Tilal Liwa Hotel – Review
Drive to Tilal Liwa Hotel was one of our longest journey thru road. It took us around 4 hours drive from Sharjah, to reach this classic hotel\ resort that is set on on the edge of the beautiful Rub’ Al Khali desert. As per wikipedia, The Rub’ al Khali is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula.
We never in our wildest dreams thought that our drive would be this long. We made around 2 pitstops, at least after hour and half drive to freshen up and take something from petrol pumps, especially coffee and water and just a quick NOTE fill your car tanks each time you stop at pumps as the journey to liwa you’ll only see vast desert on both sides of the road for longer periods of time.
At the beginning, we were excited and relaxed but as time passed and turned into hours.. we started getting tired and bored.. that was obvious :p Thou on our way, we saw all types of cattles, camels, horses and goats freely walking on the desert and the vastness of the desert was amazingly captivating.
Upon arriving, we gave our car in valet as we just wanted to get out of the car as soon as possible and stretch our way into the hotel and that’s what we did 😉 Upon entering the lobby\ reception area of the hotel that is built in traditional arab style interior and appealing blend of earthy tones and details, we said to each other seems like our drive was worth. The hotel was quiet and empty as we didn’t see many people in the lobby, so it didn’t took us much time in the reception and our room was also ready as we reached around 4 PM in the evening.
We booked our romantic getaway package in Tilal room, that included
- in-room breakfast
- romantic candlelight buffet dinner with a glass of house beverage
- 30 minutes massage for couples
- exotic fruit platter and a bottle of bubbly on arrival
- aromatic Bubble bath and rose petals arrangement in the room
- complimentary sand boarding activity and dessert cycling that we never did :p
- complimentary in-room WiFi
Our room was spacious and visually appealing and had Arabian Style Décor with spectacular sunshine coming from the floor to ceiling windows and it also included a balcony overlooking the pool and fountain garden. As Usual like other hotel rooms this also included a 32-inch LCD TV with multiple channels, tea / coffee making facilities, mini bar, safe, and coffee table with chairs.
We quickly settled down and rested our back for sometime, and moved down to go to my best part of visiting hotels\ resorts.. the POOL 🙂 And this one had an infinity pool that looks into the golden sands of the desert that was just superb, so we lounged at the pool area drinking margaritas and enjoyed the beautiful view of desert and sunset.
After spending sometime taking selfies and pictures of ourselves embracing the hotel pool and its beautifully lit garden with flowers, our grumbling stomachs needed to be filled. We headed to Al Badiya restaurant for our 5-course candlelit dinner that was included in our package, we opted to sit outside the restaurant under the dark sky lit with stars, it was so romantic:) We were impressed, with the quality of food, and also with the incredibly friendly staff.
After having our hearty dinner, we went outside of the hotel to see how it is and the only thing that was visible was the road leading to the hotel lit with the street lamps, rest everything was covered in darkness. Quite scared, we rushed inside and head to Liwan pool bar lounge, where we spend most of our night and watch the stars in the middle of the desert and enjoying our shisha and coffee.
In the morning, we enjoyed our breakfast in bed, lounged at the pool for a little bit again before making our way back into the reality. If you are sporty kind a person then you should for sure try sand boarding or go for safari tours provided by the hotel to moreeb dunes, which have some of the highest dunes in the Middle East.
We really had a one of magical experience at Tilal Liwa Hotel and our favourite part of our stay there was lounging at the pool with the view of the desert, it just felt so surreal and magical. Kudos to the team for making us feel, so welcomed. The location is a perfect retreat getaway for people, who wants to stay away from hustle bustle of the city and have a quiet weekend in the desert.
Distance from the airport: Tilal Liwa Hotel is 1 hour and 31 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport
Hotel services: Room service, Car hire, Shuttle service (surcharge), Airport shuttle (surcharge), 24-hour front desk, Express check-in/check-out, Currency exchange, Tour desk, Luggage storage, Concierge service,Babysitting/child services, Laundry,Dry cleaning, Ironing service, Shoeshine, Trouser press, Daily maid service, Meeting/banquet facilities, Business centre, Fax/photocopying, Gift shop, VIP room facilities, Bridal suite
Recreational facilities: Billiards, Table tennis, Darts, Cycling,Horse riding, Sauna, Fitness centre, Massage, Bicycle rental, Bikes available (free), Games room, Children’s playground, Karaoke, Entertainment staff, Kids’ club, Evening entertainment
Dining options: Restaurant, Bar, Breakfast in the room, Restaurant (à la carte), Restaurant (buffet), Snack bar
Languages spoken: Dutch, Italian, French, English, German, Arabic
The Liwa Date festival is held at the end of June each year. There is also a camel festival and a drag racing festival to scale the Moreeb Dune. The UAE Desert Challenge is held in parts here too. Check the local media for exact dates each year.
Address: Al-Gharbiya, Western Region, Madinat Zayed – Abu Dhabi
Phone: 02 894 6111
Overall rating: 9.5
Cleanliness – Very Good
Location – Too far in the middle of the desert
Staff – Good
Comfort – Very Good
Facilities – Good
Value for money – Yes
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