Need to know
293, including 33 villas.
12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Late check-out or early check-in may be available, depending on occupancy – check with the hotel.
Double rooms from $157.78 (AED580), excluding tax at 20 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional room tax of AED20.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include a buffet breakfast (AED145 an adult, half-price for kids) of pastries, fresh juices and fruits, and hot dishes such as eggs, pancakes and Thai congee.
The wooden hut near the main pool sells suncream, so you need never run out.
At the hotel
Private beach, watersports centre, spa, kids club, playground, gym, tennis courts, and free WiFi throughout. In-rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, bathrobes and slippers, minibar, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Our favourite rooms
There’s a clean-lined, sober Thai aesthetic to the rooms, decked out with dark wooden floors, crisp white linens, striking headboards and plush sofas. We love room 62, an Over Water Villa sporting a private deck, a sumptuous bathroom and a mesmerising glass floor in the living room for spying on fish; there’s space for an extra bed or cot, and the little kitchen, equipped with a microwave, is handy. Lagoon Access Rooms are perfect for keen swimmers: steps lead down from their private deck straight into the inviting pools. Families of four will be most comfortable in the Deluxe Lagoon View and Access Rooms, which have a day-bed suitable for one child and room for an extra bed or cot.
Aquaphobics, look away now: 10,000 square metres of azure, temperature-controlled pools take centre stage here. With its pagoda-roofed swim-up bar and a crescent of sea-facing sunloungers, the main infinity pool is a lively affair. Look out for the small Thai boats criss-crossing the lagoon pools (there are three of them meandering around the Lagoon Access Rooms), from which staff hand out cold towels, fruit and water – a blissful treat in the Dubai sun.
Located on an island in one of the lagoon pools, the sumptuous Anantara Spa (open 10am–10pm) is an all-singing, all-dancing retreat. Its 18 treatment rooms offer Thai massage, salt inhalation and Ayurveda, a private hammam suite and couples’ facilities. Thalassotherapy fans are well catered for with a Vichy shower, liquid sound pool, Jacuzzi and Kneipp walk for lithe limbs. Treatments inspired both by Anantara’s Asian roots and Arabic traditions incorporate ingredients harvested from date-palm gardens and the Gulf’s seawater pearls. Citrus-infused facials, manicures, pedicures and hair-conditioning treatments are available for 12–16 year-olds, too, as long as they bring an adult along.
Bring all your cossies and kaftans, as you'll mostly be lounging by the pool or on the private beach.
There’s no smoking indoors, but the Lotus Lounge’s hand-picked selection of tobacco from around the world will delight cigar pundits. Beauty treatments and massages are available in your room. Premier Lagoon Access Rooms are wheelchair-friendly.
Children of all ages are welcome here; it's a very family-friendly hotel.
Children of all ages.
Under-12s stay in free baby cots or extra beds (£62 a night for over-12s), which can be added to most rooms.
Free drop-in kids club Tuk Tuk (open 8am–7pm) is a mini-resort for little Smiths, with its own shaded play area, fenced paddling pool, sand pit and pint-sized sunloungers. Inside, there’s a climbing area, cushy beanbags, board games, films and video games; supervised activities run the gamut from face painting to sandcastle building and kayak relays. All ages are welcome, though under-4s must be accompanied by an adult; if you're planning on letting the children enjoy the facilities over lunchtime, let staff know what you're happy for them to order. Nearby Chill (open 10am–10pm) has teen-friendly pool tables, karaoke machines and table football, and there’s always staff at hand to keep an eye on them.
Tots can play in the sandy patches and shallow waters giving access to the pools, and older children can happily go exploring on their own: open from 7am to 8pm, the pools are supervised by lifeguards.
Children are welcome in the restaurants and bars at any time with highchairs and kids’ packs that will keep them entertained throughout the meal – unless, of course, they’re too busy wolfing down mini hot dogs, tiny burgers and home-made chicken noodle soup from the children’s menu. Staff will happily heat up baby food or milk around the clock, should your little ones get a sudden attack of jetlag-induced midnight munchies.
Qualified, English-speaking nannies are available with three hours’ notice, for AED75 an hour from 7am to midnight and AED100 thereafter.
No need to pack
The hotel have an impressive stash of baby kit, and lots of bits for older kids: soft toys, crayons, craft materials, a DVD library, board games, Lego, Wii consoles, a PlayStation, surfboards, and table football.
If you need to stock up on baby essentials, including swim nappies, fret not: the city is packed with mega-malls and supermarkets, and the hotel runs regular free shuttles to the nearby Mall of Emirates.