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Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi 4.5

Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Convenient business district location with private beach 
  • Air-conditioned rooms with jetted tubs, minibars, and flat-screen TVs
  • Heated outdoor pool with expansive deck space plus Beach Club
  • 11 on-site restaurants and 24-hour room service
  • Large gym, fitness classes, personal training, and tennis/squash courts 
  • Full-service spa with massages, steam, sauna, and whirlpool tub
  • Kids Club, kiddy pool, and outdoor playground
  • 12 event rooms available for meetings or receptions

Cons

  • Some rooms are small
  • Smoking allowed in rooms (pro for some)
  • Construction noise in the area
  • Beach is narrow
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Fee for breakfast (free for Club Rotana Lounge members)

Bottom Line

The Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi is an upscale, 565-room hotel attached to the Abu Dhabi Mall. It faces the Arabian Sea, making it feel like more of a resort hotel than other properties in the downtown area. The sizable private beach along with the Beach Club gives guests abundant opportunities to be active or relax. Rooms range from the smaller Classic Room to spacious Royal Suites, and all have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning. There are 11 restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine options, and multiple meeting rooms and event spaces also make this a solid choice for conferences, though there is a fee for Wi-Fi. There's some construction in the area that may mar the quiet or views, but in general, this is a well kept hotel at a decent price with lots of amenities. 

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Scene

Downtown business hotel with relaxed resort vibe

The Beach Rotana is more of an inner-city hotel with a beach than a beach hotel in the city, and while it has all the amenities of a downtown hotel, there's the added bonus of a Beach Club making it win-win for work and relaxation. The first of the Beach Rotana properties to be built, this hotel has two separate wings: the Beach Wing and the Tower Wing. From the street, it's difficult to tell just how large the property actually is as the entranceway and white facade look rather unassuming and small compared to all the tall downtown buildings surrounding it. However, the property extends back and takes over a good amount of space with the deck and beach areas. It's popular with business travelers thanks to its central location and meeting rooms, but the general feeling around the hotel is definitely more relaxed.

The lobby is large and round, with patterned marble floors and dark wooden pillars capped by a high ceiling decorated with sun-like glass. A grand piano and plentiful couches and chairs also make it a nice place to relax, and there are plenty of additional common spaces throughout the hotel, giving guests the opportunity to spread out beyond their private rooms. The grounds consist of primarily palm trees, grass, and tile, but are well laid-out, and add to the resort atmosphere. 

Location

Located in the main business district, adjacent to the Abu Dhabi Mall

The Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi is located downtown, making it especially convenient for those travelers in town for work. Home to the prestigious Abu Dhabi Trade Centre complex, this hotel is also directly linked by an exclusive passageway to the gargantuan Abu Dhabi Mall, which features a six-screen cineplex. On one side of the hotel is the beach overlooking Al Maryah Island, while on the other side of the hotel is a busy main road with many shops and offices. Unfortunately, this road has seen better days and needs considerable renovation. There is also a large construction site to the south of the hotel. The property is about 30 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport and 90 minutes from Dubai International Airport. 

Rooms

Clean and comfortable rooms with jetted tubs and modern amenities, some with balconies

The rooms in this hotel vary greatly in size depending on room category and location within the hotel's two wings, but all are well-maintained. Rooms for guests with mobility issues are also available. Most have plain beige walls, some wood paneling, dark-wood furniture, and the occasional shot of color in the form of curtains, throw pillows, and bed skirts. Modern amenities include flat-screen TVs with digital channels, iPod docks, electric kettles, air-conditioning, and minibars; free bottled water is also provided, but in-room Wi-Fi costs extra and is expensive. Bathrooms are indulgent, with separate deep soaking jetted tubs and showers, large sink areas, bidets, and marble walls and floors. Plush bathrobes and L'Occitane toiletries are also provided. Some rooms have balconies and though ocean views are advertised in some, the waveless water is narrow and bordered with high-rise buildings. There is construction noise in some of the rooms owing to large projects nearby, so guests should request a room away from the building site. 

