Have we got ourselves a new Yas kween…

Sitting pretty in the centre of Abu Dhabi’s thrill and fun hub, Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island opened in February of this year to high expectations. The fancy five-star property has the potential to be one of the brightest stars of the Dhs12 billion Yas Bay development, and along with Etihad Arena, was one of the first to launch.

With super convenient proximity to the spandex-clad heroes of Warner Bros. World, the high-octane record-breaking rides of Ferrari World and the tidal wave of fun that is Yas Waterworld, the hotel is poised to become a launchpad for a ‘world’ of family adventures, as well as a deluxe destination in its own right.

But how does it measure up to those great expectations? Will this hotel take the Yas Kween crown for number one family staycations in the capital? We sent a What’s On family to find out.

The location

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island very much led the charge in the first phase of Yas Bay openings. And in terms of point-blank surroundings, it still feels a little like a privileged habitation module afloat a sea of change. But that doesn’t really interfere with the main motivations for coming here, chiefly — chilling out and thrilling out (relaxing-all-cool, sipping on smoothies outside of the pool). This hotel checks in with some big leisure amenity swagger, and is just 10 minutes away from the Yas Island Theme Parks.

The look and feel

From the outside, this hotel could pass as a Presidential Palace — the tiered white form is a picture postcard from a bygone Hilton era. But nostalgia is a spell immediately broken after walking through the lobby, this is a proudly modern hotel, with artful design installations and clever lighting contributing to a warm, welcoming feel. It’s open too, with changes in decor denoting space change rather than doorways and at just three months old, it’s still very clearly factory fresh.

The facilities

Creating a resort that can cater as well for kids as it does for couples-that-would-rather-avoid-kids, is tough. And this is where Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island has performed a prestigious sleight of hand. The pool complex is everything you’d want from a family friendly fun zone, but there’s also a secluded adults-only area too. There’s the wild yin of a kids club offering indoor and alfresco entertainment options, and contrasting calming yang of the hotel’s beautiful eforea spa. And for those intent on exploring the island’s theme parks (there’s access to one park per day for each guest on every day of your stay), you can catch a free shuttle to each attraction from just outside the lobby.

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The rooms

The rooms are modern, light and filled with exactly the sort of touches you’d expect from a five-star tourist class hotel (espresso machine, we’re looking at you). We’re happy to report that despite Yas Bay still largely being under construction, very little noise filters through to the hotel. The pool view room balconies offer a glamourous glimpse across the waterway to the mainland’s Al Raha beach, and to the right of the property you might also spy the ‘now-loading’ Pier 71, a leisure destination that’s set to feature 12 food and beverage outlets. The staging site for the resort’s beach club, that may or may not have something to do with Cafe Del Mar UAE, is also visible from pool-side rooms balconies.

The food and drinks

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island’s all-day diner, Graphos offers a la carte and buffet meals, we feel like we havn’t seen the full extent of what this restaurant can do yet, but we’re patiently waiting to see what comes next. Osmo is a cute little lounge bar with distinct mood changes between sun up and sun dowm, and we were big fans of pool bar Capila’s poke bowls.

The room rates

Right now there are some unbelievably strong deals on stays. You can pick up family holidays, with breakfast and park access from as little as Dhs750 per night (a rate that’s valid for Eid stays). There are also great value half-board upgrades available.

Yas Island, book now on hilton.com, Tel: (02) 208 6888

Images: Provided