Rated 5 out of 5 by 1234 Can understand why guests come back here
Great location -- a gigantic room with a private pool in the middle of the dessert
Excellent service -- everyone made us feel welcome from the minute we arrived
Plus great field trips to choose from with informative guides!
May 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cathy1477 Wonderfully relaxing stay
We enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing 9 night stay at our friendly "home from home". The hotel staff catered for our every need in a wonderfully friendly and professional manner. We can't wait to return again later this year.
June 13, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Leisha Well worth the money. Exceptional
I spent 3 nights here for my 40th birthday before going into Dubai city for 4 nights. I found it the perfect split of time.
I had such high expectations I feared I could only be disappointed but I wasn't.
The only possible criticism is the price of alcohol BUT that is true of Dubai in general.
The suites, pool, activities and staff are all amazing but what absolutely blew me away was the food. INCREDIBLE. Simply the most fabulously fresh, high quality, beautifully cooked food I have ever had and all served by fantastic waiters - especially Bibek and Dhan.
Manager Arne runs a very tight ship and cannot be faulted for his professionalism and understanding of what guests want. There was a very minor issue which he dealt with so well I left more impressed than I would have had there never been any issue to resolve in the first place! That is the mark of exceptional management.
Expense does not always mean quality but the Al Maha is a prime example of you get what you pay for - and sometimes more.
I am already saving to be able to go again.
Thank you for a perfect 40th.
March 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by wang A wonderful memory
The bright sky, great desert, lovely camels, swimming pool and delicious food in the hotel provided my family a wonderful memory.Thank you to all the friendly staffs. We are looking forward to come back every year!
February 13, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Alex Desert beauty
Fantastic resort. Restored my tranquillity minutes after arrival. Peace and quite surrounded by Gazelles and Oryx. Wonderful rooms with the best bed in the world. Superb food. Amazing staff. Thanks so much
May 8, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Tony Great staff, great location
Splendid welcome , super room, top service , top meals , magnificent location , attentive and knowlegable staff, led to a memorable visit - our high expectations were fully achieved. Will return .
May 5, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by JW36 Very Nice Experience
My daughter and I had a wonderful experience at Al Maha. The person who met us at the airport, the guest relations associate who checked us in upon arrival, all the housekeepers, the buggy drivers and the restaurant staff were all outstanding. The food presentation, quality and delivery were all excellent. We visited in the summer so it was great to have the choice of our own pool at the suite or the larger common pool at the spa. The facilties were well kept. The views and setting were amazing and unique.
Two suggestions for improvement:
1) The guides were all highly professional and clearly competent at their jobs. Our safety was always their top priority. I have been on several similar types of vacations and am used to the guides being more outgoing towards and engaging with the guests. I would have liked to have seen more of that from our guides.
2) While the food was outstanding, I would have liked to see more variety for menu choices, such as having two different menues that alternated every other day.
Overall it was a very nice experience and I would recommend it to others as well as return again myself.
July 22, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by Dunelover Excellent Hotel, superb kitchen, good desert adventures
We spent a week in Al Maha, and it was wonderful. The food offer and the quality of the kitchen is just superb. The desert events are great, they have good guides.
January 10, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by infantejm Truly Magnificent
The level of service and attention to details is incredible! I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for great service and a high level of privacy.
December 20, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by NAK72 Manager- Project Procurement
The Hotel location and view was amazing, it was a real getaway place for relaxation and mind peace, and the staff made sure to gain our comfort and satisfaction.
January 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 Desert birthday treat
Al Maha offered a wonderful but too short break - we would love to visit again. Everything was perfect
February 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Boenu Cleaning
The cleaning of the bathroom should be improved.
December 7, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Sabrinella With my daughter
Great place. Best to relax. Very quiet.
July 29, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Israel1 Fantasy in the desert
Great and magical experience
June 30, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Naty142 Amazing experience
Will be a unforgetable experience, great food and service
July 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by PatrickP52 This Hotel will leave you wanting more
From the moment we arrived we were made feel very special and unique. Located in the Dubai conservation reserve it offered absolute peace and tranquility from the moment we entered the reserve. Passing the Arabian Gazelles and Oryx's on the drive to the hotel through the desert you get a sense that this hotel will offer you something unique that will take you back to a time when nomads and bedouins roamed these lands. The reception and journey reinforces this view and when you arrive at your room, you have the contrast of the desert beside your luxuriosly appointed accomodation. With a private pool with every guesthouse and each room filled with tastefully decorated furnishings this was a feeling which you know will live long in the memory. The desert activities added to the memory by taking us on a camel ride into the desert to see the setting sun and also the sand dune ride the next morning added to the sense of adventure and excitement which the desert offers. As we were given our own special guides for these activities, this made these journeys all the more special and individualised. The meals (some of which were served in our room) were excellently prepared and presented by very attentive staff. the quality of the food was first class and the restaurant managers interest in our meal made us feel very special too. The pool and gym which we used were excellent. Unfortunatley, we did not get enough time to sample the delights of the spa and this is something which we will have to address when we next return to the Al Maha Desert resort hotel. And this is something that we will certainly do given the warmth and friendliness of our experience there.
