HOTEL HOTSPOT: LE ROYAL MÉRIDIEN ABU DHABI

David Tapley rediscovers Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, one of the city’s landmark hotels and indulges in the new ‘eat for your sleep’ package.


Strategically positioned in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s commercial district, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi is a hotel that makes quite the impression. When viewed from outside the distinctive avant-garde exterior rises skywards and is topped with the only revolving lounge in the capital but when viewed from above, the hotel is said to resemble an eye. Constructed over two decades ago by the Royal family of Abu Dhabi, the hotel has garnered a strong reputation for quality food and beverages and a comfortable nights sleep. A relaxing weekend on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche was just what we needed given the hectic situation of the past few months and despite the global pandemic, we felt safe and secure throughout our stay. Temperatures were checked on arrival, glass screens are in place on reception desks, and masks, gloves and hand sanitiser are abundant. This may be the new normal, but the safety of guests is a top priority and from the moment we enter the bright and welcoming lobby, we feel immediately at ease.

We are enticed to Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi thanks to their new ‘eat for your sleep’ package. Providing guests who book a Corner City View Room with AED 500 food and beverage credit, which can be redeemed within the hotel’s operational food and beverage outlets. A great excuse to not only enjoy a luxury five-star hotel stay but to also experience the culinary offerings, whether that be a lazy breakfast at Market Kitchen, a date night dinner at Stratos or some hearty pub grub at P. J. O’Reilly’s.

The hotel has recently undergone a comprehensive renovation and refurbishment and it certainly shows. Our Corner City View Room on the 17th floor is light, spacious and designed with convenience in mind for both the business and leisure traveller. Combining contemporary comfort with state-of-the-art facilities and modern design, the rooms are decorated in neutral tones, with murals above the bed providing vibrant pops of colour. The views are spectacular and we can see everything from the hotel’s swimming pool to the glittering turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf, as speedboats whizz around Lulu Island, renowned for its orange sand dunes.

At 28sqm, the room provides high levels of comfort and features a beautifully soft bed, 39-inch LED television, USB outlets, safety deposit box, mini-refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities. We love the ease at which we can connect our devices throughout the room, meaning a Netflix marathon or Spotify dance party are available at the touch of a button. For those who need to work, there is a small writing desk and chair that are ideally positioned to capture those city views and inspire you as you work. The marble bathroom features a shower/tub combination and makes excellent use of the space with its raised sink and illuminated makeup mirror. Whether you opt for the powerful rainfall shower or a soak in the large bathtub, you’ll feel enlivened and fresh when it’s time to hit the food and beverage outlets to spend that credit. The decision of where to dine is likely to be the only predicament you’ll encounter when staying at Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi. With the ‘eat for your sleep’ package providing AED 500 credit, two people can comfortably eat at some of the most highly-regarded restaurants in the capital.

With a reputation to match its stratospheric name, reach for new heights and marvel at the evolving view as day turns to night at Stratos. Abu Dhabi’s only revolving lounge provides 360-degree views of Abu Dhabi during each 90-minute revolution and a grill menu to match. If you’re after something more casual, then P. J. O’Reilly’s is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy pub grub classics inside the restaurant poolside on the terrace.

We opt for Market Kitchen, renowned for its sophisticated dining room that beautifully combines the traditional farmhouse kitchen (evidenced by rolling pins, milkshake glasses and numerous trinkets scattered across the expansive shelving) with distinct modern touches. A collection of lamps hang from the ceiling and bathe the space with a warm orange glow, while the glass atrium provides the illusion of dining al fresco. The restaurant’s new ‘su-viche’ promotion is a pleasant way to while away a weekend evening with a two- hour brunch style offering that includes a selection of raw dishes and unlimited beverages. The first course consists of a variety of ceviche (white fish in tiger milk, tuna in kimchi tiger milk and salmon in miso tiger milk) that arrive at the table alongside some impressive presentation. A selection of moreish flatbreads, crisp plantain chips and French fries provide some much-needed carbs but it’s their crispy sushi that continues to leave a lasting impression, no matter how many times we indulge. Priced at AED 199 per person, ‘su-viche’ is offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm.

Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi continues to strike a chord with residents and visitors to Abu Dhabi and the new ‘eat for your sleep package’ offers exceptional value for money. With AED 500 food and beverage credit for every Corner City View Room, or AED 800 for any Suite booked, there’s never been a better excuse to book that weekend escape in Abu Dhabi. ✤

GO: Call (0)2 674 2020 for bookings and more information.