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It’s no surprise that Abu Dhabi has its fair share of swanky luxury hotels, given its prominent place in the United Arab Emirates’ business and banking worlds. Live it up like Middle Eastern royalty at any of Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi:
1. Emirates Palace. This iconic hotel located just off the Corniche, near the waterfront, features incredible architecture at every turn and one of the most luxurious stays in the city. Upon arrival a personal butler, available 24 hours a day, will greet you and lead you to your lavish guest room or suite, where he’ll give you a tutorial of the elaborate lighting and in-room entertainment systems and, of course, remind you he’s available to assist you with whatever you might need, whenever you might need it. Facilities here include 14 bars and restaurants, the posh Anantara Spa, two pools and gyms and tennis courts.
2. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi. This futuristic-looking Abu Dhabi luxury hotel is a favorite of traveling adrenaline junkies given its location atop the Formula 1 race track on Yas Island and the marina. From your spacious guest room or suite you can get awesome views of the Ferraris whizzing by on race days or of yachts catching the wind in the marina – and the 42-inch flat-screen television, king-sized bed with down comforter and pillows and mood-lighting in your room aren’t bad either.
3. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi. This is our top pick for families with kids. In addition to 11 restaurants and a covered outdoor play area, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi features a private beach and several temperature-controlled pools, including one for kids. We also like that the hotel is connected through a passageway to Abu Dhabi Mall, which makes life a bit easier when you want to squeeze in a family shopping excursion.
4. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. You’ll immediately be taken by the lush landscapes and Venetian-style waterways connecting many of the attractions at this Abu Dhabi outpost from the reliably luxurious Shangri-La chain. In fact, you’ll need to hop aboard an abra – the Arabian version of a gondola – to get to the hotel’s souk or spa. Located just 10 minutes from the international airport, this stunning hotel offers 214 guest rooms and suites, six four-bedroom villas (with private pools), nine restaurants and bars, two pools and top-notch business facilities.
5. St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. This new waterfront hotel features sweeping Mediterranean-style architecture, immaculate guest rooms and suites with incredible views of the ocean and, of course, St. Regis’s signature butler service. While you’re here you can play a round of golf at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, get a massage at the serene Iridium Spa and dine on gourmet cuisine at seven different restaurants, all without having to step foot outside the hotel’s property.