec '03 was superb in every respect. Service, food, people, setting, activities, accommodation, facilities and weather were all impossible to fault. At the time of our visit, building work and the consequent lack of a swimming pool were minor issues that didn't really detract from our enjoyment - every suite has its own plunge pool anyway.
Plan on enjoying the activities (off-roading, archery, falconry, horse riding, trekking, camel riding) as it's many miles from anywhere and there's nothing else to do except sit in the sun. But be warned - the camel ride will reach parts of you that other actvities won't normally reach!
TripAdvisor Reviews Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai
Travel Blogs from Dubai
Last night I didn't get much sleep, though the bed is absolutely gorgeous, it just swallows you. I woke up before my wake up call, which was booked for 3.45am, and I was glad for that - I don't like waking up to the phone ringing. I quickly showered and grabbed a buggy to meet the group in the lobby, and then off we went to our balloon site. we met …
This morning I woke up at 7 feeling relly well rested and ready to go - I'm not sure whether this is to do with the heat, the sleep, not having to go to work, or a combination. I went down to the breakfast restaurant and met Pauline and our two hosts, and had a nice buffet brekkie with lots of delicious fresh fruit. After breakfast we were picked …
... King Croc: a 40-year-old, 5 meter long and 750 kg crocodile, one of the largest ever in captivity, and much more impressive when you're standing right next to it than you would think.
After all these experiences, my host texted me that he had finished work and we both went back home, had a chat about the amazing first day and had a good night's (air conditioned) rest in preparation for the next ...
... It was quite 'sandy' and you couldn't see far into the distance.
First we had a sleep at the hotel then went for a stroll across to the Mall of Emirates, which is only 400 metres away. On walking out from the hotel we were certainly struck by the heat. The temperatures today say it is 44 degrees, and it certainly felt like it. The Mall of Emirates is huge, and we took some time to just amble around it. Inside the Mall we also ...
What trip would be complete to a Middle Eastern country without riding camels through the desert? Normally I would avoid doing such a thing as I am an animal lover and I understand that animals can be treated poorly all in the name of a tourist dollar. The only reason I was not too worried about it this time was that Vanessa researched the hell out of it and instead of us going to a typical tourist camel attraction we went to a horse riding school that also had camels. The theory is ...