Home TravelMiddle East & Africa A wondrous stay at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

A wondrous stay at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

by Lady Charlotte Lynham

Dubai is synonymous with luxury; built on the promise of opulence, fine dining and out-of-this-world experiences, this city is a mecca for hedonists, but could there be another side to this city, one more steeped in barefoot luxury? Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort might be just that, located on the man-made World Islands, just ten minutes from Palm Jumeirah by boat, it is a resort that stands out from the Dubai crowd.

Where is Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort?

Anantara World Islands Resort is situated approximately ten minutes from Palm Jumeirah by boat. We took a boat ride from Anantara Palm Dubai to get there. The nearest airports are Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport. The resort is set off the shore of Dubai on World Islands so is a self-contained location perfect for honeymoons, romantic getaways, families or like us, a friends’ reunion.

Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

Accommodation at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

Anantara World Islands Resort has a total of 70 rooms, suites and villas that combine island living with contemporary luxury. We were lucky enough to be staying in one of their premium options, an Anantara One Bedroom Sunset Beach Pool Villa.

After check-in in the main building, we met our personal butler, Ahmed, who was our go-to for our entire stay on the island, with a dedicated Whatsapp line where we could ask him anything from restaurant reservations to more ice for the villa. Ahmed drove us in a golf buggy to our villa to show us around and make our welcome extra special to Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort. 

Upon entering the Villa our jaws dropped, with a 67 sqm indoor area and 85 sqm terrace this villa was very spacious, with a design echoing a Balinese vibe, with high vaulted ceilings, wood, raffia and cool ocean tones of blues and whites. The villa is relatively open plan with partitions and carefully placed walls to create spaces, including a walk-in dressing area near the front door, a bedroom area, a lounge area with a minibar and TV then through a large sliding door the bathroom with freestanding bath, rainshower, his and her sinks and a separate WC. Both the lounge area and bathroom have doors to the outside terrace and pool so you can avoid walking sand or salty sea water through the bedroom, we took full advantage of this by using the bathroom door.

Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort Guest Room One Bedroom Beach Pool Villa Bathroom Bathtub Secondary

If the inside was impressive then the real wow factor came when you walked outside, the pool deck was vast, with a table and chairs, two sun loungers, an outdoor shower and a large dip pool. The piece de resistance though were the ginormous shutters; a few bolts and they slide open to reveal an uninterrupted view of the Persian Gulf and the beach that lay before our back door. These shutters were a great touch, you can have them open for the view or closed for privacy depending on what you are up to in the villa. We also had a private door with access straight onto the beach, and as a couple of water babies, this was a sublime feature of the villa.

This villa comes with all the usual mod cons, Wi-Fi, coffee machine, air conditioning, fridge, hairdryer and amenities but because of the butler service, you can pretty much order or organsie whatever you want in the villa, from breakfast in bed to a romantic dinner watching the sunset.

Food & Beverage at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

There are two main restaurants at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort plus a lobby cafe and tapas cocktail bar. Once we had unpacked and freshened up we headed to Helios, the perfect place to hang out any time of day, serving world favourites with a Mediterranean twist. Located off the main lobby, this restaurant is the location for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Anantara World Islands Dubai Restaurant Helios Exterior View 2

We were greeted by Julia and Nina who explained the menu and took our drink orders, which included a very nice lemon iced tea. We opted for some favourites and some classics including soft shell crab and the Wagyu burger, with the obligatory fries and hot sauce. The portions here are massive so order light or have an appetite, we didnt make it to dessert because we literally bit off more than we could chew.

Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort Restaurant Qamar Indoor View

That evening we dined at the speciality restaurant, Qamar, which serves excellent quality regional Arabic and Indian dishes presented with expert flair under impressive chandeliers with a sea view. To start, we ordered a selection of samosas, which came with an array of dips, each one was so delicious it was difficult to decide our favourite. We moved on to a Tandoori Pomfret Fish, which was so tender and soft, and Tandoori Chicken Wings with Harissa, which was a favourite of my dining partner who could not get enough, so tender and packed with flavour. We accompanied these dishes with some garlic naan and rice. Again, we did not make it to dessert, but we didn’t regret it as the savoury options here are so delicious it would be a travesty to miss out.

