Monday, 12 February 2018

Arabian Decadence at Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi.

I struggled long and hard when deciding which hotel to stay at in Abu Dhabi, as aside from Emirates Palace the luxury hotels are all roughly the same price. But in the end I think I made the best possible decision, both in terms of location and style of the hotel. Although I'd been to Abu Dhabi before, I had only been to spend the day on Zaya Nurai Island, so hadn't actually seen the city. I had just one night in Abu Dhabi, and the Ritz-Carlton made my stay completely perfect. So let me tell you more...

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort


I flew from London to Dubai, and then got the Emirates shuttle bus from Dubai airport to Abu Dhabi. From there I got a taxi to the Ritz-Carlton. As we approached the hotel with its gated security entrance and long sweeping driveway, I was in awe of the beautiful landscaped gardens that greet you. My taxi door was opened for me and my luggage taken inside while I checked in - I walked in and found my head looking upwards at the stunningly elaborate ceiling. I was definitely back in the UAE.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort at Christmas


Now that Ritz-Carlton and the Marriott brand are a part of Starwood, it meant I was able to transfer my gold SPG status to Marriott, ensuring I had a guaranteed late check-out the following day to fully make the most of my stay. I also have the SPG Amex credit card, so paying on this meant I got double points. All in all, as an SPG/Marriott member it was worth staying there and I hadn't even seen my room yet! 

The Room - Deluxe Guest Room


A lovely lady escorted me to my room and my luggage soon followed, and then I was left to unpack and settle in. I had a Deluxe Guest Room with a balcony overlooking the gardens and Sheikh Zayad Mosque, so was lucky enough to sit outside and listen to the call to prayer. There's something so special about the call to prayer, and despite being Catholic, they always make me feel really relaxed and at peace.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
The room was huge and incredibly spacious, with a well-stocked mini bar and everything you could need for a comfortable stay. The design was elegant and luxurious, and when I threw myself onto the bed I was instantly impressed with the softness of the linens - I practically buried my face into them they were so soft and silky!

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room


And then there was the bathroom. A beautiful blend of classic marble and practicality, with a seperate bath and shower, his and hers sinks, and a separate toilet area contained within the bathroom. Amenities were Asprey, and I made full use of the huge deep bath tub (I don't have a bath at my house in Sydney!). I may have fallen asleep in it and then woke up in a panic wondering how I didn't drown myself...oops.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort Deluxe Guest Room



The Food & Dining Options


There are a wealth of dining options onsite, meaning you don't even need to leave the hotel to eat well! There are a selection of restaurants within the Ritz-Carlton itself (from Asian, to Steak, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean), and then there are also a few restaurants and cafes within the Venetian Village. The Venetian Village is onsite and only a five-minute walk from the main hotel building, but the cafes and restaurants here aren't part of the hotel.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort


I had a delicious caesar salad and watermelon juice from Mediterranean restaurant, Giornette, and I also made full use of the onsite Gelato shop, Dolce. They had some interesting flavours of gelato and I loved sitting by the pool with a mini tub and my book. 

For dinner I decided to check out Barfly by Buddha Bar, a contemporary bar and restaurant with a very similar feel and atmosphere to the Buddha Bar restaurants. I didn't realise it, but the night I went (Wednesday) was ladies night, which meant women got free sparkling wine and 50% off their meal. I was naturally impressed, so went all out!

Barfly by Buddha Bar Abu Dhabi Ritz-Carlton
Barfly by Buddha Bar Abu Dhabi Ritz-Carlton


I chose the Burrata with cherry tomatoes, the Tuna and Crab Tartare, and Tuna Belly and Seabass sashimi. Yep it was a lot, but I was hungry ok! I ate the lot, and sadly didn't have any room left for dessert, so I paid up and headed back to my room for an early night.

Barfly by Buddha Bar Abu Dhabi Ritz-Carlton
Barfly by Buddha Bar Abu Dhabi Ritz-Carlton
Barfly by Buddha Bar Abu Dhabi Ritz-Carlton


The Buffet Breakfast


The next morning I ambled down to breakfast at Giornette, and filled up on the varied selection of food to keep me going. I started with fresh fruit and yoghurt, before moving on to pastries, and finally a cooked breakfast of lamb sausages, grilled tomato, hash browns, eggs, and sauteed mushrooms. As well as this classic 'English' style brekky, they also offered a selection of other cuisines. And like all great buffet breakfasts, there was a juicing station and an omelette station! 


The Pool & Family-Friendliness


The hotel is very family focused, and therefore the large infinity pool overlooking the Grand Canal was full of children while I was there (it was still the Christmas/NY school holidays). However there is an adults-only pool as well, which I just didn't have time to check out. I didn't use the main pool either, I simply took a nap on a sunbed next to it after eating an ice-cream from Dolce! 

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Luxury Hotel

Also how beautiful does it look at night!? The lights were so pretty!

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Luxury Hotel


The Location


Situated on the Grand Canal in Abu Dhabi, the Ritz Carlton is right opposite the Sheikh Zayad Mosque, and a 15-20minute taxi ride from the Louvre, the Emirates Palace, Yas Waterworld, and Ferrari World. It's ideal if you want to have some peace and quiet and stay away from the hustle and bustle of the skyscrapers and bucket loads of tourists. 

The Overall Service


I was really impressed with the service I experienced during my time there. There was always someone to help me or direct me if I was lost, and the service in the restaurants was always excellent. The only small negative (and this really is being picky), is that at breakfast I had to ask for new cutlery as they didn't replace it after taking away my dirty bowl and cutlery from my fruit & yoghurt. The ladies bathrooms by the pool were also not in the best condition and had numerous 'un-flushed' toilets in them. With so many children around during the school holidays, it would probably be useful to have extra cleaning schedules. Like I said though, those are very small things in the grand scheme of things.

I really loved my short stay at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, and it was ideal for what I needed - somewhere close to the mosque so I could visit easily at both sunset and in the morning, and a resort-style so you felt as though you could properly relax. It was also the perfect choice for someone like me who has status with SPG and/or Marriott, as the little things like late check-out make such a big difference when you're only there for a short time.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Luxury Hotel




PIN FOR LATER:

PIN FOR LATER: Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Luxury Hotel Review. A stunning resort just five minutes away from the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. There are plenty of restaurants onsite, and the hotel is ideal for both families and couples!


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3 comments

  1. I didn’t realise Ritz Carlton was part of SPG, very useful as Mr P is loaded with their points! Thank you!

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  2. How amazing that you could hear the call to prayer from your room! It must've really added to the ambience and atmosphere to your short and sweet stay. I also love listening to it especially early in the morning while I'm waking up. Fun fact - you can also hear the local mosque call to prayer from my house in Kuala Lumpur - I think around 7am on Friday? I can never tell, I go right back to sleep after listening to it - you're going to enjoy it as your snooze alarm! x

    Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Malis & Topaz, 2 of the Capital's Best High End Restaurants - Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  3. It looks like the perfect place to stay.

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