Rotana’s latest opening in Abu Dhabi is one of the most luxurious five-star openings in the UAE. As you enter the spacious marble lobby of Rotana Saadiyat Resort & Villas, light streams in through floor-to-ceiling windows looking over the tranquil grounds with design features that pay tribute to local heritage, with space left to allow the native turtles to thrive. Within the grounds, the swimming pool is adorned with statues of the amphibians, indicating the emphasis on ecology and conservation. With a bridge over the swimming pool flowing naturally to the beach club and golden beach as far as the eye could see, this soon became my favourite corner of the capital.
Check-in took place in the privacy of the Club Lounge, allowing a discreet process before being whisked away to the suite. Working with natural contours and light woods, our home for the weekend had a beach house feel, with sea views enhancing the ambience. Both the living area and bedroom offer separate balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing a tremendous amount of natural daylight to stream in.
The living area & bedroom offer separate balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing a tremendous amount of natural daylight to stream in
The suite has a real sense of purpose, tying in all of the coastal elements to create a resort feeling that you don’t often get in the UAE – and I would have expected to have had to travel overseas to experience. The wall in both the bedroom and the living area display paintings of turtles, nodding to Saadiyat beach, which hosts a number of Hawksbill turtle nests every year – a critically endangered species. Guests can sometimes have the opportunity to visit the turtles, or see them nesting from the boardwalk.
During a weekend stay, The Market Brunch is a must. Set up and laid out like a traditional town square, many of the delicious delicacies are placed between bags of spices, fruit and vegetables creating the ambience of a bustling market. One of the signature elements to this brunch is the fresh seafood counter where you select the fresh fish to be cooked on the barbecue. Select your live lobster, indulge in oysters or choose from an excellent variety of fish – the tuna steak is highly recommended and sliced as thick as you fancy.
Your evening is best spent at the Turtle Bay Bar & Grill, offering some of the most delicious seafood and steaks available in Abu Dhabi. I would highly recommend the Wagyu Sirloin, easily one of the best steaks I’ve enjoyed in a long time. Accompanied with sour cream mashed potatoes, it was an incomparable experience, especially when followed by the menu’s decadent chocolate fondant – a perfect finale to the meal. Following a day of relaxation and indulgence it was time to retire to the comfort of a king bed and take some time to rejuvenate for the next day. The hotel is a gem and I don’t envisage my next stay being too far in the future.
WHAT: Club Rotana Suite
WHERE: Rotana Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
TEL: +971 2 697 0000