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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

The Park Hyatt wading pool looks right over the beach.

© Hyatt Hotels.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi in a Nutshell:

Abu Dhabi is undergoing an ambitious drive to raise its profile to rival that of its emirate neighbor Dubai. As part of the master plan, ten-square-mile Saadiyat Island, which lies 500-yards off the mainland, has been turned into one of the world’s largest construction sites.

Over the next two decades an entire new city will be built out of the sand, with condominiums and $10 million villas laid out amid greenbelts and golf courses, while institutions like the Louvre and Guggenheim will be opening branches. Facing the Persian Gulf sands and opened in time for the November, 2011 Formula One Etihad Airways Grand Prix race, the Park Hyatt Hotel and Villas have gotten a jump on what will soon be a booming Saadiyat scene.

Guest Rooms at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

Decorated in contemporary takes on Arabic themes, all of the Park Hyatt’s 306 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies large enough to fit a crowd. At 1,300 square feet, the suites are more than double the standard rooms in size, with the Sea View category being much more desirable than those facing the hotel front.

Besides a king bed with goose down duvets, all rooms have a soft leather chaise-longue style couch. Marble bathrooms have both a freestanding Toto tub and open shower with Hansgrohe rainshower, and are stocked with Bergamonte products. Some suites come with private jet pools, and villas have butler service. Old-fashioned looking alarm clocks with proper hour hands are a nice bedside touch, and daily fresh fruit a treat in the hot climate.

Dining at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

With its enormously high ceilings, the Café is a bright place to start the day. The breakfast buffet is largely western fare (a team of chefs manages an egg station in the rear) with Arabic touches like hummus and feta-like cheese. Secret tip: breakfast is also served in the Beach House lounge overlooking the ocean, but few guests realize it.

The Café also serves Arabic meze plates all day. The bar portion of the Park Bar and Grill is upstairs and has outside seating. Guests entering the downstairs restaurant proper can scan the seafood bar and observe the action in the open kitchen. Popular main dishes in the Grill range from steamed sea bream fillet with shitake mushroom and bok choy to grilled Australian Wagyu tenderloin and ribeye.

Destination Weddings at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

A Park Hyatt destination wedding specialist works with couples to customize a package that suits their taste, including food and beverage choices. The resort arranges with outside vendor for flowers, music, and photography. The hotel does not process documents, but will guide guests to the proper legal channels.

There is a wide selection of venues available throughout the resort for both wedding ceremony and reception. The largest, the Alyazya Ballroom, holds 300 guests for dinner, or 600 for a reception, and can be divided for smaller parties (the terrace is used for cocktail gatherings).

The beach is offered exclusively to smaller groups with a maximum capacity of thirty guests. Choice backdrops for photographs are right by the waterfront as well. Wedding party guests are offered special rates for two days following ceremony.

Activities at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

Six miles of white sand stretch out in front of the Park Hyatt on the Caribbean-blue waters of the Persian Gulf (referred to locally as just the Gulf). A thirty-yard long boardwalk leads from the property out to a handful of daybeds on the private beach.

For those preferring fresh water, elevated daybeds under palm trees line the shallow wading pool in front of the beach (a larger pool is onsite as well). Couples can work on their tennis game on the property, or tee off on a Gary Player 18-hole golf course just outside.

The resort can also arrange offsite diving. Atarmia Spa has a couples treatment room with a private hot tub. Among several treatment options, Atarmia Opulence makes use of gemstones, diamond dust, honey, and hot olive oil in an aromatic hot stone massage; a caviar or diamond facial completes the experience.

Nearby Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

With Swarosvki chandeliers and inlaid white marble floors and walls, the $545 million Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is breathtaking. Opened in 2006, the world’s sixth largest mosque holds 40,000 worshippers. For another grandiose experience, the opulent Emirates Palace hotel is worth a stroll (for the lobby’s can’t miss gold-dispensing ATM alone). For a more cardio activity, couples can walk or bike ride on the Corniche where public events and concerts take place, or for thrills take a speed boat tour through the city waterways.

Ferrari World theme park, with the world’s fastest roller coaster and gallery of vintage race cars, is a hoot. Romantic balloon tours over the desert are available 90 minutes away around the historic city of Al Ain. A date-palm oasis in the middle of town makes for a cool stop, as does the renovated late-19th-century Al Jahili fort with a permanent exhibit on legendary British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger’s crossings of the desert.

What to Watch out for at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

As in many luxe hotels, the length of time it takes to get the hang of the sophisticated lighting system can try the less-than-patient. In an opening-week kink, a request for staff to return later for turn-down service was forgotten. Wifi is not free.

Vibe at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:

As one of the anchors in what is a community in progress, the Park Hyatt is poised to evolve over time with an influence from the developing world-class arts community. With the Emirates being relatively close to Europe, the property’s guest mix for now is reflected in a high proportion of sunseekers from the continent, as well as Indian families for whom the trip is short.

The resort scene also includes plenty of Emirati locals who come to visit the hair salon, dine and socialize. Designed in earth tones, the Library is a discrete non-businessny business center that doubles as a tea lounge and pastry shop with a fireplace.

Despite the massive size of the hotel grounds, high ceilings and stone floors, the entire property manages to remain hushed. Locally produced art works that blend traditional Gulf motifs with high-end contemporary design lend a bit of gallery feel to the lobby.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Info and Reservations:

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas
Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Phone: 971-2-407-1234
Official Hotel Website

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. In addition, he received roundtrip business class air travel courtesy of Etihad Airways. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy .

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