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Staycation, Staycation, Vacation

This weekend is a holiday! So, plan your long weekend now…

Three gorgeous, Gaggler-approved getaways…close to home, a short drive away, or a quick hop by plane…ready, steady, start packing your suitcase!

A Short Drive: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara, Abu Dhabi

vacations abu dhabi

If you’ve been dreaming of a dreamy desert retreat, this is the weekend to book into one of the finest there is.

Following extensive updates to its leisure and wellness facilities, alongside 360-degree health and safety features that have earned them the Go Safe Certification from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, Qasr Al Sarab reopened its doors this week, revealing an even more opulent and indulgent resort than before.

best hotel in zanzibar

Aside from the luxurious accommodation, guests of all ages have numerous upgrades to enjoy – starting with the newly- refurbished pool area with luxurious in-water loungers and swing; a sleek new swim-up bar; a 50-metre stretch for laps and a collection of elegant new poolside cabanas. Cutting-edge additions to the resort’s wellness facilities include state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, the Zwift virtual cycling system and a desert volleyball court, whilst those in need of pampering can treat themselves to an array of new spa treatments, complete with relaxation spaces for men and women, indoor and outdoor meditation zones and Psammo therapy sand-heat. Better still, new green initiatives at the resort include the complete phasing out of plastic water bottles and the introduction of solar panels to support power and hot water – just one of the ways in which Qasr al Sarab continues on its mission to become a truly sustainable resort. 

desert retreat

To celebrate the resort’s relaunch, The Royal Desert Hideaway package makes for a decadent weekend treat. Based on two adults sharing, you’ll get a two night stay in a stunning one-bedroom Royal Pavilion Villa with its own private pool, daily in-villa breakfast, one activity per guest per stay, one 15-minute relaxing neck and shoulder massages at the Anantara Spa, per stay, and your very own personal Villa Host. 

For more information visit www.anantara.com.

Close To Home: Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah

desert retreat abu dhabi

The Summer Offer package at The Chedi Al Bait offers staycayers the chance to explore centuries of art and culture at this beautiful heritage and hospitality gem in the heart of Sharjah. 

best hotel in abu dhabi

A must for those who love a mini-break that combines culture and culinary excellence, the offer to this boutique bolthole includes tickets to the Emirate’s most astonishing cultural and historical sites, combining the luxurious getaway with a soulful trip through time, from Mleiha Archaeological Centre and Al Noor Island to Sharjah City Sightseeing and a day out at Al Montazah Parks. The property itself is spectacular, sympathetically restored and finished in a traditional, calming colour palette that evokes the soul of local culture, with peaceful alleyways making a private space to explore the marvellous architecture of this heritage site.

With wellbeing and sanitization, a priority, and the utmost privacy a key feature at this boutique property, adhering to social distancing while creating a space of one’s own for each guest makes this a super-chilled choice to celebrate the long weekend.

Rooms start from Dhs800 per night with a room upgrade to the next available category, or an added AED 200 in credit to spend at any of the hotel’s dining outlets for a maximum of 2 adults and 2 children per room per stay. Email [email protected]

The Short Hop: The Residence, Zanzibar

desert beach relaxation

If you’re looking for something super-special outside of the UAE, make the most of your long weekend by jetting off to Zanzibar. Hidden amongst towering palm trees and fringed by private shores, The Residence Zanzibar is set in isolated splendour on the South West coast of the island. Located just 55 minutes from the capital Stone Town, the hotel sits outside the village of Kizimkazi, an area famous for its dolphin safaris, and makes for a magical place to kick back, relax and soak up the natural beauty of the island.

luxury hotel room

Offering total privacy combined with exceptional service, each of the 66 standalone villas has been decorated with contemporary furnishings that remind guests of the island’s African and Omani heritage, and feature luxurious amenities, including both indoor and outdoor showers as well as a private swimming pools and a sun deck. Aside from the blissful privacy of your villa, there’s plenty to see and do around the resort. The spa has six pavilions, nestled amongst two hectares of lush, tropical gardens, with each room leading directly onto a private garden with outdoor shower, bathtub and relaxation area, making this a mesmerizing wellness destination – don’t miss an uplifting session of yoga and meditation on the jetty as the most inspirational way to start the day.

yoga at desert retreat

Visit www.theresidencezanzibar.org for bookings.

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