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Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Cathay Pacific First Class 777 San Francisco To Hong Kong
Review: Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Review: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Suite
Review: Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class A330 Hong Kong To Kuala Lumpur
Review: Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Review: Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge Kuala Lumpur Airport
Review: Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737 Kuala Lumpur To Bali
Review: St. Regis Bali Pool Suite
Review: St. Regis Bali Lagoon Villa
Review: St. Regis Bali Restaurants & Activities
Review: Premier Lounge Bali Denpasar Airport
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class 777 Bali To Doha
Review: St. Regis Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge Doha Airport
Review: Qatar Airways First Class 777 Doha To Abu Dhabi
Review: Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
Review: Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Interlude: 30 Hours In Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad US Pre-Clearance Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport
Review: Etihad First Class A380 Abu Dhabi To New York
Review: Le Parker Meridien New York
I’m fiercely loyal to Hyatt and Starwood. As much as I think the loyalty programs add a ton of value for those of us who spend 50+ nights per year in hotels, for many others I think choosing to stay at smaller hotel brands without great loyalty programs can be a better option.
There’s no denying that you’re sometimes compromising your hotel experience by choosing to stay at a major hotel chain, as was evident with my stay at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, which I would have never stayed at if it weren’t an SPG property.
So for my last night in Abu Dhabi I decided to mix things up. I’ve never stayed at a Rosewood property before, but have heard great things about the brand. The Rosewood Abu Dhabi opened in 2013, and had a deal I couldn’t turn down.
The hotel belongs to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, which I have access to thanks to The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. By booking this hotel through Fine Hotels & Resorts I received the following perks:
- Daily breakfast for two people
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Guaranteed 4PM check-out
- Noon check-in, subject to availability
- Complimentary in-room wifi
- $100 property credit to be used during the stay
The cost of my one night stay? 800AED, or ~$215 per night. That’s a heck of a deal, and certainly a rate at which I thought it was worth “experimenting” outside my preferred hotel brands.
Funny enough the Rosewood Abu Dhabi was located across the water from Le Meridien Abu Dhabi. From my balcony at Le Meridien, the Rosewood was actually the most noticeable building. In the below picture (which I took from Le Meridien), the Rosewood is the curved building towards the very front.
The hotel is located on Al Maryah Island, which is still largely under construction. The hotel has a central location, in the sense that it’s between downtown Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, and Al Reem Island. However, Al Maryah Island as such isn’t fully developed yet, so there’s not much in the immediate area of the hotel. On the plus side, you can be just about anywhere you want to be with a quick taxi drive.
Upon arriving at the hotel the bellman immediately opened the taxi door and gave me a smile and warm welcome. While I was fine carrying my own bags, he still escorted me to the check-in desk.
The lobby was gorgeous. It had an incredible scent and was immaculately designed. Not only was everything flawlessly clean, but I thought the design will also age well. In other words, this hotel won’t be outdated in a few years.
Off the lobby was a lobby lounge, with gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows which must have been at least 30 feet tall.
At check-in I was assisted by a friendly associate, who had me checked in within minutes. She explained that I was entitled to 4PM check-out (which I was taking advantage of), complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, and that I could use my $100 property credit in the spa, restaurants, or for in-room dining.
I was assigned a room on the seventh floor, though hadn’t actually asked about an upgrade (and therefore I guess I wasn’t given one). I received two keys for my room, which were unique. They were square, and featured some local artwork on them. Little touches like this can really help make a hotel memorable, in my opinion.
The elevators were located across from reception, so I took one up to the seventh floor.
Upon exiting the elevator I turned right, and then my room was located on the left.
I was assigned room 712, which seemed to be a deluxe room.
As you can see based on the below floorplan, it’s a standard room.
The room was beautiful. It featured an entryway with the bathroom on the left and then closets on both the left and the right, and then a vanity on the right.
While the room wasn’t that big, it was extremely efficiently designed, with gorgeous furnishings. The centerpiece of the room was the king bed, which had a leather “bench” at the foot of it.
There was a sliding panel between the bathroom and bedroom, which is a design feature I love, especially when the bathrooms are nice. It’s cool to have the option of making the room feel larger by opening it, or otherwise getting some privacy if you’re traveling with someone.
By the window was a comfy chair with an ottoman, which had a magazine rack next to it.
Across from the bed was a flat screen TV located in a built-in wall panel, which had further storage. There was also a desk with a comfortable rolling leather chair.
I loved that the desk had both two international outlets as well as a USB outlet built into the wall. While some hotels give you an adapter, it’s nice to be able to plug stuff directly into the wall.
The bathroom took up a large amount of the room’s square footage, with double sinks, a gorgeous soaking tub, a large walk-in rainforest shower, and a partitioned off toilet & bidet.
Toiletries were provided by Roja. While that wasn’t a brand I had previously heard of, the quality was excellent.
My room faced the hotel’s pool area, as well as the surrounding new developments on Al Maryah Island.
Waiting on the table was some bottled water as well as some packaged dates.
Back near the entrance on the right side was the minibar, as well as a Nespresso machine. The minibar selection was quite impressive.
Next to the minibar was the safe, hair dryer, and laundry bag.
Across from it was a large closet with a luggage rack.
Next to that was a vanity with mirror — not often you see that in a standard room!
The TV was pretty high tech, in the sense that you could control several of the room’s functions through the TV.
Most high tech was the iPad next to the bed, which had all kinds of information about the hotel (including the spa menu, in-room dining menu, restaurant information, etc.), as well as the controls for the room. The room was almost too high tech, as it took me quite a while to figure out how to operate all the lights, the blinds, etc. But I’m also not the most tech savvy person out there.
Upon arriving at my room I was brought a small plate of Arabic sweets as a welcome amenity, along with a letter welcoming me.
The hotel’s pool is located on the third floor, and is a beautiful space. Not only is there a great lap pool, but I loved the outdoor furniture as well. There were lounge chairs, cabanas, etc. There was also a pool bar outside.
The pool boasted great views both of the hotel itself (which really is a beautiful building), as well as the surrounding waterfront.
The hotel’s fitness center is located on the second floor, and is well equipped.
In the morning breakfast was served at Aqua, the hotel’s main restaurant, from 6:30AM until 10:30AM (on weekends they serve breakfast until 11AM). It’s also located on the third floor.
For booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts I was entitled to a complimentary buffet breakfast, though I could also custom order eggs, pancakes, french toast, etc.
The buffet spread wasn’t huge, though everything looked great and seemed to be high quality. The restaurant was also extremely peaceful, as there weren’t more than a dozen or so guests.
I also loved that they served French Press coffee.
This had been a long trip at this point, so when I stayed here I actually didn’t leave the hotel once. Sometimes you just need a day to recover in the middle of a trip, and this was that day for me. Other than breakfast and checking out the pool, I didn’t leave my room once.
I had room service lunch the first day, which consisted of fish tacos. They were tasty.
Then for dinner I had the prawn curry, which was equally good.
That was easily covered using my $100 food & beverage credit.
The next day at 4PM I checked out, in anticipation of the inaugural Etihad A380 flight from Abu Dhabi to New York.
I was extremely impressed by the Rosewood Abu Dhabi. If this hotel is representative of what the rest of the Rosewood brand is like, I’ll certainly go out of my way to stay at their properties again.
This was a gorgeous property with perfectly designed rooms and flawless service. At the rate I was paying it was a bargain, too.
For those who aren’t super frequent hotel guests but who like to get value out of their hotel stays, going for status might not make sense when when you can just use Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and Virtuoso to receive elite-style benefits at some stunning hotels.
Have you ever stayed at a Rosewood hotel? What was your experience like?