Recently, we booked an overnight stay at Tilal Liwa Hotel in Abu Dhabi. As much as I would like to say that it is in Abu Dhabi and stop there, I won’t because it’s not. It was a 4-hour drive from Dubai but my kind of anniversary celebration is to go for an adventure so when I was browsing for getaways at Groupon and saw what Tilal Liwa offers, I instantly did my research about the hotel (looked at the photos at the website and read reviews about the hotel) and after a day or two I booked the hotel!

So the package that I got in Groupon includes a room, in our case, I booked for the Oasis Room which is in front of the pool, a 5- course candlelit dinner, breakfast in bed, massage for two, camel ride for two and complimentary wine & cake–all for AED 799. I must admit, that was one hell of a deal!

Of course, if you are preparing for a special occasion, you’d want everything to be perfect so I wanted all our activities booked ahead. I was coordinating by e-mail and phone, though I’d rate that part of their service 6/10 because it could be improved a lot better. Though I really appreciate the reservations supervisor for being very helpful after I have sent an e-mail out of frustration because I’m not sure if the services that includes the package that we bought were booked. I had thoughts and doubts if the hotel service would compensate the 4 hour drive from Dubai, but I held on to the thought that I’ve read lots of good reviews about the hotel and the reservation supervisor was really nice so after everything was sorted and booked, we arranged a car lift to take us there. Actually, the hotel offers a service from Dubai but I found it very costly, they quoted us for AED 600 just for one way. So I searched for another option, and found a guy who quoted me for AED 700 for taking us to Tilal Liwa and then driving us back to JLT, Dubai.

So the day came when we arrived at the hotel, everything was ready and booked. The reservation staff assisted us with checking-in but we had one problem, my partner’s passport was not with him and we did not know where it is at that moment because he said he packed it! HA! I was worried but I was determined to resolve it because after all the efforts of booking and travelling for 4 hours, I just wanted to relax! Before I knew that my partner’s passport is not with us, I already asked the reservations officer to call her supervisor so I could say hi to her and thank her for being so accommodating to me on e-mails. She saw us at the corner emptying our bags searchign for the missing passport. I got up as I saw her, thanked her for her previous effort and then I opened up that we have a little problem.

She was calm and she instantly said that there are no issues, she spoke with the hotel manager and they spoked to us that we could check-in now but we need to send a scanned copy of my partner’s passport. At this point, we did not know where his passport is so we don’t know when we could send a copy of it but they were accommodating enough to let us check-in and gave us the key to our room.

Until we found out that his passport was left in the car, the driver rushed back to the hotel and we immediately sorted the issue at the reservation and off we went and enjoyed the rest of our stay at Tilal Liwa Hotel!

The rest of our stay was spent lounging at the pool, enjoying our welcome wine & cake, a camel ride, relaxing massage, bubble bath & wrapped the night up with a 5-course candlelit dinner. We planned to be a little romantic and watch the stars in the middle of the desert but before we even finished our after dinner tea, we were knocked out! HA! In the morning, we enjoyed our breakfast in bed, lounged at the pool for  little bit and enjoyed a little time at the steam and sauna then rushed back to our room to pack our stuff because it was time to leave!

We really had a magical experience at Tilal Liwa Hotel and my favourite part of our stay there was lounging at the pool with the view of the desert while arabic instrumental music is playing, it just feels so surreal and magical. The 4-hour drive was so worth it, it’s like travelling into an oasis. We were very luck to spend our first year anniversary at this magical place and that’s not the last time we’ll book out stay there!