Ess Lounge in Abu Dhabi
We sample the laid-back vibes at the Shangri-La's al fressco hotspot Discuss this article
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The Shangri-La Hotel is well known for its stunning location and impressive restaurants and they’ve very recently added to their portfolio of popular venues by introducing Ess Lounge, a brand new beachfront bar. This cosy spot, located at the South Beach of the hotel nestled in between Pearls & Caviar and the Pool Bar, is actually designed as an extension of the Pool Bar & Restaurant. It aims to be a chilled out spot where guests can indulge in a wide selection of food and drinks, sample a variety of shisha flavours and enjoy a view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque across the water.
What makes this bar great is the attentive interaction from the staff and their expertise of the drinks on offer. Service is prompt and the bartenders will pour your drink without you even knowing they are there. The beverage menu is simple and sticks to a good selection of grapes, brews, blends, fresh juices and mocktails. If you don’t know what sort of beverage you would like then feel free to strike up a chat with one of the pleasant waiters to give you some advice.
We opted to sit on one of the very comfortable couches by the beach. The bar was busy on the night we visited and there was a lot of shisha being smoked and fun being had while we listened to the chilled out lounge music.
The waiters were very much on the ball and topped our drinks up throughout the evening. Quality service is obviously important at the Shangri-La and this shows through their staff. They are more than willing to stir up a sweet signature drink from their beverage menu or make something else of your choice. The grape list has vintages from all corners of the world and the menus are have cute little reading lights which add a nice touch.
Décor and atmosphere
This slinky spot keeps its lights low and features mostly aqua and white furnishings, with large outdoor heaters in the cooler weather – in case you are feeling a chill in the evening breeze. The bar’s atmosphere takes you away from the busy city that is Abu Dhabi and will make you feel instantly relaxed and removed from the daily grind. The vibe is warm and inviting and you won’t want to leave.
The snacks are very tasty, offering up cute, bite-sized treats such as sushi, chicken drumsticks (pictured left) and Caesar salad wraps which are all great. Don’t miss the jumbo black tiger prawns in a delicious black saffron tempura. Everything is neatly presented on large white platters for you to share.
If you’re looking for somewhere that is relaxed, intimate and off island, we suggest swinging by Ess Lounge for a relaxing evening with a refreshing beverage, shisha and luxurious surroundings.
A very fun place to catch up with friends before or after dinner or just for a few post-work drinks. You’ll be impressed with the décor and the service and will enjoy an evening sitting outside relaxing
in comfortable surroundings. A romantic, cosy spot for a drink.
Some of the beverages are on the pricey side (such as the bubbly), but selecting from the classic blends list or grape list will prove money better spent.
Ess Lounge, open daily 5pm to midnight, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri (02 509 8532).
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