The beach at the Danat Resort is fantastic. Just to see a stretch of coastline that hasn't been destroyed with offshore developments, such as The Palm, was amazing. In the afternoon with the tide out, we saw people walking out to sea for a good few hundred metres with the water only up to their knees - we would have done it ourselves but the sea was a bit too cold for our liking! Beautiful turquoise water, white sand and little thatched umbrellas and loungers all along the front. It is possible to walk quite a way along the beach past the neighbouring hotel (the Dhafra Beach Hotel, which seemed completely empty) and that was the extent of our daily exercise during our 4 days there.
We were initially checked into a twin-bedded room. Our last holiday before we become sleep-deprived and we were given separate beds, what is that all about?! We headed off to the pool for some lunch while they got us a king-sized bedroom ready. Both of the rooms (twin and king) were a similar generous size with great views out onto the gardens and beach. The bathroom didn't have a separate bath and shower but I found the bath was the perfect size for me to lay back and doze off in every afternoon. There was a DVD player but we had forgotten to bring any DVDs and the hotel charged Dhs 50 to rent 2 DVDs! I think that is what you would call a total rip-off.
Although a nature reserve, Sir Bani Yas is certainly not an eco-friendly island. Fresh water is piped over to the island from the desalination plant on the mainland and is used to irrigate the entire island which would otherwise be completely barren. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of water that must be used for all the trees, shrubs and grass planted to feed the animals and give them shade - plus for the thousands of animals to drink. The tour lasted about 1.5 hours with the cheetahs and giraffes definitely being the highlights for me.