I have a new favourite hotel and torn between keeping it a secret so it doesn’t get overbooked and shouting it from the rooftops, I decided that The Rosewood Abu Dhabi is just too good not to share.
The hotel located on Al Maryah Island not only boasts a unique location with panoramic views out across this exciting emirate but is also directly connected to the fashionista’s mall of choice, The Galleria.
Since its inauguration in 2013, Rosewood Abu Dhabi has been setting new standards of luxury hospitality. I’ve stayed in more than my fair share of top 5* star hotels throughout the Middle East but I can honestly say Rosewood Abu Dhabi is something quite special.
Featuring 154 rooms and 35 suites, the iconic tower was designed taking inspiration from the glistening Arabian Gulf and the vast desert that surrounds Abu Dhabi city. Every aspect of this hotel has been taken into consideration from the curvilinear architecture to the interior of the hotel reflective of the meeting of land and sea, desert and sky. It’s a phenomenal building and is minus the over-the-top opulence that so many luxury hotels mistake for class and sophistication. The Rosewood is a home away from home, perfect for both the demanding business traveller and the fashion loving socialite who likes to indulge in a spot of shopping before slumber.
Barely out of the car, I’m descended upon and ushered inside like quite the celebrity. The lobby is a destination in itself bordered on one side with a flowing contemporary water feature and on the other with a dramatic wall of art in sleek, neutral tones. It is inviting, warm and unpretentious.Throughout the hotel, traditional Middle Eastern textiles and details are complemented with modern lines and sleek architectural elements. It’s understated chic at its very best.
I was staying in a Junior Suite which quite frankly, I never wanted to leave. Three beautifully decorated rooms blended seamlessly into one another to create an overall practical and comforting space. It didn’t promise to be the biggest or the most lavish suite but it was certainly one of the most luxurious, for every little detail has been designed to optimize your comfort and convenience during your stay. A large open-plan living space complete with prominent executive desk and flat screen TV is a great live-work area complimented by colourful yet simple art on the walls and a bookshelf of fashion favourites. You have to hand it to any hotel that keeps gorgeously glossy books on Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel in the room, a tribute to the type of clientele that stay here.
The bedroom itself is perfectly proportioned with an enormous bed,easily the most comfortable bed I’ve experienced, vanity dressing area and another LCD TV taking pride of place at the foot of the bed. The bathroom is quite possibly my favourite room with a six-fixture master bath where you can relax in bubbled bliss as you gaze out onto the Abu Dhabi skyline through the floor-to-ceiling curved windows.
The best is yet to come however. The entire suite is controlled by smart system with an iPad next to the bed so you can control the temperature, lighting, even close the curtains without having to leave the cocoon of the ridiculously comfy bed. You can even order room service from the iPad, check your bill and browse TV channels. Your 24-hr butler is on hand to answer any questions and like all the staff at Rosewood Abu Dhabi, cannot be of assistance enough.
Offering some 9 restaurants, should you decide to venture out of your room, there are plenty of options. From Aqua for all-day dining to the tranquil Majlis Lobby Lounge for tea and snacks, every palette is catered for. I chose to visit China by dining in Dai Pai Dong located between the hotel and the shopping mall. Dai Pai Dong is the newest addition to Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s dining portfolio and is a casual restaurant inspired by the street food movement with modern takes on authentic Chinese dishes. With dim lighting, exciting decor, you can feast on Cantonese delicacies such as dim sum and homemade noodles. The live show kitchen is a great addition allowing you to witness the theatrical style of cooking
Nestled where Rosewood Abu Dhabi meets The Galleria and represented by a smoky Dragon and Phoenix, this authentic Chinese restaurant celebrates honest Cantonese cuisine and is a must visit in Abu Dhabi’s growing dining scene. The Dai Pai Dong barbecue assortment of meats is a great dish to share, a concoction of crispy pork belly, roasted duck and poached chicken. It’s a great laid back restaurant that proves to be a fun dinner with friends or family.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi has hidden gems in abundance and your evening need not stop after dinner. The Hidden Bar, so-called because taking me a good ten minutes to find it, it really is hidden! Ideal for intimate tete-a-tetes over a selection of decadent teas, wines and spirits the cozy lounge has soothing music and beautiful decor.
My personal favourite is La Cava, a real rare gem in the UAE; an intimate and exclusive live wine cellar. Inspired by the rich history of wine-making, experienced sommeliers present over 1,500 premium wines from boutique and classic vineyards. Entering into La Cava via a circular wooden staircase, you are transported into another word which you could be forgiven in thinking you were deep in the heart of Europe. Wall to wall glass cabinets showcasing the wine contrast against the stark rugged beauty of the stone walls. The atmosphere is somewhat masculine and both the Private Reserve offering some of the rarest vintages and the walk-in cigar room and humidor only hint at this further. There is even a prized whisky selection making for a very snug whisky bar.
For something completely different, take to the stunning outdoor poolside terrace with unrivalled views out across Abu Dhabi.
Glo, takes its name from its striking signature lighting that grace the inky evening sky. A funky and relaxed alfresco bar, laid back beats playing through the speakers and a large selection of beverages make this venue not only an ideal party spot but also a great place to really enjoy the fantastic positioning of the hotel when the weather allows.
Now, any fashionista worth her Fendi knows the The Galleria is the place to shop when it comes to exclusive designer labels and the fact that you only have to press down on the elevator in the hotel to reach it, makes this the ultimate shopping hotel. With more than 130 brands under one roof, The Galleria features all manner of high-end retailers such as Cartier and Gucci as well as a selection of chef-driven restaurants and cafes. Shop until you drop and then rest your weary head on your personally chosen pillow at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi really is an emblem of five-star luxury.
, Rosewood Abu Dhabi encompasses Rosewood’s A Sense of Place® philosophy by reflecting the culture, history and geography of its location.