Review: Mysk Kingfisher Retreat, Sharjah – Romantic Staycations, Honeymoons & Wedding Events
Summer is here, the heat is up but the annual escape is on hold for some! Many people in the UAE are looking much closer to home for their summer holiday this year, and staycations and weekend getaways at hotels and resorts across the Emirates will be in high demand. One hidden gem is undoubtedly the Mysk Kingfisher Retreat in Sharjah, part of the luxurious Sharjah Collection curated by Mysk Hotels and a real glamper’s haven, located right in front of the ocean, secluded and off the beaten track.
BCME Founder Rio, her husband and their young son enjoyed an overnight staycation at the Mysk Kingfisher Retreat recently, and soaked up the idyllic tranquility, beautiful views, wildlife and the relaxed ambience the resort had to offer. Read on to find out about their experience and to see what the eco resort has to offer for couples in love.
Take it away Rio…
I don’t think I have ever been so excited to go away for the night as I was when we visited Mysk Kingfisher Retreat in Sharjah! After many weeks in lockdown and having to apply for a permit just to leave the house, I really appreciated the change of scenery and freedom of visiting another emirate, and a staycay on the scenic Sharjah coastline was just the ticket. I was also happy to jump into some resort wear from one of my favourite local fashion brands @2birdsdubai (jump suit and necklace pictured below). They have gorgeous dresses, tops and accesories, perfect for a relaxed honeymoon.
The Mysk Kingfisher Retreat is situated in the small city of Khor Kalba, on the east coast of the Sharjah emirate, so it was an easy 1.5-hour drive for us from our home in Dubai. The accommodation — think Bedouin-inspired luxury yurt — is tucked away on a private island, so enjoying a staycation at the resort really feels like you are going on a little holiday far away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
After parking our car on a sandy bank, we were picked up by a buggy and transported to the Kingfisher Retreat; guests can also reach the lodge by a private boat supplied by the resort. Our short buggy ride was scenic and our driver was very friendly and helpful, telling us about points of interest along the way. When we arrived at the lodge it was quiet, relaxed and sleepy, just what we wanted and craved after weeks in lockdown, and while still feeling the need to be cautious about visiting crowded places. We were greeted by friendly staff, who were great with our three-year-old son; everyone wore masks, and their eyes were lit up with their smiles. Complimentary cool drinks were accepted graciously and check-in was swift before we were escorted to our lodge. The beauty of the pristine beach and Indian Ocean waters perfectly matched the refined interiors of soft beiges, blues and desert browns that dress the lobby and the resort throughout. The large outdoor deck with a stunning water feature is impressive, along with distant Omani mountain views and stylish fire pits.
There are 20 contemporary tents at the Kingfisher Retreat ranging from one-bed to three-beds, with sea or mountain views. We stayed in a spacious one-bedroom tented lodge with a stunning sea view, which included a scenic outside deck with a private plunge pool. We were welcomed with a generous fruit basket and a mini anniversary cake – I love these kinds of personal touches and details when we’re at a hotel. The tent felt luxurious and the interiors were gorgeous, featuring lots of cooling blue tones and earthy, woody hues.
Some of our lodge’s features included:
♡ Indoor and outdoor shower, plus a deep bath.
♡ Air conditioning / individual climate control.
♡ Complimentary in-room refreshment centre.
♡ LED TV and cable satellite TV channels.
♡ Complimentary high-speed internet access.
♡ Direct dial phones / voicemail.
In-Tent Dinner and Breakfast
Under normal conditions guests can enjoy an all-day dining restaurant but due to the current pandemic we opted to eat in our tented lodge. In the evening, staff came in advance to set-up a romantic table with all the frills (picture candles, flowers, red ribbons) in honour of our anniversary. For the meal, we chose our preferred dishes from the restaurant’s à la carte menu and ordered from the kids’ menu for our son. While Kingfisher Retreat prides itself for offering healthy, organic cuisine, the food was satisfactory yet nothing to shout from the rooftops about, however the experience overall was enjoyable none the less. Breakfast, on the other hand, was a different story, and the Kingfisher staff were very generous with their portions! I’ll admit, having room-service breakfast at our lodge was a delicious way to start the day! The resort can also create a picnic for guests to enjoy on the beach or a barbecue at your own lodge, perfect for guests staying in the winter.
Mysk Kingfisher Retreat features an on-site spa with fully qualified massage therapists and products made from locally sourced ingredients, including camels milk. I indulged in a full body massage and it was wonderful! My therapist always wore a mask, as did I, and she washed and sanitised her hands before and after, so I felt safe and comfortable throughout. After months of not having any kind of beauty treatment or massage, such pampering felt like heaven.
Due to the intense heat, we were unfortunately unable to experience all of the awesome recreational activities that the resort can offer in cooler weather, such as bike riding, archery, kayaking through the mangroves, water sports and nature walks, but we did get a chance to say hello to the resident beach crabs as the sun was setting and the heat started to subside. They were so cute and my son was enthralled by them! The beach is filled with gorgeous shells of all shapes and colours and we had a lot of fun collecting them, as well as searching for crabs. We also spotted giant turtles gracefully swimming from our viewpoint on a bridge, and it really was lovely to see nature in its natural habitat. If you’re a keen bird watcher you’ll spot many rare bird species along the shore and amongst the wetlands that define Khor Kalba. The Kingfisher Retreat is modelled on conservation and at certain times of the year you can watch sea turtles hatch on the shore. Nearby excursions include a visit to the Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre or the Kalba Bird of Prey Centre.
Health and Safety Protocol
Mysk Kingfisher Retreat will happily provide you with a detailed document outlining their health and safety procedures. Here are a few worth noting:
- Temperature checks are conducted at check-in.
- Sanitising gel is available at the registration desks.
- All staff wear masks and gloves.
- All touch points in public areas such as door handles, elevator buttons, countertops, tabletops, railings, and others are cleaned continuously using a sanitiser/disinfectant. These practices are also in place in guest rooms during the morning housekeeping service and at turndown in the evening.
For those who do not want to risk staying at a crowded hotel with packed swimming pools, Mysk Kingfisher Retreat offers a cosy, boutique style of stay and a secluded experience for couples and families alike. I really enjoyed our stay as a family and I could see how romantic the privacy and peaceful tranquility of the resort would be for couples without children. We spent much of our time in our private pool, or seeking out crabs on the beach. (Just bear in mind that the sand is like lava if you explore at midday! I recommend having a wander in the evening or early morning if you visit during the summer.) The food at the resort was good, the service was friendly, personable and non-intrusive, providing an idyllic staycay.
For weddings and engagements, the resort offers the perfect opportunity for those wanting something very intimate and private, and a place to unwind and relax against a backdrop of wonderful scenery and ocean views. And for anniversaries and romantic staycations, you won’t be disapointed.
To enquire about booking your wedding event, celebrating an anniversary or simply to enjoy a staycation at the resort, visit the Mysk Kingfisher Retreat website for more information and don’t forget to quote BRIDE CLUB ME when enquiring. If you’d like to check out more hotel and product reviews, check out our review section on Bride Club ME.