My husband and I are enjoying our last two days at Al Raha Beach Hotel. If you are looking for a good combination of city and beach/pool then this is the place to stay. You are approx 25k outside of the city centre in a relatively quiet area. There is a shuttle bus that is free and leaves for the city and various other attractions a couple of times daily. Cab fares are around £12 to city centre so the bus helps.
The hotel is very clean, the staff are very friendly and obliging and the rooms are quiet and very well insulated. Most, if not all, have a waterfront view. Our room is a good size, with an adequate balcony in the newer part of the hotel facing the villas. From here you have a nice view of the Abu Dhabi skyline. The bathroom is large and well appointed with a large rainshower and bath. There is a pillow menu and room service 24/7 if you require. AM cleaning and PM turndown with chocckies so you are very well looked after. Tea and coffee making with herbal teas as well, very impressed!
There is a beach, but it is not open sea, rather an inlet channel which is sandy so it gives you a taste of the sea. There are three pools outside and one indoors. The outside pools are children's, adult and a pool used by occupants of the villas (although if you ask very nicely, on days when the main pool is crowded you may be able to get access).
This hotel is used by 'outsiders' at weekends Thursday to Saturday evening. This means that people from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and surrounds come to use the facilities and may stay over. During the week the hotel is relatively quiet and relaxed. Even during the weekend it was not too crowded, but busier and you do need to plan if you want a quiet place by the pool. The indoor pool is lovely for an early evening swim, with male and female sauna, steam and jacuzzi. There are spa treatments, a hairdresser, gym and classes (Zumba and bikram yoga).
There are several restaurants and a coffee bar. As we had no meal option booked we opted to go to the mall next door to buy supplies such as bread and fruit and have breakfast on our balcony. Sometimes we went to cafe Mozart for a pastry, and ounces used the large buffet for all you can eat selection which has everything from fruit, continental, meat, dim sum, arabic, you name it. In the evenings we mostly went to Azur, a restaurant by the pool. From 5-6pm they have a happy hour which gives you 50% off, which is very good value. Also room service is good and not over priced. The room service staff have discount vouchers which give you up to 30% off the various restaurants and bars so do ask them (code word 'discount'). For the authentic arabic vibe take shisha by the pool with your evening cocktail. They create a festival type scene with bean bags and an open fire. A couple of nights there is Latino music, sadly no Arabic music.
Places to go....grand mosque, beautiful to see. The bus drops you there twice a day. The various malls are good for the usual chains, but even better if you want something different to wear, prices are comparable to the UK. The Emirates Palace for high tea is a must. Share one between two though because they are MASSIVE! Add a glass of champers for around £8. Book I. Advance or they may not let you in. Check out what's on at the Abu Dhabi theatre, we saw a great Islamic music concert which featured Sufi devotional songs.
Miraj exhibition of Islamic art. Interesting, but more of a shopping experience. I love Islamic art and there were a few interesting pieces there, some of which are for sale. They will gracefully show you a range of things you can buy. There are no pushy sales tactics but not quite the museum I expected.
We are off to the desert tomorrow for a couple of days so I will report back. Thank you AL Raha for a wonderful time so far, you have looked after us very well, certainly a five star experience!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in landscaped gardens along a stretch of white sandy beach, this palatial hotel is located on the Al Raha corniche. The property offers 254 rooms and suites including the brand new wing furnished with the ultimate in luxury. There are also 24 exclusive villas which have a choice of 2,3 or 4 bedrooms, located in a stunning seafront location adjacent to the main hotel building. The hotel boasts state of the art facilities, including the Body & Soul Spa & Recreation Club complete with temperature controlled outdoor and indoor pools, steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzis as well as a high tech gymnasium. If variety is the spice of life, dining choices abound from International dishes to exquisite twist of Mediterranean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Al Raha Beach Hotel Abu Dhabi