Features

Kid-friendly amenities plus private beach, pool, fitness center, full-service spa, and meeting rooms

The Beach Club is a highlight of this property although memberships are sold to non-guests. Along with a private beach there are a ton of facilities, which include three floodlit all-weather tennis courts, two squash courts, and a watersports center with scuba instruction. There's also free Wi-Fi at the club, making it an especially attractive place to hang out considering the service costs extra in rooms. There's also a  huge temperature-controlled outdoor swimming pool surrounded by abundant deck space and lounge chairs. Adjacent palm trees and a grassy knoll make the area feel a bit more lush and less desert-like in spite of the often warm temperatures outside. 

The Bodylines Fitness & Wellness center at this hotel is impressive, and features a large gym with multiple cardio machines, circuit equipment, and a full set of free weights along with fitness classes and personal training services. Zen the Spa -- the full-service pampering facility at the Beach Rotana -- offers a variety of services, ranging from massages to facials to body wraps. The unfussy spa also features relaxation areas, a steam room, a sauna, and a whirlpool tub. 

There are 12 event rooms at this hotel that are perfect for large functions, conferences, or weddings and receptions. The largest space -- the Grand Ballroom -- can host up to 1,200 people.

Families can drop their kids off for supervised play at the Kids Creche (which has all kinds of books, activities, and games), or take them to the fantastic outdoor playground, which includes an impressive faux dinosaur fossil ready for climbing. The Kids' Pool is a nice size and shallow so all ages can play there safely. 

Food

Eleven on-site restaurants covering just about every cuisine imaginable 

The Rotana offers a huge selection of restaurants -- 11 in total -- serving a wide variety of cuisines. Breakfast is generally not included, but guests who stay in the Royal Suites and those who have Club Rotana Lounge privileges can get free breakfast in the lounge, which also offers free evening cocktails later in the day. And room service is available 24 hours a day. 

The choice of restaurants varies, but the quality is generally top-notch. The Bay View has great views of the beach and light fare, with a swim-up bar and a fun happy hour in the evenings. Essence at the Beach Rotana offers general International cuisine throughout the day in a bright, relaxed, open-air market setting. The restaurant features live cooking stations, including an indoor bakery, a Tandoor oven, and stations with sushi and salads prepared to order. 

The more upscale Rodeo Grill offers a terrific steakhouse experience for diners and is open at lunch and dinner. Slate walls, Western murals, heavy armchairs, and an expansive wine cellar give this space a more masculine feel. There's also a wood-burning stove. 

Indigo is a colorful Indian-fusion restaurant with an open kitchen, warm colors, and a wooden bar.  Open for lunch and dinner, the menu features biryani, kebabs, and chaat (North Indian snack-style street food). Finz serves seafood in a space with high ceilings and abundant windows with water views. 

Brauhaus is the only German restaurant in Abu Dhabi. Open for lunch, dinner, and Happy Hour, the dark wooden interior with animal pelts on the walls, wooden bar stools along with a wide selection of German draft beers may make guests feel like they're in Bavaria rather than the desert (though the temperatures in the authentic outdoor Beer Garden will probably ruin that fantasy fairly quickly). 

The Benihana is a branch of the Japanese-American chain restaurant and hosts a live Teppanyaki cooking experience with a wide range of sushi, sashimi, Makimono, steaks, seafood, chicken, and fresh vegetables prepared right in front of guests. There's indoor and outdoor seating, and the decor includes abundant use of the color red, giving it a lively feel. Another chain, Trader Vic's is a Polynesian restaurant with a serious island feel. There is even a traditional Polynesian outrigger canoe hanging from the ceiling adding to the vibrant atmosphere. Though it serves dinner nightly, the bar is also open late and live music is standard here (usually with a Latin American flair). The menu includes vegetarian, prix fixe, a la carte, and even bar/snack options. 

Prego's is a bright and airy Italian option decorated with cheese wheels and bottles of vinegar. The menu includes pastas that are freshly made on a daily basis, and wood-fired pizzas. This restaurant is also open for dinner and features the first Italian wine bar in the city, Enoteca, which includes a deli selling imported Italian snacks.

Located in the grand circular lobby, Cafe Columbia serves coffee, tea, and a wide variety of snacks and pastries from an a la carte menu pretty much all day and evening. Also, in the lobby of the Beach Wing is The Cafe at the Suites, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves a varied a la carte menu with similar offerings as at the Cafe Columbia. 

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Address

Al Zahiyah Area, Connected to Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi 45200, United Arab Emirates

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