Monday, May 16, 2011

1001 Arabian Nights - A Desert Retreat in United Arab Emirates


About 2 hours from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates lies a unique desert 
retreat called Anantara Qasr Al Sarab.  The word Anantara in Sanskrit means 
"without end" which is meant to evoke a feeling of freedom and harmony.  If 
the library is any indication of what the resort is like, I'm in!  It's a wonderful
modern mix of Arabic and rustic desert style.

Have you ever thought of going to the desert for a retreat?  I must admit that
 it's not the first place I usually think of for a retreat, but, it does have a different
kind of appeal.  


Especially if the stars look like this in the middle of the desert.  
The sky looks clear enough to see the milky way.


Part of the appeal for me is the wide open space of a desert.  Just like the ocean, 
the desert has its own fits and can be calm as it is violent in a sand storm.  I can
 just imagine Lawrence of Arabia in this vast space. 




What a fantastic entrance! 


I've always loved fountains in a courtyard.


One of the best things I love about Islamic architecture are the arches.


This room manages to look spacious and cozy at the same time with its
 warm rugs and textured ceiling.  Not always an easy balance to achieve.  
I could definitely see myself spending a peaceful week here.




A suite with a generous balcony.


A villa with a dipping pool with a desert view that transports one 
out of this world.


Since I was a child, I've always been entranced with tents.  
Bedouin tents are so comfortable with all of the lounging
spaces.  It certainly sets the stage for socializing in comfort.  


Now isn't this what you would imagine an exotic desert hang out
space to look like?


You can always go for a camel trek if things get too quiet.
For those of you who have never ridden on a camel, they
are very tall - so if you have a fear of heights like me, have
a care.  But in any case, well worth the experience.

It may not be everyone, but this gives meaning to the phrase 
"In the middle of nowhere."  Sometimes, having a little 
quiet time in a place that is so foreign from what one is used
to makes it easier for one to reflect.  It's also a fantastic way to
try something different.

So what are your thoughts in general?  Do you like the decor?
Would you go to a place like this?  Why or why not?

Photos from Qasr Al Sarab's website

24 comments:

Francine Gardner said...

Beautiful post! My favorite retreat was actually in the Sahara desert, a week on Camel trekking and beautiful tents. This resort is just amazing! Would love to visit...will make it on my list.

Yoli said...

Stunning. Honestly that first room takes my breath away.

Linda in AZ * said...

* Having living in Saudi Arabia for two years, I can personally vouch for the absolute BEAUTY of the Arabian desert at night!

Linda in AZ *

Cynthia Banks said...

This place is truly awe inspiring. I must admit that the Middle East has not held alot of fascination for me -- I am a European love kind of girl. But this is stunning. Thank you for sharing!

Nane Cabral said...

Lindo! é a primeira vez que visito seu blog e amei seu cantinho, já virei seguidora! Também tenho um blog, se puder, me faça uma visita que ficarei muito feliz. Adorei as ideias para as cores e as imagens! Beijinhos, Nane www.vovoqueensinou.blogspot.com

~In God we trust~ said...

Oh my god, wow what amazing images, cant believe this beautiful views and for me works give me a kind of relax and tranquility jaja even the photo you say just like a ocean.. wow what opportunity to travel this far an amazing place... love your blog.
Pily

Lila said...

It seems so mysteriously romantic, doesn't it?! I love the lanterns in the first photo. In fact I love the lighting in every photo! They're gorgeous!
xoxo
Lila Ferraro

Joanna said...

Gorgeous exterior and interior design! It's as if I'm living in a fairytale! Great post, check out also 3D Rendering

Branislav said...

that bedroom is so romantic...

Daydreaming in the City said...

Great post Karen!!!
I just love arabic design, it's so exotic and classy. This post sums it all in a beautiful way.
Made me think of the movie Sex and the City 2..and made me smile a bit thinking of the adventures the gals lived over there.
Thanks for the arabian night's post! :)

Jess @ polka dots, Paris and paint said...

So exotic and relaxing looking! Especially love the library.

Adie Andrews said...

This place is looking fantastic I can't believe that such beauty can exist in the middle of the Sahara desert :) Definitely inspired me for one more exotic trip.

Greetings holiday apartment london

Jen @ areafarehome.blogspot said...

WOW! What an amazing place!

Jessica said...

Those pictures are completely breathtaking, I would love to camp out under all those beautiful stars. And I have to agree the arches are the best!

Anonymous said...

These are very beautiful photos indeed. I think the one thing I would be asking is this: who built it? Because: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7985361.stm

These are common practices in UAE & other Arab countries. Although the product may be gorgeous, at what cost? I don't mean to be a party pooper, but just something to consider when you decide where to vacation. Kingdoms are very romantic, but they are also built on older, less fair systems than western citizens are used to. Of course we are not perfect, nothing is, but at least we try to address these issues.

annie markantonatou said...

amazing pics and atmosphaire! the decor it's only a decor for pics..

http://anmarkdesign.blogspot.com/

Pandora said...

These images are mesmerizing. I have yet to go somewhere like that in my life. The desert landscape is so beautiful and it inspired truly unique design!

Pandora from Home and Decor

mydeco said...

The pics are great, always liked the arabian theme and influence

Lord Cowell said...

Wow, what a mind blowingly beautiful place!

Emaratioryx said...

I've been there during the winter and it was very magical. I will definitely come back again.

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