Abu Dhabi is always my go-to destination when I want to get away from the hustle and bustle in Dubai. With so many attractions including Yas Mall and the recently-opened Louvre Museum, the city is a tourist hotspot in its own right.
This past week, I was invited by Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana for a much-needed staycation and I got to experience Abu Dhabi’s premier 5-star family resort first-hand.
First impressions: The Khalidiya Palace is located in Abu Dhabi’s most premium district on the Corniche coastline, right opposite the Emirates Palace and next to the country’s most esteemed address, the Presidential Palace. While the three 20-storey towers of Khalidiya Palace (the others are residential) are overshadowed by the might of the adjacent Etihad Towers, once you get closer to them you begin to see their structural beauty.
Step inside and you’ll find a lobby that is more than worthy of it’s 5-star status. Whether it’s the crystal chandeliers, the golden palm tree lights lined in the lobby lounge or the ceiling artwork in the main foyer the hotel is full of distinct Arabesque touches that convey restrained Arabian opulence at its finest.
Room: It’s the same story once I stepped inside their premium suite. The suite was replete with wooden furniture and a color scheme of red and beige that emphasized the country’s natural landscape of desert and beaches.
The artworks depicting galloping horses at the entrance and inside the room were an elegant touch as well that once again emphasized the UAE’s glorious heritage. And the best part of my suite was the view of the azure blue Arabian Gulf and one of the biggest private beaches in Abu Dhabi. This is set against the massive palm-tree laden three-section swimming pool which makes it ideal for kids and families.
The dry property serves no alcohol at its premises which makes it perfect for those looking for a family-friendly vacation. As for the room fixtures, Rotana is known for its soft-touch gowns and exquisite bedding and it’s safe to say this hotel met the high standards the hotel has set for luxury as well.
Amenities: Other than an expansive private beach that offers views of the Presidential Palace on the right, there’s a massive three-section pool designed with kids and families in mind, Flippers Kids Club, playroom that make it especially family-friendly in addition to a gym and a range of fitness classes open to guests. If you’re looking to get business done, there are also meeting rooms geared towards events and conferences.
There’s a poolside lounge, an Arabic restaurant named Kamoon that serves a variety of delicacies and the anchor all-day dining restaurant Horizon as well which also serves breakfast. Speaking of which, the breakfast buffet was a luxurious affair as well with over 22 options on offer including fresh Foul Medammas (Arabic baked beans), a live waffle station, a variety of cereals and even vegetable rice and noodles.
Highs: Homely and cozy rooms, exquisite lobby, family-friendly amenities
Lows: Lack of alcohol might deter some guests
Verdict: With room rates starting at just 759 AED/ 210 USD, Khalidiya Palace by Rayhaan Rotana is the perfect spot in the capital for a luxury family-friendly staycation without breaking the bank. The impeccably-appointed rooms and surroundings, expansive amenities and delicious dining options make it an attractive option.
Details: Visit rotana.com/rayhaanhotelandresorts/unitedarabemirates/abudhabi/ for more details