The best luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi

The UAE capital is a cultural melting pot heralded by an array of luxury hotels that set new standards in opulence.

By Staff Writers, November 21 2022
The best luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi

Despite often standing in the shadow of its more developed Emirati neighbour Dubai, the United Arab Emirates’ capital city of Abu Dhabi is fast emerging as another must-see Gulf destination.

Whether you’d prefer to be immersed in eons of Arabian culture, pampered with decadent and innovative spa experiences or take a white-knuckled ride around some world-class attractions, Abu Dhabi can tick any box.

At the same time, Abu Dhabi plays host to some of the world’s most opulent, lavish and simply spectacular hotels and resorts, from locally-grown brands to the world’s most renowned marques offering the ultimate in design and luxury.

Check-in and check-out this collection of luxury hotels that will turn the UAE capital from a must-go to a must-go again and again.

The Abu Dhabi Edition

Situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen Marina and just across the road from the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Centre, Abu Dhabi’s first Edition hotel makes for a perfect laid-back vacation by the sea.

Abu Dhabi Edition is located right at the Al Bateen Marina.
Abu Dhabi Edition is located right at the Al Bateen Marina.

Featuring more than 250 guest rooms, suites and residences backed by deluxe herringbone-patterned wood paneling. Rooms overlook the city or the marina, with loft-style suites featuring a separate study room.

Guests can ponder three devilishly enticing restaurants for their daily nourishment, from the Oak Room steakhouse, Peruvian-inspired rooftop eatery or the health-conscious Market among the selection.

Rooms are spacious with a modern design.
Rooms are spacious with a modern design.

Set against the city skyline, the hotel's pool and private cabanas evoke pure vacation vibes, while a comprehensive fitness centre will keep the blood pumping.

The Annex rooftop bar is a place to be seen when visiting the Emirati capital.
The Annex rooftop bar is a place to be seen when visiting the Emirati capital.

The soothing design extends to the property's splendid Edition spa and hair salon by Rossano Ferreti, famed as the most exclusive and renowned hairdresser in the world. 

Andaz Capital Gate

Among the soaring towers of the Abu Dhabi Corniche and central business district are some architectural marvels which appear to defy basic laws of physics.

The Capital Gate building has four times the lean of a certain famous tower in Pisa.
The Capital Gate building has four times the lean of a certain famous tower in Pisa.

Inside one such design curiosity is the Capital Gate skyscraper and its 18-degree lean, inside which you’ll find Andaz Capital Gate, a lifestyle offering from the Hyatt stable.

Located only 15 minutes from Abu Dhabi Airport, guests will be greeted by the contemporary Arabian artworks of the 165 Below gallery as they head to check-in.

Many Andaz suites feature wraparound windows to maximise the city views.
Many Andaz suites feature wraparound windows to maximise the city views.

Each of the 188 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Arabian Gulf or city, with an open-plan marble bathroom bedecked with an enormous deep-soaking bathtub more closely resembling a private pool.

The deep-soaking tubs in each room make for the perfect relaxing haven.
The deep-soaking tubs in each room make for the perfect relaxing haven.

Suites are highly spacious with separate living and dining areas, some even offering wraparound windows making for a perfect sight to wake up to each morning.

Dining is a whimsical envelopment of colour at Cyan Brasserie with its captivating green decor, while those with a penchant for heights should visit 18-degrees bar for an evening pre or post-dinner cocktail.

The decoration at Cyan Brasserie takes on almost an aquatic vibe.
The decoration at Cyan Brasserie takes on almost an aquatic vibe.

Two other venues, Rayana Tapas Bar on the 19th floor and Pinnacle on the 33rd remain closed for now.

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Fans of the ‘Fast & Furious’ film franchise may recognise Conrad Abu Dhabi from an utterly outrageous stunt which saw thr rebellious Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) incredulously catapult his superpowered sports car from one tower to the next, dozens of metres in the air.

Conrad at Etihad Towers is one of Abu Dhabi's most recognised skyscrapers.
Conrad at Etihad Towers is one of Abu Dhabi's most recognised skyscrapers.

