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Al Raha Beach Hotel 5.0

Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Luxury hotel with a private beach
  • Family-friendly, with kids' club, children's pool, and children’s menus
  • Extremely spacious guest rooms with large, elegant bathrooms
  • Five great restaurants to choose from
  • Free shuttles to the malls and free car parking
  • Small shopping mall next door to the hotel
  • Gorgeous pool area with a swim-up bar
  • Spa with healing pool, plus hair salon 
  • Free Wi-Fi in guest rooms and most public areas
  • Conference space and seven spacious meeting rooms

Cons

  • Breakfast not included in room rate
  • View from the beach is disappointing
  • Room decor is nothing spectacular
  • Some may find the location too isolated 

Bottom Line

Al Raha Beach Hotel is a luxury property built in 2005, with 254 rooms across two buildings, as well as 24 villas. It’s on a private beach, although fans of natural beauty will be disappointed as there’s no sweeping sea view here -- merely a creek and a man-made wall. The location is a little isolated as it’s out of downtown Abu Dhabi, but the hotel provides free shuttles to the malls, and free car parking too. There are good facilities on-site, including a great spa, large pools, and five restaurants. Guest rooms here are large, with minibars and generously sized bathtubs, but nothing special in terms of decor. The hotel is a good option for families, as it provides luxury for the adults and great facilities for kids, including a kids' club and separate children's pool. Those looking for super-sleek contemporary style should consider the Yas Viceroy.  

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Scene

Relaxed and family-friendly, with vast yet somewhat dated interiors 

The huge lobby at the Al Raha is a spectacular space, though some of its glitzy touches -- including golden-hued ceiling panels --have a dated feel. The tiled floor has an intricate pattern in bright colors; the ceiling has a large panel of colorful patterned glass; and the walls have elaborate wood paneling. There's also a large, wood-paneled reception desk decorated with a swirly pattern that's mimicked in the dizzying, multicolored carpeting. A cluster of basic beige and brown chairs sits beside a huge palm tree. The hotel has a relaxed, vacation feel, with action centering on the outdoor pools and beach, where guests lounge underneath thatched umbrellas or on stylish woven chairs shaded by palm trees. Some business travelers stay here, but it mainly attracts couples and families with young children; kids are warmly welcomed in the hotel's restaurants. 

Location

Easy beach access, but not walkable to Abu Dhabi’s attractions

Situated between Yas Island and downtown Abu Dhabi, the hotel is slightly isolated. The only local attraction is the small Al Raha Mall next door, so this property wouldn’t suit guests wanting to explore on foot. There’s also a distinctive disc-shaped office building nearby, which makes for an interesting focal point from the beach! Guests can reach Yas Marina, the Formula One racetrack, Yas Waterworld, and the Ferrari theme park in about 10 to 15 minutes. Abu Dhabi Airport is about 15 minutes by car, and Zayed National Museum is within a 30-minute drive. The hotel also provides free shuttles to Abu Dhabi’s major shopping malls. 

Rooms

Extremely spacious, with modern technology and great bathrooms

Rooms in the hotel’s main building are enormous, with lackluster decor that includes beige carpeting, simple wood furniture, and bed runners and curtains in shades of orange and green. Those in the newer wing are smaller, but have a slightly more modern design, complete with industrial-style lamps and wood-paneled walls with circular cutouts. All are air-conditioned and have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, minibars with free mineral water, safes, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Some have balconies with Gulf views. Beds are very large and have Egyptian cotton sheets. Cribs and connecting rooms are available for families. There are nice, high-tech touches like magic glass mirrors, and bedside digital displays that control air-conditioning, lighting, and alarms. Marble bathrooms are very large and elegant, with granite sinks, separate walk-in showers, and deep tubs. 

Features

Five good restaurants, spa with beach massages, and excellent pools

Most guests prefer the pools to the private beach, which is somewhat narrow and lacks sweeping views -- a small creek and concrete wall appear in the distance. There are plenty of comfortable, modern sun loungers and cabanas, though -- complete with call buttons for waiter service. The large outdoor pools are excellent, and set in immaculately maintained gardens with palm trees and fountains. There are also a separate children’s pool with waterslides, plus two indoor pools. The full-service spa has treatment rooms, a sauna, and steam room; massages on the beach can be arranged, and there’s a hair salon, too. Drinks are served at the beach bar, swim-up bar, and poolside bar, plus there’s a stylish Irish pub and an Arabian lounge-bar. Dining options include five restaurants: the Sevilla buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Azur, a fine-dining, poolside Mediterranean restaurant; 24-hour Cafe Mozart for modern European food; La Piscine for international dishes on the beachfront; and Black Pearl for snacks and drinks. Separate children’s menus are available at all the restaurants, with the exception of Black Pearl. The kids' club is free, as is Wi-Fi in some public areas. Business travelers can make use of the conference space and seven spacious meeting rooms. 

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Address

Al Raha Corniche, Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi 38616, United Arab Emirates

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