I’m getting married!

First of all thank you to everyone who has congratulated us, we are so excited & the comments & messages have been overwhelming! I think it goes without saying that my and my fiancé (can’t stop using that word lol) had the BEST time at Anantara Resort on Sir Bani Yas Island. There are literally sooo many things we loved about this place – him popping the question there was just like a super-amazing add-on to an already dream weekend away. I have had so many comments & questions about Sir Bani Yas, from the accommodation, to the food & the animals so I am really excited to share this with you guys on the blog. So here is my review of Anantara Sir Bani Yas (with a little bit of love too – awww shucks). 

Oh also, I have so much to write about our stay so this blog is coming in 2 parts just FYI.

Sir Bani Yas island is a 15-20 minute boat ride of the UAE coast (or a 45 minute flight).The island is home to a whopping 13,000 animals & has various successful breeding programmes, which includes the care for and rehabilitation of, the thousands of animals and birds that call the Island home.

We drove down to the jetty (it is about 250km from Abu Dhabi airport, took us a few hours from Reem Island) and left the car there. Upon arrival the staff were really friendly & took all our luggage to get it on the boat for us. There is a cute little arrival/wait area with bathrooms & complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks & snacks. The boat ride is quick & comfortable.

When we arrived on the island we were greeted by more friendly staff & directed to the right transport. There are 3 accommodation options on the islands, Desert Islands, Al Sahel & Al Yamm. We stayed at Al Sahel villas which took about 20 mins to reach. Every thing was really organised, the no-nonsense approach that I like when checking in! 

The villa itself was GORGEOUS. Beautiful safari decor & a 4 poster bed, it literally felt like we had flown to Africa. The all Al Sahel villas also boast an amazing walk in shower, deep bath & the best part… your own private plunge pool outside! Oh & when I say private, it is private if you don’t include peacocks & gazelle which were always wandering around! There is something so magical about chilling out in the sun in the surrounded by wildlife. 

how gorgeous!? UAE or African Safari!?
& the gorgeousness extends to outdoors too
chill out time
there is something so magical about chilling out in the pool with wildlife all around you

After we got checked in, we headed to the nearest restraunt to our villas to grab a bite of lunch, which happen to be Savannah Grill. This restaurant has a whole separate vegetarian menu with options that either were vegan or could be veganized, amazing! Starter was a delicious African style mixed platter with boiled sweet potatoes & veggie spring rolls. For main we both devoured these mouth-watering vegan burgers (just ask for no cheese) & fries. My fiancé has been subjected to a number of Vegan Burgers over this past year and he actually named this ‘the best veggie burger’ he had ever had.  The menu has so many fab options to choose from, we really wished we could extend out stay just to try everything!

how amazing is this menu!?
‘the best veggie burger I have ever tasted’ – my fiancé

After stuffing out faces with food, we booked out activities for the weekend. The resort has loads of great stuff to do & we decided to try to cram in as much as possible & booked a sunrise safari drive, a culture & history tour & a conservation tour for the following days.

After enjoying our plunge pool & catching some rays (with a number of peacock & gazelle visitors), we headed out for food again. This time we headed to the other side of the island to try out the Italian restaurant Olio. Both the service & food were amazing, again with lots of vegan options available. I went for a ‘create-your-own’ pasta dish, with a tomato sauce & loads of veggies. The risotto also looked really delicious (oh & the prosecco was good lol), so good in fact I fell asleep on the way back to the villa.

This concludes our amazing first 1/2 day at Anantara Sir Bani Yas. In part 2 I will share all details about the awesome activities we did & the really inspiring commitment the resort has made to protecting wildlife. Stay tuned! Happy Friday, Jess xox