Towering Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi offers family fun and endless relaxation — Hotel Insider

There's something for everyone at the luxury newcomer, with four pools and the couples' massage solid starting points

Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi has four swimming pools and a private beach. Photo: Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi
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Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi is the newest landmark hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Having opened its doors in September, the luxury resort is housed in the towering sandy pink building that rises above the capital's man-made Abu Dhabi Marina breakwater.

While Rixos is known for its all-inclusive concept, that's not yet come into effect at this property. However, a representative for the hotel confirmed they are on the way.

For now, there is the option of booking room-only, bed and breakfast or half-board stays. The National checked into the grand gateway arch to find out what it has to offer.

The welcome

As we drive up to the entrance of the hotel, we are welcomed by a grand fountain that is lit up in blue and features carved jumping dolphins. A valet swiftly takes our car, which is impressive given the sheer volume of vehicles waiting at the drop-off area, and our luggage is promptly picked up.

A grand lobby with a huge blue chandelier as the centrepiece is the first thing we notice as we make our way through the revolving doors to the reception desk. There's an elegant marble staircase in the middle, leading to the floor below, and lilting notes from a female pianist in the lounge beyond, making for an elegant first impression.

Check-in is quick; within five minutes we are on the way to our room, where our luggage arrives a few minutes later.

The neighbourhood

Located a little beyond Marina Mall at the end of Abu Dhabi Corniche, the distinctive building, which is reminiscent of Dubai's Atlantis The Palm, is hard to miss. Breakwater Beach and Abu Dhabi Heritage Village are a short walk away from the property, and there are views of the water all around.

The room

Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi offers more than 500 rooms, all with city or ocean views. Photo: Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi

We stay in a spacious deluxe — corniche view room. The space houses a plush, comfortable king-size bed that faces a large 65-inch television and the room features a muted palette of brown and white peppered with mashrabiya patterns. The hues of the room complement the beige furniture — which come together to create a soothing ambience.

There are complimentary teas, coffees and water, plus a mini bar stocked with all manner of (chargeable) drinks and a welcome fruit basket.

The spacious balcony has incredible views and is the ideal spot to unwind for a quiet evening, while the bathroom, separated from the main bedroom by frosted glass doors, has a stand-alone bathtub, his and hers sinks and toiletries by Angels Natural.

Light switches on either bedside come helpfully labelled and offer three modes — master, sleep and read — so there is no scrambling to find the switch for that one mysterious light that won’t switch off.

The only slightly confusing aspect of the room is that the phone does not list the numbers needed to reach different departments in the hotel, so we had to call the operator to find out which number to dial.

The service

The hotel was almost at capacity during our stay, so staff at the restaurant and by the pool were understandably busy. We had to wait a little bit to get a server's attention, but once we did, things moved swiftly and service was delivered with a smile.

The food

The property has five dining outlets — Turquoise, the all-day dining restaurant; Antidote, the resident bar serving a variety of drinks, snacks and occasional live entertainment; People’s Restaurant, which has an a la carte menu for lunch and a selection of Mediterranean seafood for dinner; Bakery Club, which serves light bites between 3pm and 6pm; and a 24-hour Lobby Lounge, where guests can take their pick from sandwiches, coffees, teas, desserts and chocolates.

During our stay, we are invited to have all our meals at Turquoise restaurant, where breakfast includes staples such as an egg station, a selection of cereals, breads, cold cuts, sausages and cheeses, rice congee, fresh juices, chia puddings, coffee and Turkish tea.

Both the lunch and dinner buffets offer similar dishes, such as a variety of salads, seafood, cold cuts, sushi, a pasta station, lamb shank, roasted veggies, dips and freshly cut veggies. The dessert options are plentiful — warm Umm Ali, pastries, ice creams, baklavas and cakes to name a few — although nothing was particularly outstanding.

The scene

One of four swimming pools at Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi. Photo: Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi

Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi has 563 rooms — including superior rooms, two-bedroom family rooms and several categories of suites such as junior, senior, executive, presidential and royal — each offering either city or ocean views.

The property has four swimming pools — two for families, one for children and one for adults only; the latter also features a swim-up bar. If you’d rather top up your tan on the beach, it's just beyond the adults' pool and has several shaded loungers, but aim to get there early as the beds get snapped up pretty quickly.

Parents seeking a bit of quiet time can drop off the little ones at the colourful Rixy Kids Club, where games, a ball pit and fun workshops such as balloon-twisting and bracelet-making are on offer, all under the supervision of trained staff. The hotel also offers a babysitting service.

There is a schedule of weekly sports activities on offer for guests, including CrossFit, Pilates and Tabata — check with the front desk to find out what is going on when you check in.

The Naturelife Spa has separate facilities for men and women, but also offers couples' massages. There are an endless number of massages to choose from, but the signature one is the mixed massage, which is a combination of Swedish and Yatsu massage and stretches. I loved being able to choose which type of oil suits me best — I decided on lavender — and the therapist also used hot stones. The 60-minute treatment left me feeling relaxed and refreshed — and is one of the highlights of my stay. The spa also has a Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam..

Rixos Abu Dhabi also offers a complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and Marina Mall for guests, and butler service is also available on request.

Highs and lows

Rooms at Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi offer beautiful Arabian Gulf views. Photo: Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi

The beach and the spa were the highlights of our stay. If you have the time, the signature massage is highly recommended; it helped get rid of some niggling pain in my neck and I slept like a baby afterwards.

At the beach, staff ensured our umbrellas were angled to keep the sun away at all times and we had the option of ordering drinks right to our loungers, which is always lovely.

The low was the food in the buffet. Dishes served during lunch and dinner were very similar with several dishes repeated for all four of our meals, which left us a little disappointed. Guests staying at the property for longer than a day or two would likely appreciate a bit more variety.

The insider tip

Views from Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi are magical. Photo: Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi

When checking in, request a room with a balcony if they are available. Not all rooms have one, but those that do, offer stellar views of the Abu Dhabi Corniche, including the grand Qasr Al Watan and Emirates Palace. The vistas feel even more magical at night amid the twinkling city lights.

The verdict

With several activities on offer for little ones, Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi is a great pick for families visiting Abu Dhabi and for those seeking a child-friendly staycation in the city. With its luxury spa and relaxing beachside scene, it's also a good pick for couples seeking a relaxing getaway.

The bottom line

Rates at Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi start from Dh900, plus taxes. Check-in is from 3pm and checkout is at noon. More information is available at

This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel. It reflects hotel standards during this time, services may change in the future

Updated: April 17, 2023, 7:15 AM