Zaya Nurai Island is the newest destination on everybody’s lips for a luxury staycation off the coast of Abu Dhabi, having heard only great things about it from friends who have been there. That being said, we had to see it for ourselves and booked a weekend stay.
After a long journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, we touched down at the Welcome Centre, a quaint cabin by a docking bay where we would hop on board a boat to take us to the exclusive island of Nurai. It was an air-conditioned oasis where we gladly renewed and recharged after braving the drive in the height of summer.
Never on time for check-in, we missed the 2:30pm boat so we had to wait for about 30 minutes till the next one. The boat comes every hour at half past the hour from 9 in the morning. So if check-in is at 3pm, it’s best to arrive by or before 2:30pm to avoid waiting too long. Thankfully the mindful staff at Reservations did call us the day before as a friendly reminder, despite that, we were late! Typical. 🙂
As soon as we arrived, my son was in such high spirits (you would be too after you’d had to sit in a car seat for 1.5 hours), but when he saw the ocean, his eagerness grew tenfold. He gazed out at the glass doors wishing to be set free and run his tiny hands through the crystal blue waters. We boarded the speed boat to take us to our Paradise at 3:30pm. And once we stepped off dry land, our grand escape began!
We checked into our beachfront villa that had these cute villa numbers at the entrance that were reminiscent of sand art bottles at your local souvenir shop. The attention to detail couldn’t be more on-point!
And if you come for romance, Zaya Nurai Island sure knows how to show the love. They thoughtfully setup a beautiful display of rose petals spelling out ‘I love you’ on our bed (secretly planned by the hubby), and even extended a call to ensure that we had settled in nicely. That’s what I call service with a heart! In our excitement, my son and myself later spoiled the lovely arrangement (sorry about that), but all in the name of fun! What’s a family staycation without pillow fights, jumping on the bed and throwing rose petals in the air?
After playtime, it was time to explore the island. Hot days like these are best served on a beach with the ocean’s open invitation! At every picturesque corner of the island, you’ll find a secluded spot to be one with nature, whether you want to just gaze out at the pastel painted horizon as the sun sets or read a book on a sun deck under the shade of a towering palm tree.
The villa boasts of an immaculate bathroom that exudes style and comfort, with his and her wash basins, a rainforest shower, and a full sized bath tub. And to one corner was a dedicated dressing table, perfect for the ladies to be able to sit pretty and don on makeup for a night out. Definitely a plus point in my book!
When you need some me time, the best feeling in the world is laying down in a tub full of rose petals, letting the warm water engulf you, as the creamy lather and sensual scented bath suds embrace you, and transcend you to a sweet out-of-body experience! And that’s just what I did to freshen up for dinner.
On our way to dinner we discovered the most beautiful spot on the island, where I had a regal ‘Helen of Troy’ moment perched upon the majestic viewing veranda, surrounded by lush foliage and a spectacular vista of the Arabian Gulf. Not to mention, a pair of gigantic pink sunglasses! I’m sure I could have thought of more creative ways to pose, not for the lack of trying as I did attempt to climb up but my dress was too slippery and it was humid outside hence the surface itself had no friction. So I just stood there enjoying the wind caress my face, while the sunnies stole the show!
A glorified three course Iftar dinner begins with an assortment of cold and hot mezzes to pique our appetites. Just a taste of the abundance served on a platter at Zaya Nurai Island‘s Frangipani restaurant.
Waking up to this view makes it a good morning indeed. With every beachfront villa on the island equipped with a private pool, why take a shower when you can splash into the pool and have your morning cup of coffee on the deck. And when in Zaya Nurai Island, check this off your bucket list: laze around on a unicorn, soak up the sun and set afloat across the pristine infinity pool. Take your pick from an inflatable duck, swan or watermelon. It’s more fun on the island!
We had a breakfast of champions. Whatever you’re craving, a hearty English breakfast for two, a cheesy turkey bacon croissant, and freshly squeezed orange juice, Zaya Nurai Island is at your service. Soon, it was time to check out, but before that, we had to take a dip! Our signature dip shot that is…five years and many dips later we’re still young at heart and happy in love.
Simplicity is the purest form of elegance. From the gold trimmed lanterns to the Great Gatsby-esque decorative panels, to the birch wood furnishings and white washed walls, the villa interiors at Zaya Nurai Island were exemplary and clearly accomplished with sophisticated taste. Aside from the impeccable interior, their service was smartly innovative, as they were always just a Whatsapp message away if you needed anthing!
Thank you for having us Zaya Nurai Island! We were ready but hesitant to board the boat that would take us back to reality. Oh well, some things don’t last forever, but surely our memories at this beautiful island will.
Zaya Nurai Island
Tel: +9712 5066 212
Mob: +97156 5343 100