Hilton is opening a private island resort with overwater villas in Abu Dhabi

Mar 23, 2022

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We already know the United Arab Emirates does everything bigger, bolder and more over-the-top than nearly anywhere else on the planet. And that’s proving true once again with the announcement of a new private island resort with a golf course and overwater villas right off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

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Called Al Nawras Island, this addition to Hilton’s relatively new high-end LXR Hotels & Resorts brand will be a mind-blowing experiment in luxury that provides all the elements of a remote escape while being almost seamlessly connected to the culture and vibrancy of Abu Dhabi.

So, you can explore the grandness of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the morning and lounge by the pool or hit up the spa back on the island in the afternoon.

Related: I flew Wizz Air all the way from London to Abu Dhabi — here’s why I wouldn’t do it again

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

But the real kicker here is that while many of the nicest hotels in the area are all about towering over the emirate in skyscrapers, this one is designed to make you feel like you’ve been transported to paradise with 80 beach- and overwater-villas that feel more like Bora Bora than the United Arab Emirates.

Or, for a truly wild splurge, guests can book the roughly 4,800-square-foot “Royal Villa” with two bedrooms surrounding the golf course. (Hilton says the golf course will be “state of the art” and “serene” but hasn’t shared any specific details such as, importantly, the number of holes.)

The resort will also have two outdoor swimming pools, an indoor swimming pool, an “upscale” gym, fitness studio, tennis and paddle courts, as well as a spa, beach club and even a private marina just in case you have a yacht you want to sail there. (If you do, take me with you.)

There will also be dedicated areas specifically for children who enjoy the private island lifestyle, like a dedicated swimming pool, splash pad, playground and kid’s club.

Al Nawras Island will have two signature restaurants, two bars and even a wellness-inspired café, though we’ll have to wait a bit for more specific details on what style of cuisine the restaurants will serve.

“Abu Dhabi is a renowned luxury destination where visitors and local residents alike seek out exceptional moments and [personalized] service,” Feisal Jaffer, global head of LXR Hotels & Resorts, said in the statement. “That’s precisely what our guests will experience at Al Nawras Island — a truly bespoke and exemplary resort, and one that we are proud to add to the growing global LXR collection.”

Al Nawras Island, LXR Hotels & Resorts is expected to open in 2023. Pricing isn’t available yet, but since LXR is a top-tier brand for Hilton, you can expect to spend quite a lot of cash or plenty of points to snag a stay here.

The LXR brand is a collection of independent hotels and resorts “found in the world’s most alluring destinations” that, according to Hilton, “are set apart by an unrivalled commitment to personalized service and elegant, yet locally immersive experiences for their guests.”

While the new Abu Dhabi property will be the first LXR resort in the emirate, there are currently locations in Dubai; Bodrum, Turkey; and other prime destinations around the world. While the brand is still quite small (with only nine properties currently open), we’ve managed to review a handful, including Zemi Beach House in Anguilla, which got our top seal of approval.

We also had folks at the Hotel 1000 Seattle and London’s Biltmore Mayfair, both of which got our “Recommended” seal in 2022.

But Abu Dhabi isn’t the only emirate in the UAE with exciting hotel projects in the works. Ras Al Khaimah, the rugged but luxe emirate where people go to escape the hustle and bustle of Dubai, and one of our top places to travel in 2022, is currently in the midst of a hotel boom.

(Photo by Aldo Pavan/Getty Images)

This month, the long-awaited InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa finally opened its doors to guests, and we’d be willing to fly halfway around the world just to experience its beachside villas and Levant-influenced food served with ocean views.

Plus, earlier this year, gaming giant Wynn announced plans to open an integrated resort (which usually means it’s a hotel and casino with other entertainment elements) in the emirate, potentially opening the doors to legalized gambling in the country.

And if you can’t wait until next year for an overwater bungalow in Abu Dhabi, the Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah, will have them waiting for you when it opens later this year.

Featured image courtesy of Hilton.

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