Arrival/Check-In: Unfortunately, I fell ill during my trip to Dubai, and the ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi felt much longer than one hour. Needless to say, I was quite happy when my Uber pulled up in front of the expansive Al Raha Beach Hotel. I must say, however, if there’s anything that could make a sick traveler feel better, it’s the waterfront views at Al Raha. I was equally pleased with the efficient check-in and thankful for the escort to my room, which meant I didn’t have to aimlessly wander the large property in search of my guestroom.
Guest Quarters: Al Raha is located outside of the city center, which makes it better suited to leisure travelers; however, as my meetings were between the city center and the airport, it was a convenient location. Situated along the Arabian Gulf, it feels removed from the city’s hustle and bustle, despite being close enough for guests to easily transfer in and out of Abu Dhabi proper.
Depending on your room location, prepare for a bit of a walk between the various hotel offerings. Aside from the serene view, the highlight of my guestroom was the spacious bathroom, offering a walk-in rain shower and more than enough room to spread out. A king-sized bed was flanked on either side by nightstands and sat across from an entertainment center with a flat-screen TV. A small sitting area and the desk sat near the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Services/Amenities: My one-night stay was too brief to make use of all the resort’s amenities, but my colleague and I did have a chance to enjoy lunch by the pool between meetings. The hotel offers nine on-site dining and entertainment options, as well as numerous meeting and event spaces. The hotel also has a private beach.
The Kids Club & Playground is attractive for traveling families, as is the by-request babysitting service and on-site shopping mall and cinema. I appreciated the many wellness offerings, even without time to use them: a spa, fully equipped gym, water sports, salon, squash courts, Jacuzzi and an 18-hole golf course nearby.
◆ The sumptuous breakfast buffet is certainly worth a visit. The ample offerings ensure business or leisure travelers can fuel up for the day ahead.
◆ I appreciated the hotel’s proximity to the airport. I had a late-night flight and was able to stay in my room until just before leaving for the airport, despite only having booked a one-night stay.
◆ The beach views just outside my window tempted, but the desk was situated so my back was to the windows, helping this business traveler stay focused.
Al Raha Beach Hotel
P.O. Box 38616
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
tel 971 2 508 0555
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