Abu Dhabi Travel Guide

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What's Worse Than A Peekaboo Bathroom? A Wet, Leaky Bathroom

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  Site Where: Sheikh Khalifa St, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
August 26, 2014 at 9:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

This looks like a nice bathroom, right? Granted, the toily is a little close to the shower, and we’d prefer a proper bidet to a hose that someone else might have done who knows what with, but overall it looks good. Props for the separate tub, sexy streak of brown marble and omg-yes-gimme-dat dinnerplate showerhead.

Except the hotel left out one thing. A panel of glass.

This was the tweet that alerted us to the problem recently, from friend of HC and intrepid traveler, Jonathan Khoo.

Yes, as much as we may bitch about peekaboo bathrooms, there is a worse bathroom sin, and that is the bathroom that leaks everywhere.

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The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Now Has a Camel Milk Mixologist On Hand

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  Site Where: PO Box 91888, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
July 5, 2013 at 11:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

Your fancy luxury hotel may have a mixologist crafting up specialty cocktails at bar downstairs but does your fancy luxury hotel have a Camel Milk Mixologist working there? Didn't think so.

That rare kind of mixologist can only be found at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi which just opened in March. Mohammad Daoud does pretty much what his job title implies--mixes drinks with freshly muddled ingredients infused with locally-sourced camel milk, ranging from flavors such as sweet strawberry and refreshing mint. “I wanted to create something special for the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan,” said Daoud. “Because camel milk has a high level of protein and additional nutrients, it’s an excellent beverage to consume during Sohour, the meal taken prior to sunrise for Muslims fasting during Ramadan.”

Ramadan begins next Monday and lasts through August 7 but the hotel will continue to offer its camel milk menu in Mijana, the hotel's Arabic restaurant. There, the mixologist can help camel milk newbies guide them through their first-time tasting as well as come up with different camel milk flavors to pair with various dishes. Of course, all these preferences can be saved for their next visit.

Want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi? Room rates start around $750 AED a night, or about $205 USD. Contacting the camel milk mixologist ahead of your stay is highly recommended at +9712 818-8282 or emailing restaurant.reservations@ritzcarlton.com. Camel milk not your thing? Head over to the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, where there's a spice concierge instead.

[Photo: Ritz-Carlton/Facebook]

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Say Hello To The New Rosewood Abu Dhabi

May 6, 2013 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

Seems like there's a lot of action going on in Abu Dhabi is the these days. If it's not the Ritz-Carlton opening, it's the St. Regis. And if it's not Le Bristol, it's the budget-oriented Ibis.

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).

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Another Abu Dhabi Delay of the St. Regis Kind

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  Site Where: Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
January 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

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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To The Delight Of Budget Travelers, Ibis Makes Its Abu Dhabi Debut

October 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

In other news that's sure to make UAE travelers happy, Ibis, which identifies itself as an "economy" brand of hotels, is making its long-awaited debut in Abu Dhabi.

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.

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A Touch of Paris in the Middle East: Le Bristol Abu Dhabi to Open in 2013

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  Site Where: Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
August 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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The Latest Edition On Edition Hotels, Now With Opening Dates

July 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Abu Dhabi Brings More Bling With Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa

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  Site Where: Eastern Ring Road, Salam Street, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
July 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Apparently it's not the end of hotel development in Abu Dhabi as we wondered way back when, given news of the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, which opened in June.

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.

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Is This The End of Hotels for Abu Dhabi?

March 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

It looks like in future years, we won't be adding too much to the Abu Dhabi section of our Master Hotel Openings List.

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.

[Photo: Panoramas]

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The Leaning Hyatt of Abu Dhabi Has Finally Opened!

December 23, 2011 at 1:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

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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On Second Thought, An $11 Million Christmas Tree Might Be Going Overboard

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  Site Where: Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
December 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

We think the Emirates Palace has gotten the message. Rather than strive to top last year's $11 million Christmas tree monstrosity, the hotel has graciously toned things down for the time being.

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.

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Sneak Peek at The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

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  Site Where: PO Box 52007, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
December 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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