Saturday, April 5, 2014

Holiday @ Tilal Liwa : A Hotel in the Desert

we’ve been to hotels by the beach (well, we’re currently LIVING by the beach but oh well) hotels attached to the mall, hotel near a theme park – but never smack in the middle of the desert! so off we go to get this new experience!

we went to madinat zayed city in the western region of abu dhabi to liwa desert – to stay the weekend at ‘tilal liwa hotel’. this resort is said to be the ‘jewel in the desert’ because of its location and the privacy it provides as a retreat from the busy city life of dubai and abu dhabi.



the surrounding desert area is called ‘rub al khali desert’.



this was my first time travelling to the western region of abu dhabi. nothing but sand and sky. gorgeous nothingness. macam twilight zone!



and from all that sand and sky, we can see from afar, slowly emerging from the distance – the ‘tilal liwa hotel’ surrounded by ‘rub al khali’ desert. yes, that building behind khaleef!



I am lovin the ceiling lights at the reception area!




the tilal liwa hotel is beautiful with a touch of arabic décor and designs here and there. there are only 2 floors so exclusivity is apparent here. the whole place is cozy and clean.

hospitality was the best – I can’t remember a time when I bumped into ANY hotel staff and not be greeted. always a greeting, always a smile. they say hi hello good morning, or even asked if I needed anything or how my stay have been. excellent! I have only ONE complaint and I will elaborate when we get to the pool!


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a quiet romantic getaway at tilal liwa hotel that turned into a fun-filled family holiday!

funny story is, mr. khairul had long booked this place even before his family came for a holiday to dubai. the plan was to go on a romantic getaway la konon without the kids, so his mom and sis can take care of the boys while we’re gone. but we can’t seem to find the right time – so we postponed it till now; and ended up bringing the boys along. haha. sebok je!

however, the hotel still presented us with that ‘romantic’ package, and we came to the room welcomin us like this :



beautiful set-up on the bed; towels folded into kissing swans and petals on the white sheet. lovely! it was a romantic minute just before it was cut off by me screaming to the boys when they ruin the bed! haha.



compliments from the hotel, we also got this cute heart-shaped chocolate cake (again, in the romantic package! haha), to be washed down with this delicious sparkling date drink. loved it! (but at first we got an alcoholic drink in our tub. I called the reception and they gladly changed it to this date drink. so my muslim readers better check ya!)


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this gorgeous set-up of a mock beduoin camp right behind the hotel. an oasis in the middle of the ‘rub al khali’ desert.



the desert landscape is beautiful, but I must say – too flat, like just some sandy clearing. I’ve seen a more spectacular desert dune with different shades of color as the sun hits the waves of dunes. for tourists who had never been to a desert area before, this might be quite a sight. for residents of UAE – you have been warned! haha.



the view of the desert from one of the walkway


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discovering table tennis! as usual, one boy was not interested in any sort of sport. haha.



camel riding in ‘rub al khali’ desert~ the sun was shining gloriously but it was not too hot. quite windy!



mr. khairul on a camel~



riding bicycle by the desert! bapak, adik & abang



the tilal liwa hotel up front



desert rub al khali – as far as the eye can see!



lounging on a hammock. our room is somewhere on the 2nd floor facing the pool. tak patah ke hammock tu. haha



boing boing!



there’s a kids’ corner in tilal liwa resort, filled with fun activities for kids. the room is cozy and colorful, equipped with a TV playing cartoon. there’s one staff watching over the kids. however, most of the items are more suitable for kids age 1-5, as khaleef was kinda bored after few minutes. I suggest adding puzzles or game boards for the older kids!


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and now we come to the pool. well, it’s a pretty lookin pool as it’s after all an infinity pool, looking over the desert.

my ONE complaint is – there is no kids’ pool! outrageous! they really cater for couples yeah? a place this nice with excellent service and NO kids’ pool. I was quite disappointed as I can’t swim so most of the time I would just love to lepak at kids’ pool dipping my toes in while I watch the kids swim.




it was just one big adult pool. which is deep. even on the sides. I mean, you know lah kan how some adult pool walaupun for adult there will be a gradual depth so that the sides are not that deep kan? ini takde pun. just these steps, and even then it’s too deep. kahfi and kazim had to be content with staying at the very edge up the steps.



khaleef the swimmer had absolute fun though haha.




the infinity pool at tilal liwa resort, overlooking the desert. however, it would definitely be a much better sight if they had removed the quad bikes and parked them somewhere else. a sore sight for someone wanting the complete unobstructed view of the desert while they take a dip in the pool.



my 2nd boy kahfi hitching a ride on bapak’s back. a perfect shot – almost – had it not been for those darn quad bikes!


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food, good. what else can I say? spoilt for choice, delicious buffet spread and breakfast plus service was excellent!


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the boys goofing around on the balcony that overlooks the pool.


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this little arab corner at the reception area where we finally took a complete family photo! haha.


like I said, ‘tilal liwa resort’ in all its purpose is a lovely getaway for tourist to UAE coming to experience holiday in the desert. you would enjoy the excellent service, beautiful décor and that lovely infinity pool. oh, and of course the lovely view of the desert.

however, for residents of UAE you might as well go CAMPING somewhere in kalba or sweihan if you really want to experience sleeping in the desert. gorgeous, breathtaking dunes over there!



tilal liwa hotel at a distance, and my boys doing what they love best – playing in the sand. spot all three. tee-he-he.

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