Take a look at the best kid-friendly hotels in Abu Dhabi.
Located in the Liwa Desert about two hours outside of Abu Dhabi, the five-pearl Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a peaceful escape located in the middle of sprawling red sand dunes. The classic Arabian architecture and upscale vibe gives it a royal feel, as do the spacious 206 rooms which feature flat-screen TVs and DVD players along with deep-soaking tubs and separate showers. There's a large outdoor pool surrounded by abundant lounge chairs and palm trees framed by desert views beyond. A fitness center, a full-service spa with a variety of treatments, and three restaurants are also on-site. The hotel can organize desert excursions, including camel treks. Note rooms are cheaper in the summer months, when the desert can get unbearably hot.
The 283-room St. Regis Abu Dhabi is a stylish, five-pearl hotel that checks all the boxes in the western end of the Corniche area. It's not directly on the beach, but a tunnel provides private access to it and the impressive pool with a swim-up bar. Down below, there are multiple restaurants and cocktail lounges making the most of the view, along with a full spa and fitness center. For families, there's a supervised kids' club that has its own splash pool and waterslide. Not all of the chic rooms have sea views, but everyone gets butler service and sleek marble bathrooms. Compare rates at the extravagant Jumeirah at Etihad Towers down the road, which sits right on a private beach.
The 213-room luxury Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri is designed to feel like a modern day Shangri-La, located on a half mile of private beach in Abu Dhabi's Between the Bridges area. The Shangri-La combines a modern vibe with a traditional Arabian twist, which gives the hotel a feeling of warmth and opulence. Each room has a private balcony or terrace, with views of the canal, and a stylish bathroom with a deep soaking tub.
The 499-room luxury Yas Viceroy is the world's only hotel built over a Formula One racetrack. Located on popular Yas Island, the Viceroy straddles a marina and the raceway, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Architecturally striking, under an enormous, futuristic LED canopy, the Viceroy is the poshest hotel on Yas Island, with two rooftop infinity pools, a spa, 11 restaurants and bars, and two nightclubs. Rooms are luxe and minimalist, with marina or track views, and stylish bathrooms.
The 369-room luxury Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is a high-end, exclusive hotel with fantastic views of Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque. The architecture is ultra-modern, and the lagoon-style pool feels like an oasis for princes and sheiks. The location might suit business travelers best, but the hotel offers a free shuttle to popular attractions. There are programmed activities for kids and teenagers, but this is not a low-key, anything goes resort. Rooms are stylish and luxe, with gorgeous Gulf views.
The upscale Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan is a 443-room mega-hotel with its own private strip of beach overlooking the Arabian Gulf. This family-friendly property offers a host of amenities and clean rooms, but interestingly it doesn't feel quite as luxe as some of the competing hotels in the area, such as the noticeably more upscale Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche. The air-conditioned rooms don't have much wow-factor, though they do have super comfy beds and deep soaking tubs, and some have Gulf views from their balconies. Along with two restaurants and 24-hour room service, there's a huge Beach Club with a full fitness center, multiple tennis/squash courts, a Pilates studio, and one of the largest pools in the area. And while valet parking is offered free of charge, Wi-Fi costs extra and is expensive.
Everything in Abu Dhabi seems to be a bit bigger, and the luxury Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort is no exception. Pretty much next door to the 27-hole Abu Dhabi Golf Club, this resort has three restaurants and bars, two pools, a sleek spa and gym, and free access to Saadiyat Beach Club -- although it's a 30-minute cab ride away. Even the smallest of the hotel’s 172 rooms are huge and come with private terraces, king-sized beds, lounge areas, and Nespresso coffeemakers. However, the hotel is a fair distance away from downtown Abu Dhabi, so guests who aren’t interested in golfing should consider the centrally located and beachfront Shangri-La Hotel.
The Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa is a luxury resort set in a sleek mixed-use retail and apartment building overlooking Abu Dhabi's Mangrove National Park. Despite its location just off the highway, the hotel's mood is hushed and serene, particularly at the pool alongside the lagoon. Rooms are sleek and spacious, featuring Nespresso machines and balconies, but those facing the road are prone to traffic noise. Facilities score high, with the spa and dining facilities being two real highlights, though there's not much for children. For a more family-friendly option on the beach, check out the Al Raha Beach Hotel.
The Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi is an upscale, 565-room hotel attached to the Abu Dhabi Mall. It faces the Arabian Sea, making it feel like more of a resort hotel than other properties in the downtown area. The sizable private beach along with the Beach Club gives guests abundant opportunities to be active or relax. Rooms range from the smaller Classic Room to spacious Royal Suites, and all have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning. There are 11 restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine options, and multiple meeting rooms and event spaces also make this a solid choice for conferences, though there is a fee for Wi-Fi. There's some construction in the area that may mar the quiet or views, but in general, this is a well kept hotel at a decent price with lots of amenities.
This 376-room luxury property is considered by many to be the most exclusive hotel in Abu Dhabi. Located a short drive from downtown, the property feels removed from the hustle and bustle, but is still near tourist attractions on Saadiyat Island. Guests receive personal butler service and have access to a private white sand beach. Facilities are beautiful and extensive, and include a spa with mosaic tile hot tubs, three restaurants, and four outdoor pools. Rooms are large and all have balconies with great views. Families will enjoy the kids' club and children's pool with waterslide, while business travelers have 13 meeting rooms at their disposal. Some complain that the on-site restaurants are expensive, but perhaps that's to be expected in this caliber of hotel.
The Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi is a sleek, 281-room luxury hotel near the Zayed Sports City Stadium. Like the rest of the interiors, rooms are fresh and spacious, with top-notch amenities, though extra fees for Wi-Fi and breakfast can be disappointing. The outdoor pool and gorgeous spa with an indoor pool, hot tub, and adjacent fitness center are standout features. There are also two restaurants on-site, including an upscale Pan Asian eatery, plus a tea lounge and two stylish bars. While the hotel is overall a solid choice, those put off by noisy weekend pool parties should check out the comparable, yet more striking Hyatt Capital Gate nearby.
The 301-room upscale Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, is a value option located amid a cluster of five-star hotels in Abu Dhabi's Between the Bridges area, on the shores of beautiful Maqtaa Creek. Less lavish than its neighbors, the Traders offers comfort and space, as well as signing privileges at the fancier Shangri-La Hotel, with whom it shares a private beach. The Traders is well located for sightseeing. Rooms are clean, spacious, and modern.
Al Raha Beach Hotel is a luxury property built in 2005, with 254 rooms across two buildings, as well as 24 villas. It’s on a private beach, although fans of natural beauty will be disappointed as there’s no sweeping sea view here -- merely a creek and a man-made wall. The location is a little isolated as it’s out of downtown Abu Dhabi, but the hotel provides free shuttles to the malls, and free car parking too. There are good facilities on-site, including a great spa, large pools, and five restaurants. Guest rooms here are large, with minibars and generously sized bathtubs, but nothing special in terms of decor. The hotel is a good option for families, as it provides luxury for the adults and great facilities for kids, including a kids' club and separate children's pool. Those looking for super-sleek contemporary style should consider the Yas Viceroy.
Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi is a 31-story, 276-room luxury hotel set in the bustling downtown Corniche District. A 2014 renovation brought plenty of polish to the property, particularly in the numerous and excellent eateries, which include the city's only revolving lounge. Refreshed rooms are bright and contemporary, some with stunning views, though others are awaiting a revamp, as is the outdoor pool area. Overall, it's a solid central hotel with few surprises and plenty of perks. However, travelers may prefer the larger pool at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, but the rates there are higher.
The 397-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island is an upscale, albeit generic, property near Marina Circuit and Ferrari World. However, downtown Abu Dhabi is about a 30-minute drive away. Rooms are spacious and contemporary, though chain-like, outfitted with balconies, kettles, desks, and modern bathrooms, plus Nespresso machines and iPod docks in upgraded rooms. Varied dining includes Belgian and Italian eateries, and there are two bars. Overhead plane noise can be an issue and pool areas get crowded, but a pleasant spa, modern fitness center, and free Wi-Fi are upsides. Travelers wanting a resort feel that's downtown should check out Le Meridien, which also has a private beach.