Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Tucked into a six mile stretch of sand on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s designated resort and creative district, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is a luxury beach hotel overlooking the sparkling Arabian Gulf. With a total of 306 rooms and sprawling villas as well as five restaurants, pools and award-winning spa, this is a solid option for families and luxury seekers looking for that laid-back beach resort (relatively speaking, this is still the opulent U.A.E., after all) in the heart of the action.
Shangri-La Abu Dhabi
Located on the banks of the Grand Canal, Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat al Beri’s Arabesque meets modern décor is easily one of the city’s most elegant, if not romantic hotel options. Overlooking the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, the property features a total of 213 rooms and seven dining options ranging from Chinese, French, and Vietnamese to an all-day souk inspired buffet on the ground floor. Whatever you do, don’t leave without experiencing a gondola ride along the hotel’s canals, which will float you over to Souk Qaryat Al Beri where you can find everything from handicraft rugs to high-end kaftans.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
With a backdrop that includes nothing but thousands of miles of sand dunes known as Rub’ al Khali, or the Empty Quarter, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara gives you a peek into what Abu Dhabi looked like 60 years ago. The hotel offers everything you could hope for in a remote desert getaway: think camel trekking, dune bashing, a traditional Bedouin dinner under the stars, and a Moroccan style hammam to soak it all in.
Considered Abu Dhabi’s most opulent hotel, Emirates Palace is, as the name suggests, designed to resemble a modern-day Arabian palace. Dripping in gold from top to bottom, the property’s 394 rooms have hosted everyone from Sir Elton John to Shakira. There’s nothing laid-back about the hotel, which overlooks the royal family’s residence. It features a total of 12 restaurants, bars, and café’s, including its signature Le Café, known for its 24-karat cappuccino. The property also features one of the city’s best beach clubs, lazy river, and water sports center, as well as camel rides on the hotel’s private beach.