While there is plenty on offer in Abu Dhabi in the way of luxurious hotel rooms and beach resorts, the up and coming Al Bateen Marina district offers one of the newest hotels on the market — the Abu Dhabi Edition. As Marriott opened the first official Edition hotel in the Middle East late in 2018, expectations were high to see what the brand had to offer an already busy market.
THE PACKING EDIT
To start, with its striking contemporary exterior architecture and smaller number of rooms, the Edition immediately feels more intimate than many of the larger city properties. This waterfront hotel presents an outdoor porte-cochère which immediately inspires a luxurious Palm Springs vibe. With the use of natural materials and a host of friendly staff to assist with luggage, the check-in process is an easy one. Upon entering the hotel, an aroma of the customised, but subtle scent floats through the lobby. With stylish seating arrangements for meetings, or for visitors to use as a modern workspace, there is ample room for everyone. The lobby is also a place to play, as there is a billiards table handy for an afternoon match with friends. A kinetic art installation soars over the open space and operates five times throughout the day, and lush planting is found everywhere. Like many a hotel in the United Arab Emirates, the friendly international staff is able to communicate in a number of languages, and, at the Edition, are upbeat and undeniably proud of their property.
With a range of rooms and suites in the Edition, all categories are spacious and take a relatively simple approach to design. The ultra-minimalist elements allow guests to relax without clutter or distraction. Crank up the aircon and cuddle in some of the world’s cosiest robes, while you rest on a wonderfully comfortable bed, or sit outside and watch the lights of the city come on, all while overlooking the marina. Tall ceilings, easy to control curtains, and Bang & Olufsen speakers are welcome additions, and lush thread counts ensure a contented sleep. Le Labo toiletries – created just for the Edition – are on hand, and unlike many hotels in the UAE, the Edition stocks reusable glass bottles. Among other green initiatives at the Edition, we wish other properties in the city would follow this lead. When possible, request or book a Marina view room, and wake up to the stunning skyline of Abu Dhabi.
Although there is no beach access at the Edition, the marina views, pool (complete with loungers, cabanas, and poolside bar), modern gym, and onsite spa should make any travellerr to the Edition feel welcome.
Fancy yourself a bit of a foodie? The Edition is definitely the right place for you. Globally recognized chef Tom Aikens has involvement in two of the restaurants, the chic steakhouse, Oak Room, which has some of the best cuts of steak in the country and includes its own meat sommelier (ask for Charlie to tell you the story of how he came to Abu Dhabi). The Oak Room also boasts a private dining room, one of the best soundtracks in the city, and outdoor seating in cooler months. Chef Tom also contributed to the Alba Terrace, which offers fine Mediterranean flare. Market at Edition has plenty of options for the health-conscious diner (avocado toast, anyone?) for breakfast and other options throughout the day. Both Alba Terrace and the Market at Edition also offer one of the UAE’s time-honoured traditions of the Friday brunch, should you be so inclined. Room service and poolside food are also available.
Feeling thirsty? The contemporary design of The Library at the Edition is the perfect place to start or end your evening. Done in dark wood and luxurious fabrics, the romantic lounge features quirky wall art and an extended cocktail menu.
Want to wander? Al Bateen has some interesting nearby restaurants within walking distance (camel burger, ahem), or jump in a taxi to explore more of what Abu Dhabi has to offer.
Planning a meeting? The on-site three-level Annex can be utilized in a number of creative ways for conferences or other events.
Want to live here? (Yes, really). The hotel is connected to residences, should you want to move in on a more permanent basis.
Overall, the Edition offers an ultimately chill location to see Abu Dhabi from, and one for seasoned travellers to enjoy a well-earned break.