Banyan Tree Opens First Resort in UAE
Last month, a new luxury desert resort managed by Banyan Tree opened its doors in Al Wadi, United Arab Emirates. More than half of the new Banyan Tree Al Wadi's 250 acres is set aside as a nature reserve with Arabian gazelles and local antelope or "oryxes." The desert resort consists of 101 tented villas designed with inspiration from the area's Bedouin tribes, each with their own "oasis" - a private full-size pool.
The property has a beach and access to a championship 18-hole golf course. It's located 12 miles outside the city of Ras Al Khaimah in the northern most Emirate, and 45 minutes from the Dubai International Airport. At the resort, visitors can take part in decidedly Middle-Eastern pastimes: falconry, camel riding, desert drives, or floating the river on traditional "dhow" Arabic sailing vessels.
The 10,000-square-foot Spa Al Wadi features 10 tented treatment pavilions. As with all Banyan Tree resorts, each therapist is trained at the Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Phuket, Thailand. Come March, the spa will offer an almost anti-desert experience in its "Rainforest hydrothermal circuit" - perhaps it's needed after those desert drives.
The Singapore-based resort operator runs 15 exclusive Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts all over the world including Ringha and Lijang and two others in China; two in the Maldives and several in the works including one in Vietnam to open 2011.
Gallery: Banyan Tree Al Wadi Resort