October 15, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Taylor A charming rustic resort within an undisturbed desert landscape
Even though the age of the resort is evident compared to other desert escapes within the UAE, Al Maha has character and charm that you will rarely find in a country which has transformed itself into an ever evolving cosmopolitan hub. The beautiful undisturbed desert landscape coupled with freely roaming wildlife within the resort helps to make a stay a highly unique and memorable experience. Even though there were a couple of minor incidents which could have upset the balance of our stay, the ever enthusiastic staff and management quickly responded and made sure that the issues were resolved and our stay enhanced. Thank you.
June 9, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by walkern A beautiful Desert experience
We spent 4 nights at Al Maha at the end of August before going on further to Zighy Bay in Oman. The transfer from Dubai airport went smoothly, turning off the main road into the desert. After a short time we came to a security check point, we were checked through and drove further through a smaller official entrance into the conservation area and then finally to the Hotels main reception building.
We were greeted warmly and were guided to a small seating area in the Lobby. We were offered cold drinks and wet face towels. Check in went smoothly, then we were informed about Restaurant timings, Spa activities with special offers and joining the SPG (Starwood Group) loyalty program. Then one of the South African guides/Ranger came and started telling us about their activities and start times. Personally I thought this was a little too much information just after arriving from a 14 Hour trip with various trains, planes and automobiles, we just wanted to get to our room and relax.
We were informed that our Villa was still being cleaned and that our Guest relations coordinator Ankush would meet us later. We were then asked if we would like to go to Breakfast until everything was ready. We followed but still made a detour to be shown the seating area, the Bar and outside seating area with Shisha corner. We were finally led down the steps to the Restaurant and shown to a table. After our initial Breakfast we went back upstairs and waited in the Lobby until Ankush came to meet us.
We were driven to our Suite but made yet another detour to the Spa and Main Pool area and were given a complete tour of their beautiful facilities.
We were finally taken to our Suite No. 40 which is probably the farthest Suite from the Main buildings. In our previous email correspondence with the Hotel we had asked for complete privacy, we just simply wanted to relax. Ankush told us later that this suite is usually given to the local guests who require such privacy.
The Bedouin Suites look Octagonal in shape with a large Canopy giving the illusion of a Bedouin Tent. We entered into a lobby area which had a small table and chair where the Nespresso Coffee machine was placed, a Kettle with various Teas as well as a small fridge, hairdryer and bottled water with glasses. A nice touch was the complimentary Sherry in its decanter with two glasses.
There were two other large double doors, one on the right hand side that led into the large bathroom, the other leading into the Bedroom/Sitting room. Each time I opened the double doors in the Suite I would always say “Open Sesame”……I don´t know why.
The Bedroom/Sitting room was beautifully decorated. As you entered the room there was a large wooden wardrobe on the left hand side which incorporated the TV and DVD Player. To the right there was a “Huge” double bed with a Captains Sea chest at its foot with two bedside tables. In front of the Bed were situated two large chaise lounge chairs with a table between them. On the other side of the bed was a writing desk and chair. Between the bed and writing table was another double door which also took you into the Bathroom. There were four large sized double windows (three of them could be opened) which gave access to the outside decking and infinity-type private pool.
The bathroom had a very large bathtub, a large glass doored shower, two wash basins with large mirror as well as a separate WC and bidet. The rooms were extremely clean with ample toweling and Toiletries.
We were disappointed with the Decking area. There were two comfy sun loungers situated on the right side as well as a table and two chairs on the left. The partial view of the desert could be seen standing up, but in the pool or lying on the loungers very little could be seen. It was probably our fault for requesting privacy but we thought that privacy would also come with a view. This could have been communicated earlier in our various email correspondence. The Suite was very quiet with just the noise of buggies or a few cars entering and leaving the resort. The Air-conditioning unit was situated near the front of the Villa and can be heard when it kicks in.
