Convenient downtown location next to Abu Dhabi Mall
Private beach with loungers under umbrellas
Rooms have flat-screen TVs, bathrobes, and minibars
Some rooms have modern decor, furnished balconies, and sitting areas
Two outdoor pools and a kiddy pool
Restaurant village includes Greek and Thai eateries, and bars
Spa with Ayurvedic and Balinese treatments and plunge pools
Fitness center, and tennis and squash courts
Club-level guests get free breakfast, appetizers, and cocktails
Free parking and property-wide Wi-Fi
Some dated interiors
Beach is small
Complaints of noise from bars and nightclubs
Tennis and squash courts, and spa access require fees for non-Club-level guests
Basic Wi-Fi is slow
The 234-room Le Meridien Abu Dhabi is an upscale, beachfront hotel right by Abu Dhabi Mall, on the eastern end of downtown. It's showing some age and has some dated decor, but traditional Arabian accents are charming and features are extensive. Rooms vary between old-fashioned and modern, but all have minibars, kettles, and flat-screen TVs, and some add furnished balconies. A private beach and outdoor pools are popular spots fo relax, and guests can make use of an expansive spa and extensive dining includes Italian, Greek, and buffet eateries. On the downside, private parties can get loud, free Wi-Fi is slow, and the location isn't very walkable. Resort-seekers might also want to consider The Khalidiya Palace, which is more modern and has tons of family-friendly features.
Mix of dated and modern interiors at this downtown resort
One of Abu Dhabi's older hotels, Le Meridien has a mix of dated and modern interiors. Despite showing its age, there's a charm to Arabian-influenced interiors that provide a refreshing change from the city's luxury properties with extensive glass and glitzy fixtures. The atrium-style lobby has traditional keel arches, wall murals and patterned marble floors, and gold-topped columns next to potted palm trees. Dining and leisure facilities are clustered in "Le Meridien Village," which is beyond the main building amidst lush grounds. Restaurant decor reflects the cuisine offered, so expect taverna touches from bright check-clothed tables in the Greek restaurant and walls hung with jerseys at NRG Sports Cafe. Visitors largely come here for the resort feel within a downtown setting, though some relaxation can be hindered due to late-night bar noise.
Le Meridien is one of the few hotels offering a beachfront, downtown location, though the stretch of sand is small and walking to area attractions is difficult. Just a five-minute walk down the road is Abu Dhabi Mall, and there are many restaurants and bars in the immediate surrounds. Al Mariyah Island and its mall are a five-minute drive away, while cultural district and leisure complex, Saadiyat, is a 12-minute drive. Yas Island, Ferrari World, and the gorgeous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are within a 30-minute drive. Abu Dhabi International Airport is 35 minutes away by car, without traffic.
Rooms have either modern, sleek decor, or worn and dated furnishings. The former have a monochrome palette with lots of geometric patterns and metal finishes, with the occasional pop of yellow or orange from throw pillows or wall cutouts. Older rooms, meanwhile, have patterned carpets and clashing curtains, walls painted green or mauve, and traditional gold-framed artwork. Nevertheless, amenities are sufficient across the board, consisting of flat-screen TVs, kettles, bottled water, and minibars, as well as desks, safes, ironing facilities, air-conditioning, and free basic-speed Wi-Fi. Many have furnished balconies, some of which are huge. Suites come with living rooms. Cream-tiled bathrooms have shower/tub combos, bidets, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryers, and toiletries.
Outdoor pools, beach, and extensive clustered dining
A big draw here is the small stretch of private beach that's outfitted with loungers and umbrellas. Additional lounging is available at the two outdoor pools, one of which is freeform and the other a training pool that's good for laps. A separate shallow pool is available for kids. An expansive spa has treatment rooms for Ayurvedic and Balinese-inspired treatments, as well as a Turkish hammam, sauna, and plunge pools at varying temperatures -- including one under a lovely glass dome. A bright fitness center has all the necessary equipment for a workout, plus there are squash and tennis courts. Unfortunately, use of the courts and spa facilities requires a fee for non-Club-level guests
Extensive dining is clustered in what's known as "The Village." Options range from Greek cuisine at Acropolis to Italian fare at Pappagallo. All-day buffet spreads are found at Latest Recipe, plus there are a sports bar and British-style pub. Guests with Club Lounge access get free breakfast and evening appetizers and cocktails. A ballroom and boardroom cater to meetings, parking is free and Wi-Fi is free throughout.
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