It’s new, it’s striking and it’s the place that everyone in the UAE capital is talking about right now; enter Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island – a stunning addition to the city’s hospitality scene and the perfect place for a long weekend staycation close to home. FACT went to check out all that ’s on offer…
The name Four Seasons is synonymous with 5-star service and impressive surroundings so when we walked into the brand’s newest property in Abu Dhabi, located on the vibrant waterfront of Al Maryah Island, let’s just say that the word “wow” was uttered many times. Did we expect anything less? Absolutely not! You’ll be greeted by some of the warmest and friendliest staff as well as being offered a hot or cold towel (depending on the weather) and a welcome drink at check in. As far as first impressions go, this was pretty spectacular.
The lobby is HUGE – it’s home to the beautiful Al Meylas lounge where one of the best afternoon teas in the city is served up. Stylishly decorated, for a lobby venue it’s an incredibly sophisticated and comfortable space with natural light coming in through the tall windows. Dubbed the “living room of Abu Dhabi” where comfortable sofas and armchairs will make you feel as though you’re lounging at home, in a modern majlis setting, Al Meylas is the ideal place to marvel a sunset whilst sipping on a variety of flavourful hand-selected teas, artful coffees and non-alcoholic cocktails accompanied by sweet and savoury delicacies of Emirati cuisine with an innovative twist.
We would highly recommend trying the superb Arabic afternoon tea, featuring yummy local specialties including hummus, mutabal, whole-wheat pitta and mini zaatar manakish alongside an array of sweet treats including kustawi date, almond brownies, muhallabia, rice pudding and saffron sago panna cotta the latter was definitely our favourite! But hold on, that’s not all that makes this dining experience a special one. As an authentic gesture of hospitality, guests gathering are offered a scent from the lounge’s partner, Tola Perfumery. Tola showcases eight evocative fragrances to capture the hearts of aficionados looking for excellence, craftsmanship and genuineness. Each scent tells a story of its own. Inspired by Qahwah (Arabic coffee) and Bukhoor (incense) which remains to be the symbol of Middle Eastern hospitality and rich tradition, the Tola smelling cups, found on each Al Meylas table, have been developed to combine and capture the Gulf-ingrained customs introducing them in a unique way. If, like us, you can’t choose just the one fragrance, you can blend two together and create your very own unique Tola scent! And all of this is even before we tell you about the room!
When we walk into what is to be home for the next few nights, we find the Deluxe Room to be not only practically designed, but surprisingly spacious too. There’s a lovely living area complete with a comfy sofa and a large, adjustable table for dining. A separate work area has everything you could ask for, and more, in terms of enough sockets to charge all your gadgets and devices and plenty of space to lay out important papers or books. And when you need to catch up on emails, finish a presentation or meet a deadline, just look up and out of the window at the breathtaking water views, which should help to ease any stressful situation!
Everything is controlled via an iPad which really is the height of hi-tech living, and throughout our stay the controls for everything worked flawlessly (even the powered curtains). Furnishings of soothing blue and grey created a relaxing atmosphere teamed with the white and grey marble bathroom that boasts a separate deep soaking tub and shower – THIS is exactly what you need after a day of sightseeing or shopping. If that’s not enough, the bathroom also has Ferragamo amenities (generously stocked daily) and an in-mirror TV which we were enthralled by. In the room, a well-stocked refrigerated private bar and a complimentary espresso and tea maker, a 55-inch HD TV, in-room safe, bedside charging stations, and probably the most amazing thing of all, the customisable King Size Four Seasons Bed – with your choice of mattress topper, and down duvets and pillows – this made for some of the best sleeps we’ve ever had when travelling!
When relaxation calls, Dahlia Spa celebrate the water with abundant fountains and views of the Arabian Gulf. The eight spacious luxury spa suites – including one exclusive couples’ suite – all feature private showers and most offer windows, giving the option of natural light or soothing darkness. Here is where we experienced the innovative Signature Dahlia Massage, a customised blend of individually chosen oils and massage techniques – you’ll receive a unique treatment to suit your wellness needs. Add to that the incredible heated sand beds (with sand that is specially imported from Pakistan for its healing properties) and you’re in for a one-of-a-kind treatment unlike anything you’ve tried before. Afterwards make sure to check out the facilities or kickback in the relaxation lounge on the heated beds – it’s the best feeling.
DINING ON POINT
Food has never been this diverse and this good. If you think we’re exaggerating, we dare you to go and try it for yourself. From the drinks and light bites at Zsa Zsa, to poolside mocktails at Eclipse, Terrace Lounge, the lunch at Crust, the extensive in-room dining menu, and the soon-to-be-opened Butcher & Still and Café Milano, you’re going to be spoilt for choice with quality cuisines.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable things we picked up on during our stay is the great attention to detail and care that has gone into the design, planning and running of this hotel. Like the number of plug sockets in rooms, the Middle Eastern touch throughout the hotel, and the incredibly helpful staff for whom nothing is too much of an ask. Perfectly embodying the luxury that is associated with the Four Seasons, this Abu Dhabi hotel has elegantly married a trusted brand ethos with local elements – like displaying over 2,000 pieces of culturally connected artwork from local and international artists – to pay homage to the capital’s Arabic culture with a warm welcome and generous hospitality.
GO: Visit www.qatarairways.com to book your direct flight from Doha to ABU DHABI. Call (0)2 333 2222 or visit www.fourseasons.com/abudhabi for reservations and more information ON WEEKEND PACKAGES.