Eco-Lovers, Lux Weekenders, UAE Elite
Reason to Stay
Removed Location, Desert Reserve, Destination Spa
Away from the vertical congestion and urban madness of inner Dubai, Al Maha Desert Resort strides the outskirts of a famed desert vista of rolling dunes and sweeping nothingness that reminds visitors of the wider natural beauty that waits only a few minutes from city center. Hardly a new name but still a fairly secret one, Al Maha is modeled after an ancient Bedouin encampment concealed behind an architectural façade of stucco masonry and tented silhouettes that exude an otherworldly serenity. What appears like a safari-like lodge from afar evolved into a main lodge with series of fortressed buildings. The main lobby is spare in design; adorned in hand-woven rugs, inlay curiosity cabinets and adobe fireplace that crackles on colder desert nights. Known for its spa and removed seclusion, the main eatery could use a bit of reworking with its too bright lighting and closely spaced tables that's forgivable once on the stunning outdoor terrace where the view justifies why you're here in the first place.
A series of nearly 40 suites exude a safari-like styling located within a main compound and in a series of outlying building with their tented private pools and head-on views of the desert reserve. More about the removed seclusion and luxury service, this long-time conservation resort may lack the slick grandeur of properties like the Banyan Tree, but instead offers an age-old isolation that includes head-on encounters with Arabian Oryx and desert gazelle literally on your own terrace. Larger rooms include private dining spaces as well a large entertaining areas that open onto outdoor terraces like a mini Arabian palaces. Some spaces are in obvious need of updating, but in an eco-location second to none only 40-miles from Dubai.
Adventure Activities, Private Pool, Eco-Hotel
Restaurant, Lounge, Spa, Pool