Abu Dhabi boasts a traditional Arabic culture, but its true charm also lies in the making of the hotels customized to blend in the heritage as homage to its past. In the laid-back city of Abu Dhabi, travelers are always seeking unique experiences with a touch of culture and tradition. Here are a few hotels that not only make a comfortable stay but are also tourist attractions in their own right.
Image via Flickr by Paolo Rosa
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Located on the pristine white beach of Saadiyat Island, the St. Regis Saadiyat Resort features Mediterranean architecture adorned with contemporary interiors. Apart from the famed St Regis butler service, the highlight is the Iridium Spa and the complimentary entry to Sandcastle club; it’s no surprise the hotel is awarded the leading beach resort in Abu Dhabi. Splurge a bit and stay in the superior sea-view suit that offers a private terrace facing the splendid views of the turquoise blue ocean. Don’t be mistaken that this opulent five-star hotel is only for the rich; it aims to attract travelers with special discounts of up to 50% during the festive season.
Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara
From the Arabian design to authentic Thai cuisine, complete with the views of mangroves, this hotel offers a perfect blend to travelers seeking a fusion ambiance. The triumph is the spacious rooftop lounge. Sit in a plush sofa looking at the vista beyond the crystal clear picture windows, grab a drink, or sample a grape Shisha while you indulge in the Mediterranean-inspired dishes by the poolside. If you’re in the mood to venture a unique adventure, cruise along the mangroves in a Jalboot (dhow boat) with an Emirati host and learn about the centuries-old pearling traditions.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Embraced with walnut wood paneling and bamboo flower-inspired soft furnishings, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr exudes an organic theme. The hotel offers 369 guest rooms and suites either overlooking the grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque or the beachfront, and even the bathrooms have dramatic views of the Abu Dhabi Creek. Foodies will love the variety in dining options like the Italian Frankies and Marco Pierre Whites Steakhouse, and the Lebanese Cedar Lounge, but the fitness fanatics are no-less pampered by the hotel providing Reebok workout apparel and footwear as well as MP3 player and yoga with a stretch band. If you rather explore the city, you can head to the Mosque or even Qaryat Al Beri souk to find some traditional souvenirs at reasonable rates.
From the hotel’s facade, it looks like just another bland skyscraper, but the Rosewood is situated in one of the most posh locations in Abu Dhabi – Al Maryah Island (Sowwah Square). The hotel interiors are decorated with Middle East architecture, retaining the sophisticated balance with the use of stone, wood, and glass, while the rooms feature comfortable beds with Pratesi Egyptian cotton linen and an oversized Villeroy & Boch tub. The hotel is located next to The Galleria, Abu Dhabi’s premium shopping mall, where you’ll find luxury brands like Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton. But make sure you’re around to enjoy a glass of wine and a cigar at La Cava or sample a drink at the Hidden bar – both in the hotels premises.
Because of the compact layout of the city, most hotels are located in the midst of major landmarks with an excellent connectivity to the public transportation. Yet, the hotels are away from the bustling city, highlighting the splendid views Abu Dhabi has to offer.
This article is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove Project.