The Rosewood is one of my favourite hotel brands and it all stemmed from my first ever Rosewood experience in London. There aren’t that many in the world, but there are so many more set to open in 2018 and the coming years. When I was travelling to Abu Dhabi at the end of last year, I only had my eye on hotel and that was Rosewood Abu Dhabi.
A couple of people I knew had stayed there and couldn’t stop raving about it, but having done my own research it soon confirmed that Rosewood Abu Dhabi was where I wanted to stay. Although I was very tempted by my other favourite luxury hotel chain, Four Seasons which resides directly next door. With that in mind, I had no regrets finally choosing Rosewood Abu Dhabi because they showed us wonderful hospitality and a good time.
Arriving at the hotel, the exterior doesn’t quite prepare you for the what is waiting for you inside. I stepped out of the car and within minutes we were waited on hand and foot, where our luggage was taken out of the boot and we were escorted inside. As you enter, you get a lovely sweet scent that resides in the air of the hotel. The warming mahogany colour of the walls, the cream coloured interiors and the polished marbled flooring are perfectly matched, giving the hotel a modern luxurious look.
The staff were very friendly, making us feel welcome to the Rosewood Abu Dhabi. On check in, we asked if the two rooms we had booked were nearby, which they weren’t but they were quick to amend it and ensure they were round the corner from each other. They definitely value customer satisfaction.
We were given Manor Club access during our stay, which meant we had exclusive benefits and extras included in our stay. They offer an Artesianal breakfast selection, a dish of the day served at lunch, afternoon tea, evening tapas and cocktails. However, you can find snacks and refreshments available throughout the day. There is the option to also have an early check-in and late check out, which of course is dependant on availability. Further extras were 20% off Sense – the Rosewood’s Spa, complimentary pressing of clothing and a consolation with their in-house fitness instructors.
We arrived at lunchtime, so we were encouraged to go and have some lunch in the Manor Club, whilst the rest of the check-in process was completed and our rooms were finished up. The dish of the day that was served was roast chicken with chunky wedges and barbecue sauce or a healthy greek salad with feta cheese. I would have normally chosen the roast chicken but I decided to have the salad after so much indulgence, however I did try some of the roast chicken from my sister and parents. I was throughly impressed by both dishes, each had so much flavour which made them more enjoyable.
I loved the bar area in the Manor Club, it was small yet sleek and had all the essentials. The bartenders were able to muster up anything you could possibly want, as I did enjoy a Aperol Spritz in the evening. I may have not been in Italy, but the heat was enough to make me crave a good old Spritz.
If you fancied a game of pool in the evening or a game of chess whilst you had a drink, there was the opportunity to enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry.
The dining area of the Manor Club is extensive, with further in-formal seating of sofas and sets of arm chairs that enabled you to eat there too, if you wished. That’s where we had lunch and were thankful for that extra bit of comfort. The fridges are always stocked with an array of soft drinks, smoothies, VOSS water bottles (my favourite bottled water) and an array of milks, catering for guests with certain allergies or intolerances.
The Artesianal breakfast was delicious, offering a wide range of things from cereal, croissants, pastries, fresh salmon and fish, hash browns, chicken and beef sausages, whilst offering cooked breakfast menu too. It entitled of scrambled eggs, french toast with berries, waffles with vanilla cream and lemon curd and so many more things.
The bedrooms at Rosewood Abu Dhabi took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting them to be so, so large. I guess it really does put a lot of London hotels to shame. I thought it may have been because it was a deluxe twin room, however it wasn’t. Even my parents room with a king size bed in was just as large, absolutely unbelievable.
I loved the simple yet elegant decor that the hotel rooms had. The warm mahogany colour theme was continued into the room, with a really sleek touch. The electronics within the room were very modern, with a stand alone phone, iPod docking station that supported my iPhone 7 (a very rare occasion with most in-room docking stations) and an array of different mood lighting. Not forgetting being able to open and close the curtains with a push of a button on the iPad. Swoon…
There were also lots of ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhh’ moments when I noticed the decor stretched out to having books by two of my favourite luxury brands, Prada and Louis Vuitton. My mum thought it was absolutely hilarious when I was more interested in the books than anything else… Ooops!
