At Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, you get urban sophistication with beach chic in equal measure. Jo Brett checks in and explores every corner of the property…
Centrally located in Abu Dhabi’s Al Maqta area, the iconic Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, which is part of the AccorHotels Group, is a modern luxurious hotel that offers guests beautifully appointed comfortable rooms, first-rate cuisine choices and a prime spot from which to explore the capital.
The striking angular designed building is iconic, a contemporary masterpiece inside and out, the lobby is reminiscent of an art gallery with artworks, funky furniture, statement cloud lighting, oral displays and a distinct scent that evokes memories of past visits. A show-stopping black marble and chrome staircase leads down to the restaurant concourse and provides access to an outdoor seating area and oversized water features, the glass lifts give you the first glimpse of the hotel’s stunning waterfront vista. A fervent supporter of local artists, the hotel hosts regular exhibitions, including the annual ‘No White Walls’ show, and its corridors act as a permanent gallery for bespoke pieces.
Each of the 369 elegant rooms and suites are decorated in neutral tones offset by patterned carpets and vibrant artwork. Alongside the king sized bed the spacious sea view rooms have a separate living space with a sofa, a desk and plenty of wardrobe space. The bathroom is divided into three areas with double sinks, a large free-standing bathtub housed in a wet room with an overhead shower and separate toilet.
The expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows affords guests superb panoramic views day and night across the hotel’s private beach and pools, the Khor Al Maqta channel, the three bridges that connect the area to the mainland and the incredible Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Designed to fulfill the needs of the discerning guest, Fairmont Gold is for both the leisure and business traveller. The experience starts with private check-in on the private Fairmont Gold floor, rooms are located on the top three floors along with the exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge where continental breakfast, afternoon canapés and an honour bar are available. The dedicated Gold team extends a personalised service to ensure that all guest requirements are fulfilled.
With both indoor and outdoor spaces, the Cedar Lounge on the opposite side of the corridor serves Lebanese cuisine and attracts a loyal clientele. New outlets include the modern lobby level Cafe Sushi, an American style upmarket Sports Bar, the Lobby Lounge that serves 80 different teas and Puesta del Sol, an alfresco bar and restaurant serving Spanish favourites (closed in the summer).
MPW is a classy restaurant with chic interiors and a feature fame wall that wouldn’t look out of place in a ski lodge. The menu offers diners steaks and seafood paired with an extensive wine list, while it may initially not seem the best for vegetarians they o er the neighbouring Frankie’s menu with its special c dietary requirements sections. The restaurant has popular theme nights like the Great Steakout every Wednesday that’s designed for meat lovers with a big appetite. Those who like to test themselves can try the Tomahawk Challenge, 1kg of prime steak to be consumed in its entirety with numerous sides and a litre beverage of choice within thirty minutes, complete it and your meal is free.
The Great Saturday Roast, a three-course gourmet journey started with a soup followed by the signature Salmon Experience, diners cook the thinly sliced sh at the table with hot salt and then garnish to taste. Unlimited cuts of roast lamb, beef and chicken are then served with all trimmings and sauces. After dinner aperitifs were expertly prepared at our table from the restaurant’s well stocked gin trolley, the extensive range of the juniper based beverages were mixed with various fruits and berries. I can confirm that on-trend gin craze is alive and well at MPW.
Under the direction of Executive chef Gianluca, Frankie’s is back to its former glory with a renewed emphasis on fresh and seasonal Italian cuisine. All the classics like antipasti, pizza, pasta, lasagne, ravioli, tiramisu are featured on the menu alongside signature dishes, regular deliveries from Italy ensuring the authentic flavours. A wooden trolley laden with creamy buffalo mozzarella, seasonal colourful tomatoes and avoured olive oils was wheeled to our table so my Caprese could be constructed by the chef, some may call this is a gimmick but I enjoyed the interactive experience.
Guests can relax by the poolside or on the white sandy private beach, plenty of loungers and cabanas are available and for those more active there’s watersports and separate male and female gyms.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr meets the luxury traveller’s requirements for a memorable stay, whether you are looking for the ultimate destination to discover more of Abu Dhabi, relax beachside, enjoy the variety of fine dining cuisine or even catch the latest sports fixture.
For more information or reservations call: +971 2 654 3333