SInce the building of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 circuit, this city has attracted some of the wealthiest jet set in the world, but all without the obvious glitz of Dubai. This is the understated cousin, the quiet but well educated cousin.
A group of us went out to The Fairmont on reccomendation to get some winter sun, and some Abu Dhabi fun.
One of my group (The outdoorsey type) also did what I would call an “off the beaten track” Kayak afternoon, where you go with a group and literally kayak your way through Abu DHabi creek and winding streams. Thats all a little outdoorsey for me, but should you be looking for the “adventurous” side of Abu Dhabi, rest assured that you have options.
So, the hotel. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is home to 369 rooms and suites which are all beautifully modern but still have a nod to the Arabian.
Truthfully, when I am in the UAE, I want the decor to reflect that in some way. No, you dont need to have over the top sterotype but just a sense that you are immersed in their design culture and this place has that.
The other is the Cedar Lounge which looks a little like a Japanese Zen garden with a huge water wall feature and bamboo seating areas for individual group tables. You can order Apple Shisha to compliment you Apple Martini (this was particularly good) and relax in a pre or post dinner vibe.
As a nice little addition, they have The Chocolate Gallery (Of coirse they do) where you can watch as chocolatiers craft chocolate treats in an artist studio or ‘atelier’. Now, I am not wild about chocolate particularly, though everyone I was with is and they went insane for the range of hot and iced chocolate beverages are and also cakes, truffles and pralines that you can eat on the terrace. Casual.
If you are looking for an Arabian destination, but dont want the glitz of Dubai or the quiet of Oman, I would say The Fairmont in Abu Dhabu is your bet.
The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr – Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, P.O. Box 114304