Unusual Luxury Holidays of Sand and Sun

More and more frequently, travellers are looking for something less conventional than seaside luxury holidays. Take a look at a few luxury and boutique hotels that are a little unusual, but can still provide an abundance of sun and sand for your tailor made holidays.


You can begin to imagine what it was like to be Lawrence of Arabia, or relive the romance of the English Patient, by riding camels and sleeping out in a Bedouin tent in the desert. There are ways to do it with none of the hardship though, in a stylishly decorated tent equipped with a fridge, en suite shower and air conditioning. A stay in the Desert Nights Camp can be added to tailor made holidays in Oman, and will allow you to experience the majestic space and shaped landscape of the dunes, as you watch the sun set over the desert. As well as camel rides across the sand, this boutique hotel experience gives you an opportunity to explore in a more vigorous manner known as ‘dune bashing.’

Dune bashing is a different take on playing in the sand on your luxury holidays, where the dunes of the desert supplies a roller coaster track for four wheel drive off-road vehicles. There’s a special skill to attacking the dunes and maintaining speed in the sand – done incorrectly, it’s easy to get stuck – so you will have an experienced dune driver with you on your ride, and the 4×4 will have its tyres partially deflated to give more grip. It’s a desert safari ride full of bumps and thrills to add to your tailor made holidays.

United Arab Emirates

At the Al Maha Desert Resort, the accommodation also has a Bedouin influence, but the suites are more substantially built than the Desert Nights Camp as well as luxurious, each with a private swimming pool, providing your own private oasis. From the luxury hotel, you can fly falcons and take guided walks in the dunes, even take a meal out under the stars.

Another place to surround yourself in sand is at the Bab Al Shams desert resort. You don’t find many luxury hotels that resemble a desert fort; this is a unique boutique hotel oasis where your luxury holidays will be immersed in history and a frontier spirit. The Bab Al Shams has the feel of a Moorish village, with stone buildings and courtyards with open fires for outdoor dining and entertainments in the evenings. After sunbathing under the hot sun, you can take a dip in pool where you will swim between giant urns and pillars.

The Maldives

If isolation in the sand catches your imagination, you might enjoy the peace and pleasant seclusion that the islands of the Indian Ocean can provide. The Maldives, where the luxury hotels are often resorts that occupy an entire small island, are the epitome of luxury island holidays where you can imagine what it would be like to be stranded upon a very well-serviced desert island. You can even have a desert island to yourself. The ‘W Retreat & Spa’ hotel offers the option of having dinner on a small sandy island with no one else around but the butler.

Darshi Chohan is boutique hotel specialist for Tropical Locations, a specialist operator providing luxury hotels in the Far East, Indian Ocean, Arabia & India. Tropical Locations has a dedicated team of experienced travel consultants ready to share their knowledge and help you to plan and book your ideal holiday.

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