Whole Life Magazine

February/March 2013

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Page 29 of 43

dreamy Trips for earth lovers Make room for these knockout destinations on your eco-travel bucket list By Kristine Hansen Dubai and Abu Dhabi are among the hottest travel spots right now, but a detour off that well-traveled path plants you in one of the world's largest uninterrupted deserts, where the horizon is marked by bright tangerine-hued sand dunes. Date farms are the main industry at the Liwa Oasis, site of the 200-room Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. Just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi's city center and part of the luxury Anantara collection, this green property features a chef's garden, morning yoga classes, guided dune hikes at dawn, a spa that relies on locally grown ingredients, and authentic, multi-course Emirati dinners served nightly beneath a festive tent with music. Upon arrival guests are greeted with cardamom coffee, a locally grown date and a cold date beverage prepared with camel's milk. You can still take a classic camel ride here, and also meet a "falcon whisperer" who will demonstrate the beauty of their national bird. Other amenities include a free-form swimming pool, aromatherapy massage or an authentic hammam (Turkish bath) in a Moroccan-themed space that concludes with a pot of tea, and four restaurants, including an expansive breakfast buffet with traditional Emirati 30 foods. Villa accommodations, the plushest option at the resort, offer a private plunge pool and backyard, but even the more affordable rooms are grand, with huge soaking tubs and Middle Eastern tapestries. Above: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort Pool; Shown here: Deluxe Terrace Room wholelifetimesmagazine.com Eco-Trips.indd 30 1/25/13 6:28 PM Photos, top & middle: Courtesy of Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa; bottom: Carrie Mosner Abu dhabi, United Arab emirates Photos, this page: Courtesy of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort W HetHer it's an exotic resort on a desert oasis or a boutique Hotel on easter island smack-dab in the middle of the Paciic ocean, bucket-list trips are even better if they are sustainable. a bucket-list trip with an eco-friendly twist might mean eating foods grown a few miles away, engaging with locals or receiving a spa treatment with products culled from native plants.

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