Ambiance & Vibe:
The majestic size of this property is evident from the time you drive in past the arches at the entrance. As we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the friendly bell staff, who took our bags and escorted us to the reception. Walking into the huge and spacious marble clad lobby, we were struck by the beauty of the grandiose Venetian-inspired architecture. This property gets a mix of business and leisure guests and the atmosphere is very family friendly and welcoming. The guests are from all over the world, including stylish couples arriving for a weekend getaway, to business types, to families with children eager to hit the pool.
The very popular Executive Club lounge is a great place to chill out during afternoon tea or for evening cocktails and canapés.
Design & Style:
The main lobby is an opulent renaissance inspired mansion, with glistening chandeliers, marble floors, impressive staircase and regal furnishings. All the design aspects incorporate the Islamic cultural aesthetics visible at the neighboring Grand Mosque, such as the use of leaves. The surrounding buildings including the village with its independent restaurants and shops are inspired by Venetian architecture. The structures are set amidst sprawling landscaped gardens and overlook the Grand Canal.
This is a large property with 447 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, and 85 private villas. Standard deluxe rooms are very spacious with 42 square meters and feature a living area with work and lounging spaces, and a separate bedroom with a balcony. Bathrooms are full marble, with tub, separate shower and double sink and can be opened up to the sleeping area by pulling back the shutters that divide the two areas. We loved our 85 square meter Executive Suite with 300 thread count linens and luxurious Asprey-branded toiletries. All rooms and suites enjoy views out to the Grand Canal, including gardens, pool and beach, and are located in the main crescent shaped building which surrounds the pool. The 91 to 131 square meter garden facing suites and houses are ideal for larger families or longer stays and feature terraces and private butler service. The Executive Club level rooms have access to the expansive Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge offering a dedicated concierge and check-in, with continuous steam of culinary offerings throughout the day, complimentary internet access and international magazines and newspapers.
The hotel offers an incredible choice of restaurants – eight to be exact, featuring cuisine from around the world. Less formal dining includes the all-day dining restaurant, built to resemble a classic Italian villa, or Al Fresco Pool and Beach Restaurant with a variety of Mexican dishes, healthy salads and cocktails, as well as Dolce for espresso and ice-cold gelato. Dining options at the hotel include the following:
Giornotte: All day dining Mediterranean restaurant
Li Jiang: South East Asia/Chinese cuisine with open kitchen and outdoor lounge with majestic views of the Grand Mosque.
Sorso: traditional bar offering classic cocktails and light meals.
The Forge: signature Steakhouse/Seafood cuisine with a stylish and contemporary interiors.
Mijana: Lebanese/Arabic cuisine with interiors designed by the famous designer Super Potato from Japan.
Alba: lobby lounge offering salads, sandwiches, specialty cocktails and the signature afternoon tea.
Dolce: Italian-style dessert cafe.
Executive Club Lounge: lunch, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and canapés followed by late evening snacks.
The fantastic array of gastronomic dining options at The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi:
Although this is a very large hotel the service is attentive and up to the famous “Ritz Carlton” standards. The check in staff are top-notch and although we checked in well past midnight, the check in process was super efficient and we were welcomed with a gorgeous amenity platter waiting for us in our room. The concierge staff are highly knowledgeable and can suggest and arrange all your activities and day trips during your stay. We used the concierge service extensively, from recommendations for cultural attractions such as the Grand Mosque and The Louvre Museum, sporting activities such as dune bashing as well as reservations at the racing circuit at Yas Island.
During our stay, we ate breakfast at Giornotte, drinks at the pool bar, evening cocktails at the Executive Club lounge and dinner at Li Jiang and found the food and service at all locations to be exceptional. The service is perfectly timed and courteous, and the staff are warm and genuine too, delivering classic Middle Eastern hospitality.
The staff at the pool will promptly set up your cabana or lounge chairs and greet you with cold towels and water.
Facilities & Activities:
Facilities: Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi is a perfect urban resort from which to explore Abu Dhabi’s many attractions.
- The hotel features two outdoor swimming pools and the massive 1,600 square meter pool is one of the biggest you will ever see
- A sandy private beach with plenty of sun loungers on the shores of the Grand Canal
- A Bedouin-inspired, sublime 21,500-square food ESPA spa is set along the beachfront and is a short buggy ride from the main building. This standalone building has 15 treatment rooms, separate relaxation areas for ladies and gentlemen, hair and beauty salons, a plunge pool, steam and sauna area, hammam and private beach with sun loungers.
- The fabulously equipped Ritz Kids Club, is available to children between the ages of 4 and 12, and offers an extensive program of supervised activities, both indoors and outdoors
- The very well equipped gym and health club is open 24 hours and offers personal trainers and spacious male and female changing rooms with showers, steam room and sauna
Activities: Abu Dhabi offers a rich collection of experiences: cultural history, luxury shopping, magnificent architecture and beautiful beaches. From the Ritz Carlton, everything the city offers is within easy reach including the below top 5 attractions in Abu Dhabi.
- The hotel offers a free shuttle bus service to the must visit Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque every half an hour, which is the primary tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi
- The newly opened Louvre Museum is about 25 minutes drive from the hotel
- Yas Island, with all its attractions including Ferrari world and the Marina racing circuit, is about 25 minutes drive from the hotel
- The Corniche seaside promenade and the Emirates Palace is about 25 minutes drive from the hotel
- The concierge can arrange for a wide variety of fun activities in Abu Dhabi, including dune bashing and desert tours
Set amidst 57 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this luxurious resort boasts an enviable location on a lovely stretch of private beach overlooking the Grand Canal and within viewing distance of the renowned Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The property, which sits at the beginning of Abu Dhabi’s main island, it is a short drive to the international airport, and also an ideal location from which to quickly reach all of the city’s attractions.
What We Love:
- Luxurious and generously sized guest rooms with balconies featuring magnificent panoramic views of the Grand Canal, pool and lush gardens
- Two private beaches and a glorious massive outdoor swimming pool on the shores of The Grand Canal
- 21,500 square foot, world class ESPA spa with a private beach, plunge pools and opulent hammam offering traditional rituals, relaxing sauna and Bedouin-inspired setting
- 8 world class dining facilities offering cuisine from around the world
- Gorgeous Executive Club Lounge, with panoramic creek views, continuous culinary offerings and dedicated concierge and butler service
- The hotel complex includes a 20,000 square meter leisure dining “Venetian Village” destination featuring a mix of dining outlets ranging from Mediterranean to Emirati and Japanese
Best Time to Visit:
Although Abu Dhabi has become a year round global business and leisure destination, the best time to visit is during the cooler autumn, winter and spring seasons of October thru March. Summers can get really hot, although if you remain indoors or in the myriad malls during the day, it is relatively pleasant in the evenings.