The higher to the sky, the classier it gets
◎ West Corniche, AL khubeirah – أبو ظبي – Abu Dhabi, UAE
+971 2 811 5555
$ Rooms start from $241 AUD per night.
✓ Arabian glamour and excess done oh so right
Couldn’t find a fault, except for the heat outside 😉
I remember as a kid lots of stories that featured deserts in them often included reference to a mirage of some sort – like the vision of a beautiful pond when you’re stranded in a sandstorm, or a shady palm tree when the sun is bearing down on you.
A work trip found me in Abu Dhabi for a few days and, thanks to the lovely team at Etihad, staying at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, which as your driver tears down the highway from Abu Dhabi airport, rise up from the ground in a spectacular fashion.
The towers are big, glassy, bold and amazing. Like razors that cut the sky they stand gleaming in the hot sun (oh that sun). We arrive at night and a tad tired / dehydrated so the beauty of the Jumeirah foyer is lost on me at first, but that definitely wasn’t lost on me the next morning when I emerge from the lifts and find my jaw promptly on the floor.
And those lifts, they’re impressive, like mostly everything in this hotel. “They each feature full panels of rare marble” our guide proudly points out to us, noting that it’s much more expensive that way. We nod, thinking that the marble is only one of about a million other features that make this hotel stand out.
Our rooms are on the Level 57 and are spacious and luxurious. My room features a tiled hallway leading to a double glass door bathroom with glittering mosaic features, a spa bath, double vanity, private shower and toilet / bidet. And then there’s the toiletries – these are by far the biggest, most impressive toiletries I’ve ever seen in a hotel room.
Each bottle (there’s shampoo, conditioner, body milk, body scrub and moisturiser) represents a tower of the hotel, standing tall on a special podium, and they’re 75ml each, which is crazy big and more than enough for a week’s stay at the hotel.
Moving into the bedroom, there’s a chaise lounge and table where there’s a fruit platter, a local drink which tastes like liquid Turkish Delight and a tray with stuffed gourmet dates and chocolates greeting me. I’m not sure if it’s there because I’m staying as a guest of Etihad or if this is a feature of this level of room, but it’s delicious and barely lasts the night. Incidentally the fruit bowl is replaced four times in three days – at one stage I had three bowls in the same room and way too many bananas.
The hotel is built on top of a luxury mall that features a whole bunch of shops you probably will never shop at (or maybe you will?) there’s Cartier, Hermes, Gucci, and the rest of the euro-luxe bunch. We have access to the executive lounge which serves a delicious simple breakfast featuring an omelette station, fresh juices and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea and a light dinner. There’s also complimentary alcoholic drinks from 12pm till midnight every day and staff who are so polite you find yourself in a thank you / you’re welcome spiral every time you’re there.
Elsewhere in the hotel there’s the breathtaking Observation Deck 300 / Sky Deck which is only accessible to guests of the hotel. You’ll find it tucked away behind the lobby on the right hand side of the hotel and it’s worth a visit. You’ll enter a lift that hurtles you up a whopping 72 floors to the highest human point of the towers where you can use supplied telescopes to view the city below or indulge in the highest high tea in Abu Dhabi. Fun.
Truth is, even if the heat wasn’t crazy, you really struggle to find a reason to leave a hotel as lovely as Jumeirah. Much like the town planning strategy of Abu Dhabi, you can tell the team at Etihad have spent a lot of time picking the best bits of hotels from around the world and moulding them into these magnificent towers. A high feat indeed.
Travel stayed as a guest of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers