What if I told you there was a hidden, untouched gem less than 2 hours drive from Dubai, nestled in an eco-conservation area and facing the ocean on the coast of Sharjah where you can totally disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and submerge yourself in peace and tranquility.
Well I’m excited to introduce you to MYSK Kingfisher Retreat where I have just spent the weekend with my family. We went in having no expectations but were blown away by what we experienced and left in awe by the UAE always managing to create fascinating new hotel properties.
You normally arrive to the resort via a quick boat ride across the EPA – Environmental Protection Area of mangroves filled with fish and large turtles. However with building work within the area we were escorted to the main lobby via a golf buggy driven by a very professional and friendly Harris who provided us with a very warm and informative welcome.
From the travel posts I’ve written over the past, you know by now I am a sucker for excellent service especially at luxury resorts – I’m certainly not high maintenance but I just know by now what differentiates that special, unique excellence from the rest and I’m pleased to say the welcome and check in experience we received at Kingfisher Lodge ticks all the boxes of luxury.
Entering the lobby which is the largest tent on the property and also contains the main dining area, you are immediately greeted by the beautiful interior and soft furnishing - blues, creams and soft beiges are the pantone colors of the resort with large lantern lighting, beach wood furniture and decorative cushions that are karate chopped in the middle to perfection – if you’re a fan of “Mcgee Interior Studio” you will know what I am talking about and I’m sure Shea McGee would give the interior design and layout at Kingfisher Retreat 10/10
The outside wooden terrace has views of the mountains and beach, with two sunken fire-pits, a large water feature and day beds around that perfectly catch the surrounding environments and reflect the vibe of the resort beautifully.
We were given a 3-bedroom tent which at 344sqm is extremely spacious. Let me walk you through it….
There’s a separate large guest double bedroom to one side of the main tent with a large bathroom. Walking into the main tent it opens up into a living room with doors that open up onto the terrace facing the beach. To the left and right of the living room are bedrooms. One had twin beds, very spacious with a large bathroom, which includes 2 sinks, shower and bath. The layout is unique utilizing the space well and also providing privacy. The other bedroom is the master bedroom with a large double bed in the middle of the room and another large bathroom with the same layout as the twin bedroom. Again the resorts pantone colors go throughout the tent which offers a cozy and warm vibe bringing the outdoor environment inside. I also love all the round mirrors, which are featured throughout the tent. Top marks for unlimited water, tea, coffee and fruit baskets.
The ocean facing terrace has two sun loungers and a seating area with a large plunge pool – sadly the pool wasn’t heated which is a shame as this would have been perfect especially as the weather was warm in the day and super cold in the evening so a temperature controlled pool would have been wonderful.
There are 20 villas in total with 1,2 and 3 bedroom options.
I actually find it difficult to find any fault with the villas/tents, however if I had to be picky, I would say that they should include a beautiful skin care brand and fragrance in the bathroom. Being a retreat and the most beautifully designed bathrooms –a lavender or eucalyptus aroma with relaxing bath salts and skin care line available would provide a little personal sanctuary and relaxation….
I was super impressed with the resort providing a lot of bikes and making them available for guests of all ages – they were all fat bikes (fat tire bikes) – which means perfect for off roading – highly functional and ideal for riding on the beach. If you happen to spend your stay in villa 20 – you will need your bike to go to reception as it’s a long walk. The kids enjoyed cycling and riding onto the beach – a little effort required to ride them as they are super heavy but provide a lot of fun!
The food was spot on, excellent, well presented, yummy and very tasty – what more can I say? I guess for a boutique property the food should be perfect but it wasn’t just the menu choice it was the way it was served. Let me explain more, lunch was a la carte and had a wide variety on offer. Dinner is served outside in candlelight close to the two large fire pits either facing the beach or the mountain range under a canopy of stars. The dinner menu starter were shared platters – Arabic mezze, rocca salad with mushroom, cherry tomatoes, crispy parmesan and a buffalo mozzarella salad. For main there was a choice of Grill beef medallion with mushroom risotto, chicken butter with rice, hammour with mash and veg or a veg pasta dish then sharing deserts. The kids could eat from the a la carte menu and for desert they had a popcorn and ice cream stand. The following morning for breakfast, everyone was presented with their menus and a pencil to tick what they would like to eat, including how you would like your egg cooked, your milk of choice etc Breakfast initially came with sharing platters of Arabic breakfast mezza, fruit platter, cheese platter, pastry basket, French toast and pancakes.
For a full board option, you will never go hungry at Kingfisher Retreat. A special shout out to the service staff who were impeccable and the Chef who should be proud of his exemplary talent.
A raw, soft and completely untouched sand beach that goes on for miles. In fact hubby ran early one morning down the beach and reached the Oman border! The beach is simply beautiful – one end is filled with hermit crabs which the kids enjoyed playing with and racing! On one part of the beach close to the reception is an instagramable swing and day beds.
A host of standard hotel activities are available ranging from water to land such as diving, kayak excursions, stand-up paddle boarding etc and then more resort specific activities such as nature walks all along the Watchtowers trek, cycling across Kalba, culture museums and visiting Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre or Kalba Bird of Prey Centre.
For a more relaxed experience you can enjoy the resort spa.
In today’s environment, this is to be expected as all staff and all guests adhered to wearing a mask at all times and F&B staff also wore gloves. Sanitizers were around but I would have liked to have seen more, especially in the villas.
30 minutes from the hotel is Al Rabi Hiking Trail, Khorfakkan, which is a great family hike
Read the full post here… http://www.uniquefamilytravels.com/2020/11/01/adventures-in-the-uae/
Little touches go a long way
The kids were all given a cute stuffed turtle and everyone is provided with a property map that includes images and info on all the animals in the area such as gazelles and red foxes, to the different types of crabs, fish, turtles and rays. If you’re a keen bird spotter then you’re in luck with over 35 different birds including the KINGFISHER.
And for the plant lovers there are all kinds of shrubs and plants including Aloe Vera plants – it is a eco-friendly paradise and conservationists will fall in love with this place.
MYSK Kingfisher Retreat is untouched and I’m not surprised if it becomes one of the UAE bestsellers in the coming months. It has all the attributes and the potential to become a true gem, and not hidden anymore. I highly recommend my readers and clients to get booking and head to the Sharjah coastline for some genuine, authentic luxurious fun.
For more information please visit their website: https://myskhotels.com/en/
Or contact us directly for unique rates. @uniquefamilytravel
Watch our video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhiaMxo_254