The pool in our suite was somewhat dated with various tiles missing as well as tiles which somebody had carelessly tried to reattach. As you could not look out onto a desert view your only option was to look at the small sand dunes as well as the shrubbery and the Villa itself. Unfortunately due to rain or maybe condensation there is staining on the Villa walls and the garden/ scrubs are in my opinion very poorly maintained. Dead leaves everywhere as well as the missing blue tiles scattered around in the sand. This particular area in this particular suite was certainly NOT acceptable and needs to be quickly rectified by senior management as it does not fulfill the expectations of its guests or of the resorts high standards. I gathered as many tiles from the garden as possible and laid them out on the pool side….they were taken away two days later.
Housekeeping comes twice a day, to make the room in the morning and to turn down in the evening. A daily paper is also delivered.
The resort has I believe 42 Villas offering full-board in the restaurant as well as in-Villa dining with the option (additional cost) of “Deck dining” where your meal will be served to you. There is also afternoon Tea and Coffee, as well as various snacks and drinks throughout the day served in the Bar area. This was all included in our Package. The quality of the food and service in the restaurant is exceptional. Even thinking about the Avocado-smoothie with Breakfast, the “7 Hours” braised Lamb shank (Oh that Gravy!!!) and Lobster Thermidor or Wagyu Beef fillet for evening meal, but the Sashimi starter with its Tuna, Salmon and fresh Scallops and spoon of caviar was just to die for. You should also try the Sri Lankan Dinner Menu. A big thank you to Srinivasan Nadarajan and ALL his Team…..Nikhil, Aruni, Pam, Dhan and Naresh to name just a few. Thank you again for your hospitality in our private room on our special day.
Breakfast is served from 07:00 till 10:30, Lunch from 12:30 till 14:30 (How anybody can eat three full meals a day is beyond me…..you would be in the restaurant all day) and evening Dinner was served from 19:30 till 22:00. Meals can be taken inside or out and casual dress (Gentlemen – Long trousers) for dinner is required.
A pre-dinner drink in the bar on the veranda looking out onto the reserve and the water hole which is illuminated was quiet magical. A cold Belgium Leffe beer and the seaweed tempura was a great match. Not to mention the star of the show which was Ramil the barkeeper, a really great host!
As we found that we could only get the sun in our villa from 07:00 till 09:300 and then again from 16:30 we headed off to the main Pool after Breakfast. Again, a beautiful facility with excellent attention to detail. Here we had the opportunity to see the Oryx and Gazelles grazing from the comfort of the large pool.
To get around the resort, Buggies are recommended because of the wild animals especially the Oryx. We did not have to wait more than Five minutes for a Buggy from our Suite after dialing 0, especially as our Suite was far away from the Main building.
Anything that you required you any had only to dial 0 for reception. Thanks here especially to Ankush and to Maria.
We also went on two excursions with the South African guides which took one hour, the nature walk with Kurt and the Falconry were we discovered that Owls only turn their heads 270° and not 360° as in the cartoons. I think Oscar the Owl was just as awake as we were. You have to be at reception for 05:30 to start at 05:45.
Service and hospitality at Al Maha is excellent and can only be highly recommended, as well as the quietness of its tranquil surroundings. When we return we will however be requesting another Suite. The staff recommend Suites 6, 11, 15, 23 and 35 for beautiful views. Oh and that Bed!!!
Since we have returned home we have been inundated with various emails from Starwood (6) and the Hotel (2), 8 within the last 11 days. This seems to be a little bit too much marketing.
September 8, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by david777 Al Maha.
This small Desert Retreat used to be one of the finest most exclusive places in the world when it was run by the Emirates Group.
For reasons beyond comprehension they allowed Starwood to run it with the attendant dramatic lowering of standards.
The word exclusive has been erased, noisy groups descend on it totally unaware of how to behave at such a resort. This leads to a feeling of wanting to leave the area and remember it as it used to be.
Objectively, it is difficult to review the Al Maha in light of how it is now versus how it used to be. It was 6 Star, now it is 4 Star and going lower.
October 22, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by NitinAnita An Oasis in the Desert
I stayed with my wife for one night and I can say that this place is amazing. It's a real luxury in the heart of desert and wildlife. Total privacy and extremely friendly staff.
June 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by PeterIngrid A true paradise
Our second time at Al Maha Resort after a view years. We stayed for 6 nights and had a wonderfully time at the Resort in our beautiful Suite. The staff are truly friendly and professional, especially reception and housekeeping! Many thanks to our personally guest relation coordinator Ankush.