In a more serene day-to-day environment, the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, tucked away at the western end of the Corniche only a few minutes’ walk from the Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace.

If heights are your thing, a room here can deliver in spades.
If heights are your thing, a room here can deliver in spades.

Guests enjoy dazzling luxury from door to door, with a Swarovski crystal chandelier on entry and amethyst-encrusted elevators whisking them up to their floor, where greeting them are sweeping views of the city and Arabian Gulf.

Suites feature separate living and dining rooms.
Suites feature separate living and dining rooms.

Rooms themselves come in several different designs, with common features being  plush carpets and mosaic-tiled bathrooms along with a window side couch to immerse yourself in the view.

Twelve tantalising restaurants make up the daily selection, featuring cuisine inspired by Lebanon to Latin America, Tokyo to Tuscany.

The lobby lounge is one of the most stylishly decorated in the city.
The lobby lounge is one of the most stylishly decorated in the city.

And if heights are no problem, Ray’s Grill on the 63rd floor will whet your appetite for higher vantages and a visit to the 74th floor observation deck.

Emirates Palace

A lavishly imagined dream, Emirates Palace is consistently hailed as one of the world's best hotels, an embodiment of luxury in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Palace is a hotel fit for royalty.
Emirates Palace is a hotel fit for royalty.

On arrival, guests are greeted with long-stemmed roses before being escorted to one of the resort’s 394 rooms and suites, each luxuriously equipped with custom-designed furniture, whirlpool baths and 180-degree ocean views, with 24-hour butler service just a call away.

From the moment you walk through the door, guests are enveloped in the opulence of their surroundings, with views of the city, gardens or Gulf meeting your gaze.

Hakkasan is one of the many fine restaurants at Emirates Palace.
Hakkasan is one of the many fine restaurants at Emirates Palace.

Consider treating yourself to the Deluxe Beachfront Suite, with its separate living room, bathroom with jacuzzi and private media room at your disposal.

When it comes to dining, try one each night and it will still take you more than a week to savour all of the hotel’s restaurants, with some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs plying their culinary trade.

Options on the plate include contemporary Italian, fine Indian, Arabic and Spanish along with poolside BBQ, decadent desserts and international brand Hakkasan.

Emirates Palace is famous for its extravagant water park - fun for all ages.
Emirates Palace is famous for its extravagant water park - fun for all ages.

Boasting an enviable Gulf-front location, guests enjoy direct access to the hotel's private beach and the trendy night spots of Abu Dhabi's famous seaside promenade, as well as some of the city's main attractions, including the Qasr Al-Watan and the Heritage village.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

Situated on the beachfront overlooking the Gulf to one side and the Grand Mosque to the other, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is a jewel of the city.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr features a grand lobby greeting guests.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr features a grand lobby greeting guests.

Featuring more than 360 high-ceiling rooms and suites, you’ll want to cast your eye over the Fairmont Gold categories for their spacious interiors, intricately detailed decorations and brilliant views.

For the ultimate family or group indulgence, Fairmont’s villa is a sight to behold with three large bedrooms, separate dining and living areas, private pool, garden and gym.

It's easy to get swept up in the marina views just outside your window.
It's easy to get swept up in the marina views just outside your window.

Dining is a choice of five, ranging from the Marco Pierre White steakhouse, international buffet at CuiScene, Marco’s Italian, Lebanese favourites at Mazaj Bab Al Bahr or Japanese delicacies at Cafe Sushi.

A colourful buffet features a variety of flavours from around the world.
A colourful buffet features a variety of flavours from around the world.

Your daily workout is also granted with the hotel's five-star fitness facilities, including CrossFit-style equipment, an Olympic lap pool and personal trainers.

Grand Millennium Al Wahda

Another city centre haven in Abu Dhabi’s commercial district, a core focus of Grand Millennium Al Wahda is about creating memorable stays through warm hospitality across its 337 rooms.

Grand Millennium soars over the Al Wahda shopping centre, one of the largest in the UAE.
Grand Millennium soars over the Al Wahda shopping centre, one of the largest in the UAE.

