The Top Hotels in Abu Dhabi
With opulent rooms and unrivaled service, luxury hotels in the capital of the U.A.E., can hardly be outdone. Whether you’re looking for views of Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque or a true desert safari experience, these sanctuaries have you covered.
West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Some experienced travelers would never consider a hotel a “sight,” but Emirates Palace is a full-blown spectacle. A world onto itself, this luxurious spot opened in 2006 to the tune of roughly $6 billion with every conceivable amenity—plus a few you never knew you needed. There’s a beach club with a lazy river, football fields, and nearly four miles of jogging paths; a golf course where you can get tips from a PGA pro; a Bedouin tent for relaxing before a beachfront camel ride; and a luxury spa complete with Moroccan hammam. Marble and gold embellish surfaces everywhere on the property, including in the magnificent tiled dome above the lobby. Whether or not you feel like shelling out serious dough to say you stayed here, you won’t regret a stroll in the lobby for curiosity’s sake.
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
The Capital Gate building’s most impressive feature is the 18-degree angle at which it leans out of the ground. The structure was designed with graceful elegance and looks as if it’s rising out of Abu Dhabi Island. You can’t miss this tower on a drive from the airport to the Corniche right along Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Capital Gate is also home to the Andaz hotel, which occupies floors 18 to 33 of the 35-floor building. The modern architectural wonder is part of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre’s development, where many conferences and events are held throughout the year.
Khor Al Maqta,Qaryat al Beri - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Short of visiting the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque itself, you won’t find a better view of the whitewashed masterpiece than at this Shangri-La hotel, which shimmers like a jewel opposite Abu Dhabi Island on the mainland of the Arabian Peninsula. The rest of the hotel’s palatial appeal sprouts from a deep appreciation for Middle Eastern tradition, seen in spectacular carved archways, mosaic-tile baths in the rooms, and winding waterways navigated by an abra (local ferry boat). Hop on board to journey to the hotel’s contemporary take on a souk, where you can purchase clothes, jewelry, and other souvenirs before choosing between French, Vietnamese, and Chinese specialties at four on-site restaurants. Four pools ensure you won’t wilt in the desert heat, while a CHI spa provides soothing comfort for those beat from a day spent skyscraper hopping.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Saadiyat Island has become a cultural and architectural playground with the opening of the Jean Novel–designed Abu Dhabi outpost of The Louvre and plans for Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum. But it’s also a place to indulge in all-out luxury. The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi echoes the island’s design-forward offerings. Its 306 sand-hued rooms incorporate nods to Islamic art (in the metal-trimmed headboards and lattice-accented bathroom doors) with modern amenities like Nespresso coffee makers, standalone tubs, and Le Labo bath products. An infinity pool lined with open-air cabanas looks out on the Arabian Sea, the beach sits on a protected strip of waterfront just a short walk away, and a lazy river winds its way around the palm tree–studded grounds like a desert mirage. After a day spent sinking putts on the greens at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, soothe sore limbs with a massage at Atarmia spa, then dine on international dishes that range from Italian to Middle Eastern at one of the resort’s three restaurants.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Sir Bani Yas is a desert island five miles off the city’s Arabian Gulf coast with some curious residents, namely cheetahs, ostriches, and giraffes, among others. Three distinct properties allow visitors to make the most of the rustic wildlife refuge with game drives and one-of-a-kind animal encounters: the Desert Islands Resort & Spa, with its plethora of amenities and dining options; the safari-style Al Sahel Villa Resort, at the island’s rugged center; or the luxe shorefront Al Yamm Villa Resort, where barasti-style villas have turquoise infinity pools and a lagoon teeming with migratory birds. Though each property stands on its own, guests can take advantage of all the amenities with free transfers between them. Don’t miss the innovative Dining by Design experience, which lets you dine at different venues around the island, from a romantic dinner on the beach to a family picnic on safari plains.
Saadiyat Island - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Only 10 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi—but a world away in spirit from the city rush—St. Regis Saaydiyat Island looks like a Mediterranean palace but feels like pure Abu Dhabi. The impressive architecture blends luxe finishes like calacatta marble, chisel-edge stone, and petrified wood with a golden color palette that’s offset with views of the turquoise waves of the Arabian Gulf (look close enough and you might even catch a dolphin swimming in the distance). Indulge in a pampering session at the Iridium Spa, go for retail therapy in the property’s shops, or hit the greens at the Saadiyat Island Golf Club. If that sounds like too much exertion, you might prefer to simply lounge in a cabana near one of four pools while sipping an Arabian Snapper, a classic Bloody Mary made with zaatar spice.