Business or pleasure, Rosewood Abu Dhabi caters to all types of travellers - Hotel Insider

Property offers eight dining outlets, a children's club and direct access to Galleria Al Maryah Island

Powered by automated translation

Standing tall on Al Maryah Island, the towering falcon wing-shaped building of Rosewood Abu Dhabi is hard to miss.

Nestled in a financial hub, the hotel is quite popular with business travellers, but does it make for a good spot for a staycation? The National checks in to find out.

The welcome

After being briefly misdirected by the GPS, I finally find myself at the hotel entrance, where a polite valet takes my car while my luggage is taken to the lobby. The elegant space features mostly dark wood paired with muted tones, and there are several artworks on display, a few among the 200 pieces spread across the hotel.

The wall behind the check-in counter features a striking installation made of glass bottles inspired by the desert sunset. Suraj ensures check-in is swift and I am up in my room within five minutes, along with my luggage.

I am given a tour of the room by a member of the staff as I settle in. On a side table, there are seven dates, one for each emirate I am told, along with some other sweet treats.

The neighbourhood

Rosewood Abu Dhabi is in good company, with Abu Dhabi Global Market and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi nearby.

The hotel also offers direct access to The Galleria Al Maryah Island, one of the capital’s most popular malls, which is home to several luxury and high-street brands, restaurants, cafes and a cinema.

The room

There are 148 rooms and 41 suites. I'm staying in an executive room. It features a muted colour palette, with calming beige tones offsetting the wooden accents. There is ample wardrobe space and a vanity with extra lighting, where getting ready is a treat.

The king-sized bed is plush and comfortable and faces a large television that offers a good mix of English and Arabic channels, and allows guests to chrome cast, in case they want to watch their favourite Netflix show.

Business travellers will appreciate the working desk with ample charging points. There are also enough charging points all around, including both sides of the bed, and it’s incredibly helpful to have specific switches labelled for lights, as well as a master button if you want to switch it off in one go. Blackout curtains also ensure a good night’s sleep.

The mini bar has a selection of complimentary teas and coffees and is also stocked with other snacks and drinks that are chargeable. An iPad in the room has information guests may require, as well as the in-room dining menu. My room offers views of the sea and the city, but it is worth noting that none of the rooms in this property have balconies.

The bathroom features his and hers sinks, a toilet and shower in separate cubicles, plus a large stand-alone bathtub next to a frosted glass screen. It can be opened, meaning guests can watch television while they’re in the bath. Toiletries are placed in refillable bottles, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion, while there are also Roberto Cavalli soaps.

The service

Staff are incredibly friendly and warm – and remember the details of my stay, which is a nice touch.

At the restaurants, service is quick and efficient, with staff never too far away to cater to guests’ needs. A special shoutout goes to Apollo, who looks after my friend and I while we dine at La Cava.

The scene

While it caters to a fair number of business travellers, Rosewood Abu Dhabi has something to offer all. Among other treatments, Sense, A Rosewood Spa, has collaborated with Seven Wellness to offer sound-healing therapy, which can also be combined with massages. Male guests, meanwhile, can enjoy facials at the spa, which has also collaborated with Gentleman’s Tonic.

There is also a fitness centre, a pool and a children’s club at the property. Families with children can enjoy the weekend brunches, where little ones are well-catered for, with access to the pool and the children’s club, as well as a buffet for youngsters. At the club, they can enjoy a variety of arts and crafts and play video games, among other activities. Babysitting services are also available on request.

For those visiting from out of town, there is the option to book tours of Abu Dhabi, which can be arranged with the concierge. Guests interested in art can also ask for an art tour of the property.

The food

At Rosewood Abu Dhabi, guests can take their pick from eight dining outlets – Dai Pai Dong, Glo, Hidden Bar, La Cava, Majlis Lobby Lounge, Aqua, BB Social Dining and Em Sherif Sea Cafe.

During our two-night stay, we try La Cava, a wine cellar-style restaurant that offers a large selection of drinks, along with a platter, which includes cheeses such as goat’s cheese with herbs, Brie with pineapple and blue cheese, served alongside grapes, apricots, walnuts and bread.

From the light bites we try, our favourites include the tomato bruschetta (Dh48), which come slathered in creamy goat cheese and topped with tomatoes; the creamy duck rillette (Dh69), which feature a slow-cooked duck served with tomato chutney and a crusty baguette; and the crispy courgette fries with mascarpone (Dh58), which feel like a mozzarella stick from the outside and pair well with the accompanying, slightly spicy dip. La Cava also houses a cigar room.

Dinner at Cantonese restaurant Dai Pai Dong offers dishes including home-made noodles, dim sums and a selection of barbecued meats. I triy the Xiao Long Bao (Dh50), delicious, steamed dumplings with a very punchy and comforting broth; Chinese greens sauteed with garlic (Dh65), which pair well with the nice but vinegary Kung Pao chicken (Dh118); and a portion of the steamed rice (Dh38). The restaurant is fairly busy on a Friday night and diners can watch cooks whip up feasts in the open kitchen.

The highlight, though, is the breakfast at Aqua. A varied, lavish and delicious spread awaits guests at this restaurant, which also hosts a garden brunch.

The breakfast spread caters to varying tastes with options including sausages, turkey bacon, baked goods, porridge and cold cuts. There are salads, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, alongside cheeses and nuts. A variety of cereals are spread out alongside milk options, as are chia seed puddings, as well as plain and fruit yoghurts.

Guests can get eggs made to order or try a Middle Eastern-style breakfast with foul and shakshouka, and Indian options such as aloo bhaji and parathas.

Little ones will enjoy the restaurant’s offerings of doughnuts, croissants and other baked sweet treats.

Tea and coffee are served at the table and, if you like tea, a pot of their soul-soothing masala chai is a must.

Highs and lows

Dinner at La Cava is highly recommended. The property is buzzing, but not loud, and the rooms offer a quiet retreat.

The only low, if I must pick one, is the food at Dai Pai Dong isn't particularly impressive.

The insider tip

Rosewood Abu Dhabi offers guests a beach access pass to Saadiyat Beach Club should they want some time by the sea.

The verdict

Rosewood Abu Dhabi is a great pick for business travellers or UAE residents looking for a quiet staycation with plenty of options to indulge in good food and drink or shopping, and even for families looking for a weekend break.

The bottom line

Rooms at Rosewood Abu Dhabi start at Dh900 plus taxes for the classic room. Check-in is from 3pm and checkout is at noon. More information is available at

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

Updated: January 19, 2024, 2:45 PM