Shopaholics will be ready to give the credit card a workout, with the hotel offering direct access to the Al Wadha Mall - the largest in the city with over 350 brand names available.

Rooms are a little more on the quaint side compared to some others on this list, while families and larger groups may feel more comfortable in one of the hotel’s 1, 2 or 3-bedroom apartments.

Consider upgrading to a suite for more space and a separate living area.
Consider upgrading to a suite for more space and a separate living area.

Business travellers will want to become acquainted with the Millennium’s Executive Lounge on the first floor. Open only to guests in rooms and suites carrying the club title, benefits include free airport transfers, daily breakfast and regular refreshments in a quiet space designed for efficiency.

The Portobello restaurant is the Grand Millennium's all-day restaurant.
The Portobello restaurant is the Grand Millennium's all-day restaurant.

Specialising in both fine dining and casual comforts, guests may prefer either the Middle-Eastern delicacies in tow at Layali Shahrazad or the classic Porters British Pub, complete with sports on TV and regular live music.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

On the natural island of Saadiyat sits the sanctuous Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, on a 9km stretch of environmentally protected white sand beach. 

Rooms are modestly decorated but feature many mod-cons and the latest technology.
Rooms are modestly decorated but feature many mod-cons and the latest technology.

For golf fans, the resort is adjacent to the unyielding bunkers and lush fairways of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, while the city centre and the Corniche are a short drive away.

Headlining the offering here is one of Abu Dhabi’s best swimming pools, a 25-metre oasis lined with palm trees and designed for both relaxation and for guests eager to maintain a fitness routine by putting in some laps.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi's pool is perfectly landscaped and reflects an ultra-luxe environment.
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi's pool is perfectly landscaped and reflects an ultra-luxe environment.

The resort’s 306 rooms offer a spacious and residential feel, starting at a generous 50sqm and featuring either an outdoor terrace or private balcony.

Some suites and villas come with their own private plunge pool, sunbeds and dining terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Inside, the expansive suites feature a media room and Chinese lava wave marble bathroom for unheralded elegance.

The coastal vibe extends into the Atarmia Spa, where three private outdoor terraces are the backdrop to a selection of bespoke treatments tailored to your needs. 

Some suites feature their own private pool.
Some suites feature their own private pool.

Dining is a global affair, with two culinary influences colliding at Mate’, the resort’s headline restaurant, with its intriguingly exotic Argentinian fare with a Lebanese twist.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Reminiscent of a traditional Bedouin village, the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a spellbinding isolationist retreat worth the 120km ride from Abu Dhabi Airport. 

Qasr Al Sarab is a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi Airport.
Qasr Al Sarab is a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi Airport.

Accommodations range from 45sqm deluxe rooms to staggering pool villas, each featuring Islamic-inspired furnishings and oversized bathtubs. Suites and multi-bedroom villas are luxurious private desert palaces, backdropped by private plunge pools and uninterrupted views of an endless desert.

By day, guests can indulge in a gentle camel ride across the Rub Al Khali desert's soft dunes, and by evening take a casual stroll to a private candlelit table for an indulgent Bedouin-style dinner before socialising with other guests at Camp Nujum.

This oasis in the desert is a highly sustainable property, sourcing its own power and growing its own vegetables.
This oasis in the desert is a highly sustainable property, sourcing its own power and growing its own vegetables.

For a resort in the desert, Qasr Al Sarab prides itself on being one of the greenest and most sustainable in the Emirate. Its vast open footprint allows for maximum solar harvesting to power the property, with not a hint of plastic to be found across room keycards and water bottles.

Rooms are reminiscent of a Bedouin camp.
Rooms are reminiscent of a Bedouin camp.

An on-site greenhouse, open for guests to tour, cultivates a menagerie of vegetables for use throughout the resort, with over 150kgs of tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, eggplant and a variety of herbs produced each month.

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi

Even for Abu Dhabi, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi is a master of the opulent.

The Giornotte Terrace is emblematic of The Ritz-Carlton's penchant for grandeur.
The Giornotte Terrace is emblematic of The Ritz-Carlton's penchant for grandeur.