After I managed to rescue my jaw after the room size surprise, I ran to the bathroom to see what products were on offer. If you read my hotel reviews regularly, you know that bathroom amenities are VERY important to me. I also think something as small as that can determine the quality of the hotel, bold statement I know. If I was being really honest, I was expecting L’Occitane, Hermès or Acqua Di Parma amenities – total first world problem. However, the weren’t any of what I had hoped, but there was Roberto Cavalli products. They wouldn’t have been my first choice like I said, but I forgave this small unimpressive moment because the hotel had been up to standard throughout.
I fell in love the bath, especially as it was perfect for someone who is rather tall and often doesn’t manage to fit in a regular bathtub. The elegance passed through to the bathroom that had boasted two sinks (I love it when a bathroom has two sinks), a separate shower and toilet area. It was the bathroom was a room itself with its many doors and sections.
As we were settling into our room, I heard a knock at the door and we were brought a lovely welcome gift from the pastry team which was a small platter of baklava and big, soft dates. I absolutely love baklava, so I was in my element.
Spa & Gym Facilities
The gym facilities were extensive, complete with a few personal trainers and a beautiful view out onto the outdoor area of the hotel from one side and views of the city from the other.
The Sense Spa was well equipped with a menthol steam room, sauna and jacuzzi. We didn’t feel like having any massages during our stay, but we did want some down time before dinner and the trio combined were the perfect way to open our pores and get some deserved relaxation in after exploring Dubai. The little touches in the spa were fantastic, like being brought over fresh, cold bottles of water whilst you were in the jacuzzi and ice-cold towels sitting on the side to keep your face feeling fresh.
The outdoor facilities were extensive with the gorgeous Glo bar, which often has different DJ’s and events going on which is great in the evening for a pre-dinner aperitif. If drinks aren’t your thing, you can hide out from the sun and warmth in their beautiful canopy areas and smoke shisha, a typical pastime in the UAE.
The biggest showstopper was the pool, complete with swimming lanes for those that want to have a good swim and separate areas for those that wish to just have a paddle. I loved the the four poster beds that ran across the poolside, which makes the perfect spot to soak up the sun and read your favourite book in ultimate comfort. Bliss!
We tried one of the Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s extensive number of restaurants, Sambusek. As it was a lovely warm evening, we dined outside, which had a beautiful marina style view across it and a buzzing atmosphere.
We started our meal with a few different juices along with some cold and hot mezze.
There was hummus with tahini, a platter of cheese sambusek (sambusek after often known as samosa), meat sambusek, fried kebbeh (which is minced meat mixed with pine nuts and fried in a wheat outer), spinach fatayer (a middle eastern spinach filled pie) and potato harrar which is cubed potatoes that are fried in olive oil with red peppers, coriander, chili, and garlic. All of the starters were extremely tasty with a delectable mix of chilli and spice that just worked so well.
For our mains we ordered the mixed grill with a side of fresh salad and flatbread. The mix grill consisted of shish kebab, shish taouk, kofta kebab, chicken kebabs, lamb chops and grilled vegetables. The meat was marinated really well and had a lot of flavour. I feel like the marination made the meat really soft too, which enabled it to melt in your mouth when eating. Delicious!
We were really full after our starters and mains, so we decided to step away from the table and occupy a more comfortable outdoor sofa which was set around a large open fire. It was just perfect especially as the evenings during the winter can get a little chilly, even for us Brits.
After some time, we asked for the dessert menu. I spotted baklava on the menu, so I was sold and my sister and mum were down to share it with me. My dad wanted something a little more refreshing, so he ordered the Arabic ice-cream.
They also serve shisha at your tables, should you wish to smoke and have dinner. There were plenty of Emirati’s doing so, but it’s not something i’ve ever done. However, we decided to share a shisha between us and accompany it with some moroccan mint tea, the only way to do it.
It was the perfect way to end the evening around the fire before heading upstairs of the best night’s sleep.
Overall Experience at Rosewood Abu Dhabi
In total honesty, I fell deeply in love with the Rosewood Abu Dhabi. It was everything I expected it to be and more. The different teams at Rosewood Abu Dhabi really know how to look after their guests well and give them the best experience during their stay. The rooms were perfect, the food and facilities were brilliant. I think my only qualm was the bathroom amenities, which is rather minor and wouldn’t be a problem to amend either.
I would most certainly recommend the Rosewood Abu Dhabi to anyone that is visiting Abu Dhabi. It needs to be the place you choose for your perfect home away from home, you won’t regret it. If I get the chance to revisit, I won’t hesitate in re-visiting this palatial hotel.