After recently returning from Abu Dhabi I wanted to share my visit with you!
I was lucky enough to begin my trip by travelling with the award winning airline, Etihad. We were in Business Class which was such an amazing experience; the service was outstanding and the seats reclined to fully flat beds. The cabin held approx 22 and had a very private feel to it with seat configurations to suit couples or passengers travelling alone.
There was a huge selection of inflight entertainment along with the 'Dine any time’ service which may I add has to be the best airline food I've had; the 7 hour flight seemed to go very quick!
Once arrived into Abu Dhabi we went through the airport very seamlessly - no queues at immigration...it was just the 40 degrees when we walked outside that hit us! We were met by our transfer company and whisked off to the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. My room was a Fairmont View Room - amazing! This room would suit business and leisure clients, with a large pool and private beach area. That evening we had dinner at the Italian Restaurant - Frankie’s. Food was fantastic and a good choice too.
Our next stop was to Saadiyat Island and Manarat Al Saadiyat Visitor Centre - here we saw what great plans Abu Dhabi has in store to develop this Island such as the Zayed Museum, the Louvre, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and an amazing Marina.
Whilst on Saadiyat Island we were fortunate enough to visit the iconic St Regis Hotel - words cannot describe how amazing this resort is! I was wowed from the minute I walked into the hotel! There are amazing views over the pristine white sand beaches and the spacious rooms featured a Mediterranean-style décor and all the home comforts including beds with luxury duvets and pillows, a TV, and an iPod docking station. The private bathroom comes with a double sink, a free-standing tub, a rain shower, and Remède toiletries.
Next pit stop was Ferrari World! The first Ferrari theme park and largest attraction of its kind, including rides for children of all ages, providing the complete Ferrari experience. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of Italian delicacies.
The day ended with a visit to the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa where the Mercedes F1 team stay.....and a favourite of Michael Schumacher! Views of the golf course can be enjoyed from all Westin’s open-plan rooms, which come with a flat-screen TV and Nespresso coffee maker. They have large floor-to-ceiling windows, luxurious bedding and a private bathroom with separate bath tub and shower. Guests can relax at the Heavenly Spa by Westin and the hotel has 6 restaurants, including a gourmet Moroccan restaurant
After a restful night’s sleep, the following morning we were picked up by our guide to be taken to the newly opened Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, an Anantara property located in Salam Street in Abu Dhabi. The hotel has an outdoor pool, sun terrace, spa centre and gym and provides a good location on the promenade where you can enjoy the walk into the Abu Dhabi tourist area and Malls which are approximately 2km away. The hotel has kept to a traditional Arabic feel which you can sense as you enter the hotel - again very urban and spacious with great amenities within the room overlooking the Mangroves.
We were also fortunate enough to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for a private tour. On arrival I had to don a black Abaya and headscarf which was provided...but was worth it to see this great monument. It was an amazing experience entering the main prayer hall with the largest handmade carpet in the world and white marble walls along with all the Swarovski crystal chandeliers. This mosque can hold over 40,000 worshippers at any one time!
My next hotel visit was to the Emirates Palace - reputedly the most expensive hotel ever built as original plans were for this to be an actual Palace. Tranquil, lavishly appointed rooms with views across the immaculate stunning private beach and marina.
We ended the day at the Jumeirah Etihad Towers situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi. The rooms here were very contemporary and stylish with state of the art technology - a remote control even to open and shut your curtains! We dined in the Lebanese Li Beirut serving contemporary Lebanese food which was exquisite.
Abu Dhabi takes great pride in its culture, history and its nationals. It is a country which is growing rapidly with great plans for the island to become a place to definitely visit - I certainly would like to return in years to come to have seen the change.
I would definitely recommend Abu Dhabi as a stop over or as a winter holiday – I am happy to discuss any details with you if you have an interest in the destination.