The Four Seasons Abu Dhabi is very popular among business travelers but it is also a great hotel for tourists and families. It has great wellness facilities (a beautiful rooftop pool, a fully-fledged spa, and gym), direct access to the Galleria mall for shopping, plenty of fine restaurants, and even a kids’ club!
The hotel offers children’s meals and a kids’ club packed with activities for the little ones with staff who are trained to entertain them while the grownups have time for themselves.
The service is immaculate, the culinary options are superb with two Michelin restaurants on site, and the location is within easy reach of the major attractions of Abu Dhabi. Surprisingly, the hotel is not as expensive as one would expect.
The rooms at the Four Seasons are extremely comfortable with the Four Seasons comfy signature beds and pillows, spacious bathrooms, and luxury toiletries. We stayed in the Executive King Suite, which affords beautiful views of the city and waterways. The suite, comprising one bedroom and one-and-a-half bathrooms, includes seating areas, a spacious closet, a desk, a TV in each room, a minibar replete with complimentary treats, a safe, an iron, and a fan. It has everything one could need – even a power strip with a universal adapter. The elegant bathroom, with a TV embedded in the mirror, also has two sinks, a shower, a bathtub, and a toilet with a bidet.
The Four Seasons makes significant efforts toward sustainability; we noticed it everywhere, from the reusable bottles to the recycled disposable toothbrushes provided. The building’s architecture and transportation provided for the guests are aimed at saving energy as is the maintenance, which includes reducing the amount of waste food and using eco-certified detergents, etc.
And all this without compromising on quality – quite an achievement!
Wellness for the body and soul
When it comes to R&R, the facilities at the Four Seasons include a pool, gym, and spa. The rooftop pool is located on the 3rd floor and has stunning views of the city and the bay. The service at the pool, like everything here, is outstanding. Petrus, the pool attendant prepared a cabana for us with towels, a cooler with iced water, and provided us with complimentary sunscreen. While we were swimming, he also brought us complimentary treats like a small fruit salad. What a wonderful surprise this was after our swim!
The hotel’s gym is spacious and bright, with a wonderful view of the city. It features state-of-the-art equipment with LCD monitors to track and provide feedback on your workout, full sets of free weights, including dumbbells and kettlebells, and everything one could wish for in a gym. There is also a separate, well-equipped ladies-only gym.
Whether on a business trip, or a vacation as we were, a good workout is so good for the body and soul, especially when there is a full spa nearby to relax the muscles in afterward.
THE PEARL SPA facilities have separate areas for men and women, each with a Jacuzzi pool, hammam (steam room), dry sauna, ice fountain, jet shower, and a heated rest area with a tea corner. The décor and facilities are the height of luxury, and each visitor is provided with their own set of disposable toiletries.
The only requirement is to change into the silky bathrobe and decide which massage you’d like. The massage therapist asked me lots of questions before we started the session to make sure I received the most suitable massage, resulting in an hour of indulgence and relaxation. Thereafter, we had a couples Jacuzzi in a romantic, private room. Who needs more than that for a perfect day?
The four seasons offers a variety of three restaurants and a lobby bar, two of which – Café Milano and Butcher & Stilare – are recommended by the Michelin guide. Breakfast is served at the Crust restaurant, and is exquisite in terms of variety, food quality, and service. The hotel’s pastry chef puts on a fabulous pastry buffet that would rival any French patisserie. This is no doubt, it was the best breakfast I have ever had!
Al Meylas in the lobby serves light meals and sweet treats made by the hotel’s talented pastry chef. Its highlight is the afternoon tea, served on a three-tiered tray and contains meticulous bite-sized, hand-crafted savory and sweet delicacies. Each one is like a work of art in terms of looks and taste. We savored each bite, enjoying their unique flavors.
The hotel also has a lounge bar called Zsa Zsa where light meals and fancy cocktails are served and can also cater for Kosher meals on request.
Obviously, the main culinary attractions are the Michelin restaurants on the premises.
Butcher & Still
Butcher & Still is a 1920s Chicago-style steakhouse recommended by the Michelin guide as well as by Gault Millau, where Chef Marshall Roth serves exceptional food.
We started with two soups; a fantastic French onion soup served with brioche topped with melted gruyere cheese, and the soup of the day - a wonderful asparagus soup poured into the bowl on the table in front of us. They were accompanied by aromatic truffle bread baked on the premises.
For our main, we chose the boneless beef filet, tender inside and crusty outside – perfectly done! The sides and dessert were wonderful as well. Everything in this meal was outstanding – pure pleasure in every bite! Well worth it if you can afford the price.
A quick hop to Italy on the premises of the Four Seasons, Café Milano is also a Michelin-recommended restaurant. The ambiance here is stylish. We ordered wine and nibbled the complimentary grissini and spiced olives while we deliberated on what to eat. The menu is quite varied, making it hard to choose what to have.
We started with Carpaccio with quail egg, Panzanella Toscana salad, and Parmigiana di Melanzane – hot eggplant with mozzarella. All beautifully served and tasted wonderful.
Then, we had a white mushroom truffle pizza, made with real, slightly scorched Italian dough, thin in the middle and thick on the sides, and a heavenly Beetroot Ravioli. For dessert, on our waiter’s recommendation, we had fluffy Tiramisu and Pannacotta, both of which were superb! A top-notch restaurant!
The Four Seasons is situated on the edge of the Galleria Mall, connected via an elevator. The Galleria is a gigantic mall, replete with luxury brands from Dior to Hermes, all within easy reach. It is also packed with more casual international brands such as Zara, H&M, Sephora, and others, as well as coffee shops and restaurants.
The hotel is also within a short distance from Abu Dhabi’s main attractions. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and home to some must-see attractions, including Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Qasr Al Watan, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which we visited. In addition, Yas Island is an entertainment hub with many family attractions, including SeaWorld and Ferrari World. The Mangrove National Park, the Etihad Towers, a desert safari, and beautiful beaches can also be found there.
Sheikh Zayed mosque is one of the largest in the world, featuring 82 domes, over 1000 columns made of white marble and decorated with gems, gold, and Swarovski chandeliers, and the largest hand-knotted carpet in the world. The mosque can be seen from afar and is illuminated at night with changing colored lights. Visiting the mosque is breathtaking, but please note that modest clothes must be worn when visiting, and women must cover their heads with a scarf.
Qasr al Watan is the royal palace – the official government building where foreign visitors and formal events are held (it is not a residence). This sumptuous, marble building, much of which is gold-plated, is enormous and shines brightly for all to see. Inside, there are a number of different venues including an events hall, a library, and exhibitions such as The Royal Present Collection. One highlight is the Power of Words sculpture, shaped like a golden cage made of letters that are meant to emphasize that wealth is in the people, not in money or oil.
Finally, The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a must-see attraction owing to its unique architecture and artwork. The museum is like an island surrounded by water, covered with a cooling mashrabiya lattice dome. Overall, the museum is not too big, so it can be covered within a short visit. The art collection is varied and interesting. It is worth taking the time to wander around the outside of the museum, taking photos of the contrasting green-blue water against the white-grey walls of the building, and the dome reflecting the sun.
For more information see https://www.fourseasons.com/
The writer was a guest of Four Seasons Abu Dhabi.