The Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi is brimming with incredible hotels
Abu Dhabi is brimming with incredible hotels | © Mahmoud Ghazal / Shutterstock
Photo of Melinda Healy
10 February 2021

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.

The Abu Dhabi Edition

Boutique Hotel
Map View
The Abu Dhabi Edition
Courtesy of The Abu Dhabi Edition / Expedia

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.

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Emirates Palace

Suite Hotel, Hotel, $$$
Map View
Emirates Palace
Courtesy of Emirates Palace / Expedia

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.

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The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

Hotel
Map View
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal / Expedia
The 21,500sqft (1,997sqm) Bedouin-inspired spa is the centrepiece of this Venetian-inspired creekside hotel in Al Maqta, 3km (2mi) from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. With a separate entrance, valet parking and private beach access, ESPA is a haven for relaxation. The grandiose 500-plus-room hotel has views of the mosque across the creek and an impressive selection of restaurants, both within the hotel and at the nearby Venetian Village dining precinct. Rooms are luxurious yet comfortable, and each comes with a terrace.
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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

Hotel
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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas / Expedia
The Park Hyatt is the standout on the exclusive Saadiyat Island beach strip, 20 minutes from the city centre. The resort’s 9km (6mi) stretch of white sand beach and outdoor pool are enough to attract plenty of tourists. With a laid-back vibe, the 306-room hotel offers calmness and sophistication in equal measure. The rooms have terraces, and some even boast private plunge pools. This island sanctuary also has beautifully landscaped gardens and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf alongside several restaurants, including a steakhouse, beach cafe, tea house and an all-day dining venue that specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine.
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Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

Hotel
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Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi / Booking.com
Walking into the impressive “Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi”, as the Andaz Capital Gate is fondly known, feels more like an art gallery than a hotel. The big focus here is on the local arts community, and the ground floor, 165 Below, acts as a permanent gallery space. Meanwhile, the reception is on the lofty 18th floor. Standard rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, king-size or two twin beds and marble bathrooms with window-facing soaking tubs. On the 19th floor, you’ll find a spectacular terrace pool, fitness centre and the Rayana Spa, offering a range of bespoke treatments.
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Bab Al Qasr Hotel

Hotel
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Bab Al Qasr
Courtesy of Bab Al Qasr Hotel / Booking.com

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.

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Beach Rotana

Resort, Hotel
Map View
Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of Beach Rotana / Booking.com
The Beach Rotana may be one of the oldest hotels in the city, but it isn’t any less popular than its newer counterparts. From its position at the centre of the Al Zahiyah area, this famous property offers direct access to the Abu Dhabi Mall, one of the emirate’s most popular shopping centres. The domed lobby, warm Arabian hospitality and framed Islamic carpet squares adorning the rooms’ walls provide local appeal. It also has 12 restaurants and attractive views of Al Maryah Island and the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum. The private beach and roped-off bayside swimming area will appeal to water lovers, while the elaborate spa is a luxurious escape if you want some alone time.

Zaya Nurai Island

Resort
Map View
Zaya Nurai Island
Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island / Expedia
Escape from the city at Zaya Nurai Island, a villa resort just 10 minutes from the city centre. Reachable by speedboat, the island is like nothing else in the emirate, and traversing it takes about an hour, with bicycles available for guests. The resort’s bright, modern beachfront villas (which have between one and five bedrooms) offer king-size beds, private pools and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the coast. There are many photo-friendly spots scattered across the landscape, too, including an overwater swing set-up. Dining options are varied, with Mexican, seafood and poolside snacks sure to appeal to most. Other facilities, including a luxury spa, make this a perfect getaway.
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  • Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

    Resort, Hotel
    Map View
    Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
    Courtesy of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara / Booking.com

    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.

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    The St Regis Abu Dhabi

    Hotel
    Map View
    St Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche
    Courtesy of St Regis Abu Dhabi / Expedia

    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.

    Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

    Resort, Hotel
    Map View
    Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat al Beri
    Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri / Expedia
    The star of the show at this creekside property in the Al Maqta area is the pool and the purpose-built floating abra (traditional boat) waterway that connects it to the adjacent souk (market). Sitting directly opposite the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Shangri-La offers spectacular views, and the expansive property itself is a sight to behold. The design echoes traditional Islamic architecture, with arched balconies, large chandeliers and ornate carvings. The beautiful Chi, the Spa is a buggy ride away, and all the rooms have private terraces. As it’s a 10-minute drive from the airport and 15 minutes from the city centre, this hotel is a highly convenient, elegant base.
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    Radisson Blu Hotel and Resort, Abu Dhabi Corniche

    Chain Hotel
    Map View
    Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort, Abu Dhabi Corniche
    Courtesy of Radisson Blu Hotel and Resort, Abu Dhabi Corniche / Expedia

    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.

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    Southern Sun Abu Dhabi

    Chain Hotel
    Map View
    Southern Sun Abu Dhabi
    Courtesy of Southern Sun Abu Dhabi / Expedia

    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.

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    Al Raha Beach Hotel

    Chain Hotel
    Map View
    Al Raha Beach Hotel
    Courtesy of Al Raha Beach Hotel / Expedia

    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.

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    These recommendations were updated on February 10, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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