10 to try: Abu Dhabi hotels

Visit Abu Dhabi and stay in style at one of Time Out’s favourite luxury hotels Discuss this article

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Hotels of the UAE are famous around the world for their sense of style and dedication to luxury.

From multi-billion dollar palaces to exclusive desert resorts the architecture and service provides a blend of traditional Arabia and twenty-first century comfort.

Time Out picks 10 of the best luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Palace: If you’ve ever wondered what sort of place you can build for US$3billion, then this is the answer. It’s not just giddy hyperbole either; it really feels palatial, with luxury that regularly accommodates royalty. Rooms have plasma screens as standard, while the top-of-the-range accommodation comes with a room for your bodyguard and a private butler to take care of your every need. The beach and pool areas are outstanding, but room service can be slow and not all the in-house restaurants are worth the price. Even if you can’t afford to stay, it’s worth a visit for afternoon tea.

Danat Resort Jebel Dhana: This is a lonely gem in Abu Dhabi’s far west. The beach is lovely, runs for 800m and may be the best private plot of sand in the UAE. Inside, the hotel is just the right side of garish; with bright, colourful designs that are a welcome sight after a long drive through drab desert. It has the best restaurant for a few hundred kilometers, a slightly cheesy nightclub, decent breakfast buffet and pleasant pool (with swim-up bar). Rooms are large and comfortable and a masseuse and water sports are available. The hotel occasionally runs boat trips to Sir Bani Yas, but availability, prices and information can vary wildly.

Al Raha Beach Hotel: Set apart from the cluster of hotels in the city centre by a 15-minute drive, the Al Raha Beach Hotel is a five-star property that is unique in Abu Dhabi for the fact that it has a number of two, three and four bedroom beach villas. These can be rented for either a short holiday or a longer stay, and are wonderfully decorated. There’s also a lovely infinity pool with views of the Gulf, as well as the UAE’s largest nightclub, Enigma.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri: This place oozes money, sophistication and above all discreet yet polite service. The hotel is relatively new and although it’s a 15-minute drive from the centre of town is worth a stay on the grounds that it’s almost as plush as Emirates Palace. The facilities include a house spa in the form of Chi, which is already so popular with residents that it’s often booked up. Treatments are Asian-inspired, such as the Chi balance massage where they aim to sort out your yin and yang and the Himalayan healing stone massage. A classy but modern bar (Al Hanah) is on-site, as are some fantastic restaurants. Take your pick from French eatery, Bord Eau or the Vietnamese offering at Hoi An.

Beach Rotana: Probably the most family orientated of the top hotels in the city, the Beach Rotana is connected to Abu Dhabi Mall, meaning shopaholics don’t have far to walk. It’s wonderfully elegant inside, with a welcoming lobby and rooms that are spacious and stylish. The premium suites have luxury bathrooms with Jacuzzis and rain showers. There is a first-rate gym for those who want to keep up their fitness regime while away from home.

Crowne Plaza: Centrally located, the Crowne Plaza is in prime position for those who want to take full advantage of Abu Dhabi’s shopping, although it’s a little dated by today’s standards. But the Roman-style rooftop pool is a major plus, and the popular basement bar Heroes offers entertainment for the evenings.

Hilton: Set in a fine location overlooking the Gulf, the majority of the Hilton’s rooms have been renovated over the last few years. Guests enjoy unlimited access to the beach club, which sports a private stretch of sand and pleasant spa. The hotel is also home to some of the better restaurants in Abu Dhabi.

Intercontinental: This hotel has been given a complete refurbishment in recent years. Beach lovers should head here as the InterContinental boasts one of the longest stretches of beach in town. And the new restaurants are causing quite a stir on the Abu Dhabi culinary scene.

Le Royal Meridien: Arguably the top business hotel in the city, this plush 31-storey building is an ordinary city skyscraper in all respects, except for the revolving Al Fanar restaurant that slowly rotates at the top of the building. Suites in the Royal Tower are excellent, while the rest of the hotel’s rooms are more than adequate. Le Meridien also has an impressive number of restaurants and bars onsite.

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort: One of the best decked-out hotels in Abu Dhabi, the Sheraton comes complete with a private beach. The hotel has a great gym and popular restaurants, bars and a nightclub.

By Will Milner
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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