I went to Abu Dhabi in March because of Etihad’s €70 fare and I needed some winter (spring?) sun. It turned out to be a wise move – weather aside, you can find many luxury hotels here of top quality which are much cheaper than in Dubai.
Many hotels in Abu Dhabi offer in their respective VIP rate plans, e.g. Hilton Impresario, Marriott Stars and Hyatt Prive. Sofitel was the cheapest at £80 per night, others like Fairmont, Conrad, Edition, Grand Hyatt, Rosewood and Four Seasons were between £100 and £150. Remember that you are entitled to free breakfast, room upgrade and $100 credit etc courtesy of the VIP rates.
The hotel is located at a small marina in west Abu Dhabi. It’s not central, but I find that you need Uber / Taxi to travel anywhere anyway so it doesn’t matter at all. The hotel has a residence section for long-stay guests.
Once you enter the lobby you are embraced by the signature Le Labo fragrance which is quite refreshing.
The receptionist is very familiar with Platinum and Marriott Stars benefits. Here is what Platinum members can choose as a welcome gift.
Very generously, they’ve already upgraded me to a suite on the fourth floor (it has six floors in total). The living room is massive. The blend of beige and brown colours resonates with the natural and simple theme that the Edition brand stresses.
I can’t figure out why they welcomed me with a cereal bar though…
There is a small bathroom to the left of the living room.
You can go out to the balcony from the living room, but there isn’t much of a view here due to the height and aspect. AI Hudayriat, an artificial island you can see at a distance, is worth a visit.
The bedroom also has that Scandinavian feel. I’m new to this style but I don’t diske it.
Surprisingly such a huge suite doesn’t even have a bathtub. Some friends of mine really like Le Labo and took away many bottles with them when they stayed at Edition hotels. However they’ve only got large bottles here and there are price tags attached to them…
They smell really good, but I don’t like the shampoo as it doesn’t foam at all.
The $100 credit is exchanged into 350 dirhams. The steakhouse looks way too expensive, whereas I’ve heard bad things about the other Mediterranean restaurant. By the way it happens to be Ramadan right now, but hotel restaurants operate as normal and as a tourist I don’t feel affected at all.
In the end I decided to try the room service instead.
They are certainly no delicacy, but decent enough for the price and to fill my stomach. The two meals didn’t use up all my credit so I packed some cakes from the dessert shop for my flight back.
Note that there’s no complimentary breakfast for elite members at Edition hotels, but thankfully it’s offered by the Stars program. I read some very positive reviews of the breakfast so was looking forward to it.
Conveniently the breakfast is served until 12.30pm, so you don’t need to worry about an early morning if you are suffering jetlag.
There’s both indoor and outdoor seating.
The service is a-la-carte only. I ordered the eggs benefit on the first morning which was nothing to write home about.
The cured meat is made from beef instead of pork, and I’m not used to the taste.
Then next day I ordered the chilli scrambled eggs, and I have to say it is so different to the other scrambled eggs I’ve had in the past! Very Instagrammable and tasty.
The outdoor swimming pool is pretty good but closes early at 6.30pm. There’s also a sauna room nearby inside.
There another swimming pool on the rooftop of the residence building. It’s smaller but with a view.
It’s fair to say that my first close encounter with the Edition brand is quite positive, but by the UAE standard I don’t assume it would stand out. I would love to try out the Emirates Palace hotel some day, but either I’d need to earn more money, or Mandarin Oriental needs to allow me to spend my points…