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Fairmont Bab Al Bahr 5.0

Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Two private beaches with sunbeds, beach umbrellas, and dedicated kids' area
  • Enormous 24-hour fitness center
  • Two spectacular outdoor swimming pools, kids' pool, and Olympic lap pool
  • Water sports include kayaking and paddleboarding
  • Free shuttle bus to popular attractions
  • Glamorous afternoon tea in lobby bar, with a tea sommelier
  • Two Marco Pierre White restaurants, a steakhouse and Italian
  • 24-hour room service
  • Supervised activities for kids and teens
  • Free parking

Cons

  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • No hotel spa
  • Smoking allowed in restaurants (a pro for some)

Bottom Line

The 369-room luxury Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is a high-end, exclusive hotel with fantastic views of Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque. The architecture is ultra-modern, and the lagoon-style pool feels like an oasis for princes and sheiks. The location might suit business travelers best, but the hotel offers a free shuttle to popular attractions. There are programmed activities for kids and teenagers, but this is not a low-key, anything goes resort. Rooms are stylish and luxe, with gorgeous Gulf views.

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Scene

Stunning and expensive, with an elite vibe and a pool like a desert oasis

The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is a luxury hotel designed to reflect Arab culture, with contemporary architecture and decor that brings the feeling of the Arabian sun and nearby Gulf into the space. This hotel is a celebrity destination, not a family-friendly resort with shuffleboard and toddlers' having run of the property. Accordingly, the public spaces are stunning, but the vibe is elite and somewhat cold. The immense, high-ceilinged lobby reflects Abu Dhabi creek and the Gulf, with an LED light display that represents falling water coupled with large blue, glass sculptures and picture windows. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is visible across the water, and, although liquor is served in the hotel, and both men and women can use the pool, there are separate (but equal) gyms for men and women. There is a kids' club with supervised activities for the younger set, but the restaurants are not equipped with high chairs, and the dining room atmosphere is not terribly kid-friendly. The pool feels like a desert oasis, with palm tree islands and plenty of space. 

Location

Surrounded by hotels, with a shuttle bus to major attractions

The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is located in Abu Dhabi’s Between the Bridges area, surrounded by hotels. There is nothing of interest for tourists in the immediate area. The hotel runs a shuttle bus to major attractions, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, two-and-a-half miles away. There is a golf course within two miles of the property, and the Abu Dhabi Mall and National Exhibition Center are 10 miles away. Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld Park are a 12-mile drive away, and Marina Mall is 16 miles from the hotel. The Fairmont is 30 minutes from the airport.

Rooms

Walls of windows, deep soaking tubs, and organic-themed decor

Rooms at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr have floor-to-ceiling windows, with beautiful water views. The decor is organic, with wallpaper featuring abstract branches in brown, white, and black tones, and striking floral artwork and rugs. The paneling and furniture are walnut, and the upholstery is inspired by bamboo flowers, contributing to the natural but contemporary cosmopolitan vibe. Rooms have large work-friendly desks (but pretty chairs that aren’t ergonomic). Connecting rooms are available for families and groups traveling together. Bathrooms are spacious and modern, with gorgeous deep soaking tubs, adjacent rainfall showers (without walls, in a wet room environment), fancy toiletries, and lots of marble and mosaic tile.

Features

Water sports, huge fitness center, steakhouse, and high tea

The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr offers activities for teens and kids, including swimming lessons, team sports, paddleboard, kayak, and sand castle building on the hotel’s private beach.The beach includes a designated kids’ area. The huge fitness center has great views, and plenty of cardio and weight machines. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has two restaurants at the hotel: an English steakhouse and a stylish Italian spot. The Chocolate Gallery is a temple of sugary treats. Al Naba’a Lounge offers a glam afternoon tea in an elegantly mod setting. Cedar Lounge, serving Lebanese cuisine, is party central, complete with belly dancers.

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Address

Fairmont Bab al Bahr Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Rd, Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi 114304, United Arab Emirates

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