Boasting Renaissance-inspired architecture in the shadow of the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, guests will find a delightful mix of landscaped gardens with an orchard of olive trees subtly mixed with a contemporary beach lifestyle.

Accommodations range from traditional guest rooms to multi-bedroom Venetian-inspired suites and stunning private pool villas with direct access to the beach.

Rooms are elegantly furnished, with suites featuring their own private pool.
Rooms are elegantly furnished, with suites featuring their own private pool.

Ritz-Carlton’s hallmark Club Lounge is open to guests holding appropriate access through their room privileges features views over the Grand Canal, generous dining rotations starting with breakfast at 6:30am and running to evening desserts closing at 10pm.

The lounge also features presentations where guests can learn about preparation of the region’s cardamom and clove-infused Arabic coffee or the intricate details of more than 150 varieties of locally-farmed dates.

The scale of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi cannot be understated.
The scale of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi cannot be understated.

Additional dining opportunities can be found in the Asian-inspired Li Jiang where patrons can admire the culinary handiwork of chefs through an open kitchen as they prepare sumptuous rice and noodle creations. 

Elsewhere, a steakhouse, Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurants complete the daily selection, supported by numerous lounges, bars and al fresco options.

Guests can spend their day whiling by the swimming pool or get amongst the local community with a free shuttle bus heading to town every 30 minutes.

St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Effortlessly combining authentic Arabian hospitality with over a hundred years of bespoke tradition, the St. Regis Abu Dhabi is an oasis of sensational splendour.

That bridge between the two towers...isn't a bridge. It's the Presidential Suite.
That bridge between the two towers...isn't a bridge. It's the Presidential Suite.

The hotel offers direct access to the private Nation Riviera Beach Club, inclusive of a health and fitness centre, kids club, a wonderfully renovated swimming pool and its sandy beach.

From sensational Mediterranean flavours and a curated selection of Italian wines at Villa Toscana to the finest regional dishes at The Terrace, the hotel's culinary offerings exude elegance and craftsmanship in every bite. Or kick back for a casual bite at the Cabana Beach Grill, found on the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Suites are decadently furnished to really accentuate the feeling of luxury.
Suites are decadently furnished to really accentuate the feeling of luxury.

Spread across two towers, the 283 rooms are classically decorated with glass-blown chandeliers, luxurious linens, and marbled floors reminiscent of Mediterranean revival-style architecture. 

Poolside cabanas give the St Regis a deluxe beach resort vibe.
Poolside cabanas give the St Regis a deluxe beach resort vibe.

If heights are your thing, the hotel is home to the world's highest suspended room, with the Abu Dhabi Suite offering a unique sanctuary 220 metres above the ground, with 360-degree views.

W Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Designed as an entertainment centrepiece, Yas Island was reclaimed from the sea and earmarked as the star of the Abu Dhabi show.

W Yas Island is one of the world's most architecturally stunning properties.
W Yas Island is one of the world's most architecturally stunning properties.

Now home to exorbitant theme parks and a Grand Prix circuit visited annually by the Formula 1 circus, Yas Island is also home to some of the world’s most decadent hotels, among which is W Abu Dhabi.

The hotel’s curvaceous design invites amazement through its lobby, winding hallways and colourful pops, creating an experience as much as a place to rest your head.

Rooms gaze out to Abu Dhabi city or the Yas Marina.
Rooms gaze out to Abu Dhabi city or the Yas Marina.

Just shy of 500 rooms await guests, each offering views over the racetrack or the Yas Island Marina.

As the hotel is situated above a Formula 1 circuit, a dining outlet named 'Garage' is a given.
As the hotel is situated above a Formula 1 circuit, a dining outlet named 'Garage' is a given.

Revheads will bask at Garage, the hotel’s colourful international restaurant. Italian and Indian fare can be found at Amici and Angar, while numerous outdoor bars and sun decks complete the atmosphere.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 870

Emirates Palace, and the Camel Ice Cream with 24-carat gold leaf topping is a must to try while in Abu Dhabi.


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