Abu Dhabi Travel Guide
And here's another one to add to the list: last Wednesday, Rosewood Abu Dhabi opened as the first Rosewood property in the UAE (though there are three others in the Middle East, with a Dubai property on the way). The 189-room hotel no doubt hopes to profit from an expected influx of visitors to AUH thanks to the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015, and the Guggenheim in 2017 (both designed by Frank Gehry).
Well, it was supposed to happen today, but it looks like the St. Regis Abu Dhabi's opening will be delayed--this time until April 15th.
Guess you shouldn't rush what promises to be one glam piece of property with 283 gussied-up guest rooms including 40 grand suites, including one actually located on a bridge that offers second-to-none Arabian Gulf views. Then there's the 24-hour butler service that each guest is entitled to.
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Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate, as it will be known, will open this month in Musaffah at the entrance of the city, near the Abu Dhabi Int'l Airport (AUH), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with rates starting at $61/night.
While the 252-room hotel is the brand's first in Abu Dhabi, Ibis in fact already owns no less than five hotels in neighboring Dubai, the cheapest of which has rates starting as low as $65/night.
Among the many luxurious hotels in Paris, only few are considered to be on a shortlist of “palace” hotels. Traditionally, these include names like the Hotel Ritz (for some, the original luxury hotel and now closed for a multi-year renovation), Le Meurice, (Four Seasons) George V, Le Crillon, and Le Bristol.
Having opened its doors in 1925, Le Bristol Paris is part of the Oetker Collection, a small group of particularly luxurious hotels that includes the Cannes Film Festival - and Karl Lagerfeld - favorite Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes and Palais Namaskar Marrakech (as well as a private jet to get from one to the other).
While Abu Dhabi might not come to mind at first as a destination for the Oetker Collection to open its second Le Bristol, such is the plan for next year. While details of the hotel are still very limited, it looks like there will be 184 rooms, with an additional number of suites, a spa, and even a concert hall.
Once again we're checking in with the hotel brand that we love to check in on--Edition Hotels.
Since our last Edition round-up in April, we've actually had a contributor go inside the one and only open Edition Hotel in the world--Edition Istanbul. We've also learned that an Edition Hotel is coming to West Hollywood. And now we can add more details on the Edition Abu Dhabi to the mix.
According to a tourism report, Abu Dhabi is going to get a major influx of hotels over the next three years--about 20 in all--five of which will be Marriott Hotels and one of which will be a 244-room Edition Hotel. Now, on the surface that sounds exciting. But a hospitality consultant is warning that the hotels won't fare very well because there is not enough demand for hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi right now. Sigh. This doesn't bode very well for Edition. Hopefully, it's not too late to pull out.
Guests immediately realize they’re in for an unusual experience when they’re greeted in the lobby by a falconer, offered local dates and traditional local coffee. The air permeates with heady scents dispersed from a burning bakhour.
The five-level hotel has 222 rooms that combines distinctly Arabian accents from mosaics to 18-carat gold fixtures. And while we haven’t heard much about the standard rooms, we’re gobsmacked by the description of the hotel’s the Royal Mangroves Residence, said to be the largest suite in the UAE. Designed for those “seeking the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity” the ten-bedroom suite boasts a private 33-foot rooftop pool with a swim-up bar, its own dedicated entrance and access to a limousine service, private chef, butler and a massage and beauty therapist. We so want to make friends with the person(s) who’ll call this place home.
The UAE city will no longer be issuing new hotel licenses because, not-so-shockingly, there is apparently a big oversupply of hotel rooms. Reuters reports:
The average room rate in Abu Dhabi dropped 14 percent to about 450 dirhams in 2011, the paper said, as four thousand new rooms came online -- bringing the total number of hotel rooms to almost 23 thousand in the capital.
Yowza. And that oversupply exists even though 2.11 million guests stayed in hotels in Abu Dhabi in 2011.
Fortunately, hotels that are already under construction like the St. Regis and the Ritz-Carlton will not be affected by this new order. Even better, hotels with licenses that have not yet begun construction will still get to keep their licenses. So no worries, we can expect at least a few more thousand hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi in the coming years.
While we once thought that the Leaning Hyatt of Abu Dhabi, or, The Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, would open by the end of 2010, it turns out the hotel needed an extra year to get things tilted just so.
But now the hotel, which is located on the top floors of the purposely 18 degrees leaning Capital Gate Building, is officially open for guests. The hotel has 189 rooms and suites, all featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows with killer views of the Arabian Gulf and the city.
Even crazier than spending the night in a leaning tower is because of the way the building is constructed, guests cannot actually see the ground below them, making them feel as if the hotel room is floating in mid-air. We're guessing the vertigo-challenged might have some issues staying here. However, guests can see the ground below them from the hotel's inner atrium.
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This month, guests at the gold-loving hotel won't be blindsided by a tree that's wearing more expensive jewelry than they are. Adorning the tree instead are custom-made Christmas balls from the Netherlands, and gold and silver foil ribbons. For good measure, the hotel also threw in some Christmas carolers. Who sang from gold-plated manuscripts atop gold podiums with gold plates on their teeth. A modest affair, really.
The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas opened on November 1st and just in case some of you jetsetters out there have not made it to the new hotel, we've got a couple of interior snapshots to drool over, starting with that bedroom view.
The hotel is located on a nine-kilometer stretch of beach on Saadiyat Island, so most views from the rooms offer views of the beach. If you don't have a beach view, then you're probably looking out over the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club or the hotel's own gardens but no matter the view, each room has its own balcony or private terrace.
Elsewhere on the property is a the two-level Atarmia Spa, the Park Bar and Grill, the Library Bar (which serves tea and coffee specialties) and The Beach House, the beachfront restaurant which serves Mediterranean cuisine.
There are so many jokes we can make about a hotel shaped as the Yas in Abu Dhabi is, but we won't. Because we're classy like that. Regardless, we can't help but see the hotel's resemblance yet again to twigs and berries.
This snapshot comes from a full-page ad for Abu Dhabi, placed in one of the several seatback in-flight magazines on British Airways. It depicts a man (a well-manicured man) driving a boat (a well-manicured boat) head-on towards the hotel.
If you're not yet familiar with the Yas Hotel, it's the closest property to the new Formula One theme park. Perhaps the shape of the hotel is intentional, to reinforce the masculinity of the attraction? We're not so sure, but we are pretty positive that there are other angles this hotel could have been photographed from.
They haven't even begun to tear up the Caesar's Palace rooms to begin work on what's to be the world's first Nobu Hotel, and already we've got news that Nobu is sizing up a second locationin Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Abu Dhabi, formerly known as the far-off land to which Garfield would send rival cat Nermal, is now quickly becoming a Las Vegas of the east. After all, the city has its own Leaning Tower, one of the world's first gold bar ATMs, and a massive Ferrari theme park, so why not a hotel themed after trendy sushi?