“One of the city’s most elegant and luxurious hotels and an iconic architectural landmark.” Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi
One of the capital’s older hotels, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi benefitted from an extensive two-year long refurbishment back in 2014 which saw the lobby transformed into white contemporary spaces filled with modern art and sculptures. Not only is the hotel favoured by visitors looking for a downtown location but it’s also a dining destination in itself that attracts a steady stream of patronage from locals and expats alike.
With its revolving restaurant and bar on the 26th floor, which was transformed into Stratos during the initial renovation, the hotel is an iconic landmark on the city’s skyline. As one of the city’s elegant and luxurious hotels, the five-star property that now falls under the Marriott umbrella, is popular with both business and leisure guests. The hotel has over two hundred rooms and seventy-four suites offering a selection of room types and sizes as well as a range of dining and nightlife options to suit all types of traveller.
The rooms are clean and comfortable and ours had a lovely panoramic sea view across to Lulu Island. The decor is modern, a neutral palette enhanced by a pop of colour from the art above the bed, it features all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel; large TV, free wi-fi and ensuite bathroom with a bath, shower and Malin + Goetz products. As we stayed on the SPG guest floor it gave us access to the Club Lounge, a welcome bonus considering that as the existing first floor lounge is under renovation it has instead taken up residence in Stratos. We enjoyed sundowners and bites as we revolved around the city watching the sunset and the busy city below change from day-to-night.
One of the major plus points of this hotel is the extremely popular Market Kitchen, one of my favourite restaurants in the capital for both its consistently delicious cuisine and tip top service. The farm-to-table concept utilizes fresh, local produce and incorporates regional favourites into its menu.
Famed for its beverages as well as its food, Market Kitchen is extending its bar menu with a new selection of botanical inspired drinks.Guests can now choose from a selection of cocktails and mocktails that steer away from the usual sugary, fruity mixology and instead use flavours such as tarragon, pea, rosewater, saffron and oud all concocted with the unique Market distilled spirit. While the process is interesting with some of the drinks benefitting from a spritz of natural fragrance before serving, the drinks themselves are definitely an acquired taste and two in particular have been devised more for the local guests palate.
District by Amalfi, the hotel’s ground floor Italian restaurant, is the latest venue to benefit from a make-over having been transformed with New York style graffiti. The bold artwork, which starts from outside at the entrance, adorns the restaurant’s interior and the indoor corridors in a nod to the street art that adorns NYC’s districts. An onsite authentic oven ensures all pizzas are made traditionally and cooked fresh to order, the menu offers plenty of options for the meat and seafood lovers too as well as a really tasty tiramisu presented as an ice-lolly.
Breakfast is served in the all-day dining venue Café Palmier. While the food selection was ok with plenty of fresh juices, an extensive variety of baked goods and an eggs station, the staff were not overly welcoming or efficient. There’s also whEAT for light bites and Latitude 24, a lovely open-plan trendy spot that’s great for coffee (SPG guests get two free coffees per stay with the in-room voucher), casual meetings and perfect for digital nomads. Other outlets include the lively Irish Bar PJ O’Reilly’s, Indulge nightclub and the more sedate Piano Bar.
One area that hasn’t yet benefitted from renovation is the indoor pool and fitness areas. In stark contrast to the stunning lobby and ground floor restaurants/cafes this floor is crying out for a makeover. During our stay the outdoor pool was out of action due to being covered by the Layali El Hilmiya Ramadan tent in preparation for the hotel’s Iftar and Suhour offerings during the Holy Month – click HERE for the all the Ramadan dining information.
The hotel is ideally located within walking distance of Abu Dhabi’s commercial district for those staying for business and equally near the Corniche beach and retail outlets for any leisure guests. Lunch, dinner and brunch at Market Kitchen are highly recommended and you can’t beat a sunset cocktail or two at Stratos. If you are visiting during Ramadan and want a traditional dining experience check out Layali El Hilmiya which is open daily from sunset.
The Nitty Gritty
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street, PO Box 45505, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 674 2020
Check in: 2:00pm
Check out: 12:00 noon
Market Kitchen Restaurant
Stratos Revolving Lounge Bar & Grill Abu Dhabi
Fast and free wi-fi
The Not so Good….
Indoor pool and fitness are dated and in need of refurbishment
Outdoor pool closed during our stay
Read more about Ramadan Dining 2018 in previous post Top 5 Picks for Ramadan Dining 2018 | Abu Dhabi
All view are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved. Additional photos used courtesy of www.leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com