Congratulations to Chef David and his team. The delicious food in combination with the personally service is truly a highlight - much better than in other top grade hotels over the world. Specially thanks to Mr. Srini.
If we want to compare our second stay at Al Maha Resort with our first stay, after the changes under Starwood management - we would say it's now a "true paradise" with a homely atmoshere and nearly no room for improvements.
Back in Germany we want to say thanks for your hospitallity.
For sure we will come back!
June 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by DesertDecadence Amazing place that everyone must stay at at some point
I have stayed in many high end resorts around the world and Al Maha did not dissapoint. The staff were amazing, accomodation fabulous (we stayed in a Royal Suite) and food delightful. The day spa experience was one of the best I have ever had. My only comment is that for the price it would be good to have included some alcoholic beverages which is what similar resorts do include.
The whole experience was way above my expectation so do not hesitate to go. I think it is the only place in the world where camels do not smell as they shampoo them regularly. Love that!
April 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Pearlex64 WOW and WOW
The location and staff are absolutely fantastic. They cannot do enough for you. The food is out of this world and presented amazingly. They even took me to the hospital and waited for me to have treatment and even though we had missed our dinner....they cooked us our meal at 10:20pm! The facilities and activities are fantastic and the spa is a must. They even packed us an amazing lunch when we were leaving. Very knowledgeable and professional staff who are all a credit to the company. We will DEFINATELY be returning.
May 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Anna36 Perfection
This resort is the best I have ever stayed in - true perfection. The staff, the accommodation, the food - everything was simply outstanding. Words cannot describe just how amazing this place is. I have totally fallen in love with everything about this resort. We were welcomed by the manager, the porter, the ranger and our guest coordinator - all were lovely and made our stay so special. The activities were incredible too - really well organised and great fun. This place offers total relaxation - amazing food and activities if you want to do them. I cannot rate this place high enough. If you are in Dubai this place is a must visit. They made our stay so special and we will definitely be returning.
October 12, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by ELVISGA1 The Best of the Best
We spent 13 nights in this magnificent resort. This is sanctuary in the desert, It really is the place to relax and unwind. The food was exquisite. We would like to convey our gratitude to Head Chef David, Sous Chef Peter and all the restaurant team. The activities where wonderful, we really enjoyed the falcon display and the camel rides. A big thank you to all the members of staff at the Al Maha, whilst we didn't get to know you all by name, we really did appreciate your hard work which resulted in making it such a special vacacion for us. Best wishes to Naresh, Hussein, Ankush and La Roux. Thank you for everything, fingers crossed we shall return next year to relive the Al Maha experience once more.
July 20, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Karteer What a disappointment...
Though the staff were friendly and helpful, from the arrival to departure it was overall disappointing. The resort was very hard to find with small roadsigns and we had to wait for a long time at the entrance to be picked up and taken to the resort, as we were not told when making the booking to call on our arrival. We requested a twin bed room and received a double bed and as we registered two people, only I was addressed by the staff. The villa was very well placed with great views and the accommodation was very well equipped. The pool villa was like a bath (outside temperature was 48 degrees)and could not use until the next morning after requesting to cool the water. We had dinner in the restaurant and we did expect the quality of the food to be better however it was a pleasant atmosphere.
We were to stay another night, but the price paid (and it was low season rates) to what we received was not as expected. We were not asked on check out on how was our stay and we even received someone else's invoice.
January 7, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by memory22 memory22
people who work for this hotel are
especially kind and friendly.
February 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by kates123 Tranquil and relaxing
We went to the Al Maha for a well earned rest. We came away completely refreshed and relaxed. It was a wonderful place to stay, the villas were fantastic, the food fantastic, the activities were great fun and the staff friendly and professional.
I would and will recommend this to everyone who needs to get away from it all.
Its nice that no children are there. When you are in your villas you feel that you are the only ones staying in the desert. Paradise!
May 11, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jelleyart Amazing Al Mahar
This resort is a wonderful experience. Very romantic if that's what you want, very restful if thats what you need. For me, as a painter, lots of inspiration. Set far out in the desert it's true Arabic style. The biggest most comfortable bed we've ever slept in with a view over you'r own pool then over the desert. Gazelles and Oryx wonder freely in the grounds. The wildlife is all around you and lovely to see. Then you go and eat the most amazing food 3 times a day! All the staff are welcoming, friendly and totally professional. We loved every moment.
February 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Donald3217 Excellent
Just amazing!!!!! The only thing I did not like was they don't seem to care if you are a SPG member or not.
May 31, 2012