Rosewood Abu Dhabi Hotel Review: Modern Palatial Luxury on Al Maryah Island

Palatial was a word that I just couldn’t decide if I should use to describe Rosewood Abu Dhabi, but I did. It’s a word which means relating to or resembling a palace and while Rosewood Abu Dhabi doesn’t quite look like what we imagine a palace to be, the truth is that in this new modern world – we may need to rethink as to just what a palace or palace like ultra modern structure may look and feel like. In my opinion, that feeling was certainly felt while staying at Rosewood Abu Dhabi. It’s impressive, very modern, refined and you leave feeling like royalty.

From the moment you arrive at the front doors of Rosewood Abu Dhabi you just know it’s going to be special. The door staff are incredibly helpful, the reception check-in is swift and despite our early arrival the room was still ready and prepared at midday.

Passing through the lobby on the way to our room we briefly got to experience some of this hotels luxuries. Tranquil water features, an impressive hallway towards the lift and seating to make you stand out. I must say they have the lighting in the hotel absolutely perfect – even the lifts themselves were very lovely inside. Though I won’t bore you with those photos.

We stayed in one of the hotels deluxe rooms which was both simple, yet elegant. Equipped with all the mod-cons and accessories. The entire room is controlled by a tablet, something which took us a while to get used to but which turned out to be very convenient. Especially when using to draw the curtains open in the morning without having to leave my bed – revealing magnificent views across the gulf. There was also some lovely sweets waiting for us and only the best in-room spa products from Roberto Cavalli. There’s also a rain shower and huge tub which can be opened up into the bedroom.

Staying at Rosewood Abu Dhabi for two nights we quickly unpacked and went on to explore. At the centre of the hotel is the opulent Majlis Lobby Lounge. Here you can simply sit and watch the world go by out of the floor-to-ceiling windows, or my favourite – enjoying some of the many cakes and chocolates arranged on the dessert table.

Arguably the most spectacular and striking element of the hotel is its outdoor swimming pool. Pristine turquoise blue waters which overlook the Arabian gulf and sun loungers dotted all around it. The views are magnificent and tiny birds seem to be regular visitors to the pool, soaking up some much-needed shade in the 39 degrees we had to endure – and it’s only just April. You can also enjoy shisha around the pool with a trolley ready to wheel it over to you.

As soon as the sun starts to set, the pool area is transformed into a cocktail bar. Illuminated by lights with a bar at the centre of the action. The atmosphere here during the evening is very infectious. We enjoyed it with a glass of wine and some outstanding samosas filled with spices and wagyu beef.

For dinner we dined at the hotels Lebanese restaurant, Sambusek. A sumptuous, modern dining room which turned out to be the best Lebanese dining experience we’ve so far enjoyed across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There’s no fuss to the food or silly presentation, instead it’s all about flavour. This smoked hummus pictured above was rather legendary. Read all about my full experience at Sambusek. Next on my list to visit is the gorgeous looking Dai Pai Dong downstairs beneath the hotel and the yet to open Madison & Park – the latter currently shrouded in secrecy.

Rosewood Abu Dhabi is also home to a little well-kept secret – the Manor Club. It’s a club lounge so special in fact that it deserves its own separate article. Read all about my experience of the Manor Club and find out why it’s so exciting and everything it has to offer. But shhhh – it’s a secret!

We skipped dinner on our second night, mostly because we enjoyed a very lovely lunch at Zuma next door and instead visited the hotels wine bar La Cava for a wine tasting. Here we were treated to three glasses of different wines from across the globe and each once introduced by expert sommeliers. The lounge has won countless awards over the years and is regarded as one of Abu Dhabi’s best places to enjoy a glass of wine or two.

Decor wise La Cava is absolutely beautiful and is the perfect place to spend not just a Wednesday evening for the La Cava Cellar Series tasting, but every night and each day brings a new experience. We feasted on Spanish tapas, hams, cheeses and even homemade chocolates and sweets. Just don’t forget to visit the hidden cigar lounge to finish off your evening.

Admittedly we woke up with a rather sore head from the night before, but after all – what’s a holiday without a good time? We had such an enjoyable experience at Rosewood Abu Dhabi and it really did create a memory to cherish. The hotel is also directly attached to an extremely luxurious shopping mall, which came in very handy more than once. I can’t wait to return to this hotel and highly recommend it to anyone looking to visit Abu Dhabi. We’re already planning a Christmas 2017 return.


    • April 26, 2017 / 8:30 pm

      glad you agree!

  1. Stephanie Gray
    April 26, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    The only thing I didn’t like when I stayed is that due to the design of the hotel, the pool area is entirely in the shade. Obviously not a problem for the mostly business people staying there but if like me you want to lounge around achieving a tan/sun damage with a healthy dose of vitamin D it’s a bit of a problem

    • April 27, 2017 / 11:15 am

      Hi Stephanie,

      Completely agree actually! Didn’t really think about it until now. I found myself moving around the pool area as the sun moved. Could be a little chilly in the pool too when in the shade. I’m heading back in December and apparently the pool is very well heated so that may make a nice difference to stay in it for lounger with the sun on my face.