Staycation review: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Craving beachside bliss in Abu Dhabi? The lap of luxury awaits at the Bab Al Bahr…
On the sun-drenched shorefront of Khor Al Maqta in Abu Dhabi sits Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. The expansive property, adorned almost entirely in shimmering glass, overlooks a gorgeous white-sand beachfront true to its name, which translates to ‘gateway to the sea.’ Backdropping the golden beach is a stunning view of the emirate’s crowning jewel, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Look and feel
More glass equals more sunshine. As you check-in to your suite, you are immediately tempted to walk on down the sunlit foyer to catch a glimpse of the hotel’s private beach – a sight that signals the official start of your staycation. When you’re back to enjoy the indoors after an afternoon of fun in the sun, riveting design welcomes you to the foyer as ornate ceiling lamps illuminate the grandeur of the property.
We check-in to a grand Fairmont Gold suite, and our first instinct is to flop down on the uber-comfy couches, dig into a colourful basket of fruit, and tune in to the innumerable regional entertainment options at your fingertips. So much so, you almost forget about a deluxe suite oozing luxury and waiting to be discovered. Many of the rooms offer stunning views of the expansive beach and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, reminding you of why you chose to live in this beautiful city. Urban luxury is your perennial plus-one, with a fragrant range of Le Labo bath and body products pampering you throughout your weekend. You’ll be looking and feeling fresher than a daisy, long after you’ve enjoyed soaking in your in-suite bathtub that could double as a wading pool.
Food and drink
Guests are greeted into the welcoming Lobby Lounge, which serves up a selection of refreshing snack and beverage options. The lower-level houses the three flagship restaurants of the property – luxury dining at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse; CuiScene, with its lavish international buffet and Mazaj, for some of the best Mediterranean food in town. Be sure to try Mazaj’s refreshing Hibiscus Paradise on a searing summer day, with strong notes of hibiscus and passionfruit puckering your tastebuds until the last sip. To complement your drink, a cold mezze of melt-in-the-mouth Raheb will do the trick – succulent flavours that converge perfectly together.
For its five-star fitness facility, the hotel has teamed up with Volt Fitness, and it’s helmed by top trainers available to ensure you don’t miss a step towards your fitness goals. The facility brings you a sizeable selection of free weights, compound movement machines, cardio machines, CrossFit equipment and wellness options, mere steps away from the main lobby. If sweating it out is not on your to-do list, a traipse through the grandiose lobby will have you on the private beach, wondering whether to resort to the pool, take a dip in the open water or simply, lounge on a turquoise beach chair.
If you find yourself wishing the beach would stay accessible beyond sunset, we echo your sentiments. If you find yourself checking out wearily when it’s time to leave, we empathise. But we’re sure you will return very soon, and so will we.
A one-night stay at a Gold Suite starts from Dhs1,800 with breakfast.
Fairmont Bab al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi. Tel:(0)2 654 3333, fairmont.com/abu-dhabi