On our last night at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort, we started in Luna, a tapas cocktail bar located above Helios. We sipped cocktails on the terrace, made by Jap from Thailand, while watching the sunset over the Dubai skyline and when the last shard of light disappeared we headed to Helios for dinner. (FYI Daily Happy Hour is from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm which is perfect timing to watch the sunset).

Anantara World Islands Dubai Restaurant Helios Interior View

Back at Helios, we opted for slightly healthier options than our previous visit including the Beetroot Delight and Calamari for starters, both super fresh and beautifully presented (again massive portions) then the catch of the day with vegetables and rice for me and lamb chops with romanesco for my companion. We washed these down with a fresh glass of Minuty rose and again did not make it to dessert. The curse (or blessing) of Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort.

Spa at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

No luxury resort, especially one off the beaten track, would be complete without a spa, and the Anantara Spa provides an extra oasis of calm at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort. We visited to use their spa facilities, including the sauna, steam room and ice-cold plunge pool one afternoon which made for a lovely distraction from chilling on the beach or at our villa.

I also experienced a very relaxing deep-tissue massage from Kadek from Bali, she knew exactly which muscles to work on to help relieve tension and stress in my spine and shoulders. I left feeling very, very relaxed, staggering back to my villa to complete my afternoon with a snooze in the sun. The spa offers lots of options from treatments to spa cabanas and you can access it by foot or call up your butler and get dropped off by buggy.

Our stay at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort was magical, from the beautiful villa to the excellent hospitality one almost forgot, with the sand between your toes and the breeze from the sea, that you were in Dubai. From watching the sunset from our villa to dining in Qamar, visiting the spa to cocktails at Luna, the only reminder that you were actually in Dubai was the hazy city skyline in the distance.

Anantara World Islands Dubai Beach Outdoor Lounge Chairs

Reality only set in the day we boarded the boat to leave and our barefoot journey had ended. Back on Palm Jumeirah, the hustle and bustle of this international city brought us out of our island daze and back to earth. If you are after an oasis from city life or love a contrast then Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort is perfect, no need to go to Asia for barefoot beach hair vibes, it’s merely a 10-minute boat ride away from the metropolitan sprawl of Dubai.

Anantara World Islands Resort
South America – The World Islands
United Arab Emirates

Eco Facts for Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort

More than 4,000 plants, including over 1,000 coconut palms, have been planted in the resort on the beachfront and throughout the landscaped gardens, attracting rich birdlife passing through. There is a large on-site greenhouse growing hydroponic and organic fruit and vegetables, for use across the resort’s restaurants. Commitment to sustainability in the construction of the resort included a food waste to kitchen gas converter, its own water desalination plant and a washable glass water bottling plant, ensuring no use of plastic water bottles. The resort’s water system uses thermodynamic solar water heaters, variable frequency drive (VFD) pumps, and low flow sanitary fixtures. Sewage water is treated and recycled for irrigation, and energy-efficient heat pumps are used for all resort pools.


  • Lady Charlotte Lynham

    Lady Charlotte was born into a world of luxury; brought up in the treasure troves of the National Gallery she later went on to work for some of the most prestigious luxury houses in the world including LVMH and Christies. A self-confessed Francophile, her signature tipple being champagne, she is rarely seen without a glass (or bottle). As an international Lady of mystery she jets from continent to continent sipping cocktails and, BRICS in tow, refuses to travel anything but 1st Class. Lady Charlotte is also an avid skier, horse rider, and adventure seeker and holds WSET Level 1 & 2 qualifications making her a professional wino!

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