Looking for a little luxury retreat with the family while maintaining some social distance?
What an unusual time to find ourselves in where isolation is more important than ever – at home or away. Long thought of as a luxurious extra, will hotels with private pools be the way of the future for family vacations?
(Please note the situation on hotel re-openings in the UAE is constantly evolving. This review reflects what we know in May 2020 but may be subject to change, you should check with the hotels what will be open before booking)
We have tried to pick out a selection of hotels with private pools across the Emirates but do we aware, this sort of exclusivity doesn’t come cheap! We are talking about the best of the best the UAE has to offer in family vacation luxury from the beach to the desert, as well as some special retreats which are just for parents.
The Cove Rotana, Ras al Khaimah
With an exceptionally pretty hillside and lagoon setting, the Cove Rotana is nestled inconspicuously behind the sand dunes in the Al Hamra area of Ras al Khaimah.
As well as hotel rooms, a large sandy beach and two beautiful infinity pools to enjoy, there’s a wide selection of one, two and three-bed villas all with private pools (pssst- although the lagoon villas look pretty, we suggest with kids you pick the hillside villas for stunning sunset views and not needing to hike up the hill with strollers!)
Ritz al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah
Up there with our favourite UAE desert resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Ras al Khaimah (long ago it was called Banyan Tree) sits within the protected Al Wadi Desert.
The resort complex is made up entirely of standalone villas, each with their own private pool and terrace deck. The only thing that lets these enormous and beautiful villas down for families is the size, they are all one-bedroom suites with limited room for adding new beds.
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island – Al Sahel Villas & Al Yamm Villas
This is almost as remote as it gets in the UAE. Historical Sir Bani Yas Island sits off the Abu Dhabi coast at Jebel Dhanna, approximately 2 hours west from Abu Dhabi City, followed by a short ferry to the island where you are transported to your accommodation.
Separate to the main Anantara Resort and within the Sir Bani Yas Island wildlife park you will find the small villa complexes of Al Yamm Villas and Al Sahel Villas, several of which offer the exclusivity of beachfront views and a private pool.
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas
Situated on the unspoilt beachfront of Saadiyat Island, the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi offers just a handful of Executive Villas, each with two bedrooms and their own private plunge pool, terrace and even massage beds!
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Abu Dhabi
Another superb Saadiyat Island option, known for its exceptional family facilities. Families can enjoy private beachfront villas with their own plunge pool and direct beach access for an ultra-exclusive experience.
Zaya Nurai Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
Sitting just a 12-minute speed boat ride off the coast of Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi you will find the exclusive Zaya Nurai Island Resort. You may well know it as a party destination on weekends, but did you know there’s also a wide selection of stunning contemporary villas?
Each has it’s own private, temperature-controlled swimming pool. They vary in size and exclusivity from one-bedroom beach villas through to the utterly unsurpassed 5-bedroom estate villa (seriously, brush off your wallet!)
FIVE Jumeirah Village, Dubai
A high rise hotel with private pools?! Stretching your imagination to new heights, this incredible new hotel situated in Jumeirah Village includes no less than 269 swimming pools and Jacuzzis. There are one-bedroom suites with hot tubs through to two and four-bedroom options boasting private pools – this is private pool heaven in the centre of Dubai!
Kingfisher Retreat, Kalba (Sharjah)
Based on the eastern coast of the UAE in the remote enclave of Kalba, Kingfisher Retreat offers a choice of one, two and three-bedroom cabins, each with its own private plunge pool.
A beautiful and remote experience overlooking the Gulf of Oman, there are mountain bikes to hire in the cooler months and a wonderful continental breakfast served. With its larger sized rooms and remoteness, it’s an ideal choice for families. (NB Being in Sharjah Emirate, please note the retreat is dry).
One & Only The Palm Dubai
Sitting on the outer frond of the Palm you will find the luxurious One & Only The Palm Dubai offering Junior Suites with private pools and beach frontage as part of their Palm Beach Mansions complex.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa
Situated on Dubai’s Pearl Jumeirah Island, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa sits adjacent to the world-renowned Nikki Beach Club. Villas at the resort include one and two-bedroom options, which can fit up to 4, some with private pools.
Anantara the Palm Dubai Resort
Another stunning choice families will love on Palm Jumeirah. In amongst the lush tropical grounds of this south-east Asian inspired resort, you will find both overwater villas with your own private access to Arabian Gulf waters and exclusive beachfront villas which include their own private swimming pool.
Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Abu Dhabi
Rounding out our Anantara choices for families, we couldn’t miss off our all-time desert favourite Qasr Al Sarab. Within this stunning Arabian-styled hotel complex, deep in the UAE’s Empty Quarter, you will find exclusively set aside from the main hotel a collection of private one, two and three-bedroom villas with butler service and private pool.
The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah Villas, Ajman
This beautiful, contemporary beachfront resort in Ajman includes a small selection of two or three-bedroom villas which enjoy their own private, temperature-controlled pools, as well as access to the main hotel’s beautiful restaurants, spa & fitness facilities.
Escapes without the kids
So a quick family getaway is awesome and all… but if social distancing includes from your kids(!!) then check out these superb romantic adult-only options:
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Situated inside Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, this exclusive adults-only desert resort is the absolute heart of Arabian desert luxury. There are only 42 Bedouin-style tents on the sprawling resort site with private temperature-controlled pools.
You can join in with the Timeless Spa, dine within the main hotel complex at Al Diwaan or simply enjoy your own intimate desert setting from your deck. Their summer “Welcome Back” program also rewards Marriott Bonvoy members with 400 AED in resort credit or 200 AED for non-members.
The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah
This exclusive village of standalone villas in the Al Hamra area of Ras Al Khaimah is the sister hotel to Al Wadi as we mentioned above. The villas here are ultra-exclusive and designed for couples, with wellness and relaxation at the heart of their offering.
Looking for more UAE getaways?
Don’t forget to check out these other great family resort guides for the UAE:
- The UAE’s Best Desert Resorts
- The UAE’s Best Family Beach Resorts
- Unbelievable UAE resorts with water parks
- 5 Stunning Luxury Resorts to try on Saadiyat Island
- Best family resorts in Ras Al Khaimah
- Family fun at Fujairah’s best resorts
- Dubai’s best daycation beach clubs
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