Take a look at the most romantic 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 outstanding, five-pearl Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotel sits on Al Maryah Island, separated from Abu Dhabi's main downtown area by a bridge spanning a narrow strip of water. Despite the slight isolation from the rest of the city, this stylish tower is one of the top luxury hotels in the United Arab Emirates, with great views and excellent dining options. There's an outdoor pool, but the posh spa, wine cellar, and shisha lounge leave little for families with kids, making this a better option for romance or business. The 189 modern rooms are decked out in rich natural wood, with huge flat-screens and enviable bathrooms that have soaking tubs along with big rainfall showers. Featuring a private beach, the equally impressive Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, is one of its few rivals.
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 four-pearl Southern Sun Abu Dhabi is one of the highest-rated in the city. It lacks the spectacle of the luxury towers and has relatively modest facilities, but its large rooms outclass much of the competition with comfortable living areas, rainfall showers, and soaking tubs (though some may not enjoy the glass walls that limit privacy). Though small, there's a rooftop sundeck with a pool and bar, along with great dining options that include a shisha lounge and a sushi bar. It's worth comparing rates at the equally lauded Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi.
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.
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.
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.
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.