Opulence abounds at these four- and five-star hotels in Abu Dhabi, complete with views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace.
There’s no shortage of quality hotels in Abu Dhabi. Whether you’re looking for a desert resort, a boutique designer hotel or an Instagram-friendly property that will make your friends envious, the United Arab Emirates caters for just about every traveller.
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This boutique hotel in Al Bateen, a five-minute drive from the city centre, was the first Edition property in the Middle East. It comprises two glass box-like structures – one housing the hotel and the other, the residences. Encased in metal latticework and connected by a walkway, the 198-room waterfront establishment is stylish and comfortable. The lobby features plush sofas, a peach colour palette, dim lighting and a mesmerising kinetic art installation. There are three signature eateries operated under the watchful eye of British celebrity chef Tom Aikens, a three-level Annex social space, a luxe spa and two pools.
This luxurious five-star, 394-room establishment oozes opulence and is dripping in gold. The grandeur of the hotel, which sits proudly on the western end of the Corniche and often plays host to global dignitaries and Hollywood celebrities, is apparent inside and out. Indeed, the luxury begins at the check-in counter, where female guests are presented with a long-stemmed red rose. Sip on a world-renowned gold cappuccino, savour a gold-encrusted ice cream or get a gold facial. Rooms and suites are palatial in size and style, with stately marble bathrooms and well-appointed furnishings.
This gilded tower at the western end of the city’s Corniche is the most arabesque hotel of all. The five-star property’s gleaming façade makes it immediately recognisable in the neighbourhood – also home to the Presidential Palace, Emirates Palace and the Founder’s Memorial. The 677-room establishment blends traditional artisanship with contemporary appeal and is heavily inspired by Moroccan and Emirati style. Photographs of Sheikh Zayed set the scene for the welcoming lobby that’s home to falaj-like water features, while at the back, you’ll find a majlis (sitting place). Expect a fairytale-like experience here.
You might recognise this hotel from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens – it was used as a backdrop in many scenes. The drive to this Bedouin-style resort, which is two hours from the city, sets the stage for what’s beyond the gates – desert landscape as far as the eye can see. When you’re not sandboarding, dune-bashing or scaling the dunes, watch the resort’s falcon and saluki show. For a true Arabian Nights experience, opt for private desert dining, or have a meal at the purpose-built camp, Al Falaj.
Enjoy a soirée atop the highest helicopter pad in the emirate at the St Regis Abu Dhabi. When you’re done, pull up a seat at the bar, where you can sip on a signature bloody mary. The colour palette of this classy hotel on the Corniche reflects the desert landscape and uses its calligraphy artworks to give it an injection of flair. The butler service is as slick as you’d expect from a hotel of this calibre, and the adjoining Nation Riviera Beach Club, with its private beach, lap pool and Treasure Island Children’s Club, is one of the city’s best. It’s a great central choice within walking distance of the family beach, Emirates Palace, the Nation Towers shopping complex and public transport.
The circular palm-edged outdoor pool with a backdrop of silvery sky-skimming buildings and a huge private beach make the Radisson Blu Hotel and Resort unique. Its 327 yellowy sunshine-licked rooms and suites have marble bathrooms and plush perks. Inside, you’ll find various dining and drinking establishments, including Hemingway’s for pub grub, Vienna Plaza for oven-warm pastries and Escape for tasty tapas.
This 27-storey hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the Corniche, while the Emirates Palace and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are within a 20-minute drive away. Exotic yet subtle arabesque influences run throughout, including calligraphy-inspired colourful artworks, modesty screens in the restaurants and huge chandeliers. The best rooms have views of the Corniche. The hotel’s steakhouse, the Foundry, is popular locally and has several menus.
This low-rise hotel sits on a stretch of private white sandy beach, not far from the Al Raha Corniche. Inside, there are 254 rooms and suites, including a super-luxurious wing, and 24 family-friendly villas with sea views. The Body & Soul Spa and Recreation Club feature outdoor and indoor pools as well as a high-tech gym. The diverse dining options include an elegant chocolate-themed high tea at Cafe Mozart and an authentic Arabian feast served in the lavish Saraya Tent.
For an even more upmarket stay, check out the best luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi, bookable with Culture Trip.
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