Sometimes, there’s nothing better than spending a long weekend at a resort that is practically on your doorstep and packed with facilities that will give you the holiday feeling. FA CT finds out just how The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal fits the bill when it comes to summer travel in the GCC…
We had previously stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal and enjoyed the true essence of five-star hospitality. The second time around, we were looking for something a little different; facilities, fun and things to do in-resort which could keep guests entertained for a long weekend.
Let’s just say, we were not disappointed! Much like the UAE capital itself, which is a blend of a laid-back and welcoming, traditional culture with lively happenings, modern amenities, and luxury offerings, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal is a clear representation of this. Located just across the road from the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the hotel is somewhat of a dream destination that could easily resemble an opulent resort found on the canal shores of Venice – with all the charm and elegance of Arabian hospitality, of course.
Stay as a Club Level guest and revel in all the personalised service, attention to detail and extra benefits offered as part of this accommodation type. Firstly, the Club Level has both room and suite options that would suit all types of travellers including couples, groups of friends, families with children and even solo visitors. Private check-in at the Club Lounge is how you’ll start your stay. Staff will greet you with a friendly smile and share information about all the Club Level amenities and extras that you can enjoy, as well as addressing any other queries you might have.
We stayed in a Twin Club Room with a balcony that overlooked truly amazing views of the beach and Grand Canal, the lush gardens and pool area, and the city itself, as far as the eye could see. The room is very spacious with comfy beds (that made for some of the best night’s sleep we’ve had in a long time), a great desk area for work and leisure, and a full marble bathroom with a large tub, separate rainshower and luxury amenities. Then there’s the usual excellent features such as the 42” LCD TV, fully stocked mini bar, tea and coffee-making facilities (incl. Nespresso machine), a safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer and complimentary shoeshine and newspaper, to name but a few of the things that will make for an even more comfortable stay.
Having access to the Club Lounge is definitely a bonus. Here, you can enjoy complimentary food and beverage for breakfast, afternoon tea, and light snacks and drinks in the evening. We especially loved the breakfast with its huge variety of hot and cold food – the porridge, the pastries and the fresh fruits were the winners! The added value of having a place that offers you free foodie treats and drinks throughout the day is an absolute delight! So, whether you decide to spend all your days at the hotel, or if you’re venturing out to explore the city, a Club Room will be the perfect place to take respite after any activity or adventure!
Weekend Hole Up
The one thing that we really enjoyed during this stay at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, is having the luxury of not having to leave the resort to enjoy our home-away-from-home holiday. One of the reasons why the hotel makes for a good GCC staycation, for the whole family, is that it offers something for everyone! For little ones, the pool and children’s water play area will be a haven for fun, plus the Ritz Kids Club which offers safe, friendly and super fun recreational activities, will provide mum and dad with some ‘me time’ to chill out on the beach and take a dip in the canal waters.
Couples, friends and solo guests will also relish in the outdoor facilities, as well as the beachfront, Bedouin-inspired ESPA with a hammam, sauna, steam room, plunge pool, and treatments that embody the very meaning of relaxation. On top of all this, you have literally, every kind of cuisine to satisfy all those cravings!
For a taste of five-star dining, head to The Forge Steakhouse and opt for the deliciously creamy Burrata Salad, followed by your choice of main with mouthwatering sides and a glass of vino or one of the thirst-quenching mocktails. The venue is elegant yet inviting and the staff is incredibly attentive. This one’s for those who want a more refined dining experience with quality ingredients but without the pretentiousness of the usual upmarket restaurants.
Also, make sure to try the gelato from Dolce, and do spend an evening on the Li Jiang terrace which boasts some of the most stunning night views of the Grand Mosque. We must also commend the in-room dining service, for having fallen sick with a tummy bug, the Ritz team was able to specially prepare food for us that wasn’t on the menu – big tick for guest satisfaction! Now, do you see why there’s no need to leave the resort? In true staycation style, we spent three whole days at the hotel, experiencing ALL that it has to offer.
GO: Visit www.ritzcarlton.com or call +971 2 818 8888 for reservations and more information.