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What are the best hotels in Abu Dhabi

Updated on 28.04.2018

View of a sunset over Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Shangri-La Hotel Pool ©Odyfolio

Abu Dhabi offers a selection of high quality hotels with excellent value for money: along the corniche the establishments are pretty good, with very beautiful five stars. Hotels in Yas Island are good value for money, while those in Saadiyat Island are beautiful and all have direct access to the most beautiful beach in the country. With a large hotel offering, there are some very good deals to seize. And why not spend more time than expected in Abu Dhabi in a beautiful hotel?

The hotels in the city center: all prices, all qualities

Difficult to talk about downtown hotels without starting with the most illustrious of them, the Emirates Palace. This five-star hotel, which is also a major tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi, has a beautiful private beach and breathtaking views of the presidential palace. Depending on the season, prices range between 1000AED and 3000AED. In the same standing nearby are the Saint Regis, and the hotel Jumeirah at Etihad Towers (and its Residence version), or the Bab al Shams which should open soon. All these hotels are at the top in terms of quality and price. See also the Intercontinental which is still very lively at night with its bars and restaurants in the open air around the marina. If you want to be in this popular area and have five-star benefits, paying two to three times less, the Khalidiya Palace Rayhann by Rotana can be a very good compromise, just like the Hilton, which although being the oldest international hotel in Abu Dhabi, is still worth considering as it is one of the few in this price range to have a private beach on the Corniche.

At the opposite of the corniche to the North, other five-star hotels with an excellent value for money like the Sofitel, the Sheraton which is also quite old but has a plan of water with an artificial beach, the Royal Méridien which has a panoramic revolving restaurant (not to be confused with Le Méridien nearby, and which little by little is found enclosed in a motorway junction, but is an excellent place to have a drink or eat outside in shorts and clappers). In the same area with a good value for money, generally around 500AED by taking a little in advance, let us quote in bulk: the Hotel Millenium Corniche, the Crowne Plaza (Abu Dhabi center), or the brand new and trendy Southern Sun. Let's also mention an atypical hotel with excellent value for money (if you like the style of decoration): the Royal Rose.

A little farther from the corniche, other 4 and 5 star hotels offer a good level of services and good prices between 300AED and 500AED, like Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi with its large outdoor spaces, small beach overlooking a fairway, and direct access to Abu Dhabi Mall. Also The Grand Millenium which is glued to Al Whada Mall, the best mall in the city center. A few blocks further, the Marriott hotel Downtown, which has rates well below those usually practiced by the luxury chain of hotels elsewhere in the world.

There are many other hotels and it is not possible to list them all. If you book in Abu Dhabi with Booking.com (our affiliate partner), we advise you to filter the results with a score higher than 8.0, because considering the offer in the city, below this note a lot of hotels have a fairly average value for money. Take a good look at the photos, and look for newer hotels to seemingly aging establishments.

The hotels of Maryah Island: luxury at small price

Maryah Island is the new business island of Abu Dhabi, which thanks to its free zone hopes to attract many companies, including financial. It is located between the main island and Reem Island, another residential island. Maryah Island, it is also a small luxury mall (The Galeria) appreciated by the Emirati and Chinese shopping addicts, and many restaurants having the license of alcohol.

On this mushroom island begin to appear luxury hotels that tomorrow will attract businessmen and wealthy tourists. In the meantime, the first two 5-star hotels on the island charge moderate prices to fill their rooms awaiting the expected boom. The first is the excellent Rosewood, with a lounge overlooking Abu Dhabi that serves fine wines. The second, very recently opened, is the Four Seasons.

Hotels between the city center and the airport

Let's start with the Dusit Thani, which is a little out of the way, but conveniently located for business travelers. Then, in the district of Al Butan, several recent 4-star hotels that sometimes offer prices low enough to compensate for their location: include a Novotel, a Holiday Inn, a Al Loft, a Hilton, a Rotana. On the other hand, these hotels are very convenient if you go to one of the trade shows hosted at the Abu Dhabi Convention Center, which is pointed out from afar by the leaning tower of the Hyatt Capital Gate, which apart from the exhibitions and events is forced to sell off its excellent product.

In this intermediate zone, several hotels manage to make their mark by offering luxury and going out experience. This is the case of the Eastern Mangrove of the excellent Thai chain Anantara, located along the mangrove, with a beautiful waterfront promenade with restaurants, and direct access to the highway. This hotel is in direct price competition with another hotel in the area, Fairmont Bab Al Bhar, located on the edge of the canal connecting Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland. Then come in a higher price range the Ritz-Carlton, and just across the channel the Shangri La Qaryat Al Beri, which is one of the best hotels from the city, with a very good complex with traditional architecture. A tip if you want to stay at this resort by spending less, check out the Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri by Shangri-la.

Continuing on the road to the airport, The Westin is a very nice 5-star resort with a golf course that immerses you in lush greenery. Further afield on the other side of the highway are the Al Raha beach Hotel with its huge rooms, generally very popular with Middle Eastern customers; if you are looking for peace, you may need to inquire about the progress of the work in the area.

Yas Island hotels: relatively good value for money

Yas Island is the fastest growing leisure destination with its Formula 1 circuit, theme parks, giant shopping mall and golf course. The hotels were built primarily to welcome visitors during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Apart from this event where prices reach delirious heights, prices are affordable the rest of the year. Its iconic honeycomb-shaped hotel is the Yas Viceroy, which spans the Formula One circuit; generally low prices for sleeping in one of the iconic hotels in the country.

A few hundred meters around a square were erected six hotels of three different chains. The principle is simple: each hotel chain has created two twin hotels sharing the same outdoor spaces. The two best with golf, canal and mangrove views are Crowne Plaza Yas Island (very nice pool and bar always busy) and the Radisson Blue. Then overlooking the Viceroy Hotel we have the Yas Island Rotana, with a well-animated bar too. Their mid-range, twinned hotels are respectively Staybridge Suites, Park Inn and Centro Yas Island by Rotana.

Saadiyat Island hotels: turquoise waters and fine sand

It's the best of the best in Abu Dhabi (and in the country) for beach holidays. There is also a neighborhood to follow with many hotels that will open in the coming years. What makes it a unique destination is its wide natural beach which is sublime, refuge of turtles. For the moment, the first two hotels are setting the level very high. Unlike other hotels in the city, they have high demand and practice high prices all year round. In our opinion, if you are looking for the beach, it is a much better value than the Dubai Jumeirah or Fujairah hotels.

The first hotel of our selection is the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort located in a vast architectural complex including a hotel and residences with hotel services. The second, a bit smaller (and maybe even more exclusive) is the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, always with excellent amenities and a nice pool.

Hotel at the airport

The best value for a hotel in Abu Dhabi is the Premier Inn, rather intended to accommodate passengers in long transit, with an unbeatable rate around 200AED for a 3 star service of quality. If you want a little more charm, prefer Yas Island hotels that are 10 minutes drive from the airport.

What is the best hotel in Abu Dhabi

It's hard to say which is the best hotel in Abu Dhabi, given the city's high level offer. But if we had the choice without any money constraint, it was at the Zaya Nurai Island Resort that we would go. Not for its service or the luxury of its villas, which are in the middle of the country, but for its private and quiet character on an island not far from the city, with access by boat only. Prices vary depending on the season, but count on average between 3000AED and 4000AED per night.

How to book a hotel in Abu Dhabi

Internet forums frequently ask about the possibility for an unmarried couple to book a room in Abu Dhabi. Know that this is entirely possible, and that it is not necessary to have a marriage certificate. In fact the reservation is the same than most countries of the world, we will ask at check-in the identity and credit card used to secure the reservation, and block an amount for possible consumption.