Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a dynamic city that blends old-world tradition and contemporary elegance. And this is mirrored in the hospitality scene. Here, you’ll find hotels renowned for their opulent design, where grandeur is a given and superior service is a standard. So whether you’re seeking panoramic views of the glistening Persian Gulf, access to exclusive shopping precincts, or state-of-the-art wellness facilities, there is a wealth of options in the capital. Here are the top Abu Dhabi hotels for an unforgettable vacation.
We hope you love these Abu Dhabi hotels we recommend. Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
Qasr Al Sarab
In the Rub’ al Khali or Empty Quarter, the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a secluded oasis just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi. It’s easy to see why producers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens chose to film here as the location offers breathtaking panoramas of the Liwa Desert, making it an ideal retreat for those seeking tranquility and adventure in equal measure. The resort’s architecture is reminiscent of traditional Bedouin forts and each of the 140 rooms, 14 suites, and 53 pool villas have scenic desert views. The service here is impeccable. Other draws include the palm-line swimming pool, the Anantara Spa (with desert-themed treatments such as rose, rhassoul, and argan oil body scrubs), and the range of immersive experiences such as falcon shows, guided star gazing, and camel riding.
Qasr Al Sarab : Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Al Mirayr, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Telal Resort Al Ain
This splendid boutique resort is approximately a 90-minute drive from Dubai and a 60-minute drive from Abu Dhabi, making it an accessible retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is also easy to reach by standard cars, so there’s no need for a SUV. The Telal Resort Al Ain is a sanctuary of opulence and a testament to the region’s rich heritage. The resort sits in the vast Remah Desert, which was once home to the nomadic Bedouin tribes and one of the best places to star gaze. From rooms with views of the stunning desert sunset to private villas with outdoor swimming pools, the resort caters to every kind of luxury traveler. Each of the 24 rooms is tastefully decorated, reflecting the region’s traditional aesthetics while providing modern comforts and amenities. There are a plethora of recreational activities for its guests. Adventure seekers can partake in outdoor activities such as desert safaris, while those who prefer a relaxing vacation can retreat to the wellness center. Additionally, the resort houses two outdoor pools (one with a waterfall), perfect for a refreshing dip under the desert sun.
Telal Resort Al Ain : Remah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The Abu Dhabi EDITION
If you’d prefer something a little closer to the city, consider The Abu Dhabi EDITION in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi. Overlooking the stunning Al Bateen Marina, this five-star hotel is conveniently close to local restaurants, cafes, and is just a short drive from the city center, making it an ideal choice for both leisure and business travelers. The sleek modern exterior design of the building is continued into the 198 rooms and 57 residences. Each is designed with minimalistic elegance and offers breathtaking city or marina views. Guests can enjoy a great outdoor pool with a hot tub, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a three-level Annex entertainment venue. If you’re going all out, the two-bedroom Royal Penthouse is as luxurious as it gets and has a spectacular terrace.
The Abu Dhabi EDITION : Marina, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This is one of the oldest hotels in the emirate and remains one of the most popular. The central location, direct mall access, and family-friendly services bring together convenience and luxury. Just 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 90 minutes from Dubai International Airport, the Beach Rotana offers convenient access for international travelers. Catering to a variety of guests, the Beach Rotana has a nice range of rooms and suites. Each accommodation option is designed with attention to detail, ensuring the aforementioned blend of comfort and elegance. The hotel also houses the Beach Rotana All Suites, perfect for those traveling with a family or group requiring a more homely stay. Amenities don’t disappoint either, there’s a small private beach, a temperature-controlled pool, a full-service spa, and a free kids’ club.
Beach Rotana : 10th St, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is famed for its private stretch of sand and beach club with lap pool and Treasure Island kids’ club. The five-star sits on the Corniche Road and is within walking distance from Emirates Palace and the Founding Father Memorial. Guests can choose from a wide range of rooms and suites, with prices varying depending on the room type and season. It’s recommended to check the hotel’s official website for seasonal deals. If this is out of your budget, you can visit The Nation Riviera Beach Club and spend the day enjoying the facilities.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi : Nation Tower, Corniche Corniche Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental
Situated on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental is a luxury five-star hotel that is arguably one of the best examples of the exceptional hospitality in Abu Dhabi. It is also renowned for its breathtaking sea and city views. The airport is only a short 40-minute drive from the hotel, and if coming from Dubai, it’s only 90 minutes away. The suites here are some of the finest in the Emirates, and all come with outdoor terraces or balconies and a 24-hour butler service. There is a huge array of facilities including a private marina, an excellent kids’ club, and a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant.
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental : West Corniche Road, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers
This stunning hotel is in the exclusive beachside district of Ras Al Akhdar, mere steps away from the celebrated landmarks of Emirates Palace and the Corniche. There is nothing subtle about the design of the hotel. Its 69-storey towers, Swarovski-crystal chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling glass, and amethyst-encrusted elevators pack a punch. Amenities at the Conrad are nothing short of top-tier. The hotel is home to 12 dining outlets and bars, three outdoor pools (including a swim-up bar), a private beach, and an observation deck offering the best views over the city.
Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers : Corniche Rd, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The top things to do in Abu Dhabi
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: This architectural masterpiece is one of the world’s largest mosques with a capacity for over 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers, and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet.
- Abu Dhabi Corniche: The Corniche Road spreads across an impressive five miles of manicured waterfront that includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants, and the Corniche Beach.
- Yas Mall: Located in the heart of Yas Island, Yas Mall is the UAE’s second-largest shopping centre. It offers an incredible shopping, dining and entertainment experience for residents and tourists alike.
- Observation Deck at 300: Offering the highest vantage point of Abu Dhabi, this observation deck provides stunning cityscape views.
- Etihad Towers: This is a complex of buildings with five towers in Abu Dhabi, the tallest of which is Tower 2, a 305 meter-tall skyscraper.
- Yas Waterworld: This is a water park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It features a range of thrilling rides, slides, and attractions.
How many days in Abu Dhabi is enough?
The number of days needed to explore Abu Dhabi depends on your interests and pace. However, for most travelers, a three to four day trip is usually sufficient to cover the main attractions. This includes a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Etihad Towers, Yas Island, and the Emirates Palace.
What is the best part of Abu Dhabi to stay?
- Yas Island: The area is considered the best for families due to the endless entertainment opportunities available here.
- The Corniche: The Corniche offers the best of both worlds, a beach and the city’s urban side. It is also home to the St. Regis.
- Downtown near the beach: This is where the main tourist neighborhood is based.
- Khaldiyah Park: An outstanding location to enjoy with the family, with beautiful gardens for a picnic or a barbecue.