So I’ve decided to dedicate one weekend every month to a short staycation. Somewhere in the UAE- because that’s all time will allow- but away from the comfort of home and the responsibilities that come with it. A weekend with no laptop (for me at least. I imagine M to start frothing at the mouth without his), no groceries, malls, chores- nothing from the routine. Instead, we shall check ourselves in to a luxurious hotel and reboot our overworked brains and exhausted selves. This month, our hotel of choice was the Park Hyatt, Abu Dhabi.
M and I love Abu Dhabi. It’s calm serenity is a far cry from Dubai. It’s perfect for a weekend escape- far enough to enjoy the solitude yet close enough for you to go back home to pick up your camera (thankfully I realized I’d forgotten my camera while we were only halfway there).
The drive up to Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi certainly builds up the excitement. You drive through these beautiful villas, and feel a twinge of misguided disappointment when you see how the hotel visually looks from the outside. It’s like a big beige block in the daytime but has a more regal appeal at night thanks to the fire torches.
We were warmly welcomed at the reception with some fresh juice and a smooth check-in. Just as I was about to head to our room, the Head of F&B rushed over to greet us, which shows how involved he is in the operations and certainly made for a great first impression. I also couldn’t help but notice how pleasant the entire hotel smelled. I don’t know what air freshener these guys are using but I wish I had asked!
Room & Balcony:
While the fruit basket -which is the first thing we saw as soon as we opened the door to our room- was a tad underwhelming, the bathroom, room itself, and breathtaking view from the balcony literally makes you go WOW. The cool breeze blowing through the canopy of tall palm trees and making it’s way into your room through dancing georgette curtains as you gaze upon the many shades of blue- of the clear sky, sea and pools that have mushroomed across the green expanse- makes you realize how important it is to get out of the ruckus of the city once in a while. I don’t exaggerate one bit when I say that from 3-6pm, I just laid on the daybed in the balcony, trying very hard not to fall asleep because that’s how peaceful it was. OK- I did get up to make myself a green tea and M a Nespresso, and I drank it on the balcony chair instead, because it was just as comfortable as the daybed, if not more.
This is the kind of bathroom you dream of when you go to a hotel. I don’t know why but ever since I first came across one many, many years ago, I’ve preferred bathrooms that have a sliding door/window into the bedroom. Modern and clean, what I loved about this bathroom was that nothing looked dated. From the rain shower through the gigantic bathtub to the sinks and toiletries, everything was perfect. The only flaws I found- surprisingly- were that (a) there was no phone in the bathroom in case of emergency and (b) the bathrobe. It has to be the most unimpressive and uninviting bathrobe I’ve ever seen. I also loved that the toilet had it’s own separate, cute little sink; too bad the soap dispenser next to it wasn’t working.
By 6pm we decided to head down for an early dinner so that we could visit the Grand Mosque afterwards, as I’ve actually never been inside it at nighttime. But guess what? The Park Grill (where we were to have dinner) doesn’t open till 7pm, so we decided to explore the hotel and take some pictures, and then fell hopelessly more in love with the 3 year young hotel. The cold (for us) weather, paired with the flaming torches on the frontside of the property made for an exhilarating experience. There are a total of five temperature controlled pools on the property, as well as four smaller cabana pools, and I cannot stress enough on what a spectacular sight it made for!
Dinner was at the casual yet infinitely classy Park Grill, and we had such a delicious meal and pleasant time that we ended up hanging around the restaurant till 10:30pm and didn’t leave the hotel at all. After we retired to our room, we decided to spend another couple of hours on the chilly balcony, sipping green tea and catching up on some bedtime reading.
Breakfast the next day was at the award winning Beach House, after which M and I took our first trip to the Park Hyatt beach, and I had to set an alarm on my phone reminding me to check out because you cannot imagine how gorgeous and relaxing this beach was. White sand, turquoise water, and unbelievable serenity- we even saw a turtle! I cannot wait to go back to what is easily one of the best hotels I’ve been to, and the hospitality of the staff was nothing short of what we’ve experienced at the Burj Al Arab. Thank you so much for your warm welcome and great service- this was just